Yesterday, as I sat, quietly numb and freaking out, watching a story about a guy getting a very poisonous snake out of some woman's swimming pool, I heard it.
A gut-wrenching screech the likes of which I haven't heard since the last time I was in labor. And it wasn't me that time, either.
It was the kid next to me at the dentist.
I was visiting Dr. Henry for the second part of what I lovingly call "Henry's punch in the jaw" -- a/k/a first placement of a temporary crown, and yesterday, the removal of the temporary and placement (installation? insertion? setting?) of the permanent one.
The office is lovely; staff are friendly. Dr. Henry is a wonderful dentist. And the whole idea of "crown" was freaking me out. Henry asked me if I wanted HGTV or something else, but honestly, I was more calmed by the guy trying to catch the snake! It was pretty cool - at least what I could see without my glasses.
I refused an anaesthesia; I get wonky on them, and I had errands to run. But I did ask for a "terrific numbing up." Which I got. The only discomfort I had was the pressure he used to place the crown, and the kid next door screaming.
Dr. Henry and I are friends aside from my periodic visits to his chair. So he tells me, without breaking any privacy rules, that "Audrey" was there two days ago and was fine. She's actually totally numbed up and can't feel a thing.
But...Audrey wanted her mommy. Mommy was hovering. Audrey was enjoying it. Finally, one of the hygienists had had enough, and said to her, "Audrey. Stop. Look in my eyes." And she quieted down. Some.
My lovely hygienist was finishing the clean-up around the molar and in a break, I said to her, "Don't you actually want to say sometimes, 'Hey kid - knock it off. And mom? Go in the waiting room!' just so that it doesn't freak out the rest of the patients?"
She told me that normally, they have a couple of closed rooms for the screamers. And she whispered, "The parents are the worst offenders. We can get a kid calmed in just a few words. The parents seem to transfer their anxiety right to the kids and the kids feed on it."
Jeepers, people. Tell your kids that the dentist won't hurt them, and that they just need to calm down. And parents? Calm down yourselves!!
I'm not saying I was a perfect kid. Crimey - my dentist didn't even use novocaine when we were kids, but Heaven help us if we misbehaved in the dentist's chair. My sister bit the orthodontist once (she was totally justified...) and my mom read her the riot act.
As an adult, we finally got the numbing stuff, but Hubby still won't use it. His theory is that that makes the dentist even more careful. I bet they love him!!
The dentist is part of our health care. We're lucky to have good access to quality dental care. And now-a-days? They do the best to deal with freaked out, paranoid and just-plain-frightened people. It's come a long way. Even the implements are a lot less obnoxious.
Though I don't like that "spit-catcher." I've told Henry every time I'm in the chair that I have my appendix and my tonsils, but if he doesn't adjust the pressure of the suction, I may not have either - and I didn't want him charging extra!
Be that as it may, parents hovering usually don't help. My new crown is in, the pain in my jaw is much less than it was yesterday, and I'm not going to worry about the next one till Fall.
Hopefully, Audrey's next appointment won't coincide with mine!