Last week I made a dentist appointment. When I called they asked if I wanted to come the following day. I told them no. I needed more time to get mentally prepared. I made the appointment for this week. I had a root canal a few years back and prior to needing it my gum was receding from that tooth. The one on the other side seemed to be going the same way. My root canal experience was not great so I decided I had better take some preventive action.
Today, moments before I was going to walk out the door, my PCP called (I did not pick up) and left a message saying that she needed to talk to me about “test results.” She left me a number to call her back but it was missing a digit. I was forced to call the office and leave a message on the main line in the office. At my last visit my PCP had performed my pap smear, mostly because I can’t find a female gynecologist. She told me that she could do it and I took her up on it. It was the only test I had at that appointment. PCP calling. About test results. Never a good thing. And then I went to the dentist.
I had never seen this dentist before. I could not stop my foot from doing that shaking thing. Both he and the assistant noticed (I suppose it was hard not to) and were extra patient with me. Unfortunately with test result stress and dental stress, I was a giant ball of anxiety. There was numbing gel and then Novocaine. There was drilling, water, air and light. And then my phone rang but I really could not get it. More stress.He made casual conversation saying that he knew what my story was. He called me Kimberly. He said that I put off calling to make an appointment. Correct. And creepy.
By the time it was over, I nearly sprinted out of there with my face numbed and feeling a bit drooly. I listened to the message and my doctor said that it was “not urgent.” That made me feel a bit better. I called again and left a message. I waited and waited. My face gradually came back into feeling. I realized that I had to go pick up my CSA vegetables. I called again and said that I was going to be out and to call after four. When I got home, I had missed yet another call from her due to the spotty service where I live.
I pushed back a work meeting just in case. And then, I received her call. She told me that the sample that had gone did not have enough cells in it to test. That I had to do it over. That she could do it again or I could go to my gynecologist. I almost laughed. When I had the exam done, she did not seem comfortable. And apparently, she did a really crappy job. I get it. It is not her thing. She probably had not done one in ages. I am not angry. I am mostly relieved. Because I know. I know people who have had bad tests. Continue to have bad tests. Two days before Thanksgiving, I am thankful. Thankful that the problem was a lack of squamous cells. And nothing else. I. am. thankful.