Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm a Dental Scaredy Cat- Let's Pray

Ecclesiastes 9:11
11 I have seen something else under the sun:
The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.

If I were Solomon, I would have added, "nor does good dental health come to those who care for their teeth;"

I'm getting a root canal today.  It's not just the regular run-of-the-mill root canal.  It's the one where the endodontist has to call in the anesthesiologist and he has to put be to sleep because I'm a scaredy cat, or a pained cat, or a claustrophobic cat, or...

I know there are people who get root canals, surgeries, and anesthesia everyday, but I'm very nervous about this whole thing.

Yesterday, I went to my dentist for a crown prep.  She's GREAT!  She's done other work on my teeth and I've been thoroughly impressed.  Because I have dental phobia I usually have to take something to relax me before an appointment.  Then, if it's more than a cleaning, I've opted to have a little nitrous, as of late.  Even with all the assistance in relaxation, when she began the procedure, but I could still feel some of the drilling and the cold air. 

She stopped, leaned back and said, "I think you need a root canal."  Those words stung.  I've never had a root canal, nor did I ever plan to have one.  I want things like a new computer or camera, not a root canal.

She instructed me to immediately go to the adjacent building where and endodontist was waiting for our arrival.  So with my numb face, my sweetheart and I walked over.

I was beyond nervous to meet this next doctor, or endodontist, which probably made matters worse.  She's not as friendly as my dentist.  She was matter-of-fact bordering on abrupt.  She explained the procedure and showed me the "rubber dam."  I don't do rubber dams.  She insisted on the rubber dam for safety.  Pulling out the needle-like instrument she was planning to use, she said if she dropped it down my throat it would be hard to retrieve.  I could choke.  It would be bad. She basically freaked me out.

I gave consent for the rubber dam. 

Sitting in the chair, clicking my upper and lower jaw together, I told her I could still feel my teeth a bit.  She said she was concerned to give me any more Novocaine as it's harmful to my liver.  Again, she freaked me out.  I sensed liver failure in my near future.  Nothing like freaking out a freak out.

Honesty, must be her policy.

She said, I may feel the drill, but I should endure.  There might be temporary pain (if I were in a torture chamber).  Yikes!  But it had to be done.  The root was dying.

Wearing headphones and listening to Dave Crowder Band playlist on Pandora I tried to drown out the sound of the drilling.  Lord, please get me through this!

She started working on the root.  I felt it.  I raised my hand.  I could feel the surge of adrenalin through my arms and legs.  I asked them to remove the dam.  I felt like I might suffocate.  I'm a drama queen.

Halfway into a panic attack, I stopped them and said, "We need to pray."

The doctor and assistant nodded.  I think they sensed the need to pray.  I began praying for the procedure and that I'd have some sort of peace.

Then, I started crying.  I'm a wimp!  I'm a scaredy cat.  I don't mind pain if I'm in the middle of a workout and my skin splits open on my hands from doing pull-ups.  I didn't cry when I tore my calf muscle while trying to play soccer and had to be carried off the field.  But, when someone is messing with my teeth...I can't bare it!

Gaining a bit of composure, they replaced the rubber dam and began again.  I couple seconds into it I felt it again (I have to mention, just typing this account is causing my hands to sweat uncontrollably).  I then placed each leg on the sides of the chair, instructed them to take off the rubber dam, and gave them the "I'm out of here" sign!

So, all that leads us to today.  The tooth has had a partial root canal.  It hurts pretty bad, as does my jaw.  They're calling in an anesthesiologist to put me to sleep (hate that phrase, as it refers to what just happened to my poor Lukey, but I don't know what else to call it).

The anesthesiologist called me last night.  He sounded like he was a cool, hip, be-bopping 17-year old.  It'll be interesting to meet him today.  He instructed me no food after 7:30am.  Water, black coffee, or apple juice until noon.  Then nothing other than a sip.  He said he'd run an IV.  After setting it it'd be nighty night.  Actually he compared it to margaritas and said I'd be relaxed.  He commented the next thing I'll know they'll be waking me up.  I hope it goes so smoothly.

He did give me one more thing to be paranoid about...peeing my pants!  Oh Great!  Why'd he have to mention that?

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