Tuesday, February 7, 2012

People who early learn the right way to choose a dentist have their reward. ~ Mark Twain

Let's continue the saga, shall we? Because dental work is too much fun not to share.

I went to see Dr. Calm yesterday afternoon and I enjoyed myself so much, I stayed and chatted for 90 minutes. I'm lying. I stayed. We chatted, but I wasn't enjoying myself.

He asked if I wanted to take off the temporary crown without Novocaine. Because I am stupid  optimistic, I said we could try. The girl touched my tooth with a chrome instrument first introduced to the world during the Spanish Inquisition. Literally: She touched my tooth and I said NO, this isn't going to work.

Dr. Calm offered to give me the evil drug via the same method he used that blew a hole in my gum. I looked at him like he had lost his mind. I don't know how imposing I can look when I'm flat on my back staring at a poster on the ceiling about how much I need fluoride in my life. But I tried.

He got out the cartoon needle and he stuck me way in the back of the jaw not once, but two times. I was numb from the middle of my ear and across my cheekbone, down to my jaw and across exactly half of my mouth. Then came the surprise: Underneath the crown was fine.

There's some inflammation around the root, but not enough for a root canal. So after putting the permanent crown on, the girl/woman/female/not male assistant began to floss around it and just guess what happened?

There was cement fixed between the surrounding teeth. So picture in your mind the dentist of yore, standing on your thighs with a wrench trying to pull out a tooth and you have some idea of how I felt, in pain already, with the dental floss being yanked upward while the tooth is being pressed upon to keep it from flying up to hit the ceiling and cracking. On both sides of the crown. I'm telling you that we went through this twice.

I'm thinking by now that it's a good thing I like this dentist and I still don't think any of this is his fault. But I'm also thinking he's probably hoping I don't tell anyone who he is.

Knowing that chewing is out of the question unless I want to awaken the next day with ground hamburger for gums, I drink chocolate milk through a straw. Only my tonsils are numb and I almost drowned. I waited awhile and tried again. Once again, drowning in chocolate milk only sounds like it might be fun. I gave up and went to bed.

At nine o'clock, I took three Advil because I can feel the evil drug wearing off. I must have fallen asleep because at eleven o'clock my eyes flew open and I thought I was pretty close to death. Holy mother of suffering and agony, I mean to tell you I said things I don't normally say. I thought things I don't normally think and I wrote (in my head) a scathing blog post about pain as I imagined life 100 years ago, 200 years ago, 5 million years ago and how people with a bad tooth must have wanted to jump into the nearest pond or off the closest cliff and who could really blame them?

Bad teeth = probably the biggest reason for social calamity up to WWII.

I thought of drugs that I wanted to magically appear. I prayed for any drug in the medicine chest, but nothing short of general anesthesia would have comforted me. I took one more Advil and a half of an Advil PM, got back into bed and tried to stay calm. I must have fallen asleep at some point because all of a sudden it was after midnight. I felt a bit better and wondered if my liver was going to make it through the night if I took more Advil. I wondered if I would be able to wake up taking a PM pill so late at night. In the end, I slept again.

And after all that? I feel pretty OK today.


Rose said...

Oh my goodness--I don't know what to say. What a time you have had. Maybe some other time I could laugh at the humor in this, but right now it isn't even making me smile.

Rose said...

I have always wondered how people stood toothaches in earlier times, or how they had the courage to have one pulled...also, have wondered what people did about kidney stones.

Rambling Woods said...

oh no..there is more? I had a root canal last year and I medicated myself first and that was a very good thing..it hurt..but I was so drugged that it didn't bother me as much.. Oh hugs..many hugs...

Lauren said...

Oh wow, nothing is worse than tooth pain.

Lauren said...

Hope you're ok, I am writing b/c I need your address for a thank you for Cycle. Can you em me? Lauren@foodtrainers.net. Miss your insightful comments too.