As some of my readers know, I have big phobias. Complicated phobias. Phobias that overlap and make lots of things very hard for me, almost impossible in some situations. But today sod you medical phobia, I was stronger than you today.
I’ve been seeing a therapist weekly for months now, and sometimes I think “What is the point?” as I leave in tears or shakey or angry. Sometimes it feels like I am going backwards not forwards fixing these phobias and flashbacks and nightmares and well, you know!
Today though was proof slow progress is being made. I’ve been to the dentist, not only been there, but also had the much feared injection, had two of my teeth drilled and fillings put in. Over a decade ago I was informed I required fillings. It’s taken that long.
Between my therapists hard work and these lovely dentists I finally did it. I met the dentist and her assistant a fortnight ago. They xrayed my teeth and poked and prodded my teeth with those pointy torture sticks. They told me that this appointment we would try to get some work done, but if I did freak out or felt I couldn’t cope the dentist said they would just stop and make it a routine treatment like a scale and polish or that varnish they stick on kids baby teeth to help them last.
That reduced the pressure and pre-appointment anxiety an awful lot. I went in today feeling sick and nauseous at the thought of what needed doing, but only frightened not terrified. I was shaking but not crying. I took my teddy Roo with me, I said please don’t laugh, I know its stupid to have a teddy at 30-something but my boys gave it to me and I always hug it when I feel frightened. I took Roo with me to Australia because of fear of flying. I hug Roo if I’ve had an argument with someone, or had a shock like bad news. If I can’t take my Blokey or kids for support I make do with Roo.
They didn’t laugh, didn’t judge, didn’t patronise. And I didn’t cry.
I still need more work doing, and right now my face aches, particularly my cheek but it was back teeth that got fixed today, so I’m not that surprised. Over stretched!
I know I can go back to this lovely pair, the Dentist who’s name I can’t pronounce, and her assistant Laura. All my appointments from now on will be with these lovely ladies, they listened. They hid the things that make my phobias worse, they asked me if I wanted to know in advance of them doing each step, but I said I would be less frightened if I don’t know up front, if I can’t see their tools.
I never saw the needle. I never saw them lift that scary glass bottle above a syringe to suck the anesthetic into that needle. I didn’t see that drill, I heard it of course, but not seeing these things was so much better. I didn’t see anything much. Sore but proud.