I’m in pain.
This morning, I had four cavities filled. It’s my own fault, I hadn’t been taking good enough care of my teeth for a while, and something had to be done about it.
The dentist I go to is very good at what he does. At least, he makes me feel comfortable enough to keep coming back, which is something that, from what I hear from others, isn’t always the case with most dentists. He doens’t have much of a sense of humour, but then again, that’s not what he’s paid for. He does his work well.
Today, after 45 minutes of drillin’-n-fillin’ he told me that I was a good patient. I accept that I have to go through a procedure that is widely regarded as painful, and I do it without bitching, moaning, threatening or becoming violent, which aparently is a novelty in the world of dental care.
I can understand someone becoming violent or threatening the dentist, though. I mean, I have a fairly high pain tolerance level and I always keep in mind that the pain is only temporary, and that my being there and undergoing that, is an investment. But sometimes it’s a really uncomfortable feeling, one that invokes really primal aggressive feelings. Certain people come in and tell the dentist “Hurt me and I’ll break your fucking legs.” which I can again understand, on a very basic level, but if you are going through the procedure, let the man do his job and accept the consequences of your decision.
One of the things I cannot stand is when pain seems to be a permanent thing. I don’t have permanent pain, but at times certain things have seemed like they would never go away, and when I feel that, then I’m inconsolable. I have always been able to trust my body, and I’m very happy with it, it has hardly ever let me down. I say hardly because I have some failures, like my cluster-headaches. But God forbid I should ever get permanent back problems or something similarly inescapable.
I once saw a documentary about a radical new treatment of back problems where a small sliver of metal would be implanted close to a nerve-point near the spine and manipulated using magnets. The sliver would press up against, and thereby cancelling out, certain nerve-points and thus relieving the pain. There was a man that went in for the new treatment who was successful in business, had a wife and two children that loved him, was in good shape, but he said that if this treatment didn’t work for him, that he would commit suicide because he simply couldn’t live with the permanent pain.
Permanent pain. No relief.
I’m in pain…but the pain is termporary.