I really do not like visits to the dentist office; no disrespect to anyone working in this field. There is just something that nags me about paying someone a lot of money to cause me pain. That’s what it looks like on the surface, but I know it’s not true. I am paying them to help keep my teeth in my mouth and looking as nice as possible. We tend to see cavities as something which can be easily fixed but overlook that it is irreversible damage that weakens our teeth and puts us at risk for further trouble. Teeth are something that can be taken for granted when we are younger. After all, sweets are too delicious to pass up, not to mention everyone is putting them in front of us. Even though instructed to, not all children like to brush their teeth, and they do not get brushed as often as they should. If teeth are not properly cared for, it can lead to intense pain and a huge financial loss, so please follow the suggestions of a good dentist! I am pleased to say I have long since learned my lesson and that things have been going much better for me in this area.
After I relocated, I had to find a new dentist. Of course, one of the first things they told me was going to happen was that they would take x-rays. For goodness sakes, I still cannot figure out why on earth they haven’t designed a better way to take x-rays. They do not take them every visit so there is enough time in between that I nearly forget how terrible of an experience it was the time before. The first x-ray was taken, then another, and they continued until I thought I was in the clear. Then came the worst x-rays of them all, the corner ones. They told me to bite down and not move. Meanwhile they went to the back and made a pot of coffee while I laid there and suffered. At least that is what I hypothesized, along with the imaginary dialogue that follows.
“There it is!” she whispered to her coworker upon return.
“There is what?” asked the other.
“Look, in the corner of their eye, it’s a tear. I knew we could do it!”
After the x-rays were over, they laid me down on an awkward chair. Meanwhile, they brought in the x-rays and placed them in front of a light for the dentist to observe. The only trouble was, they were busy with four other patients, giving time for my mind to wander. During my paranoid delusions of grandeur, I questioned whether they conspired behind my back, a way to make patients like me suffer. It started with making me cry during the x-rays and then allowing me to stare at the results, wondering if further trouble lay ahead. In my case, I’ve had bad past experiences of dental work. Now, I won’t even look at the trays that carry their instruments of torture. In years past, they have worked on me enough that I do not want any more trouble. I work hard now to care for my teeth.
While this is an exaggeration, you can now tell more why I do not prefer these visits. But I try to keep a positive outlook on things, so I find ways to make it a more pleasant experience. One of the ways I’ve done this is through my interaction with the staff. One of the staff members, who I will call Ms. D, was the one who did my x-rays. She and I got along well. We shared many laughs together and I made it a point to treat her exceptional. On my second visit, she remembered me from the first time we met. I stopped in the hallway and talked to her once more. I informed her that she was my favorite employee at the office. My dental hygienist overheard me, to which I smirked and told her she was my favorite too. Ms. D smiled and we ended up giving each other a hug.
Every time I see her, I joke with her and make her feel appreciated. Later, my hygienist canceled on me and they rescheduled me for the following week. Close to the second appointment I was called once again, this time by Ms. D, who informed me that they had to cancel again. I recognized her voice, but I am not sure she did mine. However, I told her it was a good thing it was my favorite employee that called, otherwise I might have sought a new dentist office. She laughed loudly over the phone and we joked some more and rescheduled the appointment for later.
I do hope she feels like a million bucks. The real question is why. Why did I want to make this once stranger feel so good? I’d like to say it is because I am a good person, but I know myself well enough to make up lies about that. For some reason, I feel that God put it on my heart. I don’t do this type of thing with everyone I encounter, but I will say I am learning to do this type of thing more often. The world moves with lightning speed and is covered in darkness. It is so easy to ignore the people around us. It takes a deliberate effort, with purpose, to interrupt the pace of the day. Stop and shine a light on someone else today. You never know, that light may be the only one they see.