Thanks for Everything, HRH Dalai Lama!

I am a fainter. No really, I am.

So, I was sitting in the chair at the Dentist’s office with my heart racing. The dental assistant and I were waiting for Dr.Dentist to arrive. I was about to have four wisdom teeth extracted. If you ask me, wisdom teeth were wrongly named. Everything about them is dumb. Good riddance, stupid teeth.

I could have gone to the oral surgeon to have them taken out. I would have been nicely asleep for the whole process. I choose to stay awake and get them yanked at my regular Dentist’s office. Why? Going somewhere new and different and being “put under” scared me. I didn’t want to have to drive far. Much easier for me to drive just a few minutes and sit in a familiar place. Even if it meant being very very much aware of what was going on. Ugh.

I was given headphones and a remote. Melanie, look up, look way up. Oh look, There’s a TV with Seth Rogen on Ellen. Technology is a very nice distraction. My biggest fear was fainting. A very legitimate fear that always felt like it was seconds away from happening. Deep breaths and staying calm was my mission. TV was a great start.

As the procedure began and the discomfort and unsettling pops & cracks could be heard and felt, I was happy to close my eyes and listen to Interior Designers discuss the latest bathtubs and lighting fixtures. As the tugging and pulling continued, I had to dig deep inside my soul and find some calm. I pictured the Dalai Lama and his pleasant countenance. I imagined runaway slaves enduring hardships as they found they way to freedom on the underground railroad. I envisioned what people had to endure in the 1800s when they had toothaches. My mind wandered to the millions and billions of people who have suffered more than I ever will sitting in a clean, sterile, dentist’s chair. I thought of Anne Frank. I pictured the artwork of Katie Daisy. I silently cheered on the dentist. “You can do it! Almost There! One more yank and you’ve got it! GANBATTE! Let’s do this thing!”. It was a bold approach I thought. Then it made me a bit queasy to be so involved. So I sank back into my stillness and tried to meditate once more.

I only had a raise my hand a few times. Usually when I thought my jaw was about to break. Only once when I could feel too much. Finally, I opened my eyes and the Dentist told me were all done. Wahoo!

Then I went home and the real fun began. Ugh. I only fainted once. Aren’t you proud of me?


Meditating on these images during my extraction.



One thought on “Thanks for Everything, HRH Dalai Lama!

  1. Miranda says:

    Mel, I had to have a root canal, not as bad as an extraction, and thought I was going to pass out in the chair, as I hyperventilated. Argh, I feel your pain. I had to focus on the lights above, counting the dots on the glass….to focus on my visual surroundings helped me calm myself, but wow it was hard work.


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