Monday, August 04, 2008

Learning to Love (my Dentist!!)

I had a dental appointment this morning. It was the 4th in a series of 5 that have been occurring every 3 weeks. Although this has been a bit difficult (we have no dental insurance), my mouth is healthier than it has been in years. The previous 3 visits were all without incident, although I was having lots of work done. Today's was a bit different, however.

After Dr. Lee put the lower left side of my mouth to sleep, he came in and began to work. However, I could feel it (pain--not pressure) so he stopped and administered some more medicine. A few minutes later and he started again, and still I could feel it. Again he stopped.

Now you have to understand something here...I've had this happen before. It's been a long time, and I've tried to forget it, but this is not the first time. Believe it or not, I've actually had dentists tell me that I did NOT really feel anything, that I could not possibly, and continue to work. I began to worry that this was going to be the case here. Was Dr. Lee going to believe me? Was he going to continue to work? Was he going to send me home?

By this time my hands were shaking and I was beginning to panic a bit. How was I to know I had absolutely nothing to worry about? Dr. Lee assured me that even though this was unusual, I was not alone in it. He calmed me down, assured me that he believed me, and then proceeded to deaden that quadrant of my mouth completely. Even before he began to work again, I could feel the difference. I knew that I would feel nothing.

In no time at all the work was done and I was on my way home. A nice nap and the feeling in my mouth has returned. My jaw is a bit sore now, but I am not in pain at all. I am a difficult dental patient...I know this. But today may have been the first time ever I have not felt to "blame" for it. There are obviously some "quirks" to me that mean I don't always fit the typical mold. (Ask me sometime about the time the doctor removed my toenail while giving me something to bite down on since my toe just wouldn't deaden!!)

Here's the thing, though. It makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE to have a dentist who understands, believes, and responds to my individual quirks. Anyway, although this posting is a bit different than the norm, (sounds more like an "infomercial", doesn't it :-), it is definitely a reflection of what's happening in my world today. After years of hating dentists, I just thought it funny that a "tough" day could be changing that. Today I am definitely learning to love my dentist and everyone that works in his office. Go figure!

P.S. Even though you might think I would have the pick of the best living much of my life in Houston, my dentist is actually a lot closer to home in the little town of Edna. His name is Dr. Mac Lee and after I got home I discovered his cool little website [] where he talks about people like me [My Comfort]. If you decide to visit him, you have my permission to say that he came HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


  1. Anonymous1:44 PM

    Hi Bea,

    This is where we are differant,

    some years ago, I had a tooth ache, I knew this tooth would have to get a root canal done. But, since I had no dental coverage, I decided to convince the dentist, a real nice old man, to fill the tooth instead. After he poked a little and looked at the tooth he touched scraped and tested with an electrical probe, all the while asking me if I felt any pain, I told him there was none, he looked a bit surprised/skeptical. In the end he agreed to fill the cavity. It was painful but I kept my "pax dentana". Finally when he was pushing the filling in it pressed on the nerve and it took my best not to scream out.

    Well, the pain subsided in a day and the tooth is normal now.
    Kids don't try that at home. It is not for the feint hearted.

    What s the news with leo's journey to Nigeria?


  2. Ouch Azzy!! Your little story brought TEARS to my eyes! Although my mouth is a source of painful memories for me, Leo is not very sympathetic. Years ago, long before we were married, I watched him pull a bothersome tooth with a pair of pliers at work one night. The experience was a lot more painful for me to watch than it was for him to endure it seemed!

    I'm working on a new posting now with news about Nigeria. Check back in half an hour for an update.

    Take care.