So I had to have this root canal done.
That statement alone is enough to make a person cringe. The fact that I’m pretty much terrified of the dentist just compounds it.
Let me just stop and say that while it’s awful…I’m glad for it. Because the alternative is not having a tooth anymore, and who wants that? And that I’m glad I did it, because while I’m still sore…my tooth feels better. Now.
I chipped one of my molars a few months ago. When I went to the dentist to have it fixed….he told me that he just didn’t know if a filling would do it. I believe he mentioned the words ‘nerve exposure’. But he put some medicine in, hoping to heal it, filled it, and we hoped for the best.
Only….it still didn’t feel any better. And last week, it started hurting all of the time. Being that I’m leaving the country, and don’t want to have a dental emergency while I’m there (or be useless because of pain) I hurried back in to have it looked at again.
I was hoping he would have some magical fix…but he did not. He was, however, able to get me in to an endodontist within a few days though (an almost impossible task), so that’s something.
I was so busy that I didn’t really have time to be nervous about the appointment, until I was driving to the office. Once I got there, it was a very pretty, calm, relaxing building. All of the equipment looked state of the art, computerized everything. Fancy.
A very comfortable chair in fronts of a great big window. (Which only overlooked the parking lot but a window)
The doctor was very nice, and quick to get started. Getting numb is always the worst part….two quite painful shots to the gum. But I sucked it up and told myself the worst was over…then waited for everything to go numb.
Only it didn’t.
So she tried again. Two more shots. Even more painful, since they went in the exact same spot that was still sore from the last set. Wait a few minutes…..then still nothing.
One more shot, then she decided that maybe I really was numb, I just didn’t know it.
So she set to work.
If you’ve never had a root canal before….then you don’t know the distinct pleasure of this….thing…they put in your mouth. It makes total sense, gives the doctor a clear field and makes it to nothing can get in the tooth while it’s open and cause problems later.
While it does keep all of the….drool….from getting in that one tooth, it also encourages it to come out of your mouth and all over your face. And there’s not a thing you can do about it. Lovely.
Since I really, honestly wasn’t numb at all, it wasn’t long before I had to beg her to stop.
She then uttered a statement that I wish I could un-hear. I mean, really, I did not even know this was a possibility.
“Okay, I’m just going to inject some anesthetic right into the inside of your tooth. Little pinch!”
Erm, no. Not so little.
Then we began to do this dance. She would do a little work, doing whatever horrible things that they must do to the inside of your tooth to perform a root canal….until the pain would overwhelm me and I would bat her away from my face. She would try a shot of stuff straight into my tooth again (“little pinch”) and go right back at it.
The whole while, I’m trying to reason with myself. Since all the shots aren’t helping (and they are hurting) isn’t it better to just try and stick out the pain of not being numb? That sounds very reasonable and all….until she would….I don’t know….pull on a nerve ending or whatever it is they do in there.
So there I am, laying in this very comfortable chair….in front of this very pretty window. To the PARKING LOT. Where people are parking their cars and walking around and probably watching me.
Watching me while I’m drooling and crying and trying not to physically abuse this doctor. Lovely.
I will say I didn’t cry much. Mostly because I convinced myself that if I did….I’d probably drown in my own snot.
In front of a pretty window to the parking lot.