Thursday, 16 June 2016

Getting my teeth into it

I've mentioned before that I find it really hard making phone calls*. And I don't mean that I forget, or can't find the right number, or any physical, practical reason. I mean I am paralysed into inactivity by anxiety. I will literally do anything other than pick up a phone. This is why the cat has nowhere to go in August when we go on holiday. This is why we don't have a new patio. This is why the central heating still makes a strange clanking noise. This is why I haven't been to the dentist in two years. I don't mind going to the dentist. My teeth are in reasonable condition, my dentist is friendly and good. But I have to phone them to make an appointment, and I've somehow let 2 years slip past.

But now, prompted by the fact that I really need to get LittleBear registered at a dentist, and by the fact that I will pick up the phone for LittleBear's well-being when I'm quite prepared to neglect my own, I phoned the dentist.

And do you know what happened?

I got lectured by the obnoxious, snooty, holier-than-thou bloody receptionist.

Apparently since I haven't been for two years, I don't deserve to go any more. And they're not accepting new NHS patients at my dental practice, so I'd have to register as a private patient. But just this once, she'll graciously deign to allow me to have a dental check-up as I'm entitled to under the National Health Service that I pay for. As long as I never, ever, ever leave it so long again. So now I'm really pissed off at being told off by someone who is employed as a public servant to help people, and I'm pissed off that my own anxiety and inability to phone for an appointment created this situation, and I'm pissed off that if they have a policy of denying you treatment after two years then the least they could do is send a reminder to that effect. And, worst of all, I know that I'll find it even harder to phone for an appointment next time, because my fears of "getting into trouble" have been realised, and I'll dread the thought of it happening again.

For those of you who don't know what fear and anxiety and panic feel like: my hands are sweating and slightly shaky, tears are welling up in my eyes, and I'm battling to hold myself together, just from one conversation with one receptionist. I already don't want to go to the appointment because I'll have to check-in with the same receptionist. I'm already dreading making another appointment in 6 months time. I just want to cry. I want it all to go away. I don't want to have to talk to other people. I don't want to be me.

I did get an appointment for LittleBear though. So that's something.

* I seem to have mentioned it more than once: here, here, here and here


  1. oh my goodness. I just found your blog (procrastinating by following comments from A Natural Scientist), and I could have written this (except I don't have a child to motivate me to do stuff. Is it bad that I sometimes wish I did have a child to make me do stuff like this?).

    Why are some receptionists so mean? Why does anxiety make one feel so ill one adds hypochondria, what-will-everyone-do-if-I-die-right-now, will-my-cat-eat-my-body-and-have-to-be-put-down-because-she-has-a-taste-for-human-flesh worries to the perfectly real and reasonable fear of strangers being unreasonable and being Told Off?

    Blog-twins syndrome!

    1. Welcome! I think I found A Natural Scientist by procrastinating my way around blogs. It's as good a way as any :)

      Having a child is a double-edged anxiety sword - it gives me LOADS more things to be anxious about, as well as giving me the impetus to have to overcome some of them. And I hadn't even started worrying about being eaten by my cat... damn... now I have a new thing to worry about...