Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Signs I’m getting a little older

I'm 33. Or so I'm told. I routinely forget how old I am. I was born in December and so right as we're getting ready for a new year, I have my birthday. Thus when I subtract from the year I get confused. I also got married on my birthday and so from time to time when asked my birthday, I write 1999 for the year. I wasn't born in 1999.

So last night I went to the dentist. I wasn't sure I really had a dentist appointment because when I went to schedule it the attendant told me the first available was 22 February. When I sighed and told her the nature of my problem, I think I cracked a tooth while flossing around an old cavity. She went through the book and penciled me in at 6:00p.m. on the 16th. But it sounded like a "Golly, I don't know. But we'll try to squeeze you in. I'll let you know if it's squeezeable" kind of appointment, which is very common with this dentist. She's the priciest dentist in town and that is the kind of thing you want here. Actually her office is wonderful because they normally call to confirm appointments- that makes it worth the money. And she speaks in English; you don't want your dental needs to suffer because they were lost in translation.

I didn't get a call so at 5:00; I called the office to see if I was indeed "on" for an appointment at 6:00. She said "of course", like how could you not know that and so I ate a bit of dinner, brushed my teeth and got around to the office. I brought the Video Ipod because the dentist is notorious for hour or so long waits even when you have an appointment. When I arrived there were maybe 2, 3 people waiting (tough to tell because the dentist doesn't let family members and/or nannies into the office). I grabbed a magazine and thought I'd save the production of getting out the ipod etc. It was a local language home design magazine and mostly instructed me in how to make even the smallest space in my home more "feng shui". Half way through arranging pillows in a "feng shui" way, I was called in.

Then dentist took a look at it. Agreed the filling was a million or 2 years old, pronounced there to be a secondary cavity L, and proceeded to take x-rays. All the while explaining that most likely I was looking at a root canal and crown which would be expensive (you wouldn't agree if you are reading this from the US). Sure enough, the uber-cool computer x-ray which tumbled onto the screen, told us root canal and crown. And I was thinking "but it's not hurting right now, so maybe we do this whole root canal crown thing another day?" I'm thinking this while Super Dentist has tools in her hand to begin numbing me so that she can drill. So obviously we're not going with my idea. I close my eyes, cross my hands tightly (white knuckle fashion) across my stomach, and begin twiddling my shoes. I'm in full panic mode when I see the shot, and begin humming at the thought of the drill. I hum all the way through the drilling, waiting to hurt. Practicing that pregnancy breathing I learned and reviewing what the teacher in prenatal class told us "You only really feel pain if you're tight and you stop breathing. Keep breathing and you're not going to hurt." Still I'm humming because that is my stress response. Super Dentist asks if I'm feeling pain. I give her a thumbs up- so far no pain but I want to be prepared.

But during this I'm thinking "I've never been scared at the dentist before. Why am I scared at the dentist?" And the grown up Amanda says "Because you're in the developing world getting a 20 yr. old filling yanked out of your head by someone who speaks passable English and you know that tooth is going to be cracked through." And I was sorry with myself for being afraid. When I was somewhere in adolescence I remember Life Long Dentist filling that tooth. I remember because for the first time Life Long Dentist had forgotten to put the sunglasses on me that kept from seeing the WICKED HUGE SHOT they use for dental procedures. I remember very clearly whimpering. Then Life Long Dentist got me the sunglasses but I was already scared. And now here I am in the developing world getting my teeth fixed again and that doesn't sound like something normal people choose to do. And I thought to myself "You're kind of getting to be a scaredy cat in your old age." And so I am.

Super Dentist did a fine job. This office isn't a chit chatty dentist office. Life Long Dentist has a chit chatty office and everything takes forever. I don't know that I've had a root canal before but everyone talks about it taking forever and being painful. This was neither. I left the office without paying a dime, "Later" it's not culturally appropriate to talk about money much and called Jonathan. Super Dentist gives the same prescription drug cocktail and I was pretty sure we still had some from last time. Sure enough we had the pain reliever and the anti-inflammatory and I was off at 8:30p.m. to run into the pharmacy for the antibiotic. Got to the apotik and they were packed. Pharmacy or Apotik has doctor and or dentist offices attached typically. Got my antibiotics. On my way home. Parkir hassles me out into busy traffic, trying to get my seatbelt pulled across, remember to turn on my lights, check all three mirrors, look behind me, miss the bicycles/ motorcycles/ pedestrians and as traffic lets up I think of plugging in the Ipod. Reaching into my purse at a stoplight, I can't find the Ipod. I pull over and make a search of my purse, nothing. Weaving back into traffic to the dentist office. Check the parking lot, check the office (still patients sitting in the lobby). Go to the Apotik, same thing. Call Jonathan who kindly says "look a little bit longer but don't worry, it's just a thing." I boo-hoo. I go back to the dentist. Checking parking lot, checking office (last patient being drilled in the other office). Leave my name and number with the attendant. Parkir kindly says "tomorrow morning you'll find it in the car." Back to the Apotik, leave my name and number. Parkir looking around. Drive by dentist office, Parkir isn't playing with new Ipod. Drive back by the Apotik, Parkir isn't playing with new Ipod. So I go home. Where my kind husband suggests I take my medicine and get a shower. He goes out to the car with a flashlight. I go to get the emergency back up light. As I come out, husband meets me on the porch with my handphone and the Ipod. It had fallen out of my person on the passenger side. It was up in the top of floorboard. I couldn't have seen it from the driver's side or with the light of my handphone.

I'm so looking forward to going back to the dentist next MondayJ

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