Zen and the Art of Dentistry

What a week! I have been building up and worrying about this week ever since I realised everything that I needed to do in it. I had a haircut, went to Clozapine clinic, went to the GP, had therapy and the biggest of all, the DENTIST. I always worry about the hairdresser in case I get a bout of nausea half way through, Clozapine clinic is manageable. I sit in a separate area because I find the smell a bit stressful and as with all waiting rooms I find the germ potential mind – blowingly enormous. The GP was my usual begging session – “are you sure there is nothing you can do about my anxiety?” I ended up with hand cream to use as soap so my hands aren’t so dry. This will involve a new hand wash regime, trying to convince myself my hands are clean not using soap. It could be very anxiety provoking. The doctor said the cream had antiseptic qualities so hopefully I can trick myself into thinking my hands are clean.

The biggest of big things was the dentist. I think I may have mentioned a trip a few months ago, well this one was the big one – having a crown fitted. I managed drilling, having a mould made and having a temporary filling cover. As you can imagine I was scared but between the dentist and my mother we made it through. We put Madonna’s greatest hits on the CD player and I just lay back and prayed I would be ok. The good thing about my dentist is she explains everything so I know what is happening step by step and feel comfortable with it. She was gentle, considerate and told me if I wanted to stop any time just let her know. She showed me all the instruments she was going to use and gave me a trial run of what the impression-taking would be like – without the gunge but it did give me an idea of how it would feel in my mouth. She also told me how long everything would take and gave me a running commentary on what was happening at each stage and what would happen next. I also find the music helps. I know Madonna so well that instead of thinking “man, I’ve got someone with a whooping great drill in my mouth”, I concentrate on the words and of course pray. I think the dentist is very difficult for people on the spectrum cos the whole experience is rather overwhelming and overloading with different experiences coming at you one after the other and finding a dentist who understands and has possibly done some homework about autism is vital. When my tooth first started to hurt I wasn’t seeing the dentist I see now. He said it would have to come out but since seeing my parents’ dentist she’s saved the tooth and made the dental experience just a little easier.

To cheer everybody up after thinking about the dentist here is a photo of me – you’ll have to trust me on this because I’m in my fantastic motorbike gear and so unrecognisable! I am 20 and living in Glasgow. I will tell you more about my biking adventures soon.

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