Friday, December 12, 2008

Thanks & More Dental Fun

These last couple weeks, I've met so many new blogging friends. I was just commenting to Glenn how much I've enjoyed it.

So, I'm feeling a little like I'm letting you all down this week. My blogging is so slow, and I'm really just whining about my dentist. I just wanted to say I'm sorry, and I'm looking forward to being back to normal and hanging out more.

(The rest of the post is skippable.)

By a stroke of luck, I get to go to the dentist today, which is a good thing, because I need to get out of pain. I'm not as bad as Heather, but when I go, I shake for about an hour to an hour and a half. Then I'm so exhausted from the terror and the shaking, that I'm dazed for most of the rest of the time. I can barely drive home, and I usually fall asleep within hours.

Oh! And I run a fever. I get so worked up about it, that I actually get a fever.

But I usually don't cry.

I've already cried twice this morning, just burst into sobs, which is completely unlike me. I don't know how I'm going to do this. I was pretty strong through the whole six months, but last week I was supposed to be DONE.

I'm in pain, but the last two times I went, I was in more pain when I left than when I went.

I know I'm going to start crying as soon as I sit down. My dental spirit has broken, snapped, kaput. I was so brave for six months, I swear, but I just feel like I can't do this anymore.

I made a pizza (pretty much dairy-less), which will hurt excruciatingly to even gently chew with my front teeth and dissolve on my tongue. Hopefully that will inspire me to get in the car and go.

I would say this is one of those irrational phobias, but I don't see a single irrational thing about it. It's logical. You go in, they hurt you. When they're done, you go out, and you hurt 500 times worse, your teeth get worse, and then you have to go back again.

Like I said, I started this whole process with one cavity and one root canal. Dentistry has just made my mouth amazingly worse.

I feel like going again is just going to make my mouth worse, in the long run. Salt will eventually take the pain away from my teeth. I don't know.

I'm being a wimp, right? I should've never gone in the first place. I had the pain of the original root canal controlled with salt, and the cavity wasn't bothering me at all.

Okay, I'm swishing with salt water every half hour. If the pain goes away, then I'm not going to the dentist. At least today.

Do you have any fears, phobias, anything? How do you deal?

18 bonus scribbles:

lainey bancroft 12/12/2008 01:15:00 PM  

(More Hugs, Spy)

I count. Yep. Just that. I did it when I gave birth. I do it when I go to the dentist and even while (which is more like when/if right now) I exercise.

I just pick a random number and count up to it. "Seventeen more seconds. I can take anything for seventeen seconds. One nicely chilled glass of wine, two nicely chilled glasses of wine, three nicely chilled...."

You get the idea. And then to further distract myself I start counting how many times I've counted up to the chosen number.

Anonymous,  12/12/2008 01:42:00 PM  

Oh, sorry about your terrible dentist experience and tooth pain. I'm visiting from Shrink Rap. Hope you feel better soon and get to eat that pizza.


Sarah Laurenson 12/12/2008 01:42:00 PM  

So sorry to hear you're having such a hard time, spy. I'd say you're well into some good PTSD with all this now. And it's not easy to go given your experiences.

You're not letting me down any. Can't speak for the others. You blog what you can when you can. Sometimes it's about this and sometimes it's about that.

Maybe you're supposed to write a novel about a dentist who gets killed in some gruesome fashion and come to find out it's an ex-dentist dental vigilante who finds the worst dentists and puts their patients out of their misery.

Or maybe a fantasy story where all dental problems are cured with the wave of a wand.

I like lainey's idea. I've used something similar with getting through just the next 5 minutes. And then the 5 minutes after that.

You don't look forward to being in pain or coming away being in more pain? Um, yeah. Normal reaction there.

conley730 12/12/2008 01:49:00 PM  

*sending soothing feelings your way* I hope you come out of there today feeling much better than when you went in. I'm so sorry you're in so much pain.

Kath Calarco 12/12/2008 01:56:00 PM  

Spy, I can so relate to your feelings. As you know, or maybe not, I've gone through several surgeries for a detached retina. First it all started with a torn retina, and the procedure for repairing that cured by phobia for needles. I won't say why, because it might make you puke.

Anyway, it's three years later and I still have to go in for procedures. That's three years of always looking like I have conjunctivitis, three years of discomfort, and three years of living without depth perception or being able to see out of my left eye.

I've gotten through it. Within the last year my eye has gradually lost the "pink-eye" look, and I've learned to cope with lack of depth perception. I can't tell you how I coped - I guess I did because others prayed for me (?).

Keep your chin up and it's okay to cry. I did my share of it, too. And I'd love to smack my first retina doctor into tomorrow, but instead (after four detachments) I switched doctors.

Robin 12/12/2008 02:50:00 PM  

I'm so sorry to hear about your dental woes, Spy. I'm with ya on the dread of visiting the dentist, but you so deserve several free passes after all this is over. I'm sending lots of healing thoughts your way! Take good care.

Aimless Writer 12/12/2008 03:02:00 PM  

Hang in there. Does your dentist use gas? Maybe you need a little sedation when you go to make it easier?
I like Lainey's suggestion on counting. That's how I cope through stress. But the wine sounds good too!
I write stories in my head when I'm in that kind of a situation. Plot something out, run through dialog or even better-write a query letter. That always takes up too much time. lol
I still think you need a new dentist.
I fear everything. I count a lot.

Aimless Writer 12/12/2008 03:04:00 PM  

Maybe a book on tape to listen to while you're in the chair?

Eric Mayer,  12/12/2008 03:38:00 PM  

You're not crazy, or at least no more so than me. I have a terrible fear of dental work. Luckily for me I haven't been able to afford dental work for years. I can only force myself to go to a dentist when the pain in my mouth overrides my terror, and that means pain that is more or less disabling. Then, because I can't afford any work, the offending tooth gets pulled. I used to have good teeth so that means I've lost three in the past ten years. I have plenty left. I have had the occasional tooth filled when forced in for more urgent work. Sitting in a dentist's chair is a near death experience for me. Good God. The grinding, the pressure, the obscene cracking. The last time I honestly was thinking, the whole time, that I was going to die.Sure it's stupid, but I just can't take it. That's what the physical sensations of dental work do to my brain. You are being killed! No way could I endure a root canal. No way! And you're also not kidding when you say it hurts afterward too, for a long time. I've seen ads for "sedation dentistry" lately. Maybe I ought to look into that! Christ, I could use a drink right now.

Robin 12/12/2008 04:11:00 PM  

Oh, Spy, hug, hug, double hug. I so hope you feel better. I'm with Aimless - if you're that scared, why can't he knock you out? Or why can't someone give you some valium or ativan? What a sadistic bunch of yo yo's.

Is there no way you can dump this guy? Remember Dad, (without the moron part, but he only says stuff like that to me, and he is kidding). He says that if it still hurts, it's infected. My daddy knows everything. (Oy. Can you say "Oedipus"?)

Heather Harper 12/12/2008 05:15:00 PM  

I never had a problem with the dentist until this last go around. 36 years w/o a panic attack is a pretty good run, I guess. ;-)

I had to double my advil RX for the tooth pain and the Vicodin helped me get some sleep.

Heather Harper 12/12/2008 05:17:00 PM  

And I know I hated to do it, but I couldn't help but cry.


Melanie Avila 12/12/2008 07:31:00 PM  

Oh Spy. {{{hugs}}} I'm so sorry. I wish there was something we could do for you. I'll be anxious to hear how today went.

I don't have a fear of the dentist but I do have issues with needles. I believe I told you that a couple weeks ago. Since high school I always pass out if I get a shot or have blood drawn. I don't look at the needle but I have accidentally seen the vial of blood and if the needle doesn't do me in, that will.

MikeH 12/13/2008 06:42:00 AM  

Poor lamb! I'm not afraid of dentists, just spiders.

Edie 12/13/2008 09:11:00 AM  

Big, warm, fuzzy hugs, Spy.

Didn't the dentist prescribe good pain pills? Your dentist sounds horrible. It shouldn't hurt afterward. I've had root canals, and only once was it so bad it swelled up and I looked like a cartoon character. It eventually went away but it was horrible.

Someone suggested listening to a tape at the dentist's. One of those healing tapes, or even your favorite music. That might help get you through it.

LaDonna 12/13/2008 01:51:00 PM  

Spy, one day when we meet I'm giving you a huge hug! Please keep us posted on how you're doing. I share your fear of dental work too, and other than that I'm okay. I have a daughter who dreads the dentist too, so we share our dental days supporting each other.

Edie's idea is the one I'd suggest too. Healing tapes are amazing. Sending some warm light your way!

LaDonna 12/13/2008 01:53:00 PM  

Forgot to mention the Ipod! I spent my last visits with my Ipod, listening to Oprah's New Earth series. It really helped get my mind off whatever he was doing in my mouth. Puts you in a good place mentally.

Jill Wheeler 12/14/2008 09:07:00 AM  

Sorry your mouth is hurting. :(

I grew up going to my uncle and grandpa to do my teeth, so dentistry doesn't scare me very much.

Now, heights freak me out! I avoid them like the plague.

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