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I Bolted!

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...


  1. "...she stuttered like she wasn't sure if I'd need an X-ray or not..."

    A dentist stuttering? Young or old doctor, the bolting will be on another level, no power to shout biko.

  2. Im sure she knew you ran away because of her. I hope it didnt affect her confidence.

    Imagine if somebody doesnt give you a huge contract because you are not 40years old, not old enough. Would be unfair right?

    The young is discriminating against the young. *Sigh


    1. Kon biko contract is different from my health. This would be my sixth extraction so I know what I have suffered in the hands of dentists, especially those young ones at LUTH that used my tooth to learn work. Not funny at all!

    2. Thelma sixth tooth extraction keee?*bbm surprised smiley* ,I have done three so far and I thought its too much but six,minus thirty two? Ahhhhh it's too much ohhhhh. Experience is the best teacher,they have to pass through this stage to be like the old ones because the old ones were once like them.

    3. Abeg bolt! One young dentist used me for practice a few years ago. It wasnt funny, at a point, the nurse had to go and call the consultant. She came in, saw what he was doing, apologized to me and took over. I had cried my eyes out by then.

    4. An elderly destist dat was looking like a brilliant doc did an extraction for me and dint give me antibiotics (really, who does dat?!). So, young or not, do dey know dia onions is d question, in fact, I insisted I dint want an xray but an instant extraction, it was he brought out d tooth dat he looked and said "oh, double root, she must have being right ant d pain", smh....
      So, judging based on age may not give u a rait answer.

  3. Every pro was a novice once. Thus, the latter should be given a chance. I remember the first time I appeared in a real court (not the moot/mock court I was used to in the university). My principal thrusted a file into my hands as I arrived at the office that morning. To make matters worse, the only instruction he gave was- "Go to court, this matter comes up today". I set off, only to have the senior counsel on the other side to bamboozle me and got himself a field day. He brought a motion which I allowed him move without any opposition or asking for sometime to look at the motion to see if there would be a need to react to same; an application that would have gotten me an adjournment. When I came back, my principal put me through. On the next adjourned date, the senior counsel saw a different me. And I never repeated the mistake again. Now, that's with the legal profession.

    The issue with medical practice is the involvement of a physical human life which may be thwarted or cut short or damaged, one way or another. With this in mind, I understand why anyone would "BOLT" on encountering a medical greenhorn in the examination room or theatre. But how can they learn if not putting the various theories stacked in their heads into practice.... I would suggest that they be given opportunities to understudy older professionals for some time before encountering their first patients. That way, guesses would be avoided; labrious sweat beads exiled.

    1. They are given lots of opportunity to understudy older professionals... I would know that, seeing as I spent part of my last 6 months in a theater suffering from leg pain and wondering why I had to go though it since I most definitely not becoming a surgeon... They say we should learn little of everything.. More like as much as we can

  4. Most of the pilots i've seen are youngish 30-40 maybe so I never really think about that when it comes to flying but if I was in that dentist sit which i've never been on by the way hmmmmm I think lack of courage will just make me stay there (not wanting the girl to feel bad), depends on how i'm feeling that day. But its good u left o biko hian I heard teeth pain is from hell, nobody should gamble with that..and please Thelma avoid that thing that is making u remove your tooth, 6 already? I've never removed a teeth before

  5. If we do not give the 'young' the chance, how would they become 'experienced old'?


  6. I don't know if I would bolt or not. Their questions that we term unnecessary most times are very necessary. When Im at luth with my sis and her friends I have come to understand this things. Surgery gets everyone scared so when its even a young person we get more scared. It's normal. However it's not too bad if we decide to trust them to do the operation well.
    P.S why is it always the students that attend to one in teaching hospital especially in the dental section. The day I went, I was used for experiment. It's annoying jare.

    1. Lol... Pele... That's why its a teaching hospital... Every patient has unknowingly signed up to be used for teaching... How else will the students learn

    2. Thank God you cannot treat me. So you will also use me for experiment. Olorun maje

  7. I feel it's not as bad as it sounds. My new personal doctor is 24 years. He plays a lot too but he knows his onions when it comes to his job. The best I've had.

    1. If he stutters on the job, would he still be your personal doctor?

    2. Exactly! The age isnt the problem, the uncertainty is. You have to be on top of ur game all the time

    3. Memphis, what if he naturally stutters? Besides, it could have been a first time for that young dentist and she was nervous. What she does with being nervous is what we should have been disecting. Like in public speaking.

  8. Well, i've extracted my tooth once and in such pain I was even bothered that I was being attended to by a student, although during the extraction a supervisor came in.

  9. Lmao

    Biko If iS me I will run ooo.
    I don't take chanceS with Anything concerning my health or my body.

    Who knows,if you have agreed,She might end up pulling out 10 teeth inStead of one,..

    Sometimes experience comes with age,the older the better.

  10. Lol @i wonder if I ll have any teeth left at 50. That's funny. I can't imagine you without teeth.. OMG!!!! Lol


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