Saturday, April 21, 2007

By ‘great’, I mean ‘awful’

I was dragged kicking, screaming and crying by a determined husband duly reported to the endodontist’s office yesterday morning, ready to have my abscess fixed.

It went great.

And by ‘great’, I mean ‘awful’.

Apparently, I am immune to triazolam. One hour before my appointment, I dutifully downed the ‘maximum’ dose of this stuff. This was supposed to make me ‘drowsy’ and ‘relaxed’ and otherwise not squirming around in the chair like a squirrel on a triple venti macchiato with eighteen sugar packets in it.

One hour after I took the pills, I said to myself, OK, now, granted, I am often somewhat resistant to sleep aids and also EXTREMELY anxious right now but, uh…shouldn’t I be feeling…I dunno…A LITTLE MORE WASTED RIGHT NOW?!

Because people, the ‘wasted factor’ was negative. I was about as far from wasted as I have ever been in my entire life. I was downright hyper. And nervous. And the more I realized how anti-wasted I was, the more nervous I got.

The (devilishly handsome) endodontist came in and cheerfully asked how I was feeling. I cheerfully said “Oh, I feel fine. Ha! Ha! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ha…”

Now, you must understand: this was nervous laughter. The kind that makes dentists freeze in panic. It is the laughter of a patient who may at any moment break down into outright hysterics, start screaming or kicking or biting or $DEITY ONLY KNOWS WHAT ELSE.

So he looked at me anxiously.

“Did you take the triazolam?” he asked.

“Yes, ha! ha!”

“When did you take it?”

“One hour ago! Ha! Both ha of ha them ha! HA! HAHAHA! Yeah! Ha! I don’t heh heh think they’re uh HA! working too well…HA! HAHAHAHAHAHA!”

“Ooooooooooookay,” he said slowly, looking very closely into my face. I think he was doing a kind of DUI test on me. “You’re probably a little resistant to the drug itself. This happens all the time, and what’ll happen is this: Once we get you all numb and get working, once you realize that you’re not feeling anything, then you’ll go ahead and relax and it’ll kick in and you’ll be fine.”

He said this with great confidence. I wanted to believe him, because I did not want to spend the next hour or so working at not freaking out. I wanted to spend it daydreaming. I wanted the triazolam to do all that work for me.

“Oh, OK! HA! Haha, yes, ha, I’m sure you’re right…yes, I’m sure you’re right. I had a cousin who was right once, you know, I mean, he used to race turtles. Which is nothing like dentistry of course, but the turtles used to get nervous sometimes so he’d blah blah blah…”

No, I didn’t really go on about turtle-racing cousins. But believe me, it was that absurd. I became aware of some idiot’s voice, babbling away inanely, and suddenly realized it was my own voice doing that.

Unfortunately, I can’t blame the triazolam. I do that when I’m anxious, with or without drugs in my system. I babble when I am extremely comfortable, or extremely agitated. Everybody who knows me in person wishes I would be just slightly uncomfortable or a lot less high strung, I’m sure.


I have to say, all the various kinds of numbing agents didn’t bother me much. Boy, have they come a long way in that department! They used a numbing gel first and after that? I only had one wee little squirmy moment as he injected eight! vials of various deals in there so he could take my mouth apart without getting kicked clear across the room.

Then he went away forever. Or fifteen minutes. Which, in Dental Time, is about six lifetimes.

I knit on my sock, trying not to dissolve into hysterics at my utter lack of sedation. I was so hyped, I got halfway through the heel flap, even though one of the Cocktail of Numbness had contained adrenaline, which he informed me might make me feel as though I were having a heart or panic attack.

Uh, yeah. Yeah, it did. And I’m hoping that wasn’t a lie to get me through an actual panic attack because…the triazolam still wasn’t kicking it.

It didn’t kick in as he started the cutting. Which didn’t hurt. I began meditating. “…completely relaxed…” Start at the toes, release and relax, release and relax…

It didn’t kick in as all the sanding and other ‘rrrrrrrrrowr! rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrOOOOOOOwr! Rr-rr-rr-rrr-rrrooooooooWWWWooWWWWowwww!’ noises commenced. Which also didn’t hurt. Except in my psyche, which promptly went into overdrive. I had to close my eyes and work at mediating – which of course is completely not how you mediate. RELEASE AND RELAX! RELEASE AND RELAX! @*^&@*^@ IT ALL TO @*^&@, RELEASE AND RELAX!!!!!

It didn’t kick in as he said, “OK, no, the root looks good…”

Or while there was a little more scraping and rrowwring and pushing and pulling.

Or when he added, “Hmm, well, can I get some air on this?”

Or when he went, “{mutter} microscope {something} {sigh}…”

Or when he grunted, “Well, OK. Let’s just get that irrigated and then we’ll patch it together.”

It was at this point that he began to explain that the one thing we really didn’t want to see was what he had found: the afflicted root of Tooth #3 has a fine crack running right down the middle of it.

There is nothing more to be done for Tooth #3. Its wild ways have caught up with it. It will be nothing but a bacteria-farm until such time as it is removed.


So he sewed everything back up and said, “OK, so, we’ll call you in a few days to see how you’re doing! And we’ll go from there! I’ll give you some options about what you can do next!”

I woke up this morning with a face that felt like it had been kicked by a peeved horse. And a very bad attitude. Because having a face that feels like it has been kicked by a peeved horse will do that to you, you know.

Especially if your two year old proceeds to whack you right on the stitches with a metal train.

Which reminds me, there will be a two year old boy for sale on eBay shortly. Very cute, low mileage, comes with his own train set, sippy cups and three month supply of diapers – reasonable starting price, free shipping!! BID EARLY BID OFTEN!


Amy Lane said...

I have a 3 1/2 year old...somewhat more mileage. Not potty trained yet. No nap today. Accepting best offer. (Feel better...hate dental surgery...hate it hate it hate it...)

21stCenturyMom said...

Ow oh my - OW! I hate dental work. I hope your husband has managed to keep the Captain away from you for the rest of the day and that you have been able to nap.

Unknown said...

I don't have the sedation issues, but there's nothing worse than seeing the endontist take off the gloves while saying "This is pointless. Your tooth is cracked, so if I finish this and your dentist crowns it, it's going to fail. Tell you what: since I only did half a root canal, I'll give you half of your money back."

Then, I was off to the periodontist for an extraction and implant - which cost about the same as the engagement ring that I was trying to buy at the time...

The only good part: after the extraction (where the periodontist pulled it out and said "Cool! I haven't seen an abcess that big in years" and then proceeded to call over all the interns in the office so they could check out what just came out of my mouth) it got much better. I didn't use much of the pain meds - whatever I was feeling was far down on the scale compared to what I was going through when that tooth was *in* my mouth.

Dysd Housewife said...

OH MY GAWSH! you and I HAVE to be related. You just don't come by that kind of sick yet hilarious humor accidentally. IT simply HAS to be hereditary. I laughed SO hard at this post. I actually prefer the specialist to my regular dentist, because he knocks my ass out. NO troubles with sedatives here..