Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Facing Fears

In a remarkable show of bravery, I faced down one of my biggest fears today. I went to the dentist. Over the years my dread of going to the dentist has grown to such epic proportions that anything (rolling naked in broken glass, for example) would be preferable. I'm a good mom, I take my kids regularly but I tend to stay out of the chair unless something really drastic pushes me to go.

I have a broken molar with an exposed filling which has been leaking mercury into mouth for a couple of months. About the amount of time I've been feeling lousy as it happens. My doc suggested I deal with it as soon as possible and after scaring myself silly reading about the effects of mercury on autoimmune diseases I decided maybe I could call the mercury-free dentist nearby. When a $100 coupon for new patients appeared in the neighborhood paper I took it as a sign and made the call.

The dentist is kind and quiet and his staff is very friendly. Everyone was sensitive to my tendency to panic in the dentist's chair. I don't think I could have asked for a a better experience. I wish I could say it was one of those cases when all my worry was for nothing but, in fact, my mouth is a mess and I need up to $3000 worth of work immediately, with another $2000 to make my mouth truly mercury free.

That's a lot of money, especially when I'll be paying off my hospital adventure for a couple more years. And MonkeyBoy's bar mitzvah is approaching quickly. It would be easy for me to make excuses and put this off because I can think of many far more exciting ways to spend that money. But I guess I need to be a grownup and deal with it. At least I feel a tiny bit braver about things......


Mimi said...

It is hard to decide which is more painful, the dentist visit or paying for said visit.

I'm sorry.

Clarissa said...

Oh, you really are VERY good for taking this on.

Ray has a big dentist aversion too. He thought things were generally okay in his mouth (his mean wife makes him go to the dentist, so he has been going). But, moving and starting with a new dentist has unturned all sorts of little problems, and he has become a regular at the dentist's office these last three months.

Re-doing all the old mercury fillings is just one of a few things he's doing. I will say, he is doing a good job adjusting to this new reality.

So, my point being: you are not alone...

I now also have to just acknowledge how lucky we are to have somewhat decent dental insurance.

Even so, I had MAJOR dental work last year (new front teeth - there's a whole other story), with double insurance coverage, and had to pay thousands. BUT, it was worth it.

okay, probably enough info for now!