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I went back to the dentist on Wednesday, still feeling sore and ill. Don’t worry reader, I am not a gore bore – no horrid details will follow.

With one swift look my dentist decided to take the tooth out there and then. Eek! I said. I have never had any dental treatment other than scale and polish and seals, so it was scary. I am lucky to have a fantastic dentist who is also very nice, so he reassured me and swiftly gave me several injections. I went back into the waiting room where I sat nervously shaking. The lady sitting next to me also reassured me that he was a good dentist and it was all worthwhile. “I’d rather have my three bairns again than go through toothache,” she said. I often find advice from strangers oddly reassuring. In Glasgow strangers are often happy to chat and I’ve been given some rare thoughts at bus stops and in waiting rooms.

With my mouth gradually numbing I found myself thinking of Lea, recovering from DVT and a stroke. With my drooping mouth and lack of muscle control, I realised how helpless she must feel. I only had a tiny insight into what she was going through, but I felt ashamed for being so nervous over a temporary ailment. I was still shaking badly, though apparently the shaking is a result of the injections – made worse by my anxiety. I went back in – and it came out with one pull. I am embarrassed to admit I cried, then screamed – but my dentist assured me I squealed a second before the extraction. The thought of getting the tooth out is obviously worse than the process itself!

I felt rather odd for the rest of the day, I am not sure why – perhaps I was slightly shocked about the extraction, or the anaesthetic had left me giddy. A couple of people told me there is a form of cocaine in the injection – I have no idea if this is true. However, I do remember a story my sister told me many years ago….Suzanne was working for a community project interviewing drug addicts about their habits. For taking part in the interviews, the addicts would receive a can of Irn Bru and a Mars Bar. She met many interesting people and heard some amazing stories. One man told her about his experiences at the dentist. He went to get a sore tooth out. Afterwards, he went home and injected some heroin, getting the best hit of his life. He realised the anaesthetic combined with heroin was making him super-high. So, over the next year he kept returning to the dentist, getting teeth removed and going home to get his fix. During the interview with Suzanne, he took out his false teeth and opened his gummy mouth. “See?” he said, smiling.

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