Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What inspires my nightmares

Last week was a wash. I'm surprised that I actually posted an "I Made It Monday" yesterday since most of the week was tussled up in stress and angst. Oh I wish I could blame it on someone else, but 95% of it was my own doing.

You see, I had to go to the dentist on Thursday. And that pretty much ruined my week. It kept me up tossing and turning. It woke me up with nightmares. It prevented me from concentrating on the work that I needed to be doing.

I'm not sure where my fear of dentistry came from. I know it isn't the most pleasant of outings but during my initial appointment at my current dentist they asked me to pinpoint something. The only thing I could think of was once, when I was little, I had an abscess beneath a baby tooth and it was bothering me so much that my mom brought me to the our dentist in the middle of the night to have it taken care of.

(Truthfully, it might not have been the middle of the night, but it was dark out and the dentist opened his office for us - no one else was there - you know, back when doctors did things like that.)

Dr. R. sat me in the chair and after a cursory exam looked me straight in the eye and told me that we could do two things: pull the baby tooth, drain the abscess, and end the pain or leave it alone and maybe it would stop hurting once the tooth fell out naturally.

I'm fairly certain that my choice was to leave it alone but I gather my mom had other ideas. The tooth had to go.

I recall crying and pain, gauze stuffed into the bloody hole where my tooth  had been. And then, the throbbing that had kept me awake and caused all the trouble began to subside.

As far as I can remember that was the single "bad" experience I had at the hands of a dentist. And yet, today, while I might remain outwardly calm in the waiting room, patient in the exam room and courteous at the check-out counter, inside I am a seething ball of panic, twisted into knots made of razors.

My most recent "tooth-ventures" started back in November you can read about that here, here and here) when teeth that I should have taken care of years ago started bothering me and I, in tears, begged for an emergency visit. I had the problem teeth removed the Monday before Thanksgiving with the understanding that once I had healed I would be back in the office to get a treatment plan together and started.

My friends, the dentist had to call me to schedule an appointment. I kept putting it off. Again. Because I don't learn lessons apparently. So last Thursday I had three fillings. Today, I'll have three more. Last week I spent the week in panic mode. During the visit, the nurse, had to literally pry my hands apart. I was clenching them together so tightly that they had turned a dusky purple. I was told to wiggle my toes as much as I liked but "for goodness sake stop shaking your foot so much!"

By the time I got home around 1pm I was exhausted, headachy, and starving (because who could eat before facing a dentist?) so I tried to eat, failed and ended up going to bed until 7 that night. Cyra and Ashleigh came home from school, checked on me and just did their thing.  

Although I know what to expect, I am still fearful. I might claim to be afraid of aliens and zombies because they don't exist* and I really don't have to put too much effort into being afraid of them. I avoid the real things that cause me fear because I don't like how I react. And that, my friends, is why I'll take a nightmare full of zombies, aliens, and bigfoots over any dream that features teeth or the dentist!

*By "don't exist" I mean I totally think life is out there somewhere, I just don't think they waste their time buzzing our planet. And zombies could totally happen. Maybe. And I know that Matt Moneymaker will someday find bigfoot.


  1. Sorry you are going through so much. We're all afraid of something. The best part is when it's all over. Maybe you can celebrate being courageous this weekend and do something fun!

    1. Thanks. I'll be the first to admit fears. I just hate when they take over like that! I have big plans this weekend and I suppose that they could be considered celebratory!

  2. I hope you're okay and resting well! Prayers your way for a quick rebound from all that, lack of sleep and all!

    1. It went well...for the most part. The doctor recommended that next time I have work done I opt for oral sedation. Sounds like a cool band name, right? Thanks for the thoughts!

  3. I'm so sorry. I, too, hate the dentist. I was actually fine with it my whole life, til a bad experience a few years ago. They pulled the wrong wisdom teeth then wouldn't give me pain meds.

    FRAK the dentist. Jerks.



    1. I'm grateful that the dentist I have now is very kind and patient with me.

      Pulling the wrong wisdom teeth? How the heck did that happen? And why not just take them all anyway! The very leas they should have done is some pain meds!