Open - wiiiiiide!
Doesn't get much more personal than this...sitting with a ringside seat at the dentist while someone is prone with their mouth open and bits being picked out of their teeth :-(
Okaasan and Me - we went to the dentist together, she at 3 pm and me following on at 4 pm.
I was there for a brief checkup (recent night guard and cleaning) and she was there because of all the recent complaints of tooth pain and strange comments about going to the Ear, Nose and Throat doc. Except she didn't know why she was there. The tooth wasn't painful today. We had to keep telling her.
I drove her downtown and to my surprise the dentist actually invited me into the treatment room, instead of leaving me with the magazines and staff pet photo display. This meant I was doing the chatty small talk to ease Okaasan's mind. I chatted about the realistic imitation flower display, the hotel across the street, the picture, the festival in the park, the dentist's daughter (a student many years ago)...and on and on.
An XRay showed a large cavity top left - no wonder she felt pain recently. Okaasan was trying to wriggle out of it though - "Oh it's ok, the dentist is so busy, I don't want to bother him!", "it's not so bad, is it?" etc
But she caught in the web of decisionmakers - I called Dear Son on my cell phone, Dear Son and dentist chatted, Dear Son gave the go ahead for treatment, then dentist explained it as a done deal to Okaasan and before she knew it the chair was back down and she was being prepped for root extraction.....
I felt lots of sympathy actually, after all the treatments I had last year. But, not enough to let her wriggle out. She is 83 years old, but she needs to eat and stay healthy. And increasing tooth pain isn't good.
Kind of interesting to see how they did an old patient: they had a special cushion for under her back, they fitted a heart rate monitor to her finger and kept checking it as it beeped up and down, they questioned her about taking medicines and general health (Okaasan got stroppy with me when I mentioned that she was energetic enough to do dancing at day service, she doesn't like outsiders to know she goes to that...)
And then they started...carefully injecting and treatment. I sat there - on a stool at Okaasan's feet for 45 mins...as close as any non-medical person wants to ever get to a treatment without it being your own out of necessity!
My dentist and his nurse were soooooooooooooooo goood......so good......
Poor thing. Okaasan. When she finally sat back up again she looked whacked. I felt a rush of human-to-human sympathy for her and almost hugged her.
Then there was the whole process of deciding whether she would wait for me and my treatment, or go off shopping alone. And who would pay (me) and who would decide next appointment (me)....which was another 15 minutes of toing and froing.
I called Dear Son and his bike taxi to come and pick her up and take her to the subway station and waved her off in the elevator hall - me actually wearing the dental paper bib as I was being prepped for MY check-up...
and so.....Dentist Double Date.
For both of us.