Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Root Canal - I Don't Need No Stinkin' Root Canal

Yesterday was my root canal date. Five minutes after I started driving to my appointment the tooth started throbbing. There was some instant motivation to get it fixed!

I arrived at the dentist, checked in and filled out the requisite reams of paperwork.

There was a soothing fountain and mellow music. My tooth stopped hurting quite as much.

They took me back to the chair. The dentist asked if the tooth hurt. I told him yes because I had forgotten my Motrin. The assistant brought me six-hundred milligrams worth.

The dentist reclined me. My sore shoulder started hurting. A five-year old sneaking in your bed every night tends to cause all sorts of back pain. It must be that small patch of bed I get relegated to while he sprawls.

The dentist checked the tooth for pain by tapping it. We verified that it did indeed hurt. He asked if I ever tapped it myself. I resisted the urge to ask why the hell I would want to do that and instead nicely replied that I tried to avoid the tooth.

He put the mask on my face and told me to breathe through my nose. The assistant put headphones on my ears, turned on the television above me and gave me the clicker.

I tried to breathe through my nose but it was really hard. The majority of my childhood was spent catching every available cold/flu germ and I am a mouth breather. But I tried. It was just oxygen at first. Then he added the gas.

Holy guacamole! It smelled horrid. I felt like I was drowning and I couldn't get a breath of fresh air. I was instantly dizzy. Instead of the calm I had hoped for I had the feeling one gets on their twenty-first birthday just before they pass out on the bathroom floor.

I said, "I can't do this!"

They let me up. The dentist asked me what it was about the process I didn't like.

"Is it just the numbing?", he asked.

"No," I blurted loudly. "It's the numbing and the sound of the drill and having my mouth open..."

He was looking a little irked so I tried to ease back on the hysteria a bit.

He said he had another patient to attend to. Could I wait and we would figure out what to do.

So I sat and waited. He came back and he wrote me prescriptions. I take one pill before bed, one pill an hour before the appointment and two pills once I get there. He said I probably won't remember a thing.

But what if my panic overrides the pills? I am so damn petrified that I won't be completely numb and I'll feel that drill. What if the pills don't work? What then?

In the meantime, I've told my husband that if we dressed up for Halloween, I know the perfect his and her costumes.


Minus the stethescope of course


Blogger Ms.L said...

Awwww:( You are not a chicken.
You had a bad experience before remember? AND I bet you this doctor threw you off with his stupid question. Who the fuck,taps a sore tooth,never mind has a whole irritating conversation with his patient about tapping said sore tooth??? You simply lost all faith and trust in him and acted accordingly.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

Yeah, who taps a sore tooth?

For what it's worth, I had to get a root canal in 6th grade (I fell off my bike, landing squarely on one of my front teeth, which killed the nerve inside), and it really didn't hurt at all. The root canal, that is. The accident was kinda painful.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Ms. L - Hee, I am so a chicken. One bit of pain and I start clucking. LOL

Bearette - I guess he wanted to make sure he de-rooted the correct one? It does seem like the x-rays would have told him though. He was a very gentle tapper though. :-) The fact that you sat through a root canal in 6th grade underscores how pitiful I am. That must have really hurt when you fell off your bike. Ouch!

9:14 PM  
Blogger Smart Ash said...

Awwwww, don't tell me this... I go in for a root canal tomarrow morning... I am scared shiz less...

9:36 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Smart Ash - Sorry. :-(
I wasn't always this way. Just had a bad experience with my last dentist.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Oh, you poor thing. Maybe you could consider the root canal a pleasant alternative to something much worse? Like Paris Hilton winning the presidential election?

5:43 AM  
Blogger Chris H said...

That gas does smell god. damn. awful... I have had lots of it! Now when I have to go to the dentist (havn't been in about 10 years from fear!)... I get a needle in my arm and go to sleep! Works for me!

1:05 PM  
Blogger Chris H said...

OH and that's from someone who dreads NEEDLES as much as the dentist, but the needle is better than that bloody dentist!

1:05 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

I came across a blog today that I thought you might like...

They have a recipe for mac and cheese!

1:18 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Liz - I'd rather see Paris for President than go to the dentist. :-O

Chris H - I'd rather have a needle in my arm than a needle in my mouth.

Bearette - Thank you. YUM!

1:44 PM  
Blogger Smart Ash said...

It wasn't bad (the root canal). Though, he did *finish* and then took x-rays and he decided it wasn't packed good enough so he drilled it out and did it again... but I couldn't feel it and I had my iPod so I was okay-- for the most part. I got extra numbing stuff per usual... the dentist told me I needed to take valium before I came because I am so anxious I burn off the anesthetic almost as fast as he can put it in. (Not sure how true THAT is...) Anyway... I did it-- so can you!

1:45 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Thanks Ash. Maybe I'll load up my MP3 player so I can't hear the drill. Ugh.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Undomestic said...

You can do it. Really you can!!!!!

6:49 PM  
Blogger Sarah O. said...

Chicken? Heavens, if having surgery in your mouth while you're wide awake doesn't freak you out a little, you're clearly clueless.

I just found your blog - and I'm glad I did. Our blog lists are frighteningly similar!

1:22 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Undomestic - Thank you for the encouragement.

Sarah - I will have to come check your blog out!

9:02 AM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Aw, gee. It only hurts for a little while (according to me).

6:11 PM  
Blogger Gingers Mom said...

I had a root canal last year and did the exact same thing. I am sure the pills he gave you are the same mine gave me. And I slept thru the whole thing. Hang in there pal!!!

8:58 AM  
Blogger Sarah Louise said...

Caro, love the Hallowe'en costumes. Hope the root canal thing goes/went well.



9:54 AM  
Blogger MsCellania said...

Are you done now?
And yeah, what idiot taps on their horribly aching tooth?!

4:51 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Old Hoss - Even a little while is too long. Yikes.

GM - Thanks for letting me know. I love hearing from somebody who has been there.

SL - That big pretend needle on the dentist/doctor costume strikes fear in my heart.

MsCellania - I'm scedhuled for the 20th. No tooth tapping going on here. :-)

9:38 AM  

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