Last week, as I was enjoying my dinner, I broke a cap on one of my teeth. The cap was porcelain; when it broke, it felt like a broken shard of glass to my tongue.
It was time to find a dentist. This is one of the things which was put off, when we moved. And since I am not partial to dental work, it would have continued to be put off, had my cap not broken.
Procrastination certainly comes to the fore when it comes to dentists and me.
I made an appointment with a dentist to whom we had been referred. That was the easy part.
When I was a child, dentists seemed to be little more than cruel, grumpy men. One even suggested he might like to strap me in the chair, if I continued to move around. And having work done on my teeth reminded me of a construction site...the sounds of the drill and other accoutrements of dental work were very like the whining, buzzing reverberating noise of a table saw, router or drill.
I did not easily heal from these early childhood visits, either in body or mind. There were constant infections which appeared after a visit to the dentist, auguring more and more visits to the very same dentist who had incurred them.
I've spoken with many people my age who have similar memories of dentists from their childhood. We wonder...Where did these men get their training? And why were they all so cantankerous?
I lived in a small town where there were only one or two dental offices, as I grew up. Both dentists went to the same school, it seemed; there was no sense in trying the other for better care.
Friends of mine went to a larger centre for dental work; I was not so lucky. I used to listen to their trips out of town to visit a dentist who gave them lollipops(!?) when they were finished, leaving me in total awe.
Time goes on, however, and as much as I ran away from any dental work as I matured, there came a time when my teeth required it.
I was completely surprised at the difference between the dentists of today and the dentists of yesterday. When I finally went, there was huge understanding and acceptance of the fear I had, and my dentist, at the time, did everything he could to make me comfortable.
I swore I would never use another dentist again. And then I moved...
I reminded myself of the difference between now and the past regarding dentists, as I drove into Williams Lake. But the small child who resides within me clamoured to be heard. I became tense and nervous, as I listened to that small child who would not be silent.
The office looked and smelled and sounded like any dentist's office, except this one had a sculpture of a life-size Bear at the entrance.
Bear has guided me throughout life, as he has for many of the human population...the ones who held a Teddy in their arms as children know what I mean. I've told Bear many, many secrets, not the least of which was my fear of Dentists...
What were the odds I would find a Dentist's office with a very large Bear guarding the entrance? I smiled to myself as a great calm descended over me, when I stroked his giant claws. Had this Bear not been three times my size, I would have hugged him. And I wondered...how many others have been calmed by passing this huge sculptured wooden Grizzly Bear on their way into the dreaded Dentist's office?
The visit with the hygienist and the dentist went well...my new dentist seems very young to me, but she certainly knew her stuff! She filed off the offending portion of the broken cap on my tooth, informed me I needed a new one...and oh, by the way, there is another tooth which requires a root canal and cap...
Oh well...ageing hits teeth as well. And certainly, at my age, it is time to let childhood fears go.
On the way out, I thanked Bear, stroking his long claws, and smiled to myself at the jolt of energy I received from Spirit through Bear.
It is reassuring to me that he is there, since it seems I will get to know him well during the next few weeks...and I am sure I will require Bear's special brand of energy again.
It is all very well and good to proclaim it is time to let childhood fears go; I know well that on the day of the dentist's appointment, I will need Bear's strength.
If only to help me stop the profuse sweating at the thought of the root canal...