Dead Woman Walking

That’s how I felt for about the last three DAYS prior to going to the dentist.  Ok, so there’s a story behind this.  Other than the fact that it’s the dentist.  Which is the stuff of nightmares to begin with.

Last November.  Old dentist says I have two cavities.  On the exterior of two teeth closer to the front.  Old dentist KNOWS I have Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ) but the rocket scientists decided the best way to fill these two cavities was by using a BITE BLOCK jammed into the back of my mouth for TWO HOURS STRAIGHT!  I could barely move my jaw for two weeks, and was in serious pain for a month.

Fast forward to June.  The Asian woman sits there and tells me, and I SWEAR I see dollar signs rolling in her eyeballs, that I have five cavities and they’ll need to fix them.  I ask if they can do anything without the bite block.  She said no.  I said, “I have TMJ.”  She said, “Have you ever considered surgery?”  REALLY?!?!?!  The dental professional who knows good and well TMJ hurts like hell thinks the only thing that can fix it is surgery?  It couldn’t be something easier, like, oh, I don’t know. NOT JACKING MY JAW UP FOR TWO SOLID HOURS WHILE DRILLING ON IT?!?!?

So I couldn’t sleep for two weeks before the first round of fillings were scheduled.  Then I talked with a friend of mine who knows full well about my hatred of dentists and why.  HE made the suggestion to me of going to a sedation dentist.  Granted, dental insurance doesn’t cover oral sedation or anesthesia, but if I would be able to go and get ALL the fillings done at once and NOT endure that kind of torture…um..just might be worth it.

So I go in, they do their thing, confirm the fillings need done, and offer both kinds of sedation.  Ok, so I take the cheaper one and hope like HELL it works.

The week before, I start freaking out.  I’ve never done this before.  From what I’ve been told, it amounts to a Rufi they give you and you don’t feel squat.  How would i react to a Rufi?  What would I feel?  Would any prescriptions i’m taking react to it?

T minus about one hour and counting.  Thomas takes me to the office.  Stays with me while I read all this paperwork and sign my life away to things like, “in rare cases, DEATH MAY OCCUR!” I looked at him and said, “I feel the SAME WAY YOU DID when you got your tattoo!!  I’d SO MUCH rather be getting a tattoo right now!!!”

So I drop many many more C-notes for estimated copay for all these fillings in addition to the ghastly sum I’d already put down for the oral sedation.  I go into the room, ask the poor hygienist so many questions, she probably wished I was getting a tattoo instead of in her office, too, but….they put this nasty powdery goo under my tongue and say “relax.”  I started to respond and she said, “You’d probably be a lot more relaxed someone other than the dentist, huh?”  I was starting to get loopy and wondered if I’d said that out loud?

So I wake up about eight hours later.  I think.  Passed out again and woke up at 0600 this morning.  From what I’m told, between the dentist and home I was acting very much, er…like I was on Rufis.  Although I can’t confirm these stories because I honestly have no memory.  But that’s another post.

Bottom line, if I had to have so many fillings while I was CONSCIOUS with a bite block shoved in my mouth well…ok, this was a much better alternative.



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