Phobias and Anxiety: A Story About General Anaesthetic

Everyone complains about the dentist: “it hurts!”; “I don’t like the sounds!”; “my jaw aches afterwards!”. But no one’s fear could come close to Mark’s. When Mark was eleven, he had a bad experience with the dentist. He didn’t want to get into it, but suffice to say, Mark had never been back.

Thirteen years later, and Mark noticed that food kept getting stuck in between two of his teeth. The possibility of a cavity terrified him; that would mean he’d have to see a dentist!

Mark put it off and put it off. It wasn’t until three months after he noticed the hole that Mark saw an article in the paper about a dentist that specialised in special needs. She offered general anaesthetic for her dental treatment. Mark felt his heart lift; general

Autism: A Story About General Anaesthetic

Lisa was scared. She was in a strange place with lots of lights and sounds and smells and people rushing back and forth. Mum was holding Lisa’s hand, reducing her fright.

The doctor came up to them. “Hello, Lisa. How are you feeling?”

Lisa hummed. She was scared, but she knew this doctor. He was going to help her go to sleep.

“We’re ready for you now, Lisa. Would you like to get on this bed for us?”

There was an uncomfortable looking bed beside Lisa. She did not like it. But Mum was there, holding her hand, and the doctor was smiling. Lisa knew that this would be good for her, so she climbed onto the bed. She lay on her side so she could see Mum, still holding her hand.

“Thank you, lovely,” Mum said.

A nurse came and helped the doctor push the bed forward. Lisa startled. She rubbed her hand back and forth across her neck, feeling the hum of her voice through her throat; the repetitive motion helped. 

“Gorgeous girl, it’s all right,” Mum said, firmly holding her hand.

Lisa tried to stay calm. They pushed her into a room with a lot of people and machines. It was very bright. Lisa didn’t like it.

But the doctor was there. “You’re fine, Lisa. We’re going to do this slow and easy, and I’ll tell you what I’m doing before I do it? I hear you’re a fan of Frozen.”

Thoroughly distracted, Lisa didn’t mind much the blanket fiddling and the hand touching. She didn’t like the thing they put over her nose and mouth though; it was smelly. But the doctor had warned her, and Lisa was excited about her new Frozen watch.

As Lisa’s eyes slowly closed, she felt calm. She knew that she would be better after this, that her tooth wouldn’t hurt anymore.

The doctor was smiling. Lisa wasn’t scared.