Well yesterday was a trip to the dentist. Some of you may remember last year this time I paid a visit to him. This one yesterday was an emergency call. You know the kind when the tooth has been aching up into the bones of one's brain for a few days? It was becoming late in the afternoon. Len came in with Andrea and he smiled. He explained that I needed a root canal. And then he fell silent and just looked at me. I thought to myself, "Well okay. Root canal. I'll come back later - two years maybe?" But then I realized by the type of silence that he meant now - right now. I called out (or was it yelled out?) "You mean now?!" Yes indeed. He meant right then and there. I panicked. Looked at the door to see how far it was for me to run. At that point he sat down on a stool next to me and explained in the gentlest of tones exactly how it would work, what would happen and how root canals these days are really no big deal. Just boring because they take time. He said that I might even fall asleep as they were working and added, "Or there's the music to listen to. Remember how you like the music here?" (How did he remember that?) A weak smile started twitching from my lips. He said, "When it's over, you'll probably go home and blog about it." I beamed, "You remember that?" I said. He nodded smiling all the while. That did it. He remembered that I liked their music and more importantly - I am a blogger!
I settled back into the chair and watched as Andrea laid out all the instruments. When Len returned I said, trying to be funny, "Ah - instruments of torture." He became quite serious, passionate even. "No!" he exclaimed, "They're tools of healing. When it's all over your pain will be gone and your tooth will be healthy again. It's really quite a miracle really. And we take it all for granted." He went on a bit longer and I nodded in agreement. "Now, that is worth blogging about," I said to him.
Well, my friends, the rest is history. Let me just conclude by saying that I have never experienced anything quite like that root canal experience. The atmosphere was kind and gentle. Len explained every step of everything he was doing. Before long my body was relaxing and a couple of times I noticed my foot was tapping to the music. Was that George Harrison and "My Sweet Lord?" And at one stage I was laughing and gurgling all at the same time. "Hey!" He called out, "This is no laughing matter. Remember how you came in here? It was no laughing matter!" I nearly exploded with even more laughter almost spluttering all the equipment out of my mouth.
Tools of healing all right. And I don't mean the tooth in question. Len and Andrea healed my deepest, childhood fear that has haunted me all my life: my fear of dentists!