Monday, March 9, 2009

The Dentist's Office

One question has changed my relationship with my dental hygienist forever. It seemed like such an innocent question. At my check up a couple years ago, she asked if I was taking any medications. I answered truthfully that I was taking Prometrium (a progesterone supplement). Instead of respecting the patient’s right to medical privacy, she began to ask questions.

What is that? Oh, why are you taking it?

Out came the story. Yes, we are TTC. A test showed I have low progesterone levels which are needed to support a pregnancy. My dental appointments have now become more like a visit to the hair salon, spending a little girl-time gossiping about what is going on in my personal life. Of course, I never say too much since my mouth is pried open most of the time!

I like my hygienist a lot, but this is not a relationship I had anticipated having with her. To make matters worse, the dentist’s office doesn’t have any doors and the walls only reach about ¾ of the way to the ceiling. So, I can hear anything that the people in the room next door to me say (sorry to hear about that cracked tooth, sir) and they can hear me. My self-conscious tendencies get the best of me and I imagine that they are just waiting for me to walk out so they can catch a glimpse of this mystery women.

On my last visit, it was time for my annual x-rays. A woman I had never seen before came to the waiting room and asked if I wanted to have x-rays taken during the visit. When I responded yes, she said, “Okay, Liz (my hygienist) told me that you were trying to have a baby, so she wanted me to check to see if you wanted x-rays or not.” Luckily the waiting room was pretty much empty at the time. I could only respond as cheerfully as possible, “no such luck in that department right now.”

My six month check-ups are now reminders of our lack of success in baby-making. I sure never thought there would be a connection between the bedroom and the dentist’s office! Does God have a plan for this unanticipated relationship that I am in? Perhaps the office staff or the person in the next room is a middle-aged man with no interest for such topics. A young woman who isn’t even thinking about marriage right now, much less children. Or maybe it is a woman (or husband) that finds a bit of comfort knowing that they are not the only people struggling to have a child. Sometimes our lives are touched by people who don’t even know it.

“For we all fall short in many respects. If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also.” – James 3:2

“Set a guard, LORD, before my mouth, a gatekeeper at my lips” – Psalm 141:3

“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do”. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Reflection Questions
1. Has anyone touched your life without knowing it? Perhaps a stranger you have observed, or a person you hear about from a friend or a news story?
2. Are there any boundaries that I need to set when speaking about my personal life with others?

Lord, give me right judgment in revealing myself to others; comfort and humor in times of embarrassment, and openness to the leadings of the Holy Spirit in my conversations. Thank you for those who have touched my life – especially for those who will never know the comfort they offered me.


  1. I am not sure about the setting boundaries question. I think that I am an open book so I share openly. Life is most beautiful when one endures suffering. Some people around me can't handle the fact that I am infertile and it makes them uncomfortable. I have distanced myself from the 10am Mass where I thought I had "friends" & aquaintances. There seemed to be some misunderstanding about my infertility. I was coming off as selfish when I was unable to attend a baby shower. I needed to grow up because it will happen for me one day, it's just not God's timing. (those were not my words of course)And before I was diagnosed with Endo. So I wonder if it's all in Gods timing now that a DISEASE was removed? :)

    So I have backed away and the 10am Mass that is for family's. We are a family but that is not recognized by the mainstream folks. I think it is also where people judge harshly. Once I spoke about my problems conceiving in at the church is when I was met with judgement. That is the only place where I have backed away.

    Other than that, I am very vocal with the fact that I am infertile. I think 3 1/2 years into it I have nothing to hide. It's my beautiful cross and though it causes hurt and pain, I don't hide it. It has helped build the foundation of my marriage. :)

  2. Your blog has touched me...sometimes it is my own thoughts that I see in your words... keep on writing!