The Dentist is My Slow Creeping Death…..

Posted: May 30, 2012 in Getting Drunk with Heath, Opinion and things I hate
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I just want to go to sleep.  I want to count down from ten to one, but never make it to one because the drugs are so good.  I just want to be put to sleep and wake up in a room to see a nurse’s kind and gentle face looking down on me like a dream saying, “Hello Mr. Phillips, you’re all done, it was an absolute success.  We’ve phoned your wife and she will be back shortly; you can go home; what a great day.”  I want to see pastel colored walls that soothe the soul and leave me longing to return to this sacred instance again later.  I want the entire evolution to feel like those television shows that document people who die, have an out of body experience, and when they come back they almost wish they had stayed in the euphoria that was death.

This would be my perfect trip to the dentist.  And this cannot happen, because dentists work directly for the devil.

If there is a dentist reading this, and you feel offended, I want you to know that it is nothing personal; it is just a harsh reality I have learned after long days of anguish and torment—and these are just the days leading up to an appointment.  Furthermore, I encourage all dentists to start their own blog, and in your blog, you can discuss pathetic weaklings like me.  I know much has happened since the days where you just got a man drunk off whiskey, tied his arms down, and went to town on his molars; and yet, I still feel like this is pretty much what happens when I visit the dentist, except nowadays it is frowned upon to get patients drunk.  So, in some aspects, it is worse today.

To some extent, I feel like dentistry is a voodoo science part of the medical system.  Maybe more so, like it is a learn-as- you-go profession, which absolutely scares the hell out of me.  Plus, and this is huge, who becomes a dentist?  Well, why did you become what you are?  Usually this is answered with a comment along the lines of, “because I really enjoy helping people, and I am interested in the human mouth…”  I don’t know, but it definitely has the connotation that dentists are comfortable sitting in a dentist chair, so they are already out of touch with me from the get go.  They are out of touch and indifferent to my suffering.  They all have the same look on their faces that my father had one time when I fell off of my bike rounding a corner too fast.  After hydroplaning three hundred feet and removing the skin from all points of contact with the asphalt, I proceeded to enter a state of shock where I ran around in circles screaming like a bitch.  My dad’s ever sympathetic attempt at helping his mortally wounded son was to yell at him for embarrassing him in public under the “men don’t act like little bitches” clause of the fatherhood code.  That tone with which he dealt with me is the same tone that dentists talk to me when I enter their torture lair.

I actually have to train to go to the dentist’s office.  My regiment is as strict as any of my workout routines I utilize to get this startlingly handsome and built physique….anyways.  I am going to walk you through what goes on in the days leading up to any random appointment forced upon me by radical zealot dentists seeking to oppress innocent people with their black magic.

First Exercise:

Similar to water boarding except at a dentist’s office there is never any break for a confession, just torture.  The exercise involves me filling my mouth with water, leaning back in my chair and holding the water in my mouth as long as possible.  I hold the water in my mouth until I cannot stand it and then spit.  I repeat constantly.  This simulates the following:

I have this inability to remain calm while saliva, blood, and dental waste fill up my mouth.  It is like a claustrophobia that sets in the second my head goes back and I realize that 1).  I am not getting the volume of air I want to get into my lungs through my nostrils, and 2).  I have a diminished ability to swallow properly.  I would rather be buried alive.  This claustrophobia causes sheer terror in my soul.  I lose my mind.  Time slows to a near standstill; I lose the ability to make the oxygen I am breathing enter my bloodstream.  Everything is shutting down.  My vision tunnels.  I want to cry, I want to seek refuge anywhere else in that moment.  I want out of this hell chair. Now.

Second Exercise:

Clench my hands together overlapping my fingers like a man in deep prayer.  (Note: I have already been praying about this dentist trip for days, so I do not pray at this moment.  However, I resume praying on the drive to the dentist’s office).  No, I squeeze as hard as I can for as long as I can.  This simulates the following:

From the second that lady that keeps handing the dentist instruments of torture lowers my head below parallel; I begin clutching my hands together in terror.  I have actually made my front two joints on all of my fingers physically separate from my hand during a cleaning.  It is not from the pain that may ensue, but from the onset of the aforementioned claustrophobia setting in.

Third Exercise:

This is a compound movement that begins with the second exercise.  I have to practice breaking my hands apart and then, using my right hand, which is permanently in the clutching position at this point.  Once broken apart, I practice extending my index finger into a hook position.  This hook position is, in my head, the universal “put that suction thing in my mouth and cease all work” signal.  I brief the dentist on this prior to the initiation of the hellish journey to clean teeth.

These exercises have helped me through many trips to the dentist.  I have contemplated having all my teeth removed down to the gums to avoid repeat trips to the dentist.  What can I say; I am weak and need help.  If a dental procedure is optional, that means it won’t happen.  Lord, have mercy on my soul.

I just wanted you to know because I have been holding it in for years….

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Comments
  1. Boy, oh Boy! You are a poor misguided soul traipsing through self imposed dental hell! I ask you, is a dentist not like any other? “Who becomes a dentist?” A better question would be Who becomes a proctologist, or a podiatrist? “Well, I really like looking at assholes and feet smell so great, who wouldn’t want to bathe themselves in their essence?” or the flip side “I really love looking at feet and assholes smell so good…” anyway you get the picture…and it is GROSS! In my 13 years in the dental field and more in the medical field overall, I have equivocated the likeness of dental visits for men on the same scale as the gynecologist for women. There is much preparation for this visit on our end (no pun intended) as there is on yours for the scary, scary, dentist. I have never seen a man more in denial than when he is at the dentist. A man will throw himself onto the merciless front lines of war, but will balk at a measly filling. Thus the vicious cycle begins that ultimately begets the “pain” commonly referred to in colorful prose, yet only holds true to the practices in …18th and early 19th centuries.

    Dentists of…oldendays, yesteryear, yore, if you will, often had no medical background whatsoever. The doctors of the time possessed the same astonishing accolades. Barbers used to perform minor surgeries and extractions. Still, a 9000 year old practice, dentistry was not considered truly medical in nature nor highly revered until the mid 19th century and was still unregulated at that time. In less than 40 years, the dental industry soared while not only its extreme technological advances, but its ability to employ an entirely new level of professions.

    Without going any further into a diatribe on dentistry…here’s my advice. BUCK UP! It isn’t any more scary than jumping off a roof drunk or getting snapped with a wet towel in the locker room or whatever other weirdo things guys do that illicit pain. The only difference is dental visits don’t end with a high five and a chorus of how “wicked awesome” you are.I’ve been known to go above and beyond for my patients to make them comfortable and even that would be a stretch for me! So plug in an ipod, close your eyes, practice some WOO-SAH and R-E-L-A-X! Trust me, when you are sixty and still manage to have all your teeth, you will thank us! 😀

    PS Look for an office that has an “Isolite” it is a nifty contraption that suctions the saliva and illuminates your mouth without causing the choking sensation. 🙂

    PSS I didn’t know you were a Marine until after I wrote this – so, being a former Army wife, I can tell you the Military dentists do nothing to aid in the release of the dental anxiety. Call Delta Dental and ask for a TRICARE provider off post if you haven’t already.

    • haphillips says:

      Firstly, what a terrific response!!! Secondly, you are a badass. I have sat with the dentist, in his or her office, and said these words, “I will jump on a grenade; I will fight a man twice my size, but I do not want to sit in this chair.” I loved your retort, and you are right, I need to buck up, unfortunately the showing is in the doing, and I am a scared child in a dental chair!!!

  2. Well it’s a terrific response BECAUSE I’m a badass! lol Here’s an option, If you are a scared child in the dental chair do this: Go to the dentist, ask to stand up during the cleaning or, perhaps, sit in a different body contorting support of your choosing (maybe one of those ergonomically correct computer chairs that make you kneel). I know this sounds ridiculous, but a multitude of offices will actually cater to these nonsensical requests. I have actually had to do a filling on a man in a wheelchair ~ of course I’d postulate that his was not of his choosing. HA! Bad joke…While you are standing there like a high maintenance baby, look inside…deep inside yourself, and ask “How incredibly ridiculous do I feel right now?” My guess is pretty damn ridiculous. I bet that dental chair looks good right about now…if only to save you from embarrassment and preserve that “just right’ amount of masculinity you try to salvage before you cry “too much”. I bet the fine leather grain and massage capability would be fairly inviting. Then….Oh no! “A foot massage WHILST I salvage these precious pearly whites? I don’t mind if I do! And, please change the channel on my overhead television to Duck Dynasty. I can’t wait to see what shenanigans these guys pull this week!” See…you’re excited all ready! That’s how I roll. lol It feels good to be a gangsta sometimes.

    From my own personal experiences, this is how I feel: I truly do want people to take care of their teeth and I am 100% sympathetic to their genuine fears. Underneath all this sarcasm is a pretty compassionate woman, but I can only take so much before I go the lab and close the door to rant to myself about how I can’t wait to sit the chair up, rip off the bib and kick them in the ass. But, we both know that won’t happen. So, to amuse myself, I laugh about how funny it would be and what shock and awe would ensue. But, my only true revenge is writing on their chart in bold RED letters…PITA PT (Pain In The Ass Patient), as a gentle reminder to myself to mentally prepare for emotional diapers and a every 2 second suction rythym. Not only that, but I have to angle my body in such a way to accommodate your “needs” that my neck almost seizes just so i can be sure you don’t have an overage of spittle loitering in your throat. My fingers seize up from having to CONSTANTLY suction so you don’t “choke”, the mirror keeps getting foggy because you can’t control your heavy briething, your tongue is in a muscle group all its own so my wrist is cramped from trying to fight to keep it away from the drill, my head is pounding with echos of incessant whining, my throat is dry from constantly reassuring and explaining what we are “doing next”, my legs feel like they are going to buckle from lack of circulation, and the procedure is taking an hour longer than it should AND i have to pee. So at this point, the patient is my nemesis, standing between me and getting out the door without maiming someone.

    Naturally, I keep this all to myself..until now. But, you can see now from a personal account how the other side sees. 😀

    • haphillips says:

      What a terrific and scathing commentary on my lacking masculinity! Lol. You know what you are doing. It looks like I may need to run from my compassion deprived dentists the Marine Corps has to offer and run to your practice soon. You are a badass and I am glad Baz or Babar introduced us. You should keep reading my blogs and ripping them apart. I enjoyed it!

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