Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Memory

I have just got back from a quick visit to the doctor's. I had to go for a blood test. It was easy, painless and only took a short while. In fact, it took longer to park the car than anything else. However, it somehow reminded me of medical appointments when I was a child, and going to the dentist.

Was there anyone that wasn't frightened of the dentist? Is it any wonder? Our dentist was only a short walk away. The father of a school friend, I regarded him as a 'safe'. So, when the large needle suddenly appeared at eye level with no explanation I had conflicting feelings. The noise of the drill, the awful smell of the gas mask and then that funny woozy feeling and nothing else until you felt the after pain..... To learn years later that so much of the work that was done by dentists at that time wasn't necessary, but to improve their pay, almost makes the memories worse.....

How different it must have been, though, for my mother. Living in a small village there was no dentist. The nearest was in the next village, but there was no road! Travelling to the dentist involved a walk down a long hill and then a ferry trip across the fast flowing river. Imagine standing in the cold and wet waiting for the ferryman to row across to get you. The prospect of a similar trek on the way home was the culmination of the visit. I always wondered why Mum would never talk to me about the dentist, years later I discovered that she hadn't wanted to 'put me off'. Frankly, the dentist did that all on his own.......

9 comments:

NEARBYTREE said...

Every filling I have in my mouth is what was started in the 1960's - refilled again and again! One filling fell out and a trip to the dentist (when they had changed their ways!)confirmed that I'd never needed it in the first place and the edges of the tooth were just smoothed over. I have lost several back teeth which developed abcess' under the fillings - so like you I feel very cross.

Regarding the gas... you never forget it do you? Where I used to have that done in the 1950's, was in an upstairs room across from a church and I always seemed to wake up to the sound of church bells. My befuddled, childish mind always used to make me think I was dead!

Thank goodness things have changed...

makeyourpresentsfelt said...

My memory (must have been late 50's) is that the dentist needed a qualified anaesthetist, who sat behind a huge newspaper on a leather armchair and leapt out unexpectedly to clamp a black rubber mask over your face. Stuff of nightmares!

ZudaGay said...

Hehe...I still hate to go to the dentist...and she is a friend of mine! She knows it is nothing personal.

kittyd said...

Owies! I was lucky enough to have a wonderful childhood dentist. No unnecessary fillings, no fear-he was fantastic! He's since retired and passed away. Man, I wish he could still be my dentist....never had one since that I've liked.
Dr. White, how I miss you!

glorybe1024 said...

I had a similar experience when I was younger with the dentist. He too filled teeth that didn't have cavities. (I think we paid for his in-ground pool) Man, I have paid for it over and over again. Most of my molars are now crowns. This dentist would drill without numbing you. It took a long time for me to even go to the dentist as an adult.

I am happy to say that I have found the most wonderful and understanding dentist. He is honest with all the procedures and takes into consideration my anxiety. I am not thrilled with the prospect of dental work but I don't fuss near as much as I used to!

God bless!!

storybeader said...

and I guess people only went when they were in pain. Yuck! Never cared for the dentist, but the twice yearly cleanings are free with my health plan. Hate it when they take xrays...he might see something wrong...

kay susan said...

My goodness, I remember that smell - only the other week I nearly ran out of the lift at Waitrose. A new rubber floor had been fitted with some kind of solvent! For many, many years I thought I had real problem teeth and worried that my daughter would inherit them - but like so many other people my age, I needed none of those fillings and I too had abscesses underneath, caused by poor workmanship.

agoodwitchtoo said...

As an adult I'm still not fond of the dentist. I continue my childhood ritual of closing my eyes thinking "what I see can't hurt me".

MagdaleneJewels said...

I always wondered why anyone would want to become a dentist in the first place! My first experience (maybe I was 4) with a dentist, I started crying then got hysterical, when he took out the BIG needle. The dentist told my mother to take me out and not bring me back. So much for my love of dentists!