You May Come On In
“Melanie, you may come on in.” Those were the most dreaded words my eight years old ears would ever hear. The smell, the noise-uh it all made me so nauseous, every time.
I will never forget when my mom would tell me the night before that I had a dentist appointment the next day. I would automatically get a stomach ache and start crying, begging and pleading to my mom that I didn’t want to go. But like every time she still made me. The ride there was about forty five minutes away from home in a town called Danbury. I would stare out the window miserably watching people walking the streets. There were a lot of different looking people there then what I was usually used to seeing. People of all ethnicities were waiting for the bus, walking the sidewalks and for some reason they all scared me.
The office was only about fifty feet from the bus stop. I could see the really big red apple on the front of the white cement building. Pulling in the parking lot was like pulling into a torture chamber. The sweat was dripping off my hands. You had to park in the back and go through the back door to get in. Inside there were red apples all over the hallway walls as well as when you walked in. Walking in the door, the anxiety hit me even harder. The smell of disinfectants hit my nose and traveled all the way down to my stomach making me want to hurl. My mom always brought me in a toothbrush so I could brush my teeth before. I would go in the bathroom as my mom would check me in to the front desk. The bathroom was so small and the water always tasted so gross. It tasted like the typical city water I hated.
Waiting in the waiting room was like waiting for an eternity. The waiting room could have been fun if it was at a different setting, say anything but the dentist. It had arcade games that I loved to play. It at least took my mind off the most dreadful time of my life for about five minutes. It was the game that had the arrow and as you pressed the button it shot out bullets to other shapes. I can’t remember the name but I can hear the sound today so perfectly. Arcade games, a huge brown bear the size of a giant, a million huge colored blocks, every toy a child could dream of. Then there was the blue book on the table. It was the worst book I ever opened, but for some reason I opened it every time I sat in the waiting room. It had pictures of people with terrible teeth. Some of the teeth had black spots all over them, some with chips and holes, others with no teeth at all. I had a fear my teeth were going to look like that. Some pictures were when the doctors were working on the teeth and their gums were all bloody. The sight of that scared me even more. Other kids were in the waiting room sitting right across from me. I just always wondered why they looked so calm. Maybe they weren’t there for themselves; they just came with their mothers to keep them company. I thought to myself that had to be the reason because they don’t look scared at all.
I was still waiting, scared out of my mind. Every time I saw a nurse come to the waiting room I crossed my fingers praying she wasn’t going to call my name, but of course what did she say? “Melanie, you may come on in.” My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest. I held my mom’s hand as I followed the pretty nurse that looked so nice but I thought she was the most evil person alive. I sat down on the big blue chair and she draped the drool bib over my chest. The chain that she used to clip it was always so cold around my neck, it gave me chills. The doctor would always take about 3-5 minutes before he came in. So again it was a waiting game, but this time I was even more nervous. The doctor comes in and explains everything that he is going to do, but of course I don’t hear a thing. All I hear is my heart pounding and my thoughts rushing in and out of my head. I would just cry as soon as he told me to open my mouth. Squirming and yelling I tried to avoid anything that came towards me. They gave me the laughing gas which again smelt so bad to me. Till this day I still can’t get laughing gas because the smell will make me sick and bring back way too many memories. The gas did do something to me, it made me even more scared. Being that young and seeing double of everything, I thought I was going to die. Finally I could tell the doctor, the nurse and my mom all had enough. Needless to say I did too. But it wasn’t over yet. Since I wouldn’t let them do anything and because I kept on flinging my hands up they brought in this thing I can’t even explain; it had Velcro that’s all I know. They had to Velcro my hands and legs so I wouldn’t hit the doctor so he wouldn’t hurt me. It was a time of my life when I honestly thought I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t catch my breath. They had a rubber thing in my mouth so I couldn’t bite down. It kept my mouth open so I had no choice but to stay open. After all the fighting, kicking and screaming we were all done. I walked out of the room drooling. For some reason I always felt like I couldn’t swallow. The whole ride home I would just drool into napkins. My lip felt like it was huge and as the Novocain wore off my lips started to tingle. When I got home I would always go into my mom and dad’s room and lay down watching cartoons. Whenever I didn’t feel good my parents’ bed always made me feel better and relaxed. I would fall asleep and wake up around dinner time. The numbness would wear off and it was as if nothing happened but I still had the terrifying memory of the previous couple of hours before. Every time I went to the dentist it was usually the same but they only had to strap me down that one time, thank god. Now fourteen years later, I’m the one saying, “You may come on in.” Who would have ever have guessed that I would have become a dental assistant? Definitely not me or anyone in my family. I love my job. It is so interesting and I always think of how bad of a patient I was. I know the needle was the only thing that ever hurt me but being so young and not knowing anything that the doctor was doing, just terrified me. I see children come in to my office, some who are scared, but nothing the way I was. Sometimes there are even adults that act worse than the children. I look back and I feel bad for my mother for having to bring me and for the doctor that tried to work on me. I don’t know who he is today or where he is but I bet he will always remember me as one of his worst patients.
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