Please join us at

Get the posts on my new blog by e-mail. Enter your e-mail address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

New posts on

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Affair

You might think I’d feel dirty. Well, I don’t, but the sneaking around is a bit emotionally wracking.

At first I thought it was normal to be treated so badly, to be emotionally abused on a regular basis and constantly told I wasn’t good enough. I’d be physically harmed, and when I bled, I was told it was my own fault. This went on for years. I almost started to believe it was normal.

Then I met someone else. Someone who treats me nicely and is gentle with the poking device.

Thanks for your support in this difficult time. I am divorcing my dental hygienist.

We are still at the sneaking-around stage. I booked an appointment for today because my regular hygienist is away on holidays. That way, I don’t have to sneak into the clinic wearing a disguise and guiltily look away when she walks past me.

This has been a long time coming. I ended up with her by accident on my first visit. She had a free space on her calendar, and I quickly learned why. Lying flat on my back, I was helpless while she ground at my teeth, tut-tutted at my gum health and lectured me about the importance of flossing.

“You’re bleeding!” she would say accusingly.

“Yes, I know,” I would say. “Maybe you could be a bit gentler.”

“It’s not me,” she would insist. “It’s you. Your teeth have a lot of plaque. Clearly, you have not been flossing.”

This was true. I don’t floss. I’m not opposed to flossing in the same way I’m opposed to, say, indiscriminate capitalization, but I just never get around to it. Yes, I know. This makes me a bad person.

At the end of every visit, she would sign me up for another appointment. I quickly learned that this meant I would get her every time I needed a cleaning.

About a year ago, I started to try to break the cycle. “I don’t know my schedule so far in advance,” I’d say. “I’ll call and book an appointment.”

She eyed me suspiciously. She knew what I was up to. I caved.

After my last appointment, my gums still bleeding, I stood my ground. “I don’t know my schedule,” I said. “I promise to call.”

She ordered me not to eat or drink anything for half an hour, and gave me a card with the clinic’s number and her name. I was to call and book an appointment to see her.

My heart was happy and my tongue rejoiced until I got back to the office. That was when I realized that I would actually have to call the clinic and explicitly say that I didn’t want to see her again. My heart faltered and fear made me tremble. You see, I do not like personal conflict.

This is a tough time for me, and I appreciate all of your letters and phone calls of support. I did not want it to come to this: through all of the hard times I still believed that we could make things work. Sadly, it was not to be.


Anonymous said...

Go for it! I had an axe murderer for a dentist one time; I nearly cried. Fortunately I think they let her go.

Anyway, it's YOUR mouth. She is not improving your condition by massacring your gums, only making you dislike your cleanings more. YOU'RE the client and the office should know that their hygienist isn't performing on par with the rest. Get maaaad...or at least assertive.