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AuburnChick Visits the Dentist

So, after Chicky’s fabo 18th birthday, I didn’t post on my blog.

Why?

Because I had a little something called a toothache.

No ordinary toothache.

The kind that makes you cry.

Right before Christmas, I lost part of a filling from one tooth.  I didn’t think I needed to do anything, because I didn’t have any pain.

Apparently things changed this weekend.

Ouch!

Why wouldn’t I call the dentist immediately, you might wonder?

Well, because I have this crazy fear of these drill-bearing doctors.

It goes back to childhood.  My mom took my sister and me to our semi-annual cleanings.  I don’t remember her actually threatening bodily harm if cavities were found, but I think she somehow got her message across, because I was always deathly afraid that the dentist would find something wrong.

My record stayed clean until I was 17, when I had two cavities!  My mom made me drive myself back to my appointment (40 minutes away) to get those suckers filled.  I was by myself and deathly afraid.

Fast forward ten+ years to a toothache that resulted in a root canal.

Oh my, but that was a very traumatizing experience.  I couldn’t eat without pain for a couple of weeks.

Added to the physical pain was the financial ouch of a $400 crown during a time when every single penny went to paying monthly bills.

I think you get my point.

For me, going to the dentist is a torture equally as bad as water boarding.

I sucked it up today, girded with a dose of Midol which, by the way, says on the box that it’s good for toothaches, and called.

The office had an opening for 3pm…perfect since I have been subbing regularly.

I called Super Sis who empathized as only a sister can and offered to pray for me.

Then I went.

And I sat.

I cried as the assistant tried to take an x-ray…another reason why I cannot stand the dentist.  My mouth is very small, and I cannot hold the x-ray films between my teeth without getting all gaggy-feeling.

I was mortified that I was losing it over x-rays.  The technician wasn’t lovey-dovey, but she did an amazing thing.  She applied topical anesthesia to my gums so that I wouldn’t feel the film.

It did the trick, and we were able to finish taking photos.

The dentist came in a bit later and declared that I needed a root canal.

Rrrrronnnnkkkkk.

Wrong answer.

I told him so, in pretty much the same words.

I asked if he could pull the tooth, and he said, “Sure, although it might be hard given the location of the tooth beside it…”

The wisdom tooth is the last tooth on the right...laying sideways beside another tooth...the one causing me pain.

After a few shots…yet ANOTHER reason why I don’t like dentists…I was ready.

Now, I have to ask a quick question.

How many of you watched the television series Alias, which starred Jennifer Garner?  It was on in the early 2000’s.

Well, in the first episode, Sydney (Jennifer) gets her teeth removed because she’s caught spying and they are trying to torture her.  The guy approaches her with dental clamps.

Let me tell you…that is the scene I thought of as the Dr. E came at me with his own stuff.

Now, if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know that anything I do is not done the easy way.

Such it was with this tooth extraction.

Apparently my teeth are as stubborn as my emotional state, because the tooth refused to budge.

He decided to break it apart.

Fine with me.  My mouth was numb.  I cared not one iota.

Now, one of the worst sounds ever is that of a drill.  Ugh.

But I was such a trooper, if I do say so myself.  I didn’t cry.  I was numb.  Dr. E was removing the reason why I had spent Saturday curled up into a ball crying in pain.

Even after breaking the tooth, he could not remove it.

Can you believe it?

He tried.  Boy, did he try.

He actually stood up and leaned over me…putting his muscle into the work.

Nada.

That’s when he decided this called for extreme measures.

The wisdom tooth beside it had to go.  Did I mind?

Um, no.  I had the other three extracted almost 15 years ago.  No biggie.  I was numb.  I didn’t care.  Just keep the pain medicine coming, I warned him.

Another shot went in.

I stayed semi-happy.

I’ve never felt so loved…two adults hovering over me…one with an air sucker thing and the other welding all sorts of metal objects.

And all it took was a little toothache.

So, the dentist worked and worked.

The wisdom tooth was proving to be almost as stubborn as the other one, but once he had shaved it down, there was no turning back.

I tried to relax, and I prayed.

Finally, that wisdom tooth came out.  I actually took a picture of it, cause I’m a good blogger, but because I’m a better blogger, I’m not going to post it.  It’s a little icky looking.  But it was HUGE!  Trust me.

Anyhoo, one would think that the other tooth would come out easier now that the obstruction was removed.

Not!

The doctor worked and worked.

I prayed.

And then, finally, one of the roots came out.  He held it up proudly for me to see and explained that the roots of this tooth and the wisdom tooth had gotten tangled around each other…hence the reason why he couldn’t remove one without the other.

I was excited.

One down, one to go.

Stubborn little booger.

A good 15 minutes later, the second root came out, but only after the doctor had to make an incision in my gum.  I didn’t care.  I was numb.

And for the record, yes, I was fully aware that although numb during the procedure, I’d be paying for it later.

I didn’t care.

I was numb.

The doctor sewed me up after he finished removing that second root.  The nurse stuffed my mouth with cotton gauze and sent me on my way with three prescriptions in hand.

I walked out of there paying a little over $100 (a bargain since the crown I’d had for my last root canal cost me an arm and a leg).

On the way home, I picked up Rooster, and we went to CVS to get my meds.  I was lucid enough to use a coupon I had printed out which entitled me to a $25 gift card with a new prescription.

Might as well get something out of my ordeal, eh?

Then, I took Rooster home and attended a soccer board meeting.

Now I’m home, a Loritab is working its way into my system, and I’m settling down.

I’ve gotta say that there is a huge lesson that I’m taking away from the day.

Never let fear stop you from doing what you need to do.

I’ve been reading a number of Christian blogs lately, and one theme that has run through them has been fear.  This is something I struggle with in several areas of my life.  My head tells me one thing, but I let my emotions rule.  I just can’t do this anymore.

I feel so good right now, except for the pain from two holes in my mouth where bone previously existed.

I’m praising God for a knowledgeable dentist (how many regular dentists will readily extract wisdom teeth and cancel other appointments because your’s took so long)?

I am grateful for a supportive family and friends willing to drive me home from soccer meetings because the med instructions say, “Do not drive.”

Wanna know what else I’m thankful for?

Sweet iced tea.

Tea has healing qualities that are perfect for tooth extractions.

So yeah.  I’m thankful.

And not afraid of the dentist any more.

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