Monday, June 22, 2015

Facing my fears


I had two things to dread today and have got one of them over with, the dentist visit. I am very dentist-phobic (I bet there is a real word for that - there you go, ondontophobia). I have no problem with doctors or needles or intrusive examinations; but put me in a dentist chair and I'm a trembling mess who gags every few seconds as the dentist tries to do something horrible like, oh, clean my teeth. It is actually a very stressful experience for me. After I had to have a root canal, which took several hour-long visits, I didn't go back for four years. This time it's been two years since my last visit, and I tried a new dentist, the one I take my kids to. She is lovely, and she tried a few things to help me. She let me sit up instead of lying back, and that was enormously helpful. It's not pain I'm scared of, I think it is mainly that helpless feeling. Also I can feel like I'm drowning. So sitting up was much better. Also she put some salt on my tongue. I've never heard of that before, but it actually helped stop me gagging so much. Weird. And finally she did half the clean with the usual electric stuff and the water spray and suction etc but decided I wasn't handling it well and went to just a manual pick. She deals mainly with kids and I think she was great!

The best thing was no cavities so I don't have to go back for another year. But when I do, it will definitely be to her. And she asked me to put a review online, I will and it will be glowing!

The other worry for today is getting the roof inspected, I need to get the tiles fixed asap but it's hard to find someone to do it soon. I've got the representative from a big company coming today, and I've just got the feeling they are going to be very pushy about getting the whole roof restored or something I don't want or need. So I will have to be assertive, which I find a bit scary. But hopefully it won't be like that. I try not to worry about stuff that might not even happen.

The roof guy was very nice but as I expected pushed for total roof restoration which is not something I want to do right now with the future so unsettled. The interaction was fine, but he said there isn't really a temporary patch-up that he can do. The worrying part is that I actually believe him about what needs to be done, I've had quite a few handymen/insurance people etc come out here lately and this house really needs some work. But I don't want to spend thousands when I don't know if we're staying, or going away for a year, or renovating, or maybe selling permanently. Yet I don't want the roof to leak every time it rains and destroy the new floor and ceiling (when we get a new ceiling)! Troubling. I plan to get another opinion about the roof from another tradesman, and I'll see if they give different advice.

I was just finishing dinner and feeling good when I got yet another phone call from those scammers. They call from India, so there is nothing the local police can do, and it may be one group or several with similar stories, but it is basically the same scam: "we are from x internet company and we can fix your computer remotely if you give us access". I was nearly caught out the first time because I was indeed having serious computer problems and they seemed to know about it, it was just bad timing (for me, perfect for them). I was lucky they didn't get away with anything. This is, what, the sixth time they have called me? And most of those in the past month or two. I responded much as I did last time: "Does your father know what you do for a living? Does your mother? How can you live with yourself?" Last time the woman hung up on me straight away, this time there was just silence until I hung up on the man. Then I started shaking. I could hardly walk for a minute, my legs were trembling so bad. I really hate confrontation! And part of me actually feels sorry for these people in a country with so much poverty where they might not have much choice. Would I steal food if I was starving? It's just a more sophisticated form of doing that. What if your choices are starvation, prostitution, or working for internet scammers where you never have to meet your victims? Of course some of them are probably heartless bastards. But some of them might feel guilty every day.

Report card:
Diet: Ok. Better today.
Exercise: Poor. Very short walk. It was something.
Water: Good.
Sleep: Poor.
Mental health: Poor. It's been a very stressful day. And I was really hoping to hear about Tim's job, but no.


  1. So I work in the medical field and I've learned that some people go to their Family Practice doc before stressful medical procedures (like drilling) and ask for 1 dose of pain/anti-anxiety meds to take beforehand. I'm not sure if they'd be willing to do that for routine run of the mill dentist visits, but it's worth a shot to call and ask (I would call or send an message via computer because the docs usually have an established opinion about doing this- either "no prob" or "no way in hell"- so it's not worth you scheduling a whole visit for something that is easily answered in a minute or two). Pain meds obviously have the potential for serious side effects/risk of dependency, but if you have a good relationship w your doc (like, they have seen you for 2 or 3 years and "know" you as someone with a low potential for addiction) that may increase your probability of getting something to help you relax. It's also worthwhile to mention other techniques you've tried (deep breathing, meditating, talking to dentist about fear) but that you are still stressed out to the point that you prolong time between dentist visits or have to shorten your teeth cleaning due to your anxiety. (I don't know if that helped at all, but thought I'd pass on some "insider" tips! lol)

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I don't generally take medication of any kind (rarely even aspirin/paracetamol) so it's not something I'm likely to do. Although I have considered it for plane trips, I am scared of heights too and the landing is extremely stressful. I'll think about it for the future.

  2. I can't stand the dentist either, but I know I need work done badly. I keep putting it off. Sorry you had such a stressful, up and down weekend!

    1. It's so easy to keep putting it off, isn't it! But you'll be glad when it's over and done with.