October 21, 2012

Sharing Memories (Week 43): Terror in the Chair

The Dentist Horrors!
Welcome to Week 43 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2012.   I hope you'll join in writing your memoirs and childhood memories for your descendants.

If you are just joining us, please take a peek at over 150 earlier prompts by clicking on the Sharing Memories tab at the top of Olive Tree Genealogy blog. You can jump in at any time and you can skip topics that you don't like. There are no rules, it's all about getting your memories down on paper. The prompts are here as a guide to help if you are stuck for ideas.

Do you recall your first visit to the Dentist? It's so different now for little ones than it was in my day. Now they get a nice smiling friendly dentist and hygienist, are given nitrous oxide which makes them giggle, are told the dentist is going to "tickle" their teeth.... sigh. So unlike my experiences!

Our little village had the most horrible dentist ever. He was elderly, and quite nasty. Even my brother and sister remember him with distaste. And for me, who had so many fears anyway, going to see him was almost unbearable. He would grab my arm and squeeze really hard if I cried. He'd hiss in my ear "shut up!".

He wouldn't allow my mother to come in the room with me when I was about 7 or 8 and when I cried he slapped me across the face. Is it any wonder I developed quite a phobia about dentistry?

I also had a very bad experience when I was 8 or 9. All my baby teeth had to be extracted so I had to go to the big city to be put to sleep while this was done. The dentist there was very nice but on my first visit (yes there was more than one) his nurse strapped me on to the chair/stretcher and it freaked me out.

My mother bought me a milkshake before the surgery and so I was sick all the way home. I threw up on my favourite doll and my mother pulled over to the side of the highway, tossed the doll to the side of the road and yelled at me for making a mess in the car, then ordered me to not be sick again!

My second visit was horrendous. I admit it - I was hysterical in the office. I cried, I struggled, I did not want to be strapped down in that room. I was so upset that the dentist gave me some orange liquid to drink.

It was supposed to calm me down but all that happened was it made me sick and I threw up on my blouse. So my mother made me take off my blouse and sit in the waiting room in my undershirt. I was mortified. The waiting room was full of kids and parents and I felt humiliated sitting there half-undressed.

Once again I was sick all the way home, no doubt due to the effects of the gas and the fact that I always got car sick. To this day I can't visit a dentist without shaking uncontrollably although I no longer cry, struggle or fight the staff off. I just shake. my heart races and I feel like I'm going to throw up or pass out. Did I mention this happens even just going to the Hygenist for a cleaning? Wow, childhood phobias run deep!

And that orange liquid the dentist gave me? To this day the sight of that specific shade of orange (it's the same colour as those little orange plastic rulers) causes dry heaves. Interesting how colours or smells can evoke such a strong physical and emotional response in us as adults!

And in some weird bizarre twist of fate, my first husband was a dentist. Yep. Life got me good. 

I hope your experiences with the dentist, whether going to one as a child or being married to one!) were better than mine.


Rebecca said...

How awful! I do not recall any visits like yours.
I find your stories fun to read but so far I have not played along. I have written a few stories down.

Kristin said...

You write about so many horrible experiences my childhood seems positively heavenly! What a horrible dentist. You would think that both the dentist and your mother would have a bowl or bag or something for a sick child to throw up in. You can't have been the only one.

I really want to leave a comment but this is the 4th capcha I've missed. blech.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Rebecca, so glad you enjoy my memories posts, and glad you have written a few of your own down. I believe our descendants will be thrilled if the stories survive! But even knowing my children and probably grandchildren will read them makes me happy

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Kristin, I truly did not have a very happy childhood. Except for the brief years my dad was alive, even then it wasn't great but he made it bearable.

I don't say that to have a pity party - it's done and over with and I'm very happy as an adult!

But I need to be honest in my stories so they aren't all happy.

Sorry about capcha, I hate them too but I get so much spam I have to set them up here. Glad you kept trying and posted here!

Claudia said...

That reminds me of my dentist visit. First,there was no fluorine in the water and second we never were taken to the dentist until we had a tooth ache. There was no money.

I had an infected tooth and he gave me a shot of local and when he extracted the tooth it was not numb. (I found out later in Nursing School that an abscess makes the xylocaine ineffective) He slapped me across the face too. I hated him and I still have anxiety, but I do go.

Mariann Regan said...

Wow, I so very much agree that childhood phobias run deep. Reading your really vivid description instantly evoked my outrage at both the dentist and your mother. Clearly they were more concerned about their own convenience than your feelings. I wonder if this is how they were treated when they were children, and they just passed it on? Shame on them, anyway.

Digging around in your mouth can be so invasive, anyway, and frightening. Many, many people are averse to dentists, like my hubs.( Ironically, that was one area where my own experiences were OK.) But I can totally relate to this level of terror, and I'm glad you told us your story!

Nancy said...

I'm with you, Lorine: I hate dentists. I put off going as long as possible. My experiences were not as awful as yours but bad enough: a root canal without novacaine when I was 10. Then after an infection developed because of a bad job, a surgery begun before the anesthetic went into effect. No wonder we don't want to go to dentists!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Wow, reading all the comments I see I wasn't alone in having an abusive dentist! Thank goodness times have changed. My 5 year old grandson had to have a tooth extracted after an accident (the nerve was destroyed and he developed an abscess). He was not afraid at all! They gave him nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas) and he loved it, told his dad that he thought he was flying around the room upside down. :-)

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Lorine, what a hideous set of experiences.....overshadowed mine completely. Fancy throwing outbyour doll because you were wick...talk aboutbinsult to injury.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Pauleen - well that was my mother - no sentiment and very practical. But it's all in the past except when I write about my experiences. I don't get upset about it though because as my brother says "it was what it was"