Let me just try to describe yesterdays level of crapitude

A friend of mine once told me he thought my worst fear was probably getting a root canal by a clown on an airplane. That pretty much sums up my day yesterday!

New readers might not know this, but I have severe, severe, dental anxiety. I try to be logical about it and I try to tell myself to calm the fuck down, but it is what it is and without anti-anxiety medications I have been known to cancel appointments. Repeatedly. Fortunately I have a very understanding dentist office, and even though they are going through some staff changes they are very responsive to my needs. If Valium is what it takes to get me in that chair, Valium they shall give me.

Yesterday started off pretty fun. Wake up, have coffee, play a little Farmville, and then on Facebook my back-yard neighbor, JJ, drops me a message and says he’s up and to call him, he has something for me. So we meet in the back yard, he comes in and we have some coffee, Tim wakes up and they start talking programming, and I hop in the shower and get ready for The Ordeal.

So I took my lone Valium at 10 AM, after my shower, in preparation for my lovely, gentle, patient friend Jenn to pick me up and take me to the dentist. After that we were going to go to lunch and have some quality girl time. I had not eaten breakfast, having totally forgotten to do so while hanging out with Tim and JJ, so I was really looking forward to either Harry’s, or Chopstix, or really any place that had good food and Jenn and I could sit for a while and just hang. Both of us run businesses (this is Jenn’s, and I highly recommend it) and we don’t really get as much quiet together time as we used to back in The Day.

So we get to the dentists, and I start getting a little anxious in spite of the Valium when it turns out I have to have yet another new hygenist. I had the same one for about 14 years, relaxed with her to the point where I didn’t need valium for about the last ten years of seeing her, and then the anxiety started all over again a little over a year ago when she retired and I got a new one. Now there’s a third one, and I’m all NOT FREAKING OUT I AM FINE NOT FREAKING ME OK.

While she’s all up in my mouth looking at how good or bad my teeth care has been, she hears my stomach rumbling. When asked (I’m a terrible liar) I admit that I haven’t had breakfast. NOTE TO SELF: LIE NEXT TIME. This turned out to not be the smartest thing I could have done because after she looked at my teeth she decided I needed a much deeper cleaning that I had come in for – ONE THAT WOULD INCLUDE NUMBING AND HORSE-SIZED NEEDLES AND PERHAPS CLOWNS – and they wouldn’t give it to me then because I had not eaten. In the back of my head I was thinking “well this isn’t so bad because now Jenn and I can go to lunch early and I’ll just blow this popsicle stand and come back in a couple weeks” until it seeps into my ears that she has said she has something open at 3 PM this afternoon. Then all I could think of was that this Valium, which suddenly wasn’t doing much of a job being all anti-anxiety whatsoever, was certainly going to not be useful four hours later.

They promised me nitrous, they gave me a sheet for me to sign over my firstborn – I mean, a sheet that told me how much this torture was going to cost, and they told me to go have lunch and come back at 3. I did much crying and snivelling out in the car, and bless Jenn’s heart because she talked me into going back in and asking for more Valium. They offered me nitrous a couple more times and I kept crying and hiccuping hysterically until finally Jenn came out with “look, this is what she’s like and she just took Valium about an hour and a half ago. What do you think she’s going to be like in FOUR MORE HOURS? It would behoove you to get her more Valium.” I love my Jenn. More Valium it was, and we went to go pick it up and then were off to have lunch at Harry’s.

Fast-forward to back at the Dentist’s at 3 where I will gloss over my panic, crying, screaming at the needle, and hysterics (and yeah, that was after TWO Valium that day, so HELLO ANXIETY I BELIEVE YOU ARE REAL). Lots of scraping and high-pitched sounds and my iPod with Norah Jones as loud as I could get it. Jenn sitting near my feet with one hand on my leg to reassure me that she was there to take anyone down should they need killin’.

And I have to go back in a month to make sure the antibiotics they gave me are making everything that was messed up look better.

I CAN’T FUCKING WAIT.

9 comments

  1. I used to be ok with dentists. Then I had two oral surgeries, braces, an old filling crack and need crowning, six fillings and a root canal. Now? Hello dental phobia! I have more work that needs done and even a dental fund ready and waiting to pay for it. But I just can not bring myself to make an appointment. (I’m also changing dentists which is scary because who knows how tolerant they’ll be of the world’s worst gag reflex I have?)

    UGH I’m getting all scared just *thinking* about it, so I hear you.

  2. so sorry sweetie šŸ™
    here’s something to make you laugh: when chris was younger and he would get the hiccups I would try to scare them out of him, only he doesn’t do well with “BOO!” so I used to say “Chris, if you don’t stop hiccupping I’m going to have to take you to the…..dentist!”
    We still laugh about that one!

  3. I know the feeling well.

    When I was a kid, my doctor was Dr Sadistic F*cker, who repositioned novacaine needles AFTER they had been inserted (I won’t go into details, ’cause I know Lori’s going to read this eventually), pulled teeth without ENOUGH novacaine, etc., etc. As a result, I cannot remember the last time I went to the dentist. Heck, it would take four valium just to get me to make an appointment, much less show up; I would sooner charge a machine gun nest with a toothpick than go to the dentist.

    Yah; know the feeling quite well, indeed.

  4. “OK, bub, where’s the fire”
    “Officer, I couldn’t have been speeding!”
    “Yeah, that’s what they all say. What’s your excuse?”
    “I’m on the way to the dentist for a root canal…”

    Let’s hope that whatever they did this week solves the problem without further ado. I can only hope for you that they aren’t going to recommend periodontal surgery. The first time I had that done, it was Halloween. The entire staff dressed up like Wizare of Oz characters. The dentist was the wizard. A very strange experience. I’ve had to have it done three times total over the past 25 or so but all has been stable for the last 10 or so years. If I ever have to have the surgery again, I will look at the office that does it with lasers instead of knives and sutures.
    They do make me come in for deep perio cleanings every three months. If it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t doing any good.
    Ask them if they will prescribe Chlorhexidine Gluconate, an oral rinse available on the $4 list at Walmart. Regular use of that also has helped keep the pockets from re-infecting.

  5. So sorry, that sucks.

    I completely avoided the dentist for a couple of years. Eventually I went to one, and they didn’t mention anything about cavities or any serious issues, but were really really keen on getting a cosmetic fix for a small groove that I could barely see.

    A year later, I take the xrays from that appointment to a new dentist. He says I may need two root canals, wisdom tooth removal, plus a deep root cleaning. Luckily, I got out of there with no root canals, just regular fillings.

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