How to quit worrying about current problems

How many times have you sit there worrying about things you have no control over. Maybe you follow the news and you start worrying about political issues. Maybe you watch the local news and worry about the weather. Maybe you read a book and you start worrying about people around you. And of course, if you follow Facebook you start worrying that the world is gone mad. Almost every day after I wake up I turn on the television and watched several different stations and their news broadcast. Or I get up and go through a laundry list of personal issues such as relationships with my children and other family members. Sometimes, I will watch some kind of fundraiser info commercial and worry about the hungry children or in the mistreated pets of the world. It seems like there’s always a lot of stuff to worry about.
But I found a way to stop worrying about all that. All you have to do is go to the dentist and maybe have some teeth pulled. I don’t just worry about going to the dentist I have a great fear of going to the dentist. Since I was a teenager and then I became a part of the U.S. Army, I’ve had some really bad experiences at the dentist. My first exposure to Army dentist almost made me declare that I would never go again.
Well last week, I went to the dentist at the VA hospital in Shreveport Louisiana. All I thought about for the week before I went to the dentist was about going to the dentist. I went about two months ago where the dentist took a look at my teeth and gums to make an assessment of what needed to be done. I was pleasantly surprised that the dentist was a male Caucasian US-born dentist who had a private practice in the public sector for over 20 years. The facilities at the VA clinic were somewhat modern. Of course, the waiting area is still using chairs from the 1950s, and the atmosphere was still one of great concern for those sitting in the chairs.
As I went to the dentist work area I was met by a dental assistant who quickly verified who I was and reviewed the notes from my last meeting. Then she had me set in the dental chair and said, just sit down and relax the dentist would be there soon. While that’s almost impossible to do, my anticipation grew and grew and I’m sure that I began to sweat. When the dentist got there, he was positive and direct. I felt that I was in good hands and I felt confident that the dentist and his assistant would do the best they could for this to be a positive experience. Like most people, the first fear comes when the dentist takes a very long needle out and sticks it into my gum to make it numb for the following procedures. There is no way that I can look at that long needle and feel relaxed. The dentist did a great job of trying to make the initial shots in my gum as painless as possible. I don’t believe I am a big baby about these things, but there was nothing pleasant about those multi-shots into my gum. After that the dentist tells me it’ll be a few minutes before he can go forward and so he engages into conversation with a dental assistant. While sitting there waiting for my gums to numb I felt like a fly on the wall while the professionals started talking about their personal lives and laughing at the stories each one of them told. That actually helped me worry less about what was to happen. This is when the fun time starts, not really fun. The dentist takes this plier like device out and begins to probe and pull on one of the teeth that is being removed. He tried several times and then declares that he doesn’t have the right set of pliers and he directs the assistant to get a different set of pliers. I call them pliers but I’m sure they have an official sounding name. While I’m sitting there, the dentist is pulling on the tooth again the assistant keeps putting this tube into my mouth to try to suck up the fluid, mainly blood, out of my mouth. While looking up from the chair it seems like there’s not enough room in my mouth for all the activity going on. Within minutes the first tooth is out. The dentist is happy with what he sees and I’m happy that this part is over. Then he goes to take out one of the teeth that’s in the back of my mouth. Once again, he asked for a change of pliers, teeth pulling device, and he gets deep into the back of my mouth and begins twisting and pulling on the tooth. He politely advised me that if there’s any real pain that I could just lift up my hand and let him know. Now he gets started twisting and turning and pulling and I began to experience sharp pain. Before I can raise my hand, the dentist stops pulling on the tooth as he asked me not to make any loud noises, so I don’t scare the other patients in the facility. I don’t know if he said that as a humorous remark or he was serious. But I told him as well as I could with a mouth full of gauze that it was very painful. So now once again he takes out that very long needle and shoots the back-gum area around the tooth to be extracted. He shoots at four more times. Now once again I’m allowed to lay back there and tried to quit shaking and relax a little bit while the medicine takes his time to numb the gum. Once again, I get to lay back and listen to the dentist and the assistant talk about the issues of the office. This was somehow settling to me. Now the dentist begins the extraction and while pulling on the tooth he surprisingly says, God dammit. Within a few seconds he again states, dammit. I was already so amped up with all my muscles setting rigidly in the chair, but when I heard him make those remarks I really went into an anticipation of some upcoming major pain. Well now there is water in my eyes my legs, my arms and my chest or in a locked position while the assistant is continually trying to suck the liquid out of my mouth. As the dentist continues I brace myself for some more pain and trauma. During some of the procedure I would close my eyes and effort to concentrate on being calm. As I open my eyes and look up I noticed that the dentist is no longer holding a set of pliers and only the assistant is continuing to put the tube in my mouth to suck out all the liquid. The dentist then turns to his computer and begins making entries as the assistant takes the tube out and begins to clean the area around the chair. I look up at the assistant with water in my eyes, not tears, and ask if it’s over. She looked out at me and smiles and says yes is done, relax. After hearing that I realize that my legs are straight and tight my arms are down against the chair tight. It was like I turned on the switch and all my muscles began to relax. Within minutes my mouth is full of gauze and I had my next appointment with the dentist on the calendar.
So, my thought for this blog is that if you want to quit worrying about things around you like politics or family feuds or job issues, go to the dentist. Even if you just go there to have a filling taking care of you will experience some of the same things I did. I didn’t think about anything else while sitting in that dentist chair. My mind’s eye observed a large syringe stabbing my gum and my memory was of the Dennis remarks while pulling on my back tooth.
I’m not complaining about the dentist or his assistant or the facility. I’ve been to many dentists in the private sector and my fears and observations have always been the same. I’ve always started worrying about going to the dentist a week ahead of the scheduled appointment and I’ve always gotten stiff as a board while sitting in the chair. But as I stated, I don’t think of anything else. As far as the dentist himself he is one of the best I’ve ever been to and I feel confident that when I go back you’ll again do an excellent job.
So, if life is starting to overwhelm your brain, make an appointment go to the dentist. Even if the Dennis only looks at your mouth to tell you that everything is okay I believe that you will go through the same worrying anticipation before going to the dentist and while sitting in the chair. Pops

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