When I first started going to him they practically had to give me happy gas just to get my teeth cleaned. Now though after five years of his constant steadying care and attention I don't even need to use the happy gas to get the Novocaine shots!
I kid you not, the only way I could make it through an exam was to imagine that the gates of purgatory were flying open and souls were being released from bondage because of my suffering. That was my happy place. My knuckles would be all white and my entire body would be so tense that I would have a splitting headache by the time the x-ray's were done.
Dr. Mike is the greatest though. He makes me laugh and explains everything completely before he does anything. He has never once given me any painful procedure that wasn't completely necessary. And when he has to do something that is the slightest big uncomfortable he is totally apologetic about the discomfort. I think he is the most skillful dentist I have ever had work on my teeth. I don't think I could go to anyone else.
I remember the day I had to have a root canal, and I was his first patient of the day at about 8:45 in the morning.
"Guess what I did last night?" he said with a big kid-like grin on his face as he began to shoot Novocaine into my jaw.
"I haven't got a clue" was my muffled reply, it is really hard to talk when someone has their hands in your mouth.
"I went to the midnight showing of Star Wars Episode III!"
"Moan" was my reply.
He stops his work and looks down at me. "What, you don't approve?"
"No, I just didn't realize my dentist was such a big nerd. Besides don't you think I would have rather thought, under the circumstances, that you had gotten a good nights sleep last night?"
"Because of the procedure? Nah, that's a piece of cake, I could do that in my sleep." he replied winking and yawning as he reinserted the needle in my jaw.
That is the kind of Dr. he is. A big kid who makes you feel completely relaxed about everything he is doing.
Considering that he is removing my three lower front teeth this morning to replace them with a partial because I have gum disease and bone loss, he has his work cut out for him. I went to mass this morning to pray for peace and strength, and I am going to tell him that purgatory will be a few souls lighter when he is through. I hope he appreciates that he is an agent of so much grace.