I have two big fears in life: broken glass and dentists. If you were at my house for dinner and shattered your glass to bits on my floor, I’d likely tell you it was no problem and move everyone out of the way so I could sweep up the shards of glass like a normal person. When you left, I’d start my obsessive routine, vigilantly seeking out every foot-embedding tiny invisible knife. I’d sweep, and vacuum, and mop and vacuum again. Even with all that, I’d find a lone sliver somewhere in the coming days while I walked through my house in shoes, because I know those evil glass bits are lurking. My glass fear is one that I can hide from all but my closest relations.
My dentist fear is a whole different level of fear. I have fainted dead away twice in my life: both at dentist offices. I have been known to sit in my car and put my head down after an appointment so I don’t faint on the drive home. I have had 7 crowns, 2 root canals, more fillings than I have teeth and my wisdom teeth out. The fear that proceeded all of those pales to my current fear: gum surgery.
It’s a simple surgery. It’s a graft on one tooth. I’ll be fine. I know this in my logical brain. My emotional brain? Well, when I went to visit the nice gum doctor and he pulled out his notebook of gum surgery before and after pictures I did not faint and I did not vomit, which I was proud of. However, when the nice man finished with his horror show of gum pictures and asked me if I had any questions I looked at him, took a deep breath, and burst out crying. He looked at me like I had leprosy.
See, the dentist fear isn’t controllable. It makes me faint and cry in public. This appointment, the one where I learned I was having gum surgery, it was a month ago. A month I have been dreading the surgery. A month I’ve been having nightmares about what is going to happen. A month of seeing his folder of surgical details looking at me. A month of planning logistics. My favorite, is that I have to have someone drive me because of my “pre-medication” and the instructions say in bold, “Do not take a taxi while taking your pre-medication.” This little tidbit might be the only thing keeping me sane. Is a bus okay? What about Uber? A train? I mean, I can’t drive and in bold cannot take a taxi, but no other forms of transportation are discussed.
So, why am I grouchy? Because I deal with this kind of irrational fear for a week or two, but after a month my edges are raw. I can’t take in any more. Anything can send me into a tailspin: my daughter asking for an iPad from Santa, my husband lecturing me on her lack of after school activities, deciding if we should order Christmas cards, and holiday family budget discussions. All of those have sent me into a tailspin. I have explained my craziness to my husband, but somehow he is incapable of turning off normal topics of conversation this week. He can’t stop himself from asking, on a lunch date, if I really need him home on Friday, because he’s really busy at work right now.
Last night? I dreamed I bled out and my family came home to find me dead because I was left alone after gum surgery. Lordy. I need to get this procedure over with so I don’t lose my mind. I’m dreading Thursday, but it can’t come soon enough for the Aftheads.