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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Six More Degrees

On Thursday, we went to our dentist for our twice a year visit with our dental hygienist. Let me start by saying that ever since I was a kid I’ve had a fear of dentists and all the attendant drills and discomfort. My first dentist was not destined to win any awards or honors in dentistry and it was no fun for my first 14 years. Then I began going to a great dentist. Unfortunately, it fell to him to repair what had not been done properly by the first quack guy. So even with a great doc it was still tough going.

Chuck has been going to the same dentist office for over thirty years. Not long after we were married I switched to his. We always had our teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist named P. She was very understanding and sympathetic. The dentist, Dr. W., was also a good guy and very skilled. But when he first tried to work on my teeth to repair a tooth which had previously had a root canal and was now snapped in two, he found the tears streaming down my cheeks and my constant trembling somewhat disconcerting! He immediately wrote me a prescription for Valium/Diazepam, which I took faithfully in advance of all future dental appointments. But as the years went by, I was able to stop medicating in advance and became pretty comfortable on my twice a year visits to see P. for a cleaning.

Then P. retired. I’ll admit I was scared. But I managed to show up for my first appointment with the new dental hygienist N. sans medication. (Yes I am patting myself on the back.) Turns out both Chuck and I had been very happy with P., but N. was a revelation. She was terrific - pain free, friendly, outgoing, gentle and extremely knowledgeable. And she was perfectly happy to continue the practice begun with P. where Chuck would stay in the room with me while I was in the chair. In fact, N. invited me to stay in the room while Chuck was in the chair. It works out great because while the patient has dental tools in their mouth the “guest” can continue the conversation with N.!

So on Thursday, at some point during the nearly two hours of dental attention and conversation, we got to chatting about Law & Order. All three of us are fans and we all agreed we liked the late Jerry Orbach in his character as Lennie Briscoe best of all. That was when N. told us her husband had once cooked for Jerry Orbach. Now, just to prove I must still have some residual dental anxiety, it wasn’t until much later, when Chuck and I were in the car, that the penny dropped and I realized that thanks to N., I’m just three degrees of separation away from Jerry Orbach!

15 comments:

dancingmorganmouse said...

My dentist, back in my old home town, was Dr Bubear. No way you can fear a chap called Bubear.

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
No! Dr.Bubear? What a wonderful name.
Although I imagine he may have received a certain amount of teasing on the playground as a child!
;o)
- Lee

Ilva said...

well Marco once saw a dentist in Switzerland who was called Dr Mengele, do you want to switch??

Roo said...

DMM's comment reminds me of agreat kids book called "The 13 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear.. a great read for us adults too.

I'll leave all the dentist comments for today's post.. apart from I'd have Bubear before Mengele...yikes!

Roo said...

I think I have mine -
1) you and I link to each other's blog, therefore making Barack Obahma my first link.

2)He is from Chicago and i know a guy called Kent hat moved to Chicago.

3) Ken used to be engaged to Hannah

4) Hannah is Peter's Step-sister

5) Peter is the same Peter that I married

6) I live with Peter and write a blog, you link to that blog.....

So does that work?

Pink Granite said...

Hi Ilva -
Eeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!!!!!
I have no idea how Marco had the courage to make and keep the appointment!
I'll happily keep my dentist and hygienist!
;o)
- Lee


Hi Roo -
Thanks for the recommendation of "The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear"!

Now, in answer to your question about Six Degrees of Separation, I'm not sure how to put this, but, no.

Unless in your comment you left out the part where Kent met Barack Obama (even just said hi to him in a grocery store or something) while living in Chicago.

Let's say Kent rode in an elevator with Barack. That means you know Kent (1) and he met Barack (2) so, in that scenario, you'd be just two degrees of separation from President Obama.

By comparison, you and I count as a link or one degree. I'm three degrees away from Barack Obama, via the state senator I know (1) and his connection to our governor (2), who is friends with Barack (3).
Following that path you are four degrees away from President Obama.

The connection may be fleeting or lasting, but just living in the same city doesn't fit the pattern.
I hope that all makes sense!
Thanks for playing!
;o)
- Lee

Roo said...

bummer ;o)

Sue said...

That's so cool!!!! Since my last experience with 'the' dentist, I'm not sure that I'll be going back any time soon. Definitely not to that one anyway!! Glad you had a good experience.

Sue x

barbie2be said...

that makes me 4 degress from lennie! still in the intimate circle.

i too had an evil dentist in my childhood. he once broke off a needle inside one of my root canals and left it in there. then i found dr. g who treated me for the next 25 years. alas he retired and i have bounced around between 3 or 4 dentists but last summer, i found my current dentist. i love him. he is funny, he talks hockey with me, his team of assistants are amazing, and he never hurts me. :)

the best part is his name. it's dressman. i just love that.

Pink Granite said...

Hi Roo -
Bummer indeed!
But maybe as you commute back and forth to work you'll suddenly slap your palm to your forehead and say "Eureka! I've found my Six Degrees!"
;o)
- Lee


Hi Sue -
Your trip to the dentist was quite the adventure! I think I would have preferred a root canal - much less complicated!
;o)
- Lee


Hi B2B -
Yay Lennie!
Man it sure is a crapshoot out there when it comes to finding a really good dentist.
So glad you've found another good one!
;o)
- Lee

Wendy said...

I am still wracking for my 6 degrees I must tell you. It seems I know NO one!
Your dentist sounds lovely. I had 3 years of orthadontal work so I am not that keen but not scared. At our local shops in Cape Town I saw the little dentists sign outside his offices. Dr Payne how unfortunate for him, I really belive changing his name is the only answer.
In the meantime i will keep searching
xx

Pink Granite said...

Hi Wendy -
Oh poor Dr. Payne! But I still think he is way ahead of the game compared to Ilva's report of the terrifyingly named Dr. Mengele!

As I said to Roo, I'm sure one of these days you'll be making snow angels with Lily and it will suddenly hit you: "Hey, I met So and So at that party five years ago!"
;o)
- Lee

Sue said...

HAHA - it seems that Wendy knows the same dentist I do...

Anonymous said...

Ok I hate the dentist too..I would rather go to the "female" doc anyday, then go to the dentist...I was scarred as a child too because of my childhood dentist...mom if you are reading this you know who he is :) I have a great dentist in Newport now who is gentle and understands my fear...fyi..I have never seen Law and Order..I know it's sinful:)

Pink Granite said...

Hi Sue -
That infamous dentist's ears must be burning!
;o)
- Lee


Hi Carrie -
You and your sister have both had some dismal dental experiences. I'm so glad that now you both have managed to find competent, talented and gentle dentists!

Never seen Law & Order??? I'm amazed! How did you manage to miss it? Between first run and reruns of all the various spin offs it's on practically 24/7. Of course that just means you have lots to look forward to!
;o)
- Lee