promises promises….

Awwwwww!!! Excruciating pain jolted through my body. My lower right molar just hit the upper molar as I was chewing the skin of the roasted pig that was sitting so appealingly on my plate. Tears filled my eyes because of the pain. This has been going on for days. I cannot eat much. I have existed on warm noodle soup for the last couple of days. I am in denial because I fear going to the dentist. Every night I pray…Please God, let my tooth be all right tomorrow. I am sooo hungry. Please! Please! Please!

Then I realized God will not answer that prayer for he gave me a perfectly good set of teeth when I was growing up. But because of my neglect, somehow, one has come to haunt me for that. But God did not completely abandon me. There was a dental office a few blocks from my house and I mustered courage to go for a consultation.  I waited for about half an hour till the dentist arrived, looking at all the gadgets around me, smelling the scents that only a doctor’s office can smell. I was sweating profusely, feeling faint and scared as hell. I was about to leave, my courage having abandoned me completely, when the dentist met me at the door. He was young and had a kind face. I thought to myself it can’t be that bad. I sat on the dental chair and had to suffer the indignity of opening my mouth and letting him see just how neglectful I have been.  His verdict…the tooth had to go. We made an appointment for 2PM that same day so I can have time to finish my chores at home. He gave me some mefanamic to ease the pain till he gets the tooth out. I was tempted to ask for some Valium instead, but I kept my dignity. The 3 hours till the 2PM appointment was like my last few hours on earth. I cooked food for 2 days, I cleaned the house, I threw the trash away, and I feed the dog with food good for 2 days too. He threw up on my newly cleaned floor adding anxiety as my 2PM was fast approaching. I was expecting to be bedridden after.

I went back to the dental office 15 minutes early so that I can have time to calm myself before the time of reckoning. He was already there waiting for me. I wanted to do a Suzette. She is my sister-in-law who is just as terrified with dentists and she was actually on the dental chair with anesthetic injected to her mouth. She asked to go to the toilet first, then made a hasty beeline for the exit, ran to her car and speed away. No chance for that here. I came on foot. And the dentist could probably outrun me by a mile.

Gingerly I stepped on the chair, closed my eyes and kept repeating the phrase, God HELP ME! GOD HELP ME! I called on all the saints in heaven when I felt the needle prick my gums. I promised never to eat candy or chocolates again. Not even the skin of another yummy roast pig. I swore at all the cigarettes that I smoked, wine that I drank, coffee and ice tea included. I promised to floss every hour, brush 10 times a day, and…and…and…

“There, you’re done.  You are not even a bleeder.” I remembered how to breathe again. My eyes popped open and the nice dentist was smiling so sweetly. I could have kissed and hugged him. I swear I did not feel a single pain. He asked if I wanted to have the tooth as souvenir and I imagined a hundred ways to extract vengeance on that tooth. In the end I decided to let them dispose of it. As I walked back home, I was joyous. My heart was light. My steps were strong. I was free. And the skin of that roasted pig is starting to look yummy again.

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