Today is the day! Today is the day I get the second half of my teeth sparkling clean! This is going to be a breeze. Compared to my first cleaning experience and tooth extraction, today should be a piece of cake! Um, at least it was supposed to be that way!
I am brave! I am fearless! I am going to the periodontist by myself! My beautiful wife will stay at home taking care of business while I alone venture forth bravely to face the periodontist and all his instruments of torture! I can do this; I am fearless!
What am I doing? I must be nuts!
I arrive at the periodontist office at about 9:40 or so for my 10 AM appointment. I want to be early in case they can get me in and out early. I have another chiropractor visit today at Noon, so I’d like to get this simple operation done and be able to go to my Noon appointment.
Boy! How naive and unprepared was I for this day!
First thing, I couldn’t get the door to the periodontist office to open! I pushed on the handle and it wouldn’t budge. I thought, oh, surely they open before 10:00 AM but who knows about this place. They have some strange hours. Anyway, as I stood there looking at the door lock, I kept telling myself that it was just too hot already this morning to stand out here waiting for another 20 minutes so I did what any normal person would do, I tried to open the door again!
Well, they must have came and unlocked it because this time it opened right up! Stupid door handle!
So, I walk in and I see the receptionist. She says, “Hello. The periodontist is running a little late today so we’ll get to you as soon as possible.”
“Ok!”, I said, “I’m early anyway.” I said this without any trembling in my voice or anything.
So now I wait. There are no magazines that I want to read on the coffee table. I don’t think any of the magazines were printed in this century anyway! If history buffs every wanted to find historical records all they would ever need to do is look in a doctor or dentist office. They keep magazines, especially National Geographic magazines for 300 years on their coffee tables. I know.
So I’m waiting some more. My appointment is at 10:00 AM. It’s now 10:10 and I’m still waiting! There hasn’t been anyone else come into the office nor anyone leave since I got here. It’s now 10:20 AM and I’m still waiting. If there’s one thing I have, that’s patience. I can usually wait for anything if I have to, some times. It’s now 10:30 AM and no one has even looked at me since I came in. By rights, I should have just left and had them re-schedule when it was convenient for me but I have a hunch that it never would have been convenient!
Because I left my wonderful Wife at home, I, myself, cannot go home without getting my teeth cleaned. There is no way in the world that I could convince her that they just kept me waiting too long! I’m stuck here for ever if that’s how long it takes!
So I’m waiting and now it’s 10:48 and here comes the receptionist! “Mr. Chapman, we’re ready for you now!” Since I’m the only one in the waiting room, I can’t very well pretend that she’s talking to someone else. I guess I have to go in there. I blew my chance to get away by sitting here 48 minutes beyond my appointment time. In retrospect, I wasn’t very smart this day!
I’m led down this hall pass all the black dental chairs. My room is the second on the left. I’m told to sit down on the chair and “relax”! Yeah, right!
I look around the room to see where they are hiding all their evil instruments and I don’t see any. The room is not completely empty. It appears that they do work on patients in this room but they’ve done a good job of hiding all the weapons!
So, I lie back on the black dental chair which has to be one of the most uncomfortable chairs ever made. And I wait!
And I wait some more!
Finally, in walks THE Periodontist! He’s in surgical garb! Oh, my! He asks me how I’m doing today as if he really cares and I tell him he’s only an hour and a half behind schedule so I’m just happy as can be! NOT! (Well, I would have said that but I remembered the sharp tools he had stuck in my mouth the last time I was here.) I did mumble something about sitting here a long time.
And he says, “That’s great! Let’s get this done and send you on your way!” I think he needs a serious hearing test!
He now does something that startles me more than anything yet so far! He says he’s going to lower the chair-back so I should be prepared! I mean he actually told me he was going to do it before he moved the chair-back. I can’t believe I’m being gently lowered to a flat position. This is great. Well almost because now he says he wants to lower it a little bit more. I feel like I almost upside down now. I can feel the blood rushing to my head and I know I’m going to have a headache anytime now.
Next thing he does is hand me a pair of dark glasses. I put them on and notice that he doesn’t swing the big spotlight over my eyes until I’ve got the glasses on. This is amazing! I can’t believe how smoothly this appointment, albeit late appointment, is going.
Well, it was until now!
From somewhere behind me he has grabbed a three-foot long steel hypodermic needle syringe that he has to hold with two hands in order to steady it enough to poke it in my mouth. Oh, yeah, he did kind of swab my mouth with a couple of q-tips that kind of deadened my mouth but not for this! I can feel the needle sliding in and in and in to my lower back gums and it feels like a ton of stuff is being pumped in there. My gums must look like fat pillows by now. He finally pulls out this gigantic needle and says, “Only three more to go!”
I hate needles, especially the ones that get jabbed in my mouth. Out from behind my head comes another huge syringe with another gigantic, long, long needle! Up in my upper gums he jabs this thing and squeezes another ton of Novocaine in my mouth! I can feel my mouth, cheek and face puffing up like a marshmallow!
After the fourth injection, I think my whole body has gone numb. I know I can’t feel anything on my entire right side. It’s gone, there’s nothing there. I’m now wondering if I will ever have any feeling on my right side. I don’t think this stuff is going to wear off for the next 30 days! All I can think of now is a vision of those huge needles coming towards my face!
Now the Periodontist is looking inside my mouth doing something I can’t see or feel. He’s got this three foot round mirror stuck in there and his giant spear. He mumbles something and lifts my front lip and says, “Oh, that’s got to be deadened some!”
Oh, my goodness! Here comes another three-foot syringe dripping stuff and he stabs it in my gums just under my front lip. Now my nose and eyes and hair are starting to go numb. I won’t be able to feel anything forever!
So, I figure I’m in for the worse now. And from behind my head he’s going to start stuffing my mouth full of sharp instruments. But, was I ever wrong!
The Periodontist stands up and says, “Well, I’ve got to catch an airplane.”
And of course, I’m shocked cause I’m hoping he doesn’t expect me to lay here until he gets back!! So, with panic in my eyes, I holler as loud as I can, “U gttota cckke a pppplllle? Uccc llea meee hhee!” Which translates to, “You gotta’ do what? You crazy or something!”
Obviously the Periodontist didn’t understand a word I said because he turns around and adjust the TV. He brings this TV down and in front of me and turns on the sound. He says, “This will keep you entertained until my Assistant can come in and do the cleaning!”
His Assistant? Who’s this I’m thinking. Egor? So, I’m left there hanging almost upside down, my whole face going completely numb while my nose feels like it’s blown up twice normal size. I’m watching a TV show that is about a meteor destroying the world and I can’t see nothing cause the Periodontist forgot to give me my glasses! Help! Help!
So, I’m waiting! And waiting! Finally, 20 minutes later some lady comes in wearing a mask (which I don’t blame her) and asks if I’m ready for my teeth cleaning!
Through deadened lips I tell her, “Nnnooossnnslkdielkkd skkke ellslsl!”, which actually meant, “No, I thought I was here for an eye exam!”.
Of course she can’t understand any of my witty retort so she say, “Ok, let’s get started.”
She sits down and reaches behind my head and grabs her four foot long pick with this wicked looking hook. She also has a three-foot round mirror that she jambs in my mouth. I notice she has got goggles on along with her mask. I’m sure this attire is to ensure that I don’t recognize her once this is done.
Now let me tell you this lady begins to clean my teeth like she’s digging the Panama Canal! I mean she starts hauling these high powered drills out and stuffing them in my mouth. I’ve also got a garden hose hooked to the side of my mouth pouring water in like a busted dam! She’s scrapping every tooth with chisels and picks and hammers and a sand blaster! I swear she’s going to pull three of my back teeth right out of my mouth. I can feel all the gunk breaking away from my mouth and floating in the pond at the bottom of my throat. Fortunately, she brings in a vacuum hose and starts sucking up all this debris including my tongue!
Once my tongue gets dislodged, I can hear the boulders as they rattle up the vacuum hose. Chips are flying out of my mouth and my dark glasses are getting covered in some kind of dust! I’m holding on to the chair for dear life and she’s trying to break my neck! She’s pulling and tugging every tooth in my mouth! I can feel her hammering on some occasions!
Who ever said this was going to be a piece of cake was plain NUTS! I think it’s been an hour now and surprisingly I’m still alive! I believe she might be close to being done because I only have one tooth that doesn’t feel totally abused! And then she starts on that one! I really think this lady used to work construction jobs. The only thing I haven’t seen her use in my mouth yet, is a stick of real dynamite! Please don’t let her think about using that stuff!
Finally, I think she is done! Oh, my goodness! I survived! She says she is going to raise the chair-back and up I come! My head is spinning for just a moment. She then says to just sit still for a minute to get my bearings since I’ve been lying down for so long! Ya think?
I eventually get up feeling OK. My mouth is somewhere on my face, I think. I believe that I have shut my mouth finally for the first time in about two hours. The Assistant starts telling me about taking care of my teeth so I won’t have to go through this again. I’m sure she is saying this because she doesn’t want to have to work on me ever again and you can bet, neither do I!
I slowly stumble out of the treatment room to the receptionist’s desk and the Assistant says, “She’ll fix you up for your cleaning on the other side!”
I’m really stunned by that statement. I painfully look at the receptionist and she quietly says, “He’s already been through that!”
In fact, I’m so ready to get out of this place that I’m standing there with my debit card in hand ready to pay my bill and get gone. My balance is only $186 which isn’t any where near as painful as what I just went through! I walk swiftly out to my car and I head for the sanctity of my home, sweet home!
As I drag my weary body in the door, my lovely wife asks, “How was it?”
And I politely reply, “A piece of cake!”
Finally, MY TEETH ARE CLEAN for the first time in 59 years!