Falling Apart

I suppose it’s the sad lot of all over 50s – facing the fact that you are starting to fall apart.

It all started a few weeks back – a routine check up at the dentist. Hardly my idea of fun. Just being in the chair, even before treatment begins, I’m trembling with fear. And then “Open wide”, and the masked dentist starts poking around in my mouth with those “picky” and “scratchy” instruments of torture.

“Hmm” says the dentist after a few minutes of picking and scraping.

“Paradontitis” she announces.


“Gum disease.” and she tells me to go an see a specialist before all my teeth fall out my head.

Off to the the specialist who also announces that my teeth will probably fall out my head unless …

He gives details of a lengthy and expensive treatment that involves PAIN.

“Never mind. We’ll put you to sleep. You won’t feel a thing” he says very unreassuringly. It’s the “put you to sleep” I don’t like.

“Just a local anesthaetic.” he says

But I hate needles and injections and I wonder what it is that makes people want to become dentists. How many kids want to be dentists when they grow up? Who wants a job  that involves poking round in someone’s mouth and basically causing them pain?

The next “pain” comes with the estimate for the treatment. “Ouch”. I had been planning on a new computer and a new TV and …  Oh dear. Heatlh comes first.

So, this is an investment in my health. This will be money well spent to stop myself falling apart, but humans are like cars. No sooner will I et tis problem sorted than something else will drop off.

Money apart, what really made me flinch is the idea of months and months of dental appointments. Still hours and hours in the waiting room, might give le a chance to read. What about Zadie Smith’s novel “White Teeth.”

And what do you do after a man in a surgical mask tells you all your teeth are going to fall out? Well, I went out and bought myself the biggest steak possible for my dinner – best enjoy it while I still have teeth to chew.