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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A visit to the dentist

It was quite uncomfortable in the chair. She was leaning as far back as she could but for some reason, the dentist couldn't get a good view of her tonsils. She tilted her head back a little bit further and made some gargling noises.

The dentist was busy peering into the depths and poking around with a sharp stick. He mumbled something about cavities and adjusted the light above her head. "Could you tilt your head back a little bit further please?"

She complied, and the dentist helped a little by applying a gentle pressure to her temples with a gloved hand. She looked up into the ceiling lights and noticed that they were flickering. Flickering on and off. On. Off. On. Off.

Then it was dark.

After a while, she managed to open her eyes again. Everything was very bright. Unbearably bright. She tried to squint but it didn't make a difference. There was a terrible pain in her left arm, and an unbearable itch on her nose. She tried to shuffle around to get more comfortable but realised that she could not move. She couldn't move anything. She tried to call out but only managed a gargling moan.

She moaned again, louder this time and tried to look around. She couldn't move her head. It seemed heavy. Was there something lying on it? She couldn't be sure. Where was the dentist? Where am I? What's going on?

She heard a bleeping sound get louder and faster and then a buzzer went off somewhere next to her ear. Suddenly, a small dark-haired person appeared in front of her vision. She appeared to be upside down and was talking Very Loudly And Slowly.

"Hello Miss Cavities. I'm TSCD. Can you hear me? If you can, blink twice."

Blink. Blink.

"You're in hospital now. You have had a stroke. You've been asleep for almost a week. Blink twice, if you understand me. Blink once if you want me to repeat what I have said."

Blink. Blink.

"The dentist brought you to hospital. Poor man had the fright of his life when you collapsed in his chair. You ruptured both the arteries supplying your brain and this caused your stroke. It is very rare that this happens, but some young women have very weak blood vessels. They can break if you tilt your head too far back, or if somebody hugs you around the neck."

Blink. Blink.

"Are you in pain?"

Blink. Blink. (gargling noise)

"I will write you up for some painkillers."

Blink. Blink.

"The doctors will see you every morning, and we will get physiotherapists and speech therapists to help you regain your strength. But it will be slow going."

Blink. Blink.

"Would you like me to leave you alone now?"

Blink. (sad gargling noises)

"Okay, I have a few minutes to spare. We can have a chat if you like."

(angry gargling noises and blinking)

"Actually, your husband was just here yesterday, and he brought you this magazine. 'Hello' Magazine, is that your favourite?"

(sad gargling noises and blinking)

"Well, he said he would visit again later today, and he'll bring your son as well. Now, let's start on this magazine shall, we? So, Kate Middleton, Prince William's arm candy, is suing the press for publishing some photos..."


Anonymous hamster said...

I really wish I had the trust that a Singaporean doctor would be as kind and understanding - and have the time to read a magazine to me - if such a thing happened to me in Singapore.

You're doing a great job.

8:39 am  
Blogger tscd said...

hamster: I'm not as selfless as you think - I secretly really wanted to read the magazine anyway. I mean, it had pictures of Prince Harry in it. And he is hawt. ;)

12:19 am  
Blogger Maggie said...

I think I've read about this happening in hairdressers too - when they wash your hair in that lean backwards into it basin.

How awful to wake up so long after and be so incapacitated after just going for a dental visit... Struck me particularly today as went to the dental hygienist yesterday for scale and polish. I got away with just a sore back (the lumbar support is always in the wrong place for me, probably because I'm so short!).

Best wishes from Liverpool, 800 years young this year!

11:52 pm  
Blogger tscd said...

maggie: Yes, and I've also read about the same thing happening to young mothers (toddler hugs mum from behind and hangs onto mum's neck, mum has a stroke, toddler scarred for life). Things like this can really make one very paranoid! As if visiting the dentist isn't stressful enough.

5:27 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those pesky carotid and vertebral arteries .....

9:26 pm  
Anonymous Dentist said...

Teeth cleaning is part of oral hygiene and involves the removal of dental plaque from teeth with the intention of preventing cavities. You should get this at least twice a year.

3:44 pm  
Anonymous Gig Harbor Dentist said...

No matter what, you have to remember that a visit to a dentist at least twice a year is good for your oral health.

10:05 am  

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