My Sad Tooth Saga

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As many of you know, I had a horrible toothache recently which meant I was getting a root canal. And for a self-professed baby when it comes to anything dental, I was quite calm about the whole thing. I just wanted to get it over and done with. Fix and move on. This calm I felt was a miracle, to be perfectly honest. I felt even better when I realized I’d met the wife of the dentist I was being referred to — I’d met her through a friend and had enjoyed group dinner with her.  I was even more reassured that everything would be ok. 


Everything was not ok. I mean, it will be eventually, but the appointment and the rest of the day for that matter, was not what I had expected or hoped for.

I was scheduled for a long appointment in order to try to get it done in one shot.  And after just a few minutes with the jaw-holder-upper-thingy (the technical term, of course,) my jaw was killing me.  Good start.  So, thanks to my TMJ, I had to just open wide myself and relax it when I could.  This would be a fun two hours. And yes, halfway through I had to use the restroom — nothin’ like raising one’s hand like a first grader needing to go to the bathroom to boost one’s confidence in an intimidating situation.
When the dentist finally finished and took everything out of my mouth, I expected him to say, “all done!”  So, I was rather shocked to hear him tell me that it took him 2 hours to do what he normally can do in 5 minutes.  
Well, apparently,  I’m special.  My mouth and teeth are special.  In fact, it’s amazing I have any teeth left in my mouth at the ripe old age of 33! (By the way, no one said any of this, it’s just my interpretation of their explanations.)  Instead of an average root system of 3 ordinary and straight canals, I have 5…yes, FIVE that aren’t so ordinary or straight.  They are special, including one which is going the wrong direction, so that even after they fix my tooth now, it may cause me problems later on–maybe not–but probably.
And then they explained the options: yank it now or save a doomed tooth to be yanked later. Superb.

Faced with this information, I did what any normal person would do.  I started crying, actually, i tried holding it in (because that ALWAYS helps) but eventually let it out after the dentist left and I was alone with my friend, S, the dentist’s wife.  In fact, I cried so hard–ugly crying you might say–that she even offered me some oxygen.  I tell ya, I haven’t cried like that in a very very very long time, let alone surrounded by strangers!  Oh, it was sad.  Pitiful.  A bit ridiculous.  But, at least I hadn’t thrown up on anyone, like the patient who threw up earlier in the day had done.  But still, I was sitting in the dentist’ chair blubbering like a baby.   Is it any wonder they recommend sedation next appointment? (I agreed.)
But wait…it gets better. The madness wasn’t over just yet.
While describing how crazy life has been this summer, (selling the house, hectic t-ball schedule, getting ready for an upcoming move, etc) at the front desk, I finally gained control over my emotions until I got a text from the sitter letting me know that my baby just threw up.
I kid you not.
I smiled, started laughing and sobbing hysterically at the same time.
A mess. An absolutely mess.
I couldn’t even tell them what was wrong, I showed them the text while sputtering, “baby…threw up…sitter…” It was at that point that S gently took my shoulders and guided me to a chair.  Yes, I had sunk pretty low and couldn’t even be embarrassed anymore.  If my mom had been there, I’m pretty sure I would have crawled into her lap and sucked my thumb.
Boy, this was not the day I had expected.  I wasn’t even home yet. I still hadn’t even left the dentist’s office. And S wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do make it on my own…understandably, I was acting like a basketcase, a nut, a lunatic!  I thought everything would be fixed when I got up out of the chair but instead I was more messed up than when I entered their office if you include my complete mental breakdown.  Where’s my white flag–I surrender!
I did talk to the sitter’s mom who reassured me that she and my sweet sitter had cleaned things up and that Justus  was playing happily with his brothers, and everything was under control. Glad things were under control there because I felt like I had completely lost control of everything!
Feeling slightly relieved that the situation with the boys was under control, I managed to regain enough of my composure to drive myself home and finish the rest of my day…such as it was.  I can handle many things, but when it comes to my teeth, I am the biggest baby, which is the only excuse I have for my behavior that day.  I’m not proud of it, but I can laugh at it now…even knowing I’ll be back in that dental chair soon to finish up this sad tooth saga.

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