I have always found myself more relaxed in the company of doctors who talk more. The more they explain, the less terrible I feel.
I had a dental review today with two specialists for the continuation of my treatment. It was terrifying and eye-opening. I won’t go into the details here. Suffice to say, I was quite overwhelmed by the costs, the risks and everything in between. And just when I thought I’d seen it all and heard it all, I was given a coupla jolts.
The second dentist who is treating me is a dentist as well as a surgeon/doctor type. As we were talking, a young intern came in to discuss some other patient’s file, something about his treatment. This particular patient was being treated for cancer and also had some serious dental illness. And basically the treatments wouldn’t progress with the desired effectiveness because the chemo would interfere (because chemo is bad for bone cells). The doc and the intern then concurred that they would have to “co=manage” the situation.
After he apologised for the interruption, he started talking to me about how simple my case looked in comparison. He said he believed that we underestimate dental health but it really affects the quality of life. He said even if cancer could be cured, dental health would still have an impact on the quality of life because it fundamentally affects how we eat. It was such a fair, honest and blatantly obvious statement that it was just too overwhelming for me.
And then he apologised again,
“Sorry for boring you”
“Oh no doctor… everyday, we learn”
We also talked about oral cancer and how terrifying oral cancer is. He said he had taken off entire lower jaws of patients. I cannot think of a worse disease. I officially think smoking is vile. If only I knew of a way to make my friends quit.
I went outside, paid for my consulatations and chose the date. I’ve never done that before. Usually, they pick your doomsday. This time I looked at the calendar and said “How about…?”
Local Anaesthetic or General Anaesthetic? Local.
I went to the pharmacy and waited twenty minutes to get my prescription. The television there was showing Bindi Irwin’s eulogy to her dad. I know it’s just a kid reading off a paper but I couldn’t hold back my tears. I had to deliberately look away. Damn hospitals turn me into such a softie. There is something to be said about a family that can show up in safari gear to the funeral still rooting for a cause that may have inadvertently killed their own. It’s a magnanimous and brave thing to do.
Anyway, I went back to work and took a quiet lunch by myself. I had a lot of things to think about. Namely, money.
I had the cold cuts sandwich and then I thought I’d treat myself with a banana/strawberry frozen yoghurt. Small or regular? REGULAR. I knew I had to tell my parents about all this. I was scared, terribly scared. I would have to talk a while, so I decided to go home and do it.
But just then, as I was listening to “I won’t put my hands up and surrender..” the phone rang and it was mom. Dad had called while I was at the hospital and I’d said I was busy. I told her everything. And then she said exactly what I wanted to hear “Shall I come there for your operation?”
Tee is finally in the same timezone as I, which means he is on IM when I am. I messaged him and told him of all my aggrevations, and as always he listened- the money problems, the physical issues…”I’ve had a rough few weeks” And then he said exactly what I wanted to hear “Wish I could be there”
And that’s why I’m glad I’m not wearing mascara today 😉