Correlation? Methinks the answer is yes. You see, for days before actually presenting myself in the dentist’s office, I find myself longingly wishing for a super-strong prescription for anti-anxiety meds. And as I understand it, I am not the only one in the world with this particular strain of anxiety. The dentist is on my list of Least Favorite Places in the Entire Universe I Want to Visit.
Is my dentist mean? Nope, she’s actually a very nice lady. I enjoy chatting with her very much. But then she hauls out all those shiny, pointy-ass tools, and I can’t help but thinking she’s been possessed by Satan and sent to singlehandedly dig each and every tooth out of my mouth—all this with no effective numbing agent.
Do I sound ridiculous? Absolutely.
Do I send my children to the dentist? Certainly. And I tell them the dentist is wonderful. A giant wonderland of flavored toothpaste and treasure chests and rainbow-shitting unicorns where all the little children with perfect, sparkly white teeth go to be happy, happy, HAPPY. Yay! But secretly, I know in my heart that the devil lurks in the dentist’s tool drawer, and as soon as I open my mouth, unspeakable pain and suffering await. (I try to avoid telling my children this part.)
So anyway, today I went to the dentist. Totally sober, too. I mean, I wanted to have a pint or two of a good, stout red wine, but I thought that might tarnish my nice, suburban house-mommy-writer image, so yeah, sober.
And as soon as they called me back to the exam room, I started babbling. “Um yeah, I don’t know if you remember me or this tooth, but this tooth is bad. And I’m um worse. I cling onto the chair like a cat, and I swear to God if you pull out a drill, I will probably claw my way up to the ceiling, so pretty much I just want to make sure you remember that I get really nervous and shit up in here, and um, yeah, also my tooth really hurts, which is why I’m here, but if you could just check it from across the room, that would be great.”
So the dentist called the psych ward. Nah, just kidding. (Sort of.)
What the dentist really did was mock me with her eyes, because all I could see behind that little mask of hers were her eyes, but they looked pretty mocking, if you ask me. And she promised that all she was going to do was x-ray the tooth and poke at it to see if she could determine the problem. I agreed to let her do that, but I did also swear on all that is holy that I would bite her finger off if she tried any monkey business. So we had a working deal.
So she x-rayed the tooth. And then she whacked on it with a little metal hammer, because it wasn’t bad enough that I was already thinking the tooth was about ready to break in half and fall out of my face. So yeah, it was really good that she tested the street-worthiness of the tooth, you know, just to make sure it would hold up to any jackhammers I might encounter on my way home. And guess what? Our suspicions were confirmed…the little hammer definitely hurt like hell.
Diagnosis: I need a root canal.
Problem: I can’t even manage to sit in a dentist’s chair and get through a filling.
So she sent me away with a prescription for some awesome pain meds, because apparently eating ibuprofen like M&Ms is not the healthiest solution. Who knew?
I am also under strict instructions to call the drug-dentist. That’s the dentist who will do this procedure while fully medicating me, because I’m guessing that my dentist doesn’t want to have to deal with pulling my sorry ass off the ceiling during the middle of a fairly standard procedure. I told her to send me to someone who will numb me from the shoulders up and pretty much gas me enough to make me feel like I’m levitating off the chair. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
In the meantime, I’m telling my kids that the dentist is a happy, happy place…a land of free toothbrushes and floss, of cartoons and toy chests, a place where gleaming pearly whites come to fruition. Just keep me out of that damned devil cave, because I’m more than positive that Beelzebub himself is out to get my teeth.
Now, where are my pain meds?