Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Friday, March 19, 2010

The doctor I have forgotten

This has been a very, very hard week. I actually came home and had a total meltdown tonight. I'm cyling some and trying to decide whether or not to take the little extra Seroquel I picked up this morning (which I was supposed to pick up Tuesday and never could get to the pharmacy).
I'll write about this all soon, but tonight I need an easy topic.

I am continuing to make gains in the discussions of the sexual abuse I survived. I'm starting to be able to ask questions and learn about it, which not only gives me power over it but explains things that I can clearly remember but that don't make sense because I don't have context. However, it is stressful and requires a lot of mental preparation and often I go not knowing if this is the week I'll be ready to say whatever.

Anyway, one of the easier things to talk about because Dr. Mind knew anyway was that part of what happened to me a lot, how do i say this without attracting weird searches, involved my mouth being used for things a child's mouth isn't intended for. I did not know until just a few months ago that the kind of gagging and horrible difficulties I have with dental work as a result of not tolerating anything foreign in my mouth (I can't even stick a spoon in my mouth to carry it if my hands are full without gagging) is a pretty clear indicator of that type of abuse. So I'm getting a bit more comfortable with that.

But it wasn't until now that I realized how much I owe my dentist. The way I found out about the gagging being a strong indicator of this stuff was when I started researching how to control gagging at the dentist I read a lot about how dentists should be sensitive to gaggers similar to me because of a high chance of sexual abuse. I felt really weird that anyone could know that easily, so it took months to process. But then when Dr. Mind and I really started talking about this he told me that based on the dental issues he had assumed that was part of it.

What I didn't realize until this week was the lengths my dentist has gone to in order to help me. In keeping with tradition, he is Dr. Teeth. When I first saw him I had not seen a dentist in years. I tried once, the hygientist didn't listen when I told her I gag easily and wound up getting bit stuffing an x-ray in. So I went to Dr. Teeth's office scared but determined.

I explained the gag thing and they were great. They told me all about the things they do to assist with that. The tricks help a lot, although I usually gag a few times. They've also been incredibly supportive and patient, scheduling extra time for me, and my dentist has told me that it's fine to cancel an hour before if my symptoms are too bad to do work that day. He also is knowledgeable about my meds and that is very useful.

But what I hadn't realized was the extremes they go to in order to make this work for me. I finally figured it out this week. I am given as few variables as possible. There are only a few people who do anything with me. The dentist stays involved with every visit. They try to float extra staff in and have had extra staff in for whole procedures sometimes. They even seem to make sure I'm usually in the same rooms. They use a lot of techniques and devices to help and have signals worked out to let me jump up instantly when needed.

I realized that this takes effort on their part and that they certainly don't have to. So Dr. Teeth definitely has earned his own name.

I fell asleep writing this last night. More later.


Jean Grey said...

I'm sorry this happened to you! And I'm very glad you have found a good dentist.

I'm cycling a little too right now-must be the seasons changing. Time for me to stop being stubborn and raise my meds.

Michal Ann said...

I'm catching up a bit after hard times for me. How amazing to learn that you have another wonderful professional on your side. Once again, for all the challenges you've had, you describe a solid team alongside of you. I never would've known about how dentists can be so supportive if you hadn't told us about Dr. Teeth!

Thanking you for that and thanking God....