Saturday, October 4, 2014

I got the dentist blues....

Regular readers of this blog and fans of "Maggie" as well as my real life friends all know that I am scared to death of the dentist. As in irrational fear of the dentist. There aren't enough words to encompass the dental fears. Intellectually, I have complete control of it-- emotionally I'm a total basket case.

Back in 2009-2010 I had to have a root canal. I was living with Daddy-O then and that experience should open the gates of heaven wide open to him when the time comes. The poor guy went above the parental duties and took me to all my appointments AND also dealt with me before and after each of them. Our friend Curly helped us through with ride alongs and moral support, too. These 2 people love me unconditionally (only God knows why!) and took it all in stride, never once making me feel like an idiot, a fool, silly, a loser, ridiculous. Neither of them got mad at me or told me to "suck it up" or "get it together" or to "stop acting like a baby." They may not have understood the irrational-Maggie-needs-therapy-to-deal-with-the-dentist fear i have but they understood me and, in the words of Vonnegut... so it goes.

Well, I've moved and life is different and I had to have another dental procedure. (Yes, I intellectually I understand if I went to the dentist for regular check-ups/cleanings then I wouldn't have to have surgery every few years. Dental fear outranks irrationality). This started about 8 weeks ago.

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAD toothache. Shit.

Find a new dentist here in the Capital. I have no insurance so I had to find someone who would take payments, new patients, and who could deal with my hysteria. And well, holy cow, believe it or now, I found such a guy.

I made my first appointment. Mac took me- we knew it was going to be a consult and Mac had the day off so there was no reason for TheGuy to take the day off. It was a get to know the dentist/patient and talk and take a look in my mouth. That appointment went fine. I hyperventilated on the way there, Mac talked me down and I only cried a little in the waiting room. The dentist who specializes in people like me said I would have to have either a root canal ($3000) or have it extracted ($900). Okay, an extraction. We made an appointment for 10 days.

I was feeling pretty okay because the dentist said he would give me a pill the night before to help me sleep, a pill to relax me the morning off and he would give me and IV and knock me out. I wouldn't feel a thing. Okay, I could do this. I was fine. I was going to be out like a light.

TheGuy and I took the day off to take me. Apparently things didn't go according to plan... I took the drugs like I was supposed to but I'm a pretty hard stick so they couldn't give me the IV. I was pretty loopy and I was told- because I remember none of this- that when I saw the needle he was going to give me  a shot in the arm as a different approach I cried and begged to now stick me. Okay, the dentist reasons that he would send me to a dental surgeon who could do a better job.

Remember I'm basically unconscious. I don't remember any of the following. They wheel-chaired me to the car, TheGuy drove across town, picking up Mac from work and dropping him at home since he got done early, took me to the surgeon, had me fill out paperwork and took me to an exam room. The surgeon there said he couldn't do the extraction because of all the drugs I already had AND because he wanted payment up front. TheGuy and I left and he took me home and put me to bed. I woke up at 5PM feeling like a truck has driven over me, then back up and did it again, and I still had the freakin' tooth.  I remember none of that paragraph.

TheGuy was pissed and said i was a baby and should suck it up and I was being ridiculous. I guess I was apparently lippy to him about his ex-wife. I do NOT remember. I have no idea. He was completely pissed and douchebag to me over nothing I remember- I don't even remember now.

So, I still have this infected impacted tooth and I have to get rid of it.

I call my dentist back on Monday. His entire staff was so nice and they said how bad they felt because I was so upset. They were so kind. The doc had a plan. He said he had a friend who is a phlebotomist and she would come in and give me the IV if I wanted to try again. I can't believe they were willing to try again, all things considered. We also agreed no silly pills. I was going to take one Valium before, then I was going to listen to music with noise canceling headphones (I made a dentist play list) and have some nitrous. He would give me an IV if necessary.

Now, who was going to take me? I checked to see how much a cab would be and it was close to $60 from the office to my apartment. Over my dead body was asking TheGuy (it's very telling about him. You know in marriage vows the whole "in sickness and in health" part? He obviously isn't very "sickness". good thing I'm not married to him. This is very serious food for thought, in my opinion.). I sorts of hinted to Daddy-O but didn't come right out and ask. It would've been a lot to ask of him though and I wanted to see if I could come up with my own plan. My Boss said he could pick me up and trust me, I was ready to go that route before I was ready to ask TheGuy... but alas, it turned out that Mac had the day off and he VOLUNTEERED to take me.

So my 21 year old kid who is mostly messed up in his own right, said he would drive me. And he did. My appoint was at 7:30 am and he was up on time and ready to go. He was making silly jokes. He was nice. He got me there and held my hand until I was out like a light. He didn't make fun of my dentist play list I created.  The IV was necessary but Mac was there through it all. He drove me home, picked up my extra prescription, got me in the house and to bed and he stayed with me all day long to make sure I was okay. He made me soup and Jell-O.

I feel icky physically today but I'll live. I got through it. And this time, I'm going to work really hard to go to the dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and check up. My new dentist said he'll give me free nitrous for a cleaning if I need it until I get relaxed to have one without. He said it's his goal to turn me into a dental pro. He's a good person. Mac is a good person. I think yesterday he earned some "heaven points."*

So, now I'm just taking it easy today.

Nursing the hole in my head,

*An aside---- a while ago my friend Lori and I were talking about crap we did and wished there was a reward system when we had to deal with stupid people or do stuff we didn't want but felt we "had" to do. We figured it was a way to earn "heaven points." We don't have a tight number system more just a catch phrase like... Lori: "I have to chaperon a field trip because the math teacher got the flu and couldn't go at the last minute." Me: "You just earned a ton of heaven points." Her: "no shit."

PS- In the above post I also mentioned that I created a dentist play list. I did. I wanted great music to listen to while this was happening in case I didn't need the IV. Okay, I needed the IV but I had to be ready. I was in a complete conundrum about what to play. First, I didn't want it to be something quiet/soothing/calm because that is all soft music and I was afraid it wouldn't be loud enough to cover the scary dentist tools and tooth pulling sounds. I didn't want head banging stuff that would cause my blood pressure to raise which would then force the nurse to kick my drugs lower and then I might wake up and hear dental scary stuff. So I had to found a blend of happy music that was also pop/rock/loud. Below is a list of music I used as my dentist play list (and my dentist LAUGHED) when he looked at the titles... Google and enjoy yourself:
  1. Stacy's Mom- Bowling for Soup
  2. Almost- Bowling for Soup
  3. Like a Virgin- Madonna
  4. Hit Me with Your Best Shot- Pat Benatar
  5. Don't Stop Believin'- Journey
  6. Material Girl- Madonna
  7. Vogue- Madonna
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody- Queen
  9. Give 'em Hell- American Rejects
  10.  Drive By- Train
  11. Toucha Toucha Toucha- Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack
  12. Note Ready to make Nice- Dixie Chicks
  13. Tiny Dancer- Elton John
  14. I Kissed a Girl- Katy Perry
  15. Hate Myself for Lovin' You- Joan Jett
  16. Hot and Cold- Katy Perry
  17. American Woman- Lenny Kravitz
  18. Whiskey Girl- Toby Keith
  19. Since You've Been Gone- Kelly Clarkson
  20. You May be Right- Billy Joel
  21. The Way you Make Me Feel- Michael Jackson and Brittany Spears
  22. Rockstar- Nickelback
  23. Hey Soul Sister- train
  24. Eye of the Tiger-Survivor
  25. We Will Rock You- Queen
  26. Little Red Corvette- Prince
  27. Mamma Mia- Mamma Mia soundtrack- performed by Abba
  28. Stuck in the Middle With You- Steeler's Wheel


Curley said...

Isn't it great when your kid steps up and takes care of you for a change without you having to ask. Tell him I said "A Big Thank You" since I couldn't be there for you. Love the playlist. There were a couple I hadn't heard before but I would listen to it. Feel better fast.

Jimmie Earl said...

Thanks Mac, for being there for your Mom. Glad it's all over for you. I agree with the "heaven points" theory, too.
Great playlist, btw, even if most of them I wouldn't be interested in listening to, I can see where they would be perfect for the dentist office.
I should make one for the next time I have to go, just to see what my dentist says. He's very gentle and kind and I really don't mind going to him. As long as he has the Novocaine ready!