Diary · The Anxiety Chronicles

The Anxiety Chronicles | Wisdom teeth nightmare part 1

Long story short: I have a phobia of doctors. And I need to get my wisdom teeth pulled out. I’ve known for almost one year, but life (& anxiety) has stopped me all this time. There’s no urgency, from what my dentist said, but I still feel kind of dumb for avoiding it for so long.

In all honesty, life really got in the way. After doing my x-rays in january 2017 and hearing back from my dentist, who said I needed to remove at least the bottom ones, I asked for some time because I was in the midst of preparing for my last few university exams, writing my final dissertation and doing my internship. When I was finally free, at the end of 2017, I went to get my prescription to go do a 3D dental scan, which would help my dentist decide the best way to take the bad boys out. My grandpa got sick soon after that, and the following months were the most chaotic and stressful of my life. There was no room in my brain for anything, let alone surgery, so the prescription ended up sitting in a folder in a kitchen cabinet until… well, today.

In the past couple of weeks, my mouth has started feeling weird (not painful, but… weird) and I have been getting frequent headaches. Nothing dramatic, but it has made me realise I have been ignoring my wisdom teeth for too long and that they are definitely pushing and begging to be noticed. After postponing it for ages, on Monday I finally took the courage to make that call and book an appointment for the 3D scan. Even just talking about it on the phone gave me horrible anxiety, even more when the hospital lady told me that the procedure would take 30 minutes instead of the 2-3 minutes I thought (turns out she was wrong, probably mistaking what I had to do with something else, but it was enough to send me in full panic mode for the rest of the day).

The day of the appointment came around, and this morning I woke up feeling extremely anxious. I tried to talk myself out of that mental state, remind myself that it was probably gonna be super quick and absolutely painless, that I would just sit there one minute and finally tick this too off my scary-things-I-gotta-do list. I knew my anxiety was completely irrational and unmotivated and I knew I was gonna be perfectly fine and that, in a way, made me feel sort of angry at myself. Why on Earth was I feeling like that, unable to even have breakfast or drink a cup of tea, if I was conscious there was no need to?! Why is anxiety always stronger than logic and rationality?

I knew I had no other choice but to try ignore the sick feeling in my stomach and go out to do what I had to, so at 10.30AM I sat in my car, took a deep breath and drove downtown. It was a gorgeous sunny morning, so I told myself that if I did well at the hospital I would reward myself with a trip to my favourite book store right afterwards.

And it did go smoothly. I sat in the waiting room for 15 minutes, and smiled at myself when the lady sitting next to me told me that she had arrived there 2 hours early because she was just too nervous (see Alya, you’re not the only one who’s scared). The doctor I was sent to was a lovely, super kind young woman who made me feel completely at ease, joked with me and explained the procedure so that I knew exactly what was going to happen. It was incredibly quick, and before realising it I was already walking out of the building with a paper saying to go back next week to pick up the results.

Feeling a lot lighter, I took a stroll through the city center and bought Murakami’s new book Killing Commendatore, which I have been waiting to read ever since it was published. I drove home happily, kind of proud to have survived this silly phobia of doctors and hospitals and hoping this will be one more step in the direction of completely getting rid of it. One day, I’ll get there. I know once the time of pulling these wisdom teeth out comes, it will be a lot more painful and stressful, and I am so not looking forward to it. For today, however, I will try to not worry about it, and celebrate this tiny, maybe silly victory. Alya 1 – Phobia of doctors 0.

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