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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

The wisdom of my fears and teeth

I have an intense dental phobia. One of those debilitating fears that require special flags on my chart, heavy sedation and restraints. My mother suffered from the same affliction. Perhaps her mother before her did as well. But I am trying desperately not to pass on this handicap to my children.

But it is so hard. Especially today.

I think good oral health is important, but it doesn’t make the experience any more desirable for me. I drag myself and my kids there regularly, but not before a whole lot of pep talks and watching the Hoosiers trailer repeatedly. I have a medic alert bracelet warning EMS personnel that should I break my tooth of a popcorn kernel, I wish for no heroic measures to be taken.

Sadly, today if my friend can extract me from under the bed, I will be having my wisdom teeth extracted.

The oral surgeon -- a nice chap -- remarked that although my case wasn’t particularly complicated, I would have a longer recovery time at my age. At my age.

I’m sorry; I must not have heard that correctly -- hearing is one of the first things to go. Is he really suggesting that 30 (and a considerable amount of change) is somehow such an advanced age that I cannot handle anything he could dish out? Does he not realize that I am a mother? I’ve gone through labor. I’ve had four C-sections. Heck, I’ve had more medical procedures as a result from childbearing than he could have given had he practiced in Appalachia in the 1800s. I am tougher than a mere mortal because I produced four of them. I’ve been poked, prodded, kicked, stitched, bruised, battered and whipped. And that’s just before breakfast. This morning. I have carried a 2 year-old around Disney World for 14 hours. In July. I have known pain.

He can take my wisdom teeth and a couple of incisors too because as a mother, I’ll still have more bite than a frenzied bull shark. Bring. It. On.

After this little pep talk to myself, I am not so scared of the dentist anymore. Paralyzingly terrified of the obstetrician, but the dentist, not as much.

(We’ll see if I’m this mouthy later today.)

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:55am]


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