I’m not supposed to bend over, lift anything heavy, drink through a straw, eat anything but liquid food, or hold up my lip to see what the dentist did to my gums for the next three days. I’m also supposed to ice my face for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for two hours and [quote] stay ahead of the pain [close quote] by alternating prescription Ibuprofen and Tylenol. All this so I won’t wake up one morning and find my teeth on my pillow.
The dental assistant turned on classical music and a meditation beach video which played on a large screen on the ceiling. The combination was mesmerizing because I am very good at being blank-minded, but I also closed my eyes much of the time to avoid looking at, you know, the instruments. About two hours into the procedure, I opened my eyes to see the tranquil beach scene replaced by a single traffic cone on a black screen. I didn’t ask for an explanation and none was offered.
I am impressed already by how much of my life involves looking forward to dinner. My husband will be eating the leftovers from last night’s dinner out – steak, ribs, and a heavy duty loaded baked potato, which, to me, is food of the gods. I am nursing a Boost, which he just made a special trip to the drug store to buy for me. Still, I am anticipation-less, which is a bummer.
You have to wonder – what do old people without money do about going to the dentist? I bought dental insurance in preparation for today’s extravaganza and still had a whopping bill to pay. How is dental care not considered part of health care and not part of regular health insurance and Medicare? Why is it considered a luxury? Like all us old folks are out here demanding pedicure insurance. It’s nuts. Dental, vision, health – all our parts need to be covered.
There was a fleeting moment today when my mind raced to Little Shop of Horrors but it was fleeting and insincere. All the dental people were very kind and gentle. At one point, when I got a bit of a zinger on one tooth, the dental assistance put her hand on my shoulder in the sweetest, most reassuring way, and then she and the dentist slathered on more painkiller. My dream team.