Thursday, November 09, 2006
I was happy to get all your warm get-well wishes but my adventures with the new dentist didn't end when he pulled my tooth. No, the next day brought even more excitement. I had a fairly good night and thought I was on the mend. Not. By noon, my slight bleeding-to-be-expected turned into something more. It was a repeat performance of the summer fiasco just using a larger arena ... my empty tooth socket refused to shut off its plumbing. I kept spitting blood into the sink and finally phoned the dentist's office. I won't go into the graphic details but the receptionist soon realized that I needed to see my dentist who was teaching residents at a hospital clinic 25 miles away. She phoned ahead; he would be waiting. All I had to do was find a way to get there.
I phoned Jenn who was 30 miles away at her office near the hospital. We decided it was a waste of time for her to drive home to do a round-trip pickup and delivery. David was even farther away. I called their friends who were busy with sick children. I called the local cab service and was rudely told that they didn't have a cab for that far a distance. I grabbed a box of tissues and my car keys and decided to drive myself. Sometimes a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do. Pouring rain, bloody mouth, but I was staying calm.
Luckily, I found the right parking lot and got myself into the right building - small miracle. I came in, was expected and taken right back. I felt a bit guilty and sorry for the poor young woman holding her jaw and a young mother with a frightened child who were waiting, as most do, in a clinic. My new dentist took one look and called his student intern over. I now had two doctors peering into my mouth. It seems that I'm a classic textbook case, a teachable moment. This condition of my bleeding and clotting in large amounts is not too common. In fact, my dentist mentioned that, in his 30-year practice, he had only come across these "jelly clots" a couple times. Just what I wanted to hear.
Jenn had arrived by then and was allowed to sit in. Oh joy! I thought she would faint. She, in turn, surprised the hell out of me. Not only did she want to stay, chat with the dentist, but she actually helped him by holding the retractor as he shot me full of anesthetic once again and went in to clean up the mess. And then she did the most lovely thing. She quietly reached over and held my hand. I, her mom not her little girl, was on the receiving end of concern and comfort. At first it felt a bit awkward and then I realized how wonderful it was to have someone in my life touching me like that. Yes, we do the hugs and kisses all the time. Having my hand held was a new experience. I cannot remember being touched like that in many, many years. I got through the ordeal and gained new respect for my daughter. She wanted to be in that room with me. She can handle the really big stuff that she writes about on her blog: the blood and poo and get-your-hands-dirty things which sometime make life messy and miserable.
Afterwards, she was still a lifeline. The night was stormy. I hate to drive in the rain. She pulled out first and I followed her red tail lights all the way home, thinking to myself "I raised a darn fine kid".
The bleeding has stopped. Still a lot of discomfort. I'll mend.
In that clinic, our roles were reversed. I felt like a little child needing her to reassure me, give me strength. I was almost embarrassed to feel that vulnerable. She knew instinctively what I needed before I did and that's why she didn't leave the room.
A grown daughter reaching out to hold her mother's hand. A simple gesture that dissolved the pain and made my heart bleed a little.
A bleeding heart is good, much better than a bloody mouth.