I’m terrified of going to the dentist. It’s nothing against dentists themselves, just fear of needles in my mouth, fear of pain, fear of drills in my mouth, fear of needles in my mouth (did I mention that one already), fear of being flat on my back at the mercy of someone with needles and drills and drills and needles in my mouth. You know. Owieful stuff. So yesterday I went to the dentist’s office to get one filling and two temporary crowns. I was brave and bold!
The dental assistant put the numbing gel on my gums. All too soon (I really think it may have been a bit too soon), the dentist came in with his needle and started with the injections. “This may pinch,” he said. Ha! I laugh in the face of pinches! But it didn’t pinch. It hurt like hell. And he did it again, and again, and again, and again. I think there were five. Or six. I lost count, because I was kind of grunting or groaning or something, because it hurt so damn bad, and then he asked me to try not to make any noise, which is when I barely managed to hang on to the about-to-burst-forth-in-full-panic-attack-mode panick attack until he was finished. When he did finally finish with the bloody shots and left me for a few minutes so the numbing process could complete, I was shaking and crying–it was horrible. NOT what brave and bold women do in the dentist’s office. Fortunately the crying was silent, not loud gasping sobbing, and I managed to get control of myself relatively quickly. But I’ve never experienced something like that before, and it completely freaked me out.
So he did the prep work for the first crown. Unpleasant, but not bad. Then he started drilling for the filling. Um, I don’t think I’m supposed to be feeling any actual pain here. I politely raised a finger, and he immediately stopped. “Are you feeling this?” he asked, and I nodded. So of course I got four or five more shots. Damnit! And once again he promised pinches–which I laugh in the face of–and delivered pain. But I didn’t have a panic attack that time, and I didn’t grunt or groan. No, I bore it stoically, only weeping on the inside. And I didn’t complain vocally when he kept telling me to open my mouth wider, even though I tell you all that I have a small mouth, and it can only open so wide, and I didn’t whine when they were all finished with me and I discovered a crusty chapped painful spot on the right corner of my lips where the latex and everything irritated my skin.
But I’ve been whiningly complaining today because my damn mouth still hurts. A lot. Yes, I’ve taken Advil, and yes, I know I’m being a baby. I’m still on soft foods, because it’s still so tender on this side. I didn’t get to have the yummy roast last night that Joe so thoughtfully cooked in the Crock Pot. I had sugar-free Jell-O and part of an Odwalla smoothie for dinner.
Anyway, it’s all a process. I’m glad to be getting my teeth fixed, even if I am horribly embarrassed about yesterday’s panic attack and even if the teeth on the right side of my mouth do hurt today. I’m getting the shakes just thinking about my February 12th appointment, so I’m not really sure how to handle it. On the 12th I get my permanent crowns, and have to get another filling and another temporary crown. Oh joy! More shots! More needles. More drilling. If I’m shaking just thinking about going, what’s going to happen when he gets that needle in my mouth? Am I going to fall apart completely?