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  • iaindryden1

Facing firing squads

The mind-body relationship is amazing, as I’ve explored in my soon to be published book, ‘Settling’. Sitting in the shade of a hot supermarket car park, after some minutes of relaxing, I fell into conversation with the man next to me. Simply the pressure of talking to a stranger when not feeling well, caused my mouth to bleed.

Four hours earlier, I’d walked around our garden wondering if it was the last time, appreciating it, adoring my wife who was busying herself for the same reason. An hour later, I had to tell the dentist that avoiding an anaesthetic was vital. She didn’t listen, she was searching her computer for my medical record, and missed the point, and talking non stop in that Mediterranean way. I had to raise my hand, say! “Listen, this is important. I trust you, but you need to you know that it is possible that if things go wrong, as you warned me seems highly likely, a general aesthetic could kill me.”

She was already stressed and I increased it ten fold; her eyes expanded like a rabbit’s. I later discovered their computers had been down and a patient had got angry, shouting at the dentist. On top of this, she was also treating a child in the next room who had serious problems and anything could go wrong. No wonder the dentist was tetchy ... and then I entered flagging the possibility of my life threatening situation.

Understandably, the poor woman was short with me as we ping-ponged, she telling me I could pull out, me stating there was no option but to go ahead. She reiterating the very likely bad outcome for my broken molar had shattered badly, ensuring a difficult and nasty extraction at best, at worst hospital. I again repeated, twice, that I trusted her.

Each of her six jabs hurt my tooth infected from the week’s wait, but I ignored them. I was told to sit in the waiting room for fifteen minutes, where I began trembling badly. I’d expected her to get on with it directly, but here I was having faced the firing squad, being told to wait. I did the stress exercises outlined in my book and calmed.

The extraction was tough, as she’d predicted, but she managed with my distressing exercise helping enormously. Afterwards I teased her, saying she obviously went to the gym to strengthen her pull. She admitted she did. We laughed and I told her how grateful I was.

In that hot car park, waiting for my wife to buy gazpatcho, I bled profusely, but was OK. What relief I'd not gone to hospital for what could have been be for me, a lethal general anaesthetic! Imagine how I’d felt earlier in the day, knowing that potentially fateful scenarios were an expected possibility. I’d faced the bullets and lived! That's five times medically in the past four years, four others in the past thirty. OK, yesterday not so dramatic in the end, but I'm amazed how I keep being able to mentally cope during these edgy life threatening situations.

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