Monday, 24 November 2008

Shop Girl Visits the Dentist


I’m not a hypochondriac; I just occasionally think I’m dying.
Lately, I’ve been dying of scurvy.
Scurvy was common among 15th century sailors who didn’t have access to oranges.
I must have it because my gums bleed and I haven’t had an orange in ages.
When I brush my teeth I look like a Vampire.
I consulted a regular customer about it.
“Oh you can’t do anything,” he said, “all gums bleed.”
I told another and she became really serious.
“That’s terrible! You must go for a check up.”
But I can’t stand going to the dentists. I’d rather hope for the best.
I thought about going though. I thought about buying mouthwash too and those mini brushes that my dad leaves around the sink.
Then one morning I saw a bloody patch on my pillow.
This was serious.
“Papa, I think I’m dying,” I said.
He pulled me over to the light and looked into my mouth.
“Yes,” he said. “You have receding gums.”
I was horrified. Half an hour later I’d booked to see the dentist.
It must’ve been the way I walked in.
“You’ve got gum disease,” she said, before I’d even opened my mouth.
I felt confused. Numb even.
“Open wide,” she said, making no attempt to reassure me.
My mind went on overdrive.
I thought about my date who was soon leaving England to visit his family he hadn’t seen for ages. Would he give up his trip to stay by my bedside while I fought to save my gums?
And how would my mum survive in the shop on her own? She didn’t know where anything was anymore.
The dentist began to examine my teeth, calling out my failings in a sharp voice.
“6 missing, amalgam needed, 3, 2, amalgam needed, 4 missing...”
How had I done so badly?
It sounded like I was going to need a mouth transplant. Or at least dentures.
“It all looks fine apart from that,” she said, at last.
I was stunned. How could I be fine apart from being diseased?
She said she’d give me a filling and do as much cleaning as the NHS let her for free.
I closed my eyes as she emptied her tool box into my mouth.
At one point I peaked and saw a syringe.
I squeezed my eyes shut again.
Something cold slid across my neck.
“How do you brush your teeth?” she asked.
“Ugh,” I replied, gagging on all the appliances she’d left in my mouth.
“To counter act the disease you need to...”
Then she started with the cleaning drill and I froze up.
I couldn’t hear a thing.
Ten minutes later I was back in my shop, more than 70 quid worse off, still with gum disease and no idea how to cure it.
I don’t know what had actually happened.
But at least I wasn’t dying anymore.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yey for not dying! :)
Miss you woman!
Max

Hunt and Gather by Tina Ziegler said...

oh my god!! i feel ya girl, i went this morning to the dentist and they did the same thing.. but it was all in german, didnt understand a word of it.. other than.. DAS ES NICT GUD.. holy crap. I hate dentist, and now i cant swallow.

i guess its one of those days