big shout out to all those of you who are joining me on my very first foray into blogging, dental-style. This time I don’t have a mirror in one hand and a drill in the other, so it’s uncharted territory for me! Have to say I’m looking forward to the journey though – who knows where it will take us..
Now the thing that always amazes me is how we dentists seem to be viewed as a species entirely distinct from the human race. When my kids were younger and I was doing the rounds of the Birthday Party Scene (a fate far worse than any visit to the dentist I might add!!) on a very rare day off, I’d be sitting there chatting away to some of the other Mums, exchanging info and generally having a very pleasant time. Since graduating oh-so-many years ago, the wisdom of experience has taught me not to make known my profession in the early stages of a conversation as this immediately puts paid to any hope of carrying on a normal conversation afterwards! So there I would be, chatting happily away, when, inevitably, the subject of “what do you do for a living” would crop up. Almost without fail, this is how it would go:
Other Mum (OM): “So, do you work at all?”
Me: “Mmm, yes, I do”.
OM: “Full time?”
OM: “Oh. Where do you work?”
Enter Little Darling who needs to go for a wee/have a drink/report a serious misdemeanor. OM distracted for a while, sorts out crisis, then … “So what do you do?”
(Now, keep in mind that until now this conversation has been pattering along, both parties relaxed and enjoying each others’ company.)
Me: “I’m a dentist”.
OM (visibly rears back in seat, eyes bulging out of head, voice three octaves higher):
“A DENTIST …!!”
Cue the Knell of Doom.
By this stage I may as well have cloven hooves and horns growing out of my head! What ensues is the inevitable litany of gloom people feel compelled to share with me about their unfortunate childhood experiences at the dentist for which I sympathise, believe me, I really really do, BUT … amazingly enough there are those of us who do this job because we love it and care about the people we treat and their health and wellbeing in general. I mean, WHY would we go into something like this if our primary aim wasn’t to HELP? Because let’s face it, it’s not as if we’re engulfed by a tidal wave of happiness and delight every time a patient walks through the door. And you know what? After all these years, I still absolutely love it. There’s no greater buzz than taking someone on a journey they never thought they could face and bringing them out the other end happy, healthy, relaxed and SMILING. Wow! Ok, so maybe it’s not normal to be this enthusiastic about something that so many people feel anything but enthusiastic about, but I AM, and I hope and pray I always will be.
To finish off for today, I’ll leave you with one of the more memorable reactions I got from an OM when she had been given the answer to the Big Question.
“Oh my goodness” said she. “But you look so, so … NORMAL!!!”
Normal, ME?? Now THAT’S debatable!
Until next time … floss, brush, take your time, don’t rush.