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Sunday, May 16, 2010  

Dentally Unbalanced

You hate the dentist, right? Everybody hates the dentist. More accurately, everybody thinks they hate the dentist until they hear about Trash. Then they realize they merely don’t care for the dentist.

Trash is one of those people who have notes in their file about what kind of patient they are, with special instructions. These include things like “Confiscate car keys,” because otherwise she’ll just get up and leave in the middle of an appointment, paper bib and all. But then when they took her keys, she’d just walk or take the bus. So the instructions were amended to “Confiscate coat.” And a summer visit resulted in the additional note reading, “Confiscate purse.” I think the next step would have been “Five-point restraints” or simply “confiscate feet.”

I don’t want to get into too much detail on why this is. Suffice to say that it involves a long, painful procedure performed by a sadist who refused to believe that he hadn’t numbed a young girl enough to feel anything he was doing to her, let alone everything he was doing to her It’s not my tale, and I don’t think I could safely walk the narrow line between “supervillain origin story” and “James Frey rip-off.”

So cut to the present day, when she has found a dentist who specializes in working on challenging individuals like Trash, young children with panic disorders, and people with profound developmental disabilities. And she has figured out how to keep Trash there for the duration of her appointments without committing felony kidnapping; just drug her.

About an hour before her appointment, she was supposed to take one of her two five-milligram doses of Valium. But then a half hour after that, she still was pretty nervous. So she took the second five-milligram dose.

Twenty-two minutes after that I poured her into the car for the fifteen-minute drive to the dentist. Now, the only two things she hates more than going to the dentist are being late and dealing with traffic, but even this magical conjunction of three of her least favorite things didn’t wind her up even a little. In the car, she had a meandering cell phone conversation with her boss (who asked to talk to me so she could ask me to make sure Trash didn’t go back on our work IM system after the appointment), and then I dropped her off outside the building while I parked the car. After she got out and I put the car in reverse, the transmission jerked with a grinding of gears and the tires gave an indignant chirp. I don’t think she noticed.

The Valium more than held up. “This was the shortest twenty-minute dentist appointment I ever had,” she told the dentist at the end of the hour-long visit. The dentist even skipped the fluoride treatment, and sent her home with a do-it-yourself kit. Halfway into the explanation of how to use it, she realized, “I can see I’m going to have to write these instructions down.” Trash said, “No, I’ll be fine.” Three minutes later, when she met me in the lobby, she didn’t remember a word of it.

In the car on the way home, her plan was to call her boss while still in this condition and tell her about the conversation she’d just had with the company’s CEO. Unfortunately, the Valium made her forget to do that too. All ten milligrams of it.

It’s good to know that as low as her tolerance is for dentists, her tolerance for Valium is even lower.

posted by M. Giant 8:46 PM 1 comments


Valium is awesome. That 5 mg dose that my dentist gives me is just enough that I'm aware of everything that is going on, but I don't care even a little bit.

By Blogger Sheryl, at May 21, 2010 at 10:36 AM  

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