Through the eyes of a carer for someone with a mental illness

The Dentist is now a privilege

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I constantly feel like I am fighting and fighting for everything at the moment and to be honest I am so tired of fighting that when I went to the dentist to make an appointment this morning and was told I had for the second or maybe even third time been taken off their patient list, I didn’t want to have to fight anymore. I was half expecting it after having to miss my last appointment; you know the bank holiday weekend… yeah it was on the Tuesday after that and I spent most of my time in the hospital and a lot of that without any means of communication at all.

I should be used to it though, after all I have already had to write them a letter and meet with the manager before to get myself back on the list, they have it in writing about my situation and while I understand they are running a business I cannot always adhere to their cancellation rules. Today I feel like going to the dentist is a huge privilege, something that someone, like me has to accept that I will always have to fight for. As if it wasn’t bad enough I had to miss it and have been in pain it is now even worse I need to find a new practice, further away which will add even more stress and problems into the situation.

This morning I pushed the pushchair into the empty waiting room of our surgery, I held my hands up and apologised for missing my last appointment the dental nurse once again said she was pretty sure I had been removed from the list, before asking my name and checking, indeed I had. All I could do was turn around, the feisty Sarah who fights for Chris long gone and the Sarah who struggles to get her own needs met reduced almost to tears. I didn’t want her to see I was upset, I didn’t say anything, turned the pushchair around, pushed the button on the automatic door and left. As the cold air hit my face, so did the rain that had started to fall. I couldn’t hold my tears in anymore, I pulled up my hood to protect my hair from the rain and began to cry.

Luckily there was no one around, I walked out of the gated car park and onto the pavement, where I stopped and made a couple of texts. You might wonder why I was crying at what seemed something so trivial, it isn’t, when you spend your life fighting for anything, you spend nights awake with toothache and can’t do anything about it because of caring responsibilities and then when things finally settle down you cannot see a dentist anyway because they lack any compassion and understanding to your situation that they are actually aware of it is far from trivial.


Author: acarerseyes

I am a mum to four gorgeous girls, and a carer to my former partner of eight years, Chris who has a mental illness, BPD. I blog my experiences.. life is tough! We live in Greater Manchester, UK.

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