This is a post about fear free practice and veterinary medicine, specifically as it relates to cats...
An Allegory That is Also a True Story
I needed the first root canal of my life done. Then redone.
Then I needed a second root canal done over four visits.
I am terrified of dental visits. I don't know why. I am in favor of oral health. Nothing bad has ever happened to me at the dentist. I have a fairly high pain tolerance. I like people. I like comfy chairs.
My fear is unreasonable but very real.
The first visit, I adjusted my anxiety medication in preparation, and that helped.
The second visit, I brought Tiny Eeyore. I asked the hygienist and doctor at the end of the visit if they would laugh at a patient who needed a stuffed animal for comfort. "No, of course not," they both said. I took Eeyore out of my pocket, and they both laughed. I did not mind.
The next visit I brought Big Eeyore, and Dr. Belling put Animal Planet on for me.
The final visit (I do not plan on having further dental issues), Nolan asked where Eeyore was and I pulled him out of my pocket and smiled.
Every visit, they told me exactly what they were doing, thought I did not understand everything. Every step of the way, they were kind and patient and made sure I was doing okay. I felt as though I were the most important patient in the world to them, and truly, at the time of the visit - at the time of each patient's visit - I suspect that is true.
Thank you guys. I have told my entire family it is safe to come out for dental care. Thank you for not asking me to be brave. Thank you for being patient and kind.
I honestly love coming to see you now, though Eeyore and I plan to spread it out to every six months or so from here out.
If you need a dentist recommendation...
Dr. Belling and his team at Summit Dental Health in Dundee and Bellevue are excellent.
Post from one year ago today...
November 21, 2015