Last week, I finally had my first visit with a health provider since I quit. It was my regular dental checkup and I was so looking forward to it. I assumed that my dentist (who I’ve known for 30 years) would give me all kinds of praise; that they’d close the office to have a big party in my honor; and that they would give me free checkups for life. Well, OK, maybe not those last two things. But all I got was a “If that’s the case, we may be able to save those 2 teeth I’ve been telling you are goners”. He just said it so matter-of-factly, with no hint of praise or congratulations. Hmmmf! I’ve been stewing about it for a week. I should have figured. My wife and I refer to our dentist as Mr. Cantwell (for those of you too young to remember, he was Kevin Arnold’s science teacher on “The Wonder Years”) So, the deal is, I’m being fitted for a “Night Guard” that will keep me from grinding my teeth in my sleep. No guarantee, but he’s fairly confident my teeth can be saved that way. I asked why we hadn’t tried this before, and he told me the smoking would have made it a waste of time.
So today I had my fitting. My dentist came in and asked how the “no smoking” was going. I assured him I was still quit and planned to stay that way. His assistant (who was new, and the one who does the real work of the fitting) broke into a huge smile, told me she quit 3 years ago, and congratulated me over and over. We began excitedly trading stories of our quits and were having a grand ole time, when my Dentist finally interrupted us and asked, “Am I needed here?” We told him no, and continued to have a great conversation throughout my fitting. She walked me out to the reception to set up next appointment, and told all the staff out there about my quit, and the congrats began all over again. Still no free visits offered, but paying this morning sure wasn’t as painful as it usually is