Understand that I am a huge baby when it comes to pain. Well, not all pain. I used to get my legs waxes. Bikini area, too. And I was 15 minutes away from going the completely natural route for childbirth with Tax Deduction the Younger. (TDTY was born on a holiday, and the small hospital didn't have an anesthesiologist in residence. That'll teach me; if Loving Husband and I decide to have a third child, gimme the drugs. Immediately.)
But just mention the word "dentist" to me, and I start to cry.
I hate dentists. They terrify me. DDS = 666 in my book.
This doesn't mean that dentists aren't nice people. A long-time family friend is a dentist, and he's a cool guy, if somewhat wacky. Before we moved away from Queens, LH and I had a fabulous dentist in NYC. And the dentist I go to now is a sweetheart.
Doesn't change the fact that they scare the crap out of me. And I don't trust any of them.
That last comes from one sadist--er, dentist cheerfully ignoring me as I told him not to shave my gumline. Really. I was about fourteen, and the dentist is talking to me and my mother about "widening my smile" by exposing more teeth...by slicing away some of my gums. I said "No fuckiing way." My mother must have given him the nod, because as he's making sympathetic noises my way, his scapel does the slice and dice thing.
Since then, I've never trusted dentists.
Woese is that I've got sensitive teeth. And at least one tooth somewhere in my mouth doesn't take Novocain. Found that out the hard way, when one dentist was trying to drill out a cavity and I kept shrieking. After three shots, none of which took, he told me to brace myself. Then he finished the job.
I hate dentists.
So, when my dentist told me this past Thursday that the nerve in my top front left tooth was dead as a doornail (whatever that is) and that I needed a root canal ASAP, I freaked. I agreed that it had to be done, but I was far from happy about it. So I got penciled in...for the next afternoon.
Sheer terror enveloped me for the next 20 hours. I was a bitch on wheels to my family, and on Friday morning I terrorized the cats as I went on a rampage through the house, shrieking and throwing things.
Dumb, right? I mean, I knew that it wouldn't be bad. After a shot of Novocain, I'd be fine. Except, of course, I didn't trust my dentist about that. When she tested my tooth to see if the nerve was dead, she threw a few jolts of electrisity through my top four teeth, one at a time. "You'll feel a tingle," she said. Uh huh. We have VERY different definitions of "tingle." See if you can guess which one is mine and which is hers:
(A) Tingle: A buzzing sensation, sometimes a pleasant one
(B) Tingle: A curl-your-hair-and-hit-the-ceiling-screaming sensation
Anyway, I made it to the root canal appointment. And I bawled like a baby for a good chunk of it. I cried so hard that my body shook. The assistant and the dentist both tried to reassure me, but I still leaked tears during most of the procedure. The only reason why I didn't scream out of fright was due to the metal vice holding my mouth open.
No, it wasn't bad. I didn't die. And after the Novocain kicked in, I only felt pressure in the area. The worst part was waiting for the pain to start.
Er, no. The worst part was when the dentist, about to apply a disinfectant (because my nerve had been dead for so long that there was an infection), said to me: "This may burn."
Uh huh. And I may piss my pants while reclining in the chair.