Up in time for the drilling, except this time it wasn’t in the house, it was in my mouth. The appointment was at noon and we had to find it as it was my first Portuguese dental experience. I say ‘we’ because Olivia came with me, making sure I turned up, plus moral support, reassurance, comfort zone, all the things needed for someone who hates the dentist nearly as much as wasps and tomatoes. It was five stops away on the underground and we had to walk a bit till we found the building, and suddenly we were there in the one place you never want to be, in the reception area of a dental surgery, waiting to be tortured.
First, they called me into a small room where I had to put my head in a strange machine. I had to take my earrings out and keep perfectly still with my teeth biting into a piece of plastic, my hands holding on, and a pleasant nurse pushing all kinds of buttons before she left the room for the machine to take the X-ray. This whole exposure to dangerous rays also freaks me out, but like Coke Zero you have to be doing it 17 cans a day before it’s a threat, it seems that meat is a bigger threat.
So they got me in a chair, laid me down and they allowed Olivia into the room, the dentist, a dental nurse, and a trainee. It was a very public execution. It seemed that it wasn’t a crown, it was a broken tooth and it was a bit of a mess. It had taken a while to get an appointment and by the time I got there, the nerve area was inflamed, and although it wasn’t hurting so much, it all had to be cleaned up and he had put the anaesthetic needle into the nerve area and that was pain. I lay there desperately grasping onto my sunglasses as jolts of pain brought tears to my eyes and my jaw was aching from keeping my mouth open wide for so long. The drainage sucker was gurgling away and the trainee was leaning over, learning from the procedure. Three masked heads bobbing around above mine, painfully helping.
The dentist was very thorough, but he told me I had to come back twice for more work on this tooth – the other issues in my mouth will have to wait unless they start to hurt. He seemed to be drilling, pushing, and prodding for an eternity and when I came out it still hurt in the area and hours later it still hurts now. There was no free appointment till August 30th. We left, we walked a bit, me like a wounded animal. It hurt to swallow, not in my throat but in my jaw. He told me to take two ibuprofen which I did and two more later and now just before I go to bed I suppose I should take two more. I hate the dentist, but I have English teeth.
Music today has been Billie Eilish’s second, very mellow album Happier Than Ever (2021) and it makes me wonder how such a young girl can have such a mature voice. In 2020 aged 19 she sang No Time To Die, the Bond theme, and won an Academy Award for best original song, co-written with her brother Finneas, well deserved, it’s great.