So we goes to the dentist.  Sanad and I.  He was very interested in the goings on.  He asked about what kind of instrument the hygienist was using, what size and shape.  They talked in secret dentish language about amalgams and porcelain fillings and recision and other things I didn’t understand.

He watched her, looked in my mouth while she tortured me with that metal stick.  When she took the X-rays, she told me to breath through my nose and  wiggle my toes.  By coincidence, he had just told me about the “dentist’s secret” he had learned in Libya.  That secret was that if you have to do a procedure which might gag a patient, you need to tell them to lift their left leg.  That way the patient would think what he or she was doing had something to do with circulation and be distracted enough that they wouldn’t gag.

He wasn’t impressed when she said, “wiggle your toes, breath through your nose.  It helps you concentrate so you don’t gag.”  He kind of thought he was spilling the beans about the anti-gagging advice.  I almost explained that I a girlfriend in high school had instructed a whole group of us on how breathing through your nose was the best way to keep from gagging.  And she really seemed to know.

Back to the Dentist.  As I was on my back looking at the special pearly light, with the hygienist was poking around the base of my teeth, I had a flashback.  I remembered why it was that I hadn’t been to the dentist for 2 years.  She grazed a nerve.  Just barely touched it enough to make my mouth water and send warning sparks to my brain.  When she did that I twitched a tiny bit.  It was enough to make me remember the last time.

Last time it wasn’t the hygienist, it was the dentist.  He didn’t just graze it, he nailed it with the angled poker of the apocalypse.  Nailed it so good that I actually jumped up from the chair and bit him.  I bit the dentist.  Not hard, but hard enough.  He apologized and only nicked it one more time during the visit.

Turns out that Sanad has worse teeth than me.  He doesn’t floss (he finished dentistry school at home, but to no avail).  So I didn’t have to be embarrassed about my teeth at all.  Having him watch my mouth fill up with spit and blood and get spritzed with water wasn’t as bad as it could have been.


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