by Sue Huggans

I had a really funny thing happen on the way to my dentist. My MAP team gave me a good laugh, which was just what I needed.

It was time to face the music and meet with an oral surgeon to discuss the removal of all my teeth, to be replaced by dentures. I was feeling really sorry for myself and close to tears as I started the drive from my home to his office. I decided to open up a MAP coning right then, which I often forget to do once I'm in the doctor's office, and I knew they would want to hear what he had to say. Once the coning was open, I told them where I was headed and that I was feeling such grief at the thought of no longer having my own teeth. I asked them to be present for the appointment, but also asked if they could do anything to help me feel less sad. I told them that I knew they couldn't really work on me while I was driving, but asked them to do whatever they could. I really didn't want to break down in tears in the doctor's chair.

As I drove, I thought about my need to understand that I overdo things, including my emotions. Everything is so much worse for me than it is for the next person — to hear me talk about it. I realized that, after all, having dentures is a very common thing and not the end of the world. Truly, I am a very passionate person, and this was just me (or perhaps MAP) giving me a reality check.

The radio volume was turned down and I could not hear it. I suddenly got the idea that it would be nice to have some music to soothe me. In hindsight, I'm positive that was a suggestion from my MAP team. I leaned forward, turned up the volume, and the first thing I heard was ". . . don't cry, they don't cry. Big girls, don't cry!"

They had given me a really good laugh while letting me know that I wasn't alone, then or ever.