It took me a long time to realise that I had been living in the shadows; although I had survived everything I was not really living.
I can’t really recall the exact moment when it hit me but I do remember that this time last year (March/April 2015) I began to realise things needed to change. It was around this time that I carried out my usual “spring cleaning” session and I came across the envelope that my Grandad had given me before he died – it contained money that I had promised to use towards getting my broken tooth fixed; I remembered my long overdue promise to get the work done and I felt bad about that the fact that I had failed to keep my word. I swore to myself that before the year was out I would fulfill my promise.
My first port of call was good old “google” I tried to search for my old Dentist, Dr X, to see if I could re-engnage his services but I couldn’t find him listed at the Dental Practice I had been to all those years ago, nor could I find any listing for him at a Practice in the nearby area. I dropped an email to the Practice to ask about him but received a terse reply saying that he no longer worked there.
My next step was to try to search for a local Practice that would deal with a nervous patient – a quick google search brought up a number of potential options and I sent an email to the nearest one to make enquiries “on behalf of a friend” who suffered from cPTSD as the result of childhood abuse. They politely replied with an offer of a twilight sedation service which terrified the life out of me as I knew I would not be able to undergo sedation – I’d had a horrific anxiety attack after taking a sedative that had been prescribed for back pain a few years prior, my GP believed this had been due to my previous history with drugs whilst under the influence of P & Co and I was advised that I would be better to avoid them altogether. I sent a reply to the practice to ask if there was an alternative to sedation and was told that the only other option would be to receive treatment under general anaesthetic but that they would be unable to offer this service.
I tried another google search and this time I came across the most helpful site ever – Dental Fear Central I found a wealth of information here including a very informative section on dental phobia in abuse survivors as well as the forums which are full of wonderfully supportive people. It was through this site that I found recommendations for a couple of other Dental Practices in the area. Thanks to the encouragement of the people on the forums I managed to visit two practices to collect information and eventually plucked up the courage to make a new patient appointment at one of the practices and thus began my very long road to recovery.