A few years ago I read an account of a young doctor who was on call one afternoon when an ill elderly man visited. He walked into the consultation room hurriedly, eager to share his concerns with the doctor as he was quite ill. Yet when he saw the doctor he refused to speak, he said he would wait or return, he needed to talk with an older doctor, he would not be treated by someone so young.
I remember reading it and boiling on behalf of the doctor. What's age got to do with it? Such ignorance!
Well two days ago I got a text from my optic clinic, apparently the dental section was doing a 50% discount for scaling and polishing this month. It was the first I was hearing of the dentist and it was a timely text; I'd planned to go for an extraction the next day. Yes, yet another extraction, the sixth perhaps...
The thought that I wouldn't have to go all the way to surulere, get there as early as 7am, wait till 9am before I see the dentist, sit with a crowd, worry about getting infections and all those other things that one must endure at a government hospital was very appealing.
Time came and I had my baby nephew with me so I had no choice but to take him along with the nanny. Being at this place was a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of the surulere medical center. I was ready to have the tooth pulled out, almost excited even! That was until I saw the dentist.
The moment I saw her, the song PYT started to play in my head. She was such a pretty, young thing.
Maybe I'm just paranoid but when she started to ask me too many questions I thought were irrelevant, when she started to prod my teeth with sharp objects unnecessarily excessively checking for lord knows what, when she stuttered like she wasn't sure if I'd need an X-ray or not, I went cold all over. At some point I cut into her monologue and asked if she was "the dentist". I was hoping she was merely a dentist examining me and preparing me for THE dentist. Unfortunately she nodded yes, I'm the one. I'm the one who will do it.
I grabbed my phone and messaged my friend; I can't do this here, she's too young! I said. Relax and get it over with. He said. And that was the one thing I could not do; relax.
I know a tooth extraction is no heart surgery, but images of her not anesthetizing me properly, images of sweat beads on her forehead and her hands shaky as she struggled to pull my tooth out, images of me screaming and blanking out from pain because I was not anesthetized properly, all flooded my head and I immediately bolted off the bed!
Errm I'll have to come back, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the baby being here. I said to the confused looking dentist and nurse. I offered no further explanation as I grabbed my people.
And in a flash I was gone!
But can you blame me? They say nothing trumps experience. Are you one of those who believes this or do you think the younger and more vibrant the better? Do you feel more relaxed when you look into the cockpit of a plane and the captain is an older grey bearded man or when it's a much younger, eager-looking individual? Would you have let her pull your tooth out?...
Hmmm, anyways that's that guys. At this rate I wonder if I'll have any teeth left when I'm 50...