I had to go to the dentist the other day. Gotta be honest with you it has probably been six years and I was embarrassed to go (Champ the Border Collie probably has better teeth).
I had a tooth that was bothering me but it’s funny that once the appointment was made all of the sudden my tooth was better. (I heard some ladies at church saying that the day you have a haircut appointment you have a good hair day – not sure what all of that meant but I thought it had something to do with my “all of the sudden my tooth was better” thing).
As a matter of fact, I started not go but then I was reading how some guy had a tooth that got infected and the infection moved into his brain and he died. After reading I got the worst headache. I think they call this psychosomatic. In other words, a mentally induced or a physical disorder influenced by our emotions (or what we read on the Internet). If you have ever used WebMD you know what I am talking about.
By the time you log off you have about five or six of the most incurable diseases known to man and you are just sure you are going to die. I got to the dentist and the lady across from me was coughing up a lung (we are in the middle of flu season). The only magazines available to read were People. I’m not sure who Jennifer Aniston is but I am not concerned about what she is going to name her baby. Then the music was soft-rock. I did not want to hear Air Supply but I certainly felt like I needed an air supply, “Quick somebody get me some oxygen, stat!” I told my wife I was going to need a medical doctor and a therapist by the time the dentist was done with me.
Twelve x-rays and $84 (which was reasonable) later I was told there was a slight cavity but they were not really sure why it should be causing so much pain. Don’t you hate it when you go to the doctor and they can never really tell us what is wrong? It’s like that old joke; you tell the doctor every time you move your arm it hurts and the doctor says, “Then stop moving your arm.” I wonder if medicine is more art than science.
I see one dentist here in town even has that on their sign “dental arts.” Of course they always say they are “practicing medicine” – not a real confidence booster.
I knew when I got there I should have canceled the appointment because the last time they told me I was good to go — that they could not find anything wrong, which was nice to hear and I don’t even think they charged me. Makes me think however maybe I have Munchausen Syndrome (people that fake being sick so others will notice them). Could it be I just want attention from my dentist every six years? No, it’s not that – he is a nice guy and all but he is not that nice.
The lady at the front wanted to schedule an appointment to fill the cavity. I told her how about January of 2020 (six years from now). By then I will be ready for some more attention.
Ken Ansell is the pastor of Community Life Church in Waxahachie.