Friday, October 15, 2010
In which, I get a root canal on a Friday
I don't know what possesses me sometimes. Yes I know, it's that time of year. Haunted spirits, ghostly apparitions, eerie music.....That's not what I mean though. I don't know what I was thinking when I scheduled a root canal on a Friday before noon.
Dentist: so hey when do you want to do this?
Me, clearly under the influence: HEY! HOW ABOUT NEXT FRIDAY, YAY!
Maybe I was looking for an excuse to stay home and do nothing on a Friday.
Dear Tiffany, you don't need an excuse. If you want to stay home on a Friday, do it. Don't be so dramatic.
The usual dread didn't overcome me until, oh about 10:30a when I needed to get ready to go. You know this feeling, right?
The common sense side tells you, "you won't feel a thing, be a good girl and get in there and take care of your teeth".
The panic, don't-make-me-go side tells you, "oh my God he's going to climb inside my mouth and wreak havoc on every root and nerve I have and I'm going to DIE.FROM.THE.PAIN!!!!!"
Don't be ridiculous I said to the latter. I won't feel it. I have a high threshold for pain anyway. Bring it, I can take anything you dish out! Suddenly I hear the theme to Rocky playing and I opt to wear work-out attire, rather than jeans, a t-shirt, and flip flops (my standard uniform when working from home).
Like everyone else probably does, I brushed my teeth twice as long before I left, flossed, rinsed several times with that refreshing mouthwash he gave me on the last visit, and.....off I go. Armed with coffee (so much for refreshing breath) my phone, purse, keys, sunglasses, and an attitude that spoke volumes about how this wasn't going to bother me in the slightest.
Why, on days where you're not headed towards the most fun thing in the world, is the weather just beautiful? Coincidence I suppose. But seriously, today was gorgeous. Bright sunshine, perfect temperature, low humidity, not a cloud in the sky.
I'm going to an endodontist for this adventure, one I've never seen before. After I turn around twice, I finally find the office, conveniently nestled in between an insurance office and a funeral home. Trying not to notice the irony, I go in and before I can say a word the receptionist says, "Are you Tiffany?" I was thinking oh hell am I late? Have you been watching out the window for me to get here because I'm holding up patients?
"GREAT! Just sign in right here for me please. I'll need your drivers license, insurance card, and I'll just give you this now so you can start filling out the 8-pages of information we'll need".
She gave me a laptop people. Look how far we've come. Gone are the days of clip-boards with a chewed off pen attached to string so you won't steal it. Now they hand you a $400 device that will make your life so much easier.
I fill out the paperwork, sign the last page like I'm in kindergarten writing with crayons (every time I sign something electronically, the signature looks like I'm on medication but ran out of it 3 days ago). With a sense of accompolishment I take the laptop back to her. She said , "GREAT!" (very cheery people for those that are about to send me to a dungeon where they pull my roots out from under my teeth with wire instruments).
"Okay now we'll need to get your picture".
Me, to myself: "Am I in the right building? is this the CIA? are they going to ask me for fingerprints? what the H?"
I smile at a box so tiny I don't see how it can capture even one tooth much less my whole face. She then cheerily tells me that "Amanda" will be in to get me soon. I turn to sit down, but before I can, "Tiffany?"
Good grief people, can I have a moment to collect my thoughts here? Sheesh.
I smile at her, "right this way" she says. Oh God, now my turn has come. It's the moment of reckoning, the one where you think about every transgression you've ever participated in since the 5th grade.
She is a REALLY happy person. I also wonder about her degree because she looks to be about twelve years old and should be wearing Mouse ears......"M....I....C....see ya real soon!"
She has me put my purse in the corner, and lay back in the chair. Then she lays the v e r y h e a v y blanket over me that protects you when they do x-rays. The contraption she has me bite down on, in awkward positions in my mouth, can only be compared to a wire jigsaw puzzle. But this is the easy part so I'm almost asleep I'm so relaxed. The dentist takes your blood pressure now, so we do that. I'm "surprisingly normal" she says. I said "well, I normally don't have high blood pressure". She said, "yes but people are nervous when they come in so we expect high readings".
No sooner than we were done with all of this "easy" stuff then here he comes, the tooth adonis himself. See what I did there? Keep reading. Okay yes, I'm going to say, the man was very handsome. But he's about to put a chainsaw in my mouth so I don't care how cute he is. He shakes my hand, I notice he smiles with his eyes. Love that.
He wastes no time in getting right down to it. Looks over the x-ray, tells me that the tooth he will be working on is this one <-----------he points. And while he's working I will feel nothing. If that is not the case, I am to tell him so, and he will make it so I don't. I am now noticing the most awesome accent I've ever heard but I can't put my finger on it. He asks me to lay back, the chair is now leaning waaaaay back. Amanda puts clear glasses on me so I don't get any "liquid" in my eyes.
He says, I'm glad they're clear, you can still see her blue eyes through them.
sigh. "You're going to hurt me aren't you. You're now flirting because you know I'm about to be writhing in pain at your hands" I didn't say it, was just thinking it.
He asks me to close my eyes before I can see his hands, smart move Mr. Endodontist, you don't want me to see the needle the size of Brooklyn do you. He places the numbing Q-tip in there for a minute, then explains that he wants me to breathe and it may be a bit uncomfortable for a minute but he wants to get me very numb. Several shots later, I can already feel the side of my mouth tingling then fading to nothing. He asks, "comfortably numb?" I started laughing, with MY MOUTH OPEN (not attractive) and he said, oh are you a Pink Floyd fan too?
I love him.
He taps my cheek gently and asks if I can feel it, I can't thank God.
They begin their descent underneath my temporary crown. As he begins he says "so you're probably trying to figure out where I'm from huh"
Why. Why do dentists do this. I can't have a conversation when my mouth is clamped open and is dry because the sunction artist has the hose hovering over my tonsils.
I kind of shrug a little, like, "maybe". Confession, I wasn't. I did wonder about the accent, but my current concern is when the first nerve was going to stand up and say, get out of here before I kill you.
He went on to say, "well I'm not going to tell you. I want to see if you can figure it out. I will give you one hint, I don't speak Spanish and I am not from Spain or Mexico".
So I have an assignment now? Will there be a test at the end? Can I just concentrate on breathing through this?
He continues on, telling me how great it's going and asking me if I'm okay. I truly did not feel anything but slight pressure through out this entire procedure. It took about 25 minutes total if I'm calculating right.
When he was done, he said that he wanted me to sit there for a few minutes and take some Advil (that they provided). He then explained that medication wouldn't be necessary after, as in, no antibiotics, and no pain meds.
My heart sank. You mean to tell me, that when this "comfortably numb" wears off, all I have to take the edge off of this gum/root massacre is ADVIL?
But I want the good stuff. I immediately go into a slight pout that I was hoping went unnoticed. He laughed and asked if I got my way with that often. aHA!
He said, listen. I'm not a fan of pain medication unless it's absolutely necessary. I want you to try ibuprofen or advil and let me know if it's too bad for you to handle. I will call something in.
He shook my hand again and said "you did great today". "If you need anything at all please give me a call".
Right as he was leaving I said, "Greece".
He turned around, stunned, and said, "no one ever gets it right!"
Well I am here to tell you, it didn't get me pain medication, and I definitely felt like I needed it when the numbness wore off. But I took more ibuprofen and am happy to report that all is well in the land of Tiffany.
But would you mind picking me up for Breakfast tomorrow? It's still Breakfast at Tiffany's if I'm with you, and I don't think I'll feel like cooking.
See you soon friend,
PS Floss. After every meal. And see your dentist every 6 months for your routine cleaning/check up.