Pleasure and pain

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 Permalink

And no… this isn’t anotherĀ 50 Shades of Grey review, or the memory of a 1980s Aussie rock classic.

Rather it’s a spur-of-the moment post… just because.

I’m about to head to the dentist. Scary, yes I know! Like most people dental appointments aren’t something I choose to do for fun. And bless me dear dentist, for it’s about 2 years since my last appointment. And before that, it was at least 5 or 6 years.

I haven’t always been a recalcitrant dentist-goer. In fact, as a kid I was in that reclining chair every six months (or more often). Just like clockwork.

In my case however, my appointments were bitter-sweet. My uncle was a dentist so every few months my family would travel to the glitzy Gold Coast to stay with my aunt and uncle and their two boys. We would frolic about the fabulous shops and do family stuff; but at some point, we would all also traipse into my uncle’s surgery and file in one-by-one for our appointment. As we’d often go in after hours my aunt, a former dental nurse (which is how they met), would revisit that role for the day.

As much as I loved my amazingly kind, generous and even-tempered uncle, I hated having to see him when he donned his mask and coat. Because I was (ahem) less-than diligent with the brushing of my teeth I had quite a few fillings as a kid. On top of that I had a mouth full of large teeth so had some removed and wore a removable plate for some time when I was 8 years old. So you see… not a lot of pleasant memories!

I also remember this but it was my aunt who commented on it years later; because I was quite afraid, my father would accompany me into the room each time I’d go in. Perhaps he held my hand or made jokes, I can’t remember. I just remember he was always there.

Years later, when I was at University a friend came with me when I went to have some wisdom teeth out. Once I was in the chair my aunt picked up the phone inside the surgery and dialled my parents’ number in my hometown, confiding to my friend that I’d always had my dad in the room with me and she figured I’d want to speak to him before my uncle started doing scary things in my mouth.

My uncle retired almost 10 years ago. After a long break I found a dental surgery nearby and my first appointment there was a breeze. I’m hoping today’s is the same. Nevertheless, as I head off I’ll remember that my dad – though no longer here in person – will be with me in spirit as I face my oral fate.


  • Janine
    October 3, 2012

    Your Dad sounds lovely! How did the appt go?

    • Debbish
      October 3, 2012

      He was very kind-hearted I have to say – in retrospect.

      The appointment was okay – I had to have a filling replaced and it was more painful than I remembered! Sadly that took up the appointment and now I have to go back next week to have my teeth cleaned properly. (Although at least that’s just uncomfortable, not painful!)

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