Thursday, June 26, 2014

I faced a dragon....

cartoon of a knight facing a flying dragon

 Okay, obviously not literally (so don't start calling me Khaleesi, even though she's a bad ass). But I did recently face something that terrifies me, the dentist!

GIF Steve Martin dentist from Little Shop of Horrors

 To put this into perspective, how about a little back story? Way back in the day, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth (otherwise known as Junior High), I had the most horrible overbite. Seriously, some chipmunks and rabbits had better aligned teeth than I did.

Chip and Dale

So like all good parents, they decided to get me braces to fix my overbite. Since I was young (10-11 years old), I hadn't lost all of my baby teeth yet. So before I could get my braces, any baby teeth I still had (plus some extra teeth that were crowding my adult teeth) had to be surgically removed. So I went to an oral surgeon to have the teeth extracted. It is this visit that lies the origin of my fear. The night before the surgery, after dinner (the last meal I was allowed to eat until after the surgery) I was given a pill to help me relax and sleep.

The day of the surgery, I went in and they drugged me again along with a round of nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas) and I was out. In theory, as young as I was that amount of sedation should have knocked me out until the entire procedure was done right? WRONG! I'm not sure exactly how long the surgery was supposed to take, but as some point I WOKE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OPERATION! I remember waking up, the surgeon and the nurses hovering over me, instruments and gauze in my mouth, I'm bleeding profusely....and I freaked out. I'm not sure they realized I was awake at first, but I started making noise indicating my distress. I ended up throwing up and they had to rush a trash bag to my side where I lost what little I had in my stomach (remember I hadn't eaten since the evening before). Most of it got into the trash bag, but I did end up with some of it in my hair. I was mortified. But of course the operation wasn't over, so they ended up having to gas me again and thankfully I stayed out until it was over. But the harm was done. Sure I ended up getting the braces, and having to go through two years of orthodontic appointments, but only because I had no other choice. But once those braces came off, I stopped going to the dentist.

me in the dental chair
Me, facing the dragon

Fast forward almost 20 years, and my wonderful husband insists I go to the dentist for at least a checkup and a professional cleaning. It took a lot of cajoling (and some bribery) but I finally agreed to go. The hygenist was super nice, trying to work with me and my anxiety. I was fine for the x-rays (they have this cool one that looks like something out of Star Trek that does a complete 360 loop around your head) and the beginning of the cleaning. They had a TV on, my husband was in the room, and they even let me hold the suction thing. But part way though I started to freak out and panic and we had to stop. It took some time, but I agreed to keep going and go through the cleaning. After the x-rays, the cleaning, and the examination there's good news and bad news. The good news is that considering how long I've gone without a proper visit to the dentist, my teeth aren't in too bad a shape. I do have a few cavities that will need filling, but not too many. The bad news is, my wisdom teeth need removed.

Has to get wisdom teeth out gets painkillers and ice cream for a week meme

As you can imagine, the idea of having another dental surgery done is not helping with my anxiety. I'll do it because it has to be done to avoid further complications, but I don't like it. So while I faced the dragon, the dragon has not been slayed yet.....


  1. OH man, no wonder you're scurred. That surgery story sounds awful. I don't blame your anxiety. I get anxious too but I'd say it's at a level 5 out of 10 bordering more on being annoyed with the inconvenience of having to be there and having to wait for SO LONG. It's as bad as the DMV sometimes even though I make appointments! :( Anyway, I'm glad that you got through part 1 of dragon slaying. We'll say that you've pierced and startled him, but now you just need to finish him off and save all the towns people (your teeth). Good luck!! <3 <3

    1. Thanks Hope! Unfortunately the dragon and I are going to go at it for a few rounds before a victor takes the spoils. I need to be like Harry Potter and have the option of hopping on a broomstick :-)