Dentists then Dharma



Tremulous is the way I’d describe myself this morning, prior to my dental appointment.  I go in,

“HELLO,” he says, pausing to check my name in his notes, “…Louise..” 

I think he thinks bellowing HELLO! buys him time to check my name, thus completing the sense of familiarity started with the greeting, whilst never having to legitimately remember who the hell I am. 

“Come in, come in (friendly voice).  And how are you?”

“I’m fine thanks, yeah.”  Is there any other response?  He’s good at these friendly entrees.  I know he doesn’t give a shit.  He knows he doesn’t give a shit.  Frankly, it’s a big waste of time, but the social niceties prevail.  The sarky voice-in-my-head really wants to highlight the absurdities in these exchanges, saying something like,

“I’M GREAT.  And, if it’s not too much to ask, I had been hoping that we could maybe do some invasive dental work today?  I was thinking maybe a little plaque-scraping, just enough to make my gums bleed, and then, well, if I may be so bold as to suggest…a needle-full of your lovely dental anaesthetic?  I mean, I don’t want to overstep the mark here, but I do enjoy our more rigorous sessions.”

Needless to say, I resist.  He continues,

“Right, so…we did that tooth last time, didn’t we (rhetorical question, I hope)?  [He points in the general direction of his own left jaw]  Any problems?”

Just so you know that tooth has been featured on this blog. I had some root canal agony a few months back, posted about at the time, probably under “pain so bad I want to rip my head off”.  Or similar.  Today was a six month “How’s it now?” thing.

I haven’t had any pain so it looks like the root treatment was successful, although I am a bit sensitive when eating/drinking sometimes.  I leave the dentist with an appointment for later in the month for probable tooth rebuilding, ending in a crown, all being well.

p.s. I’m a “cheek-biter”, apparently.  Not as saucy as it sounds.  After conducting an examination of my whole mouth, presumably some new directive for the early detection of mouth cancer etc, my dentist said,

“Cheek-biter, hum?”

I was taken aback by the term and the tone.  The latter was sort of blithely accusatory, like a doctor might deduce a smoker from nicotine-stained fingers – “So, you’re a smoker, hum?” 

Cheek-biter?  I’ve never heard of this before.  I do have a sore line each side of my mouth, that place where if you suck your cheeks in, your teeth catch flesh.  I never knew we were a group of people, though, like nail-biters and skin-pickers.  Do I need to find a therapist?  I must do it in my sleep because I don’t make a point of chewing the inside of my mouth during the day.


Later in the day I went to a meditation session – Buddhist-style.  I’m sort of window-shopping groups at the moment, because the one I attended through NHS-referral for CFS is over.  It was meant to be a group today, but I was the only one who turned up.  So it was more like one-to-one tuition.  I’m really glad I went though, because I was dithering over it.  After the dentist I felt tired and tense.  Although I was tired, I felt like I’d not done anything nice with the day, anything to lift my spirits, so I needed a boost.

I am a little bit hopeless when it comes to practicing meditation by myself, at home.  Too many distractions.  I do find the group meditation very helpful, though.  I just felt so much more positive after the 90 minutes I was there.  I’m almost self-destructive when it comes to creating the conditions for a peaceful meditation at home.  The negative voices seem to gather forces when I’m trying to be still.  If I’ve got other people around me, with a voice leading me into a relaxed state of mind, it’s much easier.  For a wonderful snippet of time I had that break from the tension of body and mind and I was able to focus.  My back and shoulder pain receded and I just felt much more ‘me’ again.  The me who is able to think of others, to put my issues in some sort of perspective and, importantly, to just relax and laugh and find the pleasure in my surroundings.

The benefit I feel after these sessions is short-lived, because a) life’s distractions start to seep back in, and b) I’m not yet proficient/practiced enough to be able to re-create the calm perspective on a whim.  However, its reinforced the importance of making the effort to attend stuff like this, especially when I’m feeling disconnected and down.


2 thoughts on “Dentists then Dharma

  1. Hey Louise,

    Glad you got through the dentist without any pain. I had to go last week and got so stressed afterwards that l was rough and broke my computer I was installing. Thank you for the email you sent me.

    I hope you have a nice 30th.

    Dom x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s