We All Get Stressed

My dentist doesn’t want to treat me any more. The anxiety and difficulty I have with procedures is causing him stress. The dental office manager says a patient’s stress produces stress on a dentist, making it more difficult to care for the patient. Perhaps, says, the manager, another dentist will do?

Stress? Really? Or maybe the real reason is that the practice overbooks, not giving the dentist enough time to deal with an occasional phobic patient. Or perhaps the dentist didn’t have any patience to begin with. Here’s an idea: the dentist should get professional, get back to work, or get out of his damned trade.

Stress. We all deal with it. A mom raising kids by herself is stressed around the clock. She can’t neglect her children or pass them on to someone else because she is stressed. An EMT or a tow truck driver sees horrible things at an accident. They have jobs to do, however, and they all get on with their work. We all have to deal.

I had a  badly needed job that was so stressful it gave me anxiety diarrhea before every shift. For three years I took a double dose of Imodium before going to work. That prevented having any “accidents” on the job. When I  could finally quit that job, I did. But during that time I managed. I had to. We are all stressed at different times.

I didn’t handle that office call well. I blew up. I ended up yelling at the office manager. Stress? My Dad and his colleagues handled stress trying to save people’s lives. They were even more stressed, perhaps, when they had to tell a family that their loved one had died. That’s stress. But professionals carry on.

My Dad referred many patients to specialists or others when treatment required care or knowledge beyond his ability. Although I was not in his office throughout his career, it is inconceivable to me that he passed off a patient to another doctor because he was stressed. You finish what you start. That may be the first rule for engineers, but it applies to medical practitioners as well.

I am now in the difficult position of finding another practice to take on my case, my dental implant procedure now incomplete. I’m not sure another dentist can do that. They may become liable for a problem they didn’t create. My former dentists are in San Francisco, so I’d have to fly from Las Vegas to get treatment there. I am considering this. Stress. Again, get professional and get on with it. Like the rest of us.


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By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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