My dentist asked me, “Okay, so watermelon, cherry, bubblegum, mint or cookie dough?’
“For what?” I asked her.
“I’m going to put a little topical on your gums before I give you the shots and the flavors are watermelon, cherry, bubblegum, mint or cookie dough.”
“Oh, gag…okay, mint I guess.” Who in Hell, and I meant that quite seriously, who in HELL wants the flavor cookie dough? I was pondering this awful flavor choice when the minty swab was stuck in my mouth.
And then I swallowed the minty stuff went down my throat and I was instantly sorry, for the taste and the icy hot feeling that followed was a bit like I’d licked a jar of Ben-gay. And then, my throat was numb.
My dentist pulled out the minty stick and came at me with a large metal syringe dripping with a clear solution. “Oh, uh, I’m not quite numb enough.” I said quickly, “I think I need some more time.” I’m not one to intervene with medical treatments, but I was seriously not ready for that needle.
“Oh, this won’t be bad, and this will get you nice and numb.” She said pulling back my cheek, “Just a little prick here and here…and one right here under your tongue.”
That’s when the tears started to stream out of my eyes and tunnel through all the curves of my ears. But, she was done and I thought, okay I made it, not bad, deep breath, I’m okay, I can do this…..
“April, we’ll just give that a minute or two…”
Oh, thank God, I had time to close my eyes and find a happy place. Let’s see…the farm..no, no, the farm just makes me think of all the projects that we don’t have finished right now…um, a vacation, somewhere really pretty, with a lot of flowers, yes flowers and maybe a sweet little Inn with crisp white curtains billowing out of the second story windows and …I felt the cotton being pushed down in my mouth, still in my happy place, the drilling began…OW!
“Okay, April we’ll try this anesthetic, it will last about two hours, I’ll go a bit deeper.”
I opened my eyes to see another huge metal syringe coming toward my mouth. This time she poked the needle in my mouth asking if I could feel it and when I finally felt it she plunged it deeper and held it there a few seconds. I brought my knees toward my stomach, raised my feet in the air and held my hands up in surrender. I was frozen like a dead armadillo on the side of the highway. My happy place was gone, the flowers, the cute Inn with the billowy curtains…gone.
Now just repeat that entire scene two more times because that’s how many different anesthetics it took to finally get me numb enough for her to work on my teeth. And the final drug she injected would last around eight hours.
I lost count after about 10 shots and my dentist made the proclamation that I’m hard to numb, but was trying to use as few shots as possible given my reaction to the uh, the uh…shots.
When the shots were done, the drilling, gagging and sore jaw began.
For two hours with a couple of five minute breaks I sat in Hell’s chair with my mouth open to Satan and her little helper.
When we were done the technician told me I’d look a bit funny until the medicine wore off. She tried to make my next appointment to come in to have the permanent crown, but I said…”You’re very thweet, but I don’t wanna thee you for a very long thime.” She laughed and said, “Okay, I’ll call you.”
I got in my van and called Clay, “Uhnay, I juth goth outh of the denith offith…it wath HELL! I’m a meth! It wath tho thcary! I with you wath there!”
“April? Is that you? I can’t understand a word you’re saying.”
When I got home my children had a great time laughing at me trying to talk and then yell at them. I was alternating between being irritated and laughing hysterically because I had absolutely no control over the muscles on the left side of my face. It looked as if I had suffered a stroke. I was so glad to be done with that appointment.
Guess what? A few hours later, I had to take my son in to have the dentist work on a tooth. Talk about bad timing. As we drove back to the office I felt like I was chewing on the inside of my cheek every time I bit down. A quick glance in the rear view mirror showed me that it was a big wad of bloody cotton hanging out of my mouth that I didn’t know was there. That was lovely. My son looked at me in horror and asked, “Did that just come out of your mouth?!” ”
“Yeth…I did’n know ith wath in there.”
“The cothen, I did’n know ith wath in there.”
“Mom. Did you know that cotton was in your mouth?”
“Sthop athking me quethions!”
That’s what the entire afternoon was like with my kids. They were having a lot of fun with me. I wanted to strangle them, but they kept making me laugh because they were making fun of me.
I finally went to my room to hide and take a nap. I woke up in a pool of drool.
Three weeks later the technician called me to please come back for the permanent crown. I told her, “I think I’m okay with this silver thing you gave me.”
“April, I promise it won’t hurt and it’s really quick.”
I didn’t believer her, but I agreed anyway. I’m surprised I went, because I was a really nervous about what they were going to do. But, she was right, it didn’t hurt and it was quick. I told my dentist, “You’ve been redeemed!” She looked and me and said, “Oh, good! We’ll see you in six months!” I looked at her and smiled and in my head said,”The Hell if you will!”