Today’s word is easy. Not "easy" as in "this is going to be a snap" but easy as one would use it with a skittish horse who looks like they might break free of their holds and make a break for the barn door.  That kind of easy.  Every time my mind tries to trample me out of optimism today, I’m just sort of smiling at it and saying "Whoa there. Easy now."

I made my way home yesterday, after one long last walk in on the beach, and one last swim in the ocean, and this morning it was straight back to business.  I had a few hours of rest planned today, before I head to Madrona this afternoon, but while I was in Cabarete, I had a tooth break-  (on nothing- a chunk just fell out while I was flossing. How wrong is that?)  and so this morning was spent dealing with that. 

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a thing about the dentist.  I wouldn’t call it a phobia, because I can do it if I have to, but there’s a ton of anxiety and crazy made up stuff.  (For example, I am afraid that the anesthetic that he injects might go to my brain and kill me. Never mind that this is absolutely physiologically impossible – I’m worried anyway.) When the tooth broke in Cabarete it hurt, and so I went to a clinic to get a temporary filling.

I do not think the man I met at the clinic was a dentist. Let’s just leave it there. I was going to give you a big long thing about what happened,  but let’s not talk about what happened there, or what sort of hygiene may or may have been practiced- or the fact that there was no anesthetic, which turned out to be fine with me once I started worrying about sterilization, and if this guy had heard of it.  Lets just say that this morning, and for the first time in my life, I flew eagerly into the chair of our family dentist.
He fixed everything, and I’m leaving for Madrona shortly, where I will be able to chew and everything.

85 thoughts on “Easy

  1. Oh no, a broken tooth on vacation! Glad you were able to make the best of it and relaxed for the visit to the “real” dentist. Have fun in Madrona and chew away happily!

  2. Oh dear. Glad you are on the mend and winging your way toward knitters. They’ll heal you right up.
    ps With you on the dentist thing.

  3. I think I would have suffered through
    Me and dentist don’t go and I would not have got past the lack of hygiene (nurse)
    Now you can sleep on the plane and smile and get ready for work/fun
    what did you knit while you were gone??

  4. I’m so with you on the dentist thing – I worked it out for me, but there where times, when I was younger, when I really thought about running away and hiding in the woods for the rest of the day when my mom got the car out of the garage to drive me to the dentist… 😉 But it’s good we have them – what we sometimes only appreciate when we don’t have them. I hope your tooth is behaving now, and you’ll have a wonderful time in Madrona!

  5. It’s all about making a good story – and now you have a good story to tell (and you do it well). Thank you – and of course take it easy!

  6. I’m sorry to hear that but hope the last walk on the beach and swim in the ocean was relaxing and enjoyable even if a bit melancholy. Enjoy Madrona and Easy… Easy now.

  7. I’m with you on the dentist thing. I always say I’d rather deliver triplets sideways than go to the dentist. I broke a tooth New Years eve 2010 and just got the courage to get it fixed last August at the insistence of my daughter. Actually she made the appointment and drove me there. It turned out to be not so bad and the fix didn’t require freezing. bonus

  8. It is amazing how one form of anxiety completely erases (albeit temporarily) the more everyday anxieties. Good luck and I hope you have an amazing Madrona.

  9. Life became better when I discovered a dentist who gives you nitrous oxide if you need it–even for cleaning. (I’m not THAT phobic, but my husband is!) I just wish the dentist I went to as a kid would have done that.

  10. Why is it always a bagel or a piece of toast that wreaks the havoc? Travel with a wad of dental wax – you can stuff it in the hole until you get home.

  11. Take it easy with the chewing. Or don’t chew on that side – that’s what my dentist said after I had something similar happen just before Thanksgiving (yeah, great time to have a molar break). That fill that you have right now is *new* and probably still tender. So take it easy for a day or two and don’t chew on that side of your mouth.
    {{{hug}}} I’m glad you have new perspective on the dentist though.

  12. Oh, dear! You certainly have my sympathies about the tooth! This happened to me when I was on vacation in Hawaii. We were actually at the airport in Honolulu when I bit down on a piece of salt water taffy and a tooth with an old crown broke off. Luckily, I was not in immediate pain, and we were scheduled to fly home that day. My dentist was able to see me in a couple of days. I was afraid to eat until it was fixed! (I still cringe when I think of it!). I am glad to near that you are OK now.

  13. I spent Monday morning at the Dentist where it was discovered one of my teeth has a crack in it. Major bummer. I feel your pain–I really, truly hate the dentist.

  14. Yeah, I broke a tooth on a gummibear two days before heading off to an island with no dentist… I’ve never been to a dentist in such a hurry!

  15. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Good Lord!
    Thank you for not going into gory detail, some of us have vivid imaginations.
    Hope your chompers have recovered.

  16. I keep telling my dentist he needs to have a massage therapist in his office as well. I am so freaking tense when I’m there that it’s amazing I’m not ripping the arms off his chair.

  17. OMG. Total, complete, and profound sympathy with the whole dentist thing. But I’ll bet your family dentist was happy to see you were happy to see him/her. You probably made their day.

  18. Yikes. I had a filling come out and a part of my molar crack off while I was in West Africa. I went to the “clinic”, saw the tools on the table, saw no sink, no autoclave, or soap, said I left my purse at home and walked out. I stuck a clove in my molar to fill it until I got home. When I got back to the US, that’s when I started donating seriously to MSF, and an organization that recycles soap for Africa- Global Soap Project.

  19. Going to our childhood dentist was like that scene from The Marathon Man. Combine that with a lack of dental insurance for the last five years, and it ain’t pretty. I had to have a tooth pulled last fall while in the UK, and I thought she was trying to twist my head off. She wanted to remove a second tooth, but I waited until I got back to the States. That second dentist used a jackhammer. I swear. It’s been just over a week and that side of my face is still swollen. Yay, dentistry.

  20. The best way to get over a fear of dentists is to go often. Accumulate many good hours in the chair and overhear the team when they work on other patients. Headphones and overhead TVs are also good (but don’t watch “Mr. Bean at the Dentist”).
    Our dentist is our age. When our kids don’t brush, he doesn’t give us the “you shouldn’t be parents” look. Instead, he tells us that he has trouble getting his kids to brush, too.
    He’s fully qualified to work on kids, but in the rare case when he expects a bad experience, he sends them to a pediatric dentist. That way, kids don’t associate his office with bad things.

  21. My dentist phobia started as a kid. I was in the chair and everyone had left the room. They left one of those spit-sucker things in my mouth and I had a vision of blowing up like a balloon and floating away so I started crying. I’ll never forget it. My phobia went away when a hot guy I went to high school with bought the practice (true story!).

  22. Easy now…you’re doing great. We’re sending the Harlot Whisperer to meet you at Madrona.
    (So sorry about the tooth.)

  23. Glad you had a good dentist to come home to and who got you in on the very short time frame you had to have it done in. Phew. Have fun at Madrona!

  24. Funny you should mention the dentist. I was there for a cleaning today and I HATE it so much. I would rather sit through getting a tattoo for three hours than go to the dentist. It turns out that two fillings that I had done a year ago need to be re-done. I think I need a new dentist! On the plus side, Michaels had a sale on yarn and since I needed some acrylic for a shawl for my grandma and some charity stuff, I indulged. I will be crazy indulgent when I head to Baadeck Yarns in a few weeks!!

  25. i feel for ya sista. i have now had two broken molars for three yrs, but i dont eat on that side so they dont hurt. hate the dentist, hate the bill. big news, toothache on other side of mouth now. guess its dentist time! yeehaw!!!

  26. Oh. My. Goodness. I, too, despise going to the dentist. (I have to go tomorrow for routine cleaning and checkup.) THankfully, I have a great dentist but I still get SO uptight! I can’t imagine a 3rd world dentist’s office! UGH! I bring my ipod with a REALLY captivating audio book and turn it WAY up. That helps a bit.
    I 2nd the massage therapist idea!
    AND BTW…I would HATE to BE a dentist! There’s not much love for them, is there!?! (I mean, I know we GO and apreciate their work, but still….)

  27. I’m with you on that dentist thing ~ I’d ten times rather see the doctor than the dentist (and I’m not crazy about that either). Glad you’ve gotten it taken care of and out of the way!

  28. I have had a lot of dental work and it is still not my favorite place to be. I even like my dentist and the whole office staff. So glad that you got it fixed so quickly! Have fun at Madrona

  29. Just a note to thank you for the information but especially the CONFIDENCE you have instilled in me through your blog and “Knitting Rules.” I am so glad this love of my life is finally getting to bloom.

  30. That sounds terrible. Sympathy on the breaking a tooth on nothing — I had a chunk of tooth shear off while I was eating ice cream. ICE CREAM!

  31. I, too, am a white-knuckle dental patient. I’ve had two teeth break (but not just flossing!), and live in fear of the next one. So lots of sympathy and love from me!

  32. Nothing like needing a medical procedure to make you feel reconciled to–or positively enthusiastic about–leaving the beach and returning to your cold, grey, technologically advanced home!

  33. I’m from the o-o-o-l-d days when fillings were done without local anesthesia with a slow drill. When I got to California and into my new dentist’s chair he looked down at my hands gripping the chair arms and said:”You’ve had your last bad time in a dental chair. I’m not going to hurt you.” And he didn’t.

  34. I really don’t like going to the dentist either, even though I love my hygienist (she is the best flosser ever). I take comfort, even as I’m clutching the armrests of the chair with white knuckles, in the fact that she is masked and gloved and everything is clean, sterile and spic and span, and there’s no screaming from anyone in the other examination rooms. You are very brave to have gone to that non-dentist guy. I think I would have taken one look and walked out. Makes you thankful for all we have in this country.

  35. I guess we all have our unreasonable medical worries. I recently got an injection in my eyeball and although I understood intellectually that my eye was not going to pop like a balloon when the doctor inserted the needle, I wasn’t convinced until the whole thing was over with. At least I got a hilarious blog post out of it.

  36. How wretched to have a tooth break on vacation. Glad you got back to your own dentist and he fixed the thing. My daughter had all four wisdom teeth out this morning. Glad they used sedation—but I nearly had to have a dose when I saw the bill.

  37. Don’t we love our health care here, where you can be absolutly certain of training and sanitization? 🙂

  38. Oh noes! You know I have an anxiety thing about the dentist as well, and in all honesty, breaking a tooth is one of my worst fears… (sorry, I’m a simple person)

  39. Dude, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but yeah, that IS DEFINITELY A PHOBIA you are describing!!!
    I know. I have it too.

  40. I have dentist anxiety, too. Breaking a tooth is about the only thing guaranteed to get me to the dentist – and I like my dentist. She’s gentle and kind and very, very patient, and has really good drugs for the days when I can’t bear to have any work done without them.
    Thank goodness we don’t have to worry (most of the time) about our dentists’ qualifications and hygiene training in Canada.

  41. A broken tooth-ouch! I am convinced that the 4 dental implants I have (all due to broken teeth, BTW) are the reason that I do not own a ski house. Glad to hear it turned out well for you.

  42. Sorry for your pain and I’m glad you are okay now but I was just killing myself laughing as I was reading your plight.
    Hope the rest of your week goes well.

  43. I can and have fallen asleep in the dental chair during a cleaning; but something has to be very wrong for me to go willingly to my doctor. She’s a very nice woman and a competent physician. I, however, am as phobic about doctors & insurance companies (mostly the latter) as most people are about dentists.
    Enjoy Madrona!

  44. OMG, just that small description gave me the vapors. Glad to hear it is all handled now!

  45. Ah, dentistry in foreign lands – a bit scary. I lived a year or so in Ecuador, and while I did see a doctor while there, I was so relieved that I never had to go to a dentist. ::shuddering at the thought::
    Glad your dental woes are in the past now!

  46. I had a wisdom tooth extracted while in Bermuda on my honeymoon! The thing is, it had been worked on here at home just before the wedding, by my own dentist, but something went painfully wrong. I ended up looking through the Bermuda phonebook, getting an appointment, and begging the dentist to just go ahead and pull the thing, after which I was fine.

  47. I’m glad your tooth is feeling better, and that you’ll be able to enjoy all that Madrona has to offer. Have a great time!

  48. So jealous of everyone heading to Madrona. Just saying.
    Glad your tooth is feeling better. There’s really not much worse than trying to eat through pain! 😉
    Enjoy the rest of your “vacation!”

  49. Had a great dentist growing up – got to get a free ice cream cone right after you got your teeth cleaned! Never have had an issue with going. But I agree that going regularly helps. Good dental insurance is also helpful. If you don’t have dental insurance, try out the clinics at a dental school.

  50. Oh my. Clinical “dentistry”. I’m so glad all is well. Whenever I am uncomfortable in a medical/dental situation I just make my mind go “somewhere else”. So far it works for me.

  51. Alright…as long as we’re talking about totally unreasonable fears…
    I have a paralyzing fear that sharks will emerge from the grates at the bottom of swimming pools. It is enough of a fear that if I catch a glimpse of the grate in my line of sight, I will immediately evacuate the pool and not go back in.
    There. I said it.
    Glad you can chew again. Being sick is one thing, but living with tooth pain is impossible.

  52. As a true dental-phobic person, I salute you for going to the Dominican dentist and then being happy to go to your family dentist.
    I have a lovely, kind dentist who is such a nice man that he once got teary-eyed talking about his kids. And in the beginning, I had to be put to sleep just to make it in the door.

  53. I have soft breakable teeth and their upkeep have put several of my dentists’ children through college. I’m used to most things after all the work I’ve had done, so recently, I persuaded a dental surgeon that I could handle removing the remains of a broken tooth and installing of an implant with just local anaesthesia instead of being put under.
    It really wasn’t bad, though I was reviewing my decision when they had to essentially hammer away at the root of the tooth to get it out. There was no pain, but when the dental surgeon held a chisel like affair against the part of tooth he was removing while directing a WHOLE OTHER PERSON when to strike the “chisel” with a small steel hammer, I did freak a bit.
    The guy with the hammer looked terrified. I don’t know how I looked.

  54. Gah! Dentists. Totally afraid of them. I had a thing in my teenage years with a whole horde of the boogers. Periodontist, dentist, orthodontist. Looking back, I feel really bad for my parents having to pay for those guys. I had a gum graft at one point (the roof of my mouth was utilized as a place to get…stuff…to replace the…stuff…that was missing from my jawline). The periodontist cut a piece of the roof of my mouth away, held it up to the light to examine it (I was totally grossed out at this point anyway) and then DROPPED IT on my FREAKIN’ NECK. A piece of my mouth was dropped on my neck. I was torn between shrieking like a girl and flicking it off of me and holding absolutely still so it could be retrieved and not having to go through that again. Dentists, dude. They’ll never take me alive!

  55. YIKES! Just hearing about your “dental work” while away from home made me cringe. Like many of your readers, I too have a thing about dentists.
    In my case, it was caused by some people who probably shouldn’t have been practicing dentistry. I could go into detail graphic enough to make some of your readers nauseous, but let’s just say that 3 out of 7 dentists/dental surgeons I’ve seen in my lifetime were so bad that I think I’d rather see my pet’s veterinarian for dental care!

  56. I once lost a crown eating a piece of Chinese Lucky candy. The irony!!! Glad it’s all better. Life is no fun when you can’t eat!

  57. Well, I’m glad that one is behind you. Yikes. Also, there is the bonus of new dental-perspective in place. I like ‘easy’. I’m going to remember that. Have a lovely time at Madrona.

  58. I came to your blog all excited for a new posting today only to be reminded of my dental appt on the 26th of which I’m petrified of. I do have a phobia and I tell you….my palms got sweaty just reading your post. I have a broken tooth too. Whoa, easy…..right? Right. I’m having Mom drive me there & back because of the amount of xanax that I’ll be taking beforehand just to get me in the chair. I’m glad you’re all taken care of and all but whoa nelly…..!

  59. The anesthesia may not be able to get to your brain, but it is possible for an incompetent dentist to inject it into your optic nerve, leaving you unable to move your eyelid for upwards of an hour. Please don’t ask me how I know this.

  60. I too broke a tooth flossing. Sheared clean off at the gumline. Read this post after leaving the dentist office where I found out I have to have it pulled. Not sure there are enough drugs in the world to get me in an oral surgeon’s chair.

  61. WOW. I too broke a tooth – on a piece of candy I didn’t really like in the first place. I am just gobsmacked that “everyone” has a tooth/ dentist story and I have to say Thank God I can’t top the ones that made me say “ewwww” & cringe just while reading.

  62. How fortunate that you were able to get in and have your tooth done right away before heading to Madrona.
    I haven’t figured out what it is about the dentist that makes me anxious but the whine of the machinery doesn’t help.

  63. I so agree about the dentist–I had to have a lot of cavities filled as a child, and now as an adult, I refuse to have dental word done (except for cleanings) w/o gas. What a wonderful discovery that is!

  64. I share your fear of dentists and your love of yarn. We could be sisters! I just wish I’d inherited your talent as well 😉
    Seriously though – glad the tooth is fixed!

  65. Same thing has happened to me, minus the dodgy dentist! I won’t scare you with my story, but I’m glad you managed to get yours fixed asap xxx

  66. I have the worlds most gentle dentist… and it’s karma because when I was a kid, my dentist used to strap you down to the chair. I know my current dentist would never do that, but I still have the phobia, which makes it good that I have the worlds most gentle dentist.
    There’s still something about smoke coming out of your mouth, tho, that’s … disconcerting.

  67. It’s amazing what a little perspective can do. It’s like when you’re cold in the house. Sometimes you have to go outside into the real cold then when you come in, the house is magically warmed up.

  68. Sending a huge sympathy hug your way. Broken teeth are not fun, especially away from home….and THE CHAIR (as we call it in our house) is a place of fear and dread. However, it is unfortunately a necessary evil. It’s nice to be able to eat 🙂

  69. I cannot even begin to explain how wonderful it is to hear from someone with a similar anxiety. I am semi-convinced that the freezing will cause a heretofore non-existent allergic reaction and I will die…my dentist and hygienists are wonderful, they sit and hold my hand while the freezing happens so I am never alone 😛

  70. My first job out of grad school necessitated me moving to New Jersey, working in a library. I asked all my patrons if they could recommend their dentist, and most said – No, I’m not happy with him. Being from New England, I didn’t ask – so why not ditch the guy and get a better one? I eventually found a great one, and have had good luck over the years, but that first search has always made me wonder about people and their dentists.

  71. Good job on managing the stray anxious thoughts! I also use “yes dear, it’s alright” in a kind/soft inner tone when trying to allay the rampant/irrational ideas that want to overcome. Also have a semi-phobic ‘tude toward dentist, which started later in life. What a great opportunity to counter your typical response, by finding yourself rushing with gratitude to the dental chair! It’s only bec. you have so many safe choices with health care that you can afford the luxury of aversion (and I mean all you Canadians or others out there, sadly USA cannot lay claim to either abundant choices or widespread coverage). Love you SPM and your truth-telling disguised as a knitting blog!

  72. I have one word for you; Ativan. Dissolves under the tongue and gives one instant mellowness in the dental chair.

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