i’m afraid to make an appointment with the dentist

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Yep, you read that right.

I’m totally fine with dentists, their offices, and all the things that go on therein.  But I am scared to call them to make appointments.

As a kid, I had some pretty weird dental issues that required what I can only imagine was millions of dollars worth of work, and several months’ worth of lost time.

I started life off severely tongue-tied, which is an actual medical thing, not just something that happens when you’re nervous or embarrassed or trying to think of the perfect thing to say to the crazy soccer mom who just ran you over in Costco. As I grew, it became obvious that I was not outgrowing my adorable overbite, so braces became the thing in about 3rd grade, complete with bright blue and purple bands. But to get the braces on, a couple of molars (which were coming in literally laterally) had to be uncovered and pulled to the more proper positions.

Then there were the wisdom tooth extractions. I had 7.
All that to say that I am extremely comfortable in and grateful for dentists’ offices.

Which is why it seems all the more absurd that I am absolutely terrified of calling one in order to make an appointment or ask grown up questions about things like what it costs to go to there.

It’s been about 6 years since the last time I made it to a dentist’s office. Having kids makes it really easy to neglect oneself (that’s another post), and the absence of health insurance in my life makes it the easy decision. But recently I’ve noticed what has to be a cavity. And at about the same time my mom happened to mentioned that she would like to pay for me to go and take care of my teeth (my mom is amazing). So I really had no choice but to put on my big girl panties and pick up the phone.

Just like I did when I was 12 years old and desperate for the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves soundtrack, but my mom wouldn’t take me to the mall until I called to confirm that it was actually in stock, I wrote out a plan of attack. Get some phone numbers of local offices. Write out some notes about what the heck I was calling for, in the event that my anxiety caused my brain to shut down once someone answered the phone. Remind myself that the person on the other end of the line was probably a super nice, ‘people person’ receptionist who spent literally all of her time talking to people like me and at least sometimes felt good about helping them figure this stuff out, and that she would definitely not be judging me for not having insurance or visiting a dental office in half a decade. Then I took a couple of deep breathes, and dialed the phone.

Pretty much the moment that the first nice receptionist answered the phone, all of the anxiety disappeared. Because she was super helpful and sounded very kind. And because I was reminded once again that I like people, and talking to them, and being one.

Bottom line is, I am really good at being scared, especially of things that haven’t happened yet. Even super normal, every day, routine things. The good news is I’m trying to do the things anyways, especially when they’re scary. And hopefully my teeth, and the rest of me, will continue to be better off for it.

UPDATE : NOT a cavity!! Yay me!

 

 

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