Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Price of a Teeth Cleaning

I consider myself a healthy person.  I love to run.  I have a healthy weight, blood pressure and all that jazz.  Yes I love my sweets but eat salads too.  The only thing I have really slacked at is going to the dentist over the past years.  With that said, I am neurotic about brushing and flossing...I just haven't made the time or had the money to go for regular dental appointments.  But today I finally went.

Truthfully I was a bit anxious as to whether I would be shamed for waiting so long.  Thankfully this new dentist was really nice about it.  In fact, I am a big fan of him.  Didn't hurt that I have no new cavities.

Before I went to the appointment this morning I saw another friend's birth announcement.  We all know how this goes by now, right?  How nice for them.  Cue my sadness.  But, whatever...on with my day.

New patient paperwork.  Us women get grilled (OK, perhaps it just feels that way for me given everything) as to whether or not I could be pregnant.  Understandably they don't want to give x-rays if I could be pregnant.  It's the first medical question on the paperwork.  Followed by have I ever been hospitalized?  Answer: Yes.  Reason: Other.  Nothing that could affect my dental care.

Apparently they needed more details so the administrative assistance asked me loudly in the waiting room.  So much for HIPPA.  "Was it just child birth?"  Well no, I thought.  A bit more complicated than that.  I told her it was related to a past pregnancy and medically a non-issue going forward.

Back in the exam room they wanted to start with x-rays.  The hygienist was very thorough and asked me twice if i could be pregnant.  I wanted to yell "NO I CAN'T BE PREGNANT ANY LONGER!  STOP ASKING ME!"  Poor lady, she had no idea.

The hygienist starts asking me if I have children.  Yes.  How many?  4.  You can see where this is going.  Ages?  Fast forward to me saying that my son died as a baby a year ago.  No tears, no wavering voice.

Now I'm stuck in the chair while my teeth are being picked at listening to this rather nice lady talk a lot.  I mean the nice thing...she is rather nice, just clueless as to how her words can hurt a bereaved mom.

It's part of the job I guess.  Having mainly one-way conversations with people who cannot respond as their mouths are open.  Somehow her conversation went to "at least you have your other 4 children."  I had to take a break from the teeth cleaning to clarify that when I had answered I have 4 children I was including my son who died.  She had assumed I did not include him in that number.  And there's some hurt on my part.  That other's don't consider my son, because he's dead, worthy of inclusion.  Yeah, that's how it feels on my end.  Even if that's not what's intended on the other end.  Back to the picking and I skipped over the "cheer up! you have other kids at least" line.  She went on to share that her mother lost a child, and still talks about it.  And that her sister had a loss as well.  This rather one-way conversation ended with "it takes some time to get over it."  My response, "I will never 'get over' it."

From there the conversation went to her beliefs that evolution is not scientifically supported as she finished picking my teeth.  It was an odd experience.  At the end of which though, I still found myself liking this woman overall.  Just not her comments.  I continue to be amazed that people, good people, are capable of such idiocy.  And it causes me to hold a mirror and acknowledge that I must hold the same idiotic capabilities.  So, to all I have hurt through my idiotic comments...I am truly sorry.

Well, my teeth are now clean :)

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