Surely I’m not the only one who loves going to the dentist? Makes up excuses just to go in for an impromptu appointment in between the usual twice-a-year?
Wait, let me back up. I’ve been taking narcotics for a week. (And yes, as a matter of fact, it IS the dentist’s fault.)
So last Sunday night, I had Plans for Monday. They consisted of lots of uninteresting (to you) things, like really getting busy on the subplots of my next book, diving into a new editing project, getting the kids where they needed to be when they needed to be there, etc. I’d been to the dentist the week before because of a tooth that had been making my jaw hurt for months, literally (yeah, did you really believe the beginning of this post?) and he’d adjusted my crown so that my teeth would meet better and the bruised tissue beneath the tooth would begin to heal. I’d stressed out and suffered from it for so long, but…that was over! This was the new, healing me. Time to get stuff done.
Except I woke up before 6am in Really Bad Pain. That newly fixed tooth? Yeah, not so much. I called my dentist from a fetal position at 8am. He worked me in at 9:30am. Yay, relief!
Three minutes after I got there… “Would you prefer to save the tooth or have it extracted?”
Well, let me see. How about you just take an anvil to my head? Or maybe you could run over my jaw with a backhoe?
Fine. I’ll take the root canal.
He referred me to an endodontist for early afternoon. Yes, same day service! I’ve not felt so Special in quite some time, and I sure as hell don’t care to feel it again any time soon.
At the endo, my first startling discovery is that they don’t use nitrous oxide at this office. Nor do they have any extra treats for over-anxious patients.
What. The. Hell????
So while the meek but I’m sure very nice assistant was attempting to do the “tap test” and the “cold test” on my VERY SORE FRIGGING TOOTH, I was flipping out on the inside. Problem was, there was so much swelling, I couldn’t open my jaw enough for her to do her thing. She told me Ann would be in to do the X-Ray because she was very good at doing them when there was swelling.
But instead of Ann, I met the doctor, who explained that he’d really love to give me a root canal (without laughing gas) because that’s what he did, but that my tooth was too far gone, and the infection too serious to mess around with. And would I have someone to drive me to an oral surgeon right away?
Hello, all of a sudden, driving is the least of my problems. But yep, Dad to the rescue.
Meek assistant asked me if I’d like to be put to sleep for the procedure or just numbed. Three guesses what my answer was.
We (aka Dad) drove to the opposite side of town and we waited, since the considerate doctor was working me in. I finally got called back, just ready to get rid of the pain.
Hi, yeah. My jaw hurts. When do I get to be knocked out?
Only they don’t usually knock out work-ins because you have to have not eaten for 6 hours prior. Yeah, in spite of my pain, I’d eaten lunch. (I don’t miss many meals.)
The non-meek, very appreciated assistant this time got me nitrous oxide. Doctor gave me the first shot of novacaine and it started to numb me, but I hadn’t been able to open my mouth far enough to really do any good. So he re-dosed me a few minutes later. I had warned them that I always take extra novacaine but do they ever take me seriously when I say this? Three guesses.
The doctor tested me in three spots. Do you feel this? No. Do you feel this? No. Do you feel this? OHHELLYESGETYOURHANDOUTOFMYEVERLOVINGMOUTH!
He re-dosed me yet again and I think I could feel the numbness in my toes.
And then 30 seconds later, the Evil Tooth was gone, out of my mouth, au revoir forever. The nurse let me see it so I could tell it what I thought of it (remember they had let me have nitrous….)
So I’m down one tooth and am finally starting to feel better, although I still can’t open my mouth all the way. And I know I just opened myself up to so many fine jokes.
Moral of the story? Just keep on putting off that much-needed emergency dental appointment.