When the dental hygienist walked me into the treatment room this morning, I panicked, froze in the doorway, and started to shake and cry.
It hit me like a punch in the face.
I thought I was doing so well as I filled out all my forms in the waiting room and handed them to the people behind the counter. They called my name and I walked with her down the hall, feeling my heart pounding.
I just stood there sobbing like a child, trying to catch my breathe in complete horror that I was a) at the dentist at all and b) now making an utter fool of myself at age 30 over a consultation. They weren't even doing actual dental work today.
And then the hygienist did probably the best thing in the world and it made all the difference.
She hugged me.
Like a full on bear hug.
And I hugged her back, sobbing like a idiot on her shoulder.
She reassured me, told me wonderful things about the dentist, and told me everything was going to be fine.
And then she lead me to the examination chair and put an episode of FRIENDS on the fancy TV hanging from the ceiling above my head and gave me headphones so I could hear it and drown out the sounds of the rest of the office.
It's like she could read my anxious, flipped out, horrified-to-be-in-that-building mind and she totally halted my doorway anxiety attack.
She knew exactly what would put me at ease without me having to say a word and I was able to calm down enough to get through the rest of it because of those tiny actions (that might not have meant much to anyone else but that made a WORLD of difference to me).
I don't think anyone has ever been so kind and understanding at any of the clinics I've been to in my wretched dental past. Which is probably one of the reasons I have so much trepidation about the whole thing in the first place.
Her actions were so kind and so meaningful to me, that I'm almost afraid I imagined her and that when I go back and they'll be like "yeah, there's no one like that who works here" and then they won't let me have the good drugs when I get the rest of my tooth pulled.
But if she actually does exist, I think I should bring her flowers or at least a card to let her know how much her kindness and intuition meant to me.
Every single dentist's office in the world should have someone like her on staff. I don't know how much you have to pay a guardian angel to be a dental hygienist, but whatever it is, it's totally worth it.
I'm blogging daily in November. Thanks so much for reading. Subscribe at the top of this page to get new posts in your inbox.
Edited to add: A friend mentioned to me that she might be the assistant and not the hygienist. I didn't realize there was a difference, but either way, she was an amazing whatever she was :)