What do you call it when a healthcare (or other professional organisation) place that you use, decides they don’t want you on their books anymore? Are you fired? Expelled? Dropped?
Well, color me embarrassed and ashamed, but I think….I think my dentist has chucked me. And it might have something to do with the fact that I bit him. And slapped his dental assistant. Accidentally, and you have to believe me on that one. I’m a pacifist through and through.
Blessed, as I am, with a tiny mouth and lots of teeth, my last appointment for a check-up and clean, I was presented with the newest dentist to the practise and his teenaged gum snapping dental assistant. Five minutes into the appointment, I was suffering. As we took our first ‘break’ of many breaks, I explained that my teeth are a little sensitive and I have a violent gag reflex (sorry, things you wished you never knew about me) and because we were sharing, the dentist held his hands up and told me his University advisor had suggested dentistry was not the career for him. I could see why. At the ends of each of his palms sat five thick Barbeque sausages. And, apparently, they were his fingers. I giggled nervously and tried yogic breathing to bring my heart rate down.
We slowly (so slowly) made our way through the appointment and I could sense his frustration mounting, (which, believe me, did not help) until finally, when he pulled out his sandblasting tool and my head started to shake with nerves, he said “I’m going to finish up using this now, it won’t hurt you, see?” stinging bits of water and grit flew against my cheek and my anxiety levels went up a notch. “Now,” he said, “I don’t want you to close your mouth or swallow, if you think you’re going to gag raise your hand, and we’ll stop.”
Believe me, I tried. I tried to think about other things, like housework that needed doing and how it could be further avoided. I tried to really get into the picture on the ceiling of the Hippo with a basketful of apples (Sure!). I tried pinching my leg really hard to distract myself. I tried so hard not to raise my hand, but it just fluttered up there like a little flag. And that’s because it felt like I had both of his enormous hands and two giant feet in my mouth at the same time! I could hear the edge to the Dentist’s voice now, and his assistant was no longer hiding from me her eye rolling or her sigh of annoyance.
I tried harder. The Dentist managed to get around my front teeth and swerve around to do the left side, midway through and he was really leaning into it – the guy was on a roll! As he made his dash to the line, he blocked the assistants’ view and she leaned on my chest, to peer in and that’s when the suction hose hit the back of my mouth. Now, I know my poor hand was flapping up there, and even though both of these people had their heads and limbs well ensconced in my mouth, they could not fail to notice the flapping. I think they just ignored it. To their detriment, because then it happened. And it happened quickly.
My mouth, of its own volition, clamped shut. On his fat sausage-like fingers. And my free flapping hand backhanded the dental assistant off my chest. The two of them drew back from me like I had rabies, and I had the distinct impression that I had breached dental appointment ettiquette. And said appointment, was over.
I went to the waiting room and the receptionist told me to take a seat, while she waited for the Dentist to download my future appointment needs. I picked up a magazine and started reading about the best one pot meals for families on a budget. By magazine number three and with a full menu plan in my head for the remainder of 2008, the receptionist cleared her throat and said :
“Mrs Hill, you can pay your bill now.”
“Should I make another appointment?” I prompted her as I passed her my life savings.
“Uh…No, no, that’s not necessary – have a nice afternoon!” she said, before picking up the phone to have, I swear, an imaginary conversation!
I’ve been fired, haven’t I? Give it to me straight.