When I was around eight or nine my dentist told me I had `inherited’ my Mother’s gums and would be lucky to have any teeth by the time I was fifty!  Far from encouraging me to go for regular check-ups, this piece of information resulted in my complete avoidance of the dentist’s chair.

Considering my love of cake and that I use my peripatetic lifestyle as an excuse for not signing up to a dental practice it is a wonder that at the age of forty-eight I am not sleeping with my choppers in a glass by my bed!

Unfortunately, after an incident with an apple, I have always thought they were the work of the Devil, I had cause to seek out the services of a dentist and it transpired I would have to have my first ever extraction.  I was disappointed, I wanted to reach fifty and metaphorically stick two fingers up to my childhood torturer, sorry, dental practitioner saying, `See, I still have all of my teeth!’

The morning of the `extraction’ dawned and I focused all my attention on the animals in mycare.  I managed to turn up for my appointment fifteen minutes early and buried my nose in a magazine praying I would be forgotten, I wasn't.  Dead on nine fifteen I was shown into a clean, bright, pleasant looking room with a large leather chair in the center. Scenes from The Marathon Man and memories of watching a dachshund having a rotten fang removed appeared unbidden, before my eyes. Being a huge coward when it comes to needles, I made sure that my gum would be `numbed-up' before anyone went near me with a hypodermic.  The Dentist and his assistant were very patient, especially when at one point I tried leave the room! I had been hyperventilating and wanted to get off the chair but all the blood had rushed to my legs making me dizzy.  

"You're looking a bit white,"  I was told, "We'll just tip the chair back and raise your legs." I hadn't even had the tooth out!  After three injections and enough anesthetic to immobilize an elephant the extraction took seconds and was completely painless.  I lay drenched in my own sweat, and asked if it was done.  I never expected to use words like fantastic, brilliant and amazing on learning that it was all over but I was heavily medicated!