Just a quick post today…it’s the first week of classes so I’m swamped, but this latest experience was too good to resist posting.
Those of you who are following this blog know about my amusement with my cochlear implant’s interpretation of sound. I blogged about how God seemed to speak through my church’s organ and I also posted my “Top 10″ list of best and worst sounds. Well, now the latest installment relates to a visit to the dentist for a filling.
I used to live in Boston, and my dentist there would laugh because I was the first patient she had ever seen who could fall asleep while getting a filling. While I now realize this may have been partially due to undiagnosed sleep apnea, my dentist and I agreed it was probably due to the fact that I couldn’t hear the drills in the dentist’s office. She and I agreed that the worst part of fillings is the Novocaine shots, but after that there shouldn’t really be any pain if the dentist knows what she (or he) is doing. As a child, I used to have off-the-chart anxiety before going to the dentist, but a series of talented dentists have eliminated (or at least greatly reduced) my fears of these nice people who just happen to love teeth.
Do you think of the dentist like this?
Or do you shudder and picture the movie Marathon Man, with Nazi torture dentists?
I went to the dentist on Friday and was a little nervous about the drill, knowing that actually HEARING a drill like a hearing person may be a truly horrifying, fear-inducing, ear-shattering experience. So imagine my sweating palms when my dentist comes in. She’s the sweetest, gentlest dentist I’ve ever been to, but the sight of her sent shivers down my spine. I warned her that this was my first filling with the cochlear implant, and she assured me that if the sound was too awful, we could stop, and I could put the implant in my pocket.
I survived the Novocaine part without too much ado, but then she picked up the drill and my shoulders tensed. Imagine my surprise when the dentist drill made me think not of smiling elderly dentists, not of Nazis, but of this:
That’s right! Dr. Cookie Monster! The drill sounded like cookie monster’s famous cookie-eating sounds of “NOM! OM! OM! OM!” with the deep graveling voice of Cookie Monster, but just slower: “OMMMM! OMMM! OMMM!”. Then every once in a while there was a noise that I suppose was kind of an electronic whine, but my implant thought it sounded like “AHH!” like when Cookie finishes eating and sighs contentedly. So the drilling became “OMMM! OMMM! OMMM! AHHH!”
(For those of you adult hearing people who haven’t heard cookie monster in a while, there’s a YouTube video about his cookie eating at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cqz9ZXUoUcE. The video’s automatic captioning is as horrible as usual, if you’re deaf and hoping to watch it. I couldn’t find a single captioned video of Cookie, unfortunately!)
Obviously I started laughing, which is difficult to do with numerous dental instruments in your mouth and two people working to fix a filling in a tricky spot. We had to stop, and then when I imitated the sound and explained myself, the dentist and hygienist also started laughing. I’m still wondering what people in the adjacent rooms thought was happening…
I am also amused by the thought of Cookie Monster showing up in the dentist’s office, given his fondness for sweets. Maybe that makes sense somehow – karma is warning me to stop eating cookies? I have started Weight Watchers, so maybe my unconscious is trying to tell me something?