Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I hate going to the dentist

I was feeling pretty crappy yesterday morning, so I chanted (very loudly cause of the jet plane fans in my kitchen) and declared to the voices in my head to shut the fuck up and off I went to the chiropractor (good), then the dentist (bad, very bad).

When I was a teenager, I ran into my old dentist one day. Behind our house lay a ditch and then a rising hill and beyond that lay the sprawling parking lot to the local hospital. I often cut behind our house to walk to the strip mall about 15 minutes away. He was driving a Porsche and stopped me randomly to ask directions. He didn't recognize me, but I recognized him. With every filling in my head, I recognized him. What I really wanted to say hey, you gave me so much pain I'm traumatized forever. Every single time I saw you apparently I had a cavity. Instead I gave him directions so he could drive the Porsche that we paid for to wherever he was going.

Now I know the man didn't mean to traumatize me, he did his best I'm sure, but now I have a nervous shakes in the dentist chair. The year I was to go to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts - the acting school of my dreams! - I had a bad tooth. It required a root canal. I asked my dad for the money to fix it as being an adult now, my mum's health insurance didn't cover me any longer. She had already taken a loan out to pay for the first year. The only money I had saved from my waitressing jobs was to go to this school. My dad turned me down. I asked the dentist how much to pull it and he said $35. $35 it was. School of my dreams or my molar. Easy choice, but every time my tongue finds that space, I am reminded of that choice.

Oh, I still go. Periodically. I might go more often if my insurance covered me better, and I didn't have to pay up front first. Lately, I've been passing with flying colours. Until last month. A little cavity. A little but deep cavity. So being the year that I get nasty things over and done with, I made the appointment to get it taken care of. And of course, I forgot about it until they called me. I do have a consistent habit of forgetting medical appointments that I truly dread.

Anyhoo, I warned my new dentist - I keep switching in hopes of finding the magical one that won't keep reminding me of the gold mine that lies in the missing molar on my right side. They do it every single time. I keep telling them no, it's never going to happen. My insurance won't cover it anyway. I can barely sit through a cleaning unsedated. I had taken an ativan, ONE being wholly insufficient as I sat in the chair twisting the remote in my hands. I made it through, they were lovely and patient with me, there wasn't even any pain, but at one point the sound of the drilling and smell, I put my hand up, and I took a time out to calm my hyper breathing and wipe tears from my eyes. I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to go to the land of Bodhisattva Doesn't Cry in the Dentist Chair. Honestly, I'm such a suck. I had eggs removed from my ovaries with a giant needle for crying out loud. I've had 2 HSGs!!! It's a good thing I'm not a spy, if the bad guys came at me with a dentist drill, I'd fold quicker than Superman on laundry day. When I came out and paid the friggin bill, guess what I heard. Construction drilling noises in the mall. Big fat haha on me, Universe. See ya in 6 weeks, fat chance!

Determined to get on with the rest of my day, I took my frozen face out in the bitter cold and picked up my mum to bring her over for dinner. She still had a chesty cough, but she seemed excited to come over for a visit. I turned off the jet airplane fans and made a nice supper, which I could eat in small bites, but eventually the numbing wore off and OH. MY. GOD. The pain set in and even the spit in my mouth was too cold. Tried Tylenol #3. Waited, tried to be patient while my mum kept making comments through the movie we were watching. Then another. Now losing the power of speech. Not working. My husband bundled up my mum, who didn't seem too concerned about me - thanks mum - and by now big fat tears are splashing out of my eyes. But deliverance awaits in the oxycodeine I had squirrelled away from last year. I don't think they go bad.

Take effect it did and by the time hubby had returned, he esconced me in bed with a hot water bottle and made cow eyes at me. Oh, blessed relief. By 11:30, I was flapping my gums, you know I'm feeling better.

You can root around my uterus, but leave my mouth alone.


OHN said...

DS, you made my palms start sweating! I AM NOT KIDDING! When you mentioned the drill and the S.M.E.L.L. How come people don't ever mention that awful burned tooth enamel smell???

I have the same reaction to my lovely and kind dentist (still kinda new to me so I am giving her a chance).

As a child I had a dentist SLAP my face..long story, I should post it.

One dentist I went to used nitrous oxide..good shit. I was still scared but I didn't care ;)

Honey...I truly DO feel your pain.

luna said...

ugh. me too, I hate it. desperately need some work one but can't bring myself to do it out of fear and trauma.

funny, when you said you "ran into" your dentist before, I kind of assume you crashed your car into him.

Guera! said...

I don't think you meant this to be funny but it had me laughing. We found a wonderful dentist here who
really focuses on pain management and I will never switch again. Cincinnati is probably too far for you to travel to go to a dentist though huh? In the field I am in we have learned that people will change medical doctors before they will change dentists after having found one they are comfortable with. Good thing you had the oxycodeine on hand...that's good stuff!

Wordgirl said...


I have a lost molar on my LEFT side.

I have dental work looming -- as does G -- but we had to parcel it all out. This is one of those issues for me that reminds me of so much.

I watched a movie once that opened in a dentist's office -- and it wasn't a horror movie but it may as well have been for the anxious response it got from the audience!!