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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Procrastinate? Never ever!

A month ago, during a routine dental checkup, my dentist had warned me that there was a cavity waiting to implode and that it had to be filled up. Being the procrastinator that I was, I booked an appointment with him, and promptly failed to keep the appointment. Now before everyone starts commenting on my dental hygiene (or lack of it), let me state that in my defense, i was willing to get it done that very day.After all, if you could sit through a dental checkup, what is the harm in going all the way and getting a filling done?
I have always felt that by the time the dentist is done excavating your teeth and passing snide comments at the pathetic state of it, all in the disguise of a routine dental checkup, you would have crossed the point of no return with regards to pain. Experts(read as me) say that once you reach this zen-like state, nothing can be done to further your pain. I have heard that UFC participants, have a routine dental checkup as part of their pre-match warm-up. Anything that happens to them in the ring after that, is laughable. I think these reasons are sufficient to explain why I wanted to get the filling done along with my checkup. However, the doctor deemed it rather silly and laughed it off, informing me that he had a horde of patients waiting to throw me of that chair. Strange as it may sound, the dentist's chair is the only electric chair where people would fight and maim to boot out the incumbent. As far as I am concerned, both of the chairs should be banned under the Geneva conventions for Human rights violation.
With a heavy heart, I left the dentist's, knowing that I would not keep the appointment. What I did not know then was how a neglected filling was going to come back and haunt me.
Haunt it did, and how! Yesterday as I was finishing my lunch, I get this pulsating feeling in my teeth. Not knowing any better, i had ignored it and was soon engrossed in reading blogs work. Like an ignored child craving for attention, the nice homely pulsating feeling decides to take it to the next level and goes ballistic on my teeth. In the meantime, it also decides to pass a resolution concentrating all its effort on one tooth. By evening, I had decided that concrete action had to be taken to defeat this enemy. I also decide not to humanize 'the pain' by referring to it in the third person.
Reluctantly, I book an appointment with the dentist and soon find myself in the electric chair. The dentist conducts a preliminary inspection. For this, he uses a hammer on my teeth, which I believe, was to beat the pain into submission. To be doubly sure that he is not attacking an innocent tooth, he tries out his new shiny pointy instruments on the tooth and gets a writhing, mumbling, contorted me for confirmation. With the flourish of the CBI cracking open a complicated case, he informs me that his probing investigation has discovered the root cause of all my worries.
Yes, the root. No, really, it was the root of my tooth that was the trouble maker. The dentist informs me that I will have to undergo a Root Canal Treatment to get rid of the pain. I agree. With Glee writ on his face, he brings out his arsenal of Torture equipment.
This next section is not for the faint hearted. Those of you, who have been through this once before and have latent sadistic tendencies, will eagerly look forward to this section. Remember how the Suez Canal was made? The people involved took dynamite and blew their way across the Red sea, thereby opening new shipping channels. Root Canal Treatment is similar, if you replace the dynamite with tiny needles. From what I have heard, I gather that dynamite does not work very well on teeth, hence the need for tiny needles and drills. These dentists use their needles to get to the root of your teeth and to extract the offending root. They simultaneously satisfy their wannabe Harsha Bhogle ambitions by giving you a Live and exclusive running commentary of their actions. "Houston, we have reached the tooth", "I hope this works" and my personal favorite "There is a lot of blood and pus coming out". Once the needles are firmly stuck in your teeth, they negotiate the price of the treatment.
Dentist: This treatment is going to cost you Rs. XXXXXX. Do you agree to go ahead with this treatment?
Me: Illloovugh (Translation to no-needle-in-mouth-English: Its too much!)
Dentist: Oh, that is good. You have agreed on the cost of the treatment. Would you like a local anesthetic to go along with it?
Me: Illgoowagonwe (Translation: I hope that its free)
Dentist: No its not free, you will have to pay Rs. XXXX for that.
Me: Llavaay (Translation: No way)
Dentist: That is good! Nurse, he would like the local anesthetic too, can you please get one bottle?
Me(thinking): I hope my health insurance takes care of this
On hearing the cost, with or without the anesthetic, you are sufficiently numb. The pain does not bother you anymore. Thoughts of selling your rented house and your roommate's two wheeler comes to your mind. With a jolt, the dentist informs me that he is done with. On hearing this, my heart leaps for joy and I swear that I will never ever Procrastinate. Well... at least in matters of getting a filling for my tooth. Before I make a mad dash for freedom, the dentist calls out to me.
Dentist: Oh by the way, there is a tooth there that has to be filled.
Me: Can't we get it done today?
Dentist: No, I have a lot of patient patients waiting. Will you be free for an appointment next Sunday?
Me: I don't think so, but i will get it done sometime soon.Sometime this century.
And the circle of pain keeps on rolling.....


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