I was talking with a coworker about taking my daughter to the dentist and noticed my palms started to get sweaty, I started talking faster than normal and my heart rate increased. I realized it was my fear of the dentist that was affecting me. Just to talk about it brings back memories of going to our family dentist when I was a kid. He was brutal. I think he got great pleasure from hurting children. I know that I couldn't eat for 2-3 days without it hurting after a visit to him. I still remember his name...Dr. Cook. I used to imagine that he would cook the children that didn't open their mouths wide enough so that's why his last name was Cook. Silly, I know, and I am sure it added to my distress wondering if I was next on the menu.
I developed such an aversion to going to the dentist that at one time I went almost 5 years between visits. There is something about laying there with your mouth open that leaves you feeling very vulnerable. They have you held hostage. As you try to prevent drowning from all of the saliva that collects in the back of your throat, you silently scream that it is time for Mr. Thirsty to make his debut. Please get suction me quickly before I die over here.
Then there is the question asking they do while their hands are shoved into your mouth. Really? Why do they feel the need for small talk while you are laying in the chair unable to answer? I think I will do flash cards for next time....
Yes, I had a nice summer
No, I can't believe it is time for back to school already
Yes, we were very busy
No, we didn't go anywhere special
I realize that my claustrophobia may be the real reason why I get so stressed out about going to the dentist. That fear of not being able to get away. You can't suddenly jump up and head out the door when they have your mouth pried open with their tools shoved down your throat... Sorry, there I go again. I think I need to subscribe to sedation dentistry. It would be so much easier.
My daughter asked me what the big deal is. I think she smells my fear as I walk her into the office. I smile nicely and am as polite as possible to everyone because I don't want them to remember me and take it out on me the next time I come in. I am invisible... She is such a trooper about going to the dentist. It doesn't bother her in the least and she can't wait to pick something out of the treasure chest when we leave. That 10 cent toy is the key to erasing any bad memories from the chair it seems...