Shelley: Hi Dr. Veronica.
Dr. Veronica, our Algodones Dentist: Hello.
Shelley: Do you remember me?
Veronica: You? No. Him, yes.
Shelley: Oh! Ha! Ha! Ha! Honey, look at that, Veronica’s flirting with you. Seriously, you must remember me, yes?
Shelley: I sure hope you’re kidding because I’m already super stressed over today’s appointment. You do know why I’m here, right?
Dr. Veronica: Let me take a look.. Ah yes, you have an appointment for two crowns at 11:00 .
Shelley: Whew. Exactly.
Dr. Veronica: John, let’s go outside to compare the colour of your teeth with the chart. Shelley, Dr. Jesus will take care of you.
Dr. Jesus: Please follow me.
Shelley: What? No.
Dr. Veronica: No?
Dr. Veronica: Why?
Shelley: Why? Why? Because I’ve spent the last four years slowly, but surely, building my trust in you. I can’t possibly start all over with Dr. Jesus. He doesn’t know how I was traumatized in Thailand because the dentist didn’t freeze my mouth while replacing my filling. Ak. Ak. Ak.
Or how, whenever we found a new dentist, I made my kids go first to see if they cried. Yes, I was that kind of mother.
Or how every time I heard the drill I’d sweat as my heart raced.
Or when I smelled ground teeth dust, I’d have to fight the urge to vomit.
You, Dr. Veronica are my dentist.
Dr. Veronica: Now Dr. Jesus is also your dentist.
Shelley: But he doesn’t know my signals:
One finger raised: Please pause.
One hand raised: Stop.
Two hands raised: Get me a bucket, I’m going to be sick.
Two hands grabbing your hand: I can’t swallow. I’m choking. I can’t breathe. I’m dying.
Dr. Jesus: I understand.
Shelley: But you don’t understand how my jaw locks, how you need to stop whatever you’re doing so I can unlock my jaw.
Dr. Jesus: Not a problem.
Shelley: I don’t know anything about you, Dr. Jesus.
Dr. Veronica: Dr. Jesus is my partner.
Shelley: John’s my partner too but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let him install a crown, never mind two crowns. Besides I don’t see Dr. Jesus’s qualifications anywhere. What are his qualifications? Where did he train? How long has he been practicing?
Dr. Veronica: Dr. Jesus obtained a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the USA. He has practiced for ten years. You’re going to be fine.
Shelley: Has he ever worked on crowns before?
Dr. Veronica: He has. Look. I’ll make you a deal. Dr. Jesus begins working on your crowns. When I finish with John I’ll take over. How’s that sound?
Shelley: I don’t know. I just don’t know. I’m so sorry for making a fuss. I really am. It’s just that…. It’s just that… Going to the dentist freaks me out… Ahhhh. What am I saying? I need to have these crowns. These old fillings may fall out at any moment. Let’s do this.
One more thing. Can you guarantee me that you’re not going to be stingy with the medication when you freeze my mouth? Actually, I won’t object if you want to put me right out. I’ve heard of dentists who do that. You must have something that could do the job.
Dr. Veronica: I remember you now. Dr. Jesus, she’s all yours.
Shelley and John, your volunteer reporters for “The Comox Valley Echo’s” signing off. Next week we’re off to jolly old England.