Adventure at the Dentists

The same day I had my left CI activate, I also made a visit to… the dentist. If there is one thing I’m scared of, its dentists. I had called ahead a week and scheduled the appointment, informed them I would need an ASL interpreter, and was told that would be no problem. Making the call was hard for me, and I was imagining how difficult it would be actually going. With my CI’s, although I can hear and understand fairly well, when I am nervous, upset, scared, hurt or otherwise indisposed, my comprehension goes from good to absolutely pitiful. For this reason I needed and wanted an ASL interpreter.

 

I was able to muster the courage to go to the dentist, it was only because a friend of mine was going with me. When I arrived, signed in, I was then informed, there would be no ASL interpreter for the first visit… because… “there was no communication” in that first visit. Not only was I scared, but now… I was livid. The one thing I was counting on to make this visit at least a little bearable was that I was finally going to be able to understand what was said, 100%… That didn’t happen. The dentist was a jerk, he talked down to me like I was a child, I only understood about 30-50% of what was said… and that was only because my friend was helping me. I decided to show him why an ASL interpreter was necessary, I turned my voice off, and started just signing, he looked petrified. He told me that they didn’t schedule interpreters for this appointment because about 50% of them didn’t happen. I informed him of other options than a live interpreter for appointments where they don’t know if it is going to happen, such as VRI from companies like Purple or ZVRS. Then I got xrays that hurt like heck and scheduled a second appointment to review. I was mad, and I was very close to not going back.

 

When I talked with my partner, who had visited this office, I was told, I saw the wrong doctor… so I called and changed the appointment to the right dentist, and hoped for the best. I told them I would REQUIRE an ASL interpreter, and informed them of the law.

 

Well, Monday I went, and… there WAS an interpreter… I have to say being able to take my Cis off, and not having to hear the drill like I did before my hearing took a complete nose dive, and not wearing my hearing aids during the appointment to attempt to understand, but being able to SEE what was said… made the appointment much much less evil. I have to go back and have a bit more done, but I finally got my front tooth fixed I damaged when I was young, it seems it was damaged to the point where it needed a root canal.

 

I have to say… it wasn’t as bad as I had thought. The best thing was being able to understand everything, and STILL be in complete silence. When I didn’t have to use my HA’s to attempt to understand what was being said while he was in my mouth, but instead could take my CI’s off and see everything that is being said, I felt much more comfortable.

 

I have another appointment next Thursday… and thankfully with this dentist at Comfort Dental, Dr. Abe Miller, was nothing like this… which is how I picture all dentists.

 

2 thoughts on “Adventure at the Dentists

  1. You are so brave to go to the dentist on the same day of activation! Activation took so much out of me. It’s a 3 hour appointment here. We have to go over every little thing, and adjust things (I’m not good at telling how things sound….it just doesn’t sound right yet. So we struggle a bit.) And of course, hubby asks a ton of questions, and I have to have them repeated because I was turned off at the time and didn’t hear it….oh what an appointment. I ended up coming home and crashing!

    I hate the dentist now too. I used to enjoy going. Yes I know, strange. But I had great teeth and really all they did was clean them. Now after having an illness that makes you throw up a lot, my teeth are showing the wear from the acid. So things are harder, and since I know very limited ASL, it’s very hard. Especially since the dentist has to have a mask on. But hubby is in there, and he reminds the staff, over and over, “she needs to see your mouth to understand you” they have even started doing little “signs” for me to do things. Yeah, it’s a good office.

    My biggest fear, and justifiably so, is vertigo! I cannot be in the chair when they move it. in one room there is a big window and I can see a tree outside, if the wind is blowing, I will get sick. So they close the blinds. But ALWAYS, at least once, they will forget and move the chair without telling me so I can sit up and not feel it. Ahhh! That used to bother me when I didn’t have vertigo!
    So I always have to take a Valium before going (it’s good for vertigo, not just nerves. and I just take a small amount)

    Dang-it, I need to go to the dentist too!

  2. Pingback: Adventures of a Deaf Adult | How the time passes, a new year

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