Get Clucky!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

In which I have some teeth filled

So I was scrambling yesterday to finish a first part of a first draft of a first chapter of my dissertation (you wouldn’t think this was very stressful, but it sort of was) and had to stop to go to the dentist. I thought it was just going to be a drive-by exam sort of thing, because I’d had my teeth cleaned a week ago and just needed to have a “hot spot” double checked. So I only put 20 minutes on the parking meter, and figured I could use the down time to get some distance on my writing before it was time to proofread.

Unfortunately the dentist did not think this was a drive-by—he thought it was time for me to get THREE FILLINGS. Fillings are ridiculous; I still do not think of myself as someone who gets them. But I guess I am. And to add insult to injury, while I was being poked and prodded and drilled the dentist and his assistant started talking about how “stupid” and “dangerous” people like the Dixie Chicks and Jane Fonda were, because of their anti-war positions of course. Some people may have forgiven Jane Fonda. But not my dentist! No! and he’s just not buying any Dixie Chicks albums, but if he had, he would smash them and throw them out. Yep!

Meanwhile, I’m lying inarticulate on my back, inhaling the burnt fumes of my own teeth. Fun. My friend Sarah points out that this is actually a really great metaphor for what life is like under the Bush administration.

So because this is the first remotely medical procedure I’ve had since I went OTP, not that it’s been so long, it made me think a lot about baby having. Here are issues that sprang to mind as the drill whirled and the bad-politics aggravated:

1: Pain. Not so very fun. I think of myself as having a pretty high pain threshold, and managing pain pretty well, but really I’m not sure that that’s true. I mean—it sucks to have a needle stuck into three different locations in your gums. It starts to happen and, if your me, your back goes tight all the way through your shoulders, your knees clench so hard they come off the vinyl of the little benchy-chair, and your eyes widen in panic. And that’s just from fitting a tiny needle into a semi delicate tissue that has, lets remember, already BEEN NUMBED! If a little shot or two makes me panicky, perhaps I should not be so bold as to presume that I can handle fitting UN BEBE through MY SPECIALS without an epidural. I’m just saying.

2. Pain Management. Who makes a good coach for me? I am not very good at being coached; it irritates me and I feel condescended to. Particularly boys. I hate boy coaches. But really no matter who is coaching I am prone to not handling it very well when I need it the most. I think the equation goes like this: if I need coaching I feel out of control which makes me want to be in control and feel REALLY CONDESCENDED to by people trying to coach me.

All this to say: labor might be hard between me and my boy. We might not get along real well. I think I am going to have to get me some really nice wise women midwife lady who can manage me in a grandmotherly, non-condescending, sort of way.

I would also like to say that one of the reasons I don’t often take well to coaching is that there are a lot of bad coaches. They should be better at the management of stressed persons, and not increase their stress by making them feel dumb or condescended to.

3. Treatment. Lying passive really sucks. Since, as I said, fillings aren’t very normal for me, I have no idea what they do when they fill one except that it involves lots of things (sticks? Creams? Creams on sticks?) that are numbered, as in, “nurse, I’m going to need a one and a three while I talk about hating Jane Fonda,” and some weird little gun that “cures” something—later I learned it was a resin. Anyway, I am happy to be pretty passive about my teeth, but not about my SPECIALS or my BEBE! So I am going to have to find myself some medical staff who are good communicators. And I am also going to just resign myself to asking a lot of questions even though I hate to feel not in the know. I am okay at that, when I don’t feel condescended to.

Are Ob-Gyn/midwifes use to being interviewed? I hope so.


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