Ninety-six hours* ago, I was in My Own Private Hell.
I would rather time travel back to middle school and be forced to perform Mariah Carey’s “Someday” a capella while wearing only mismatched underwear and socks in front of the entire student body as they threw rotten fruit at me because I failed to hit a single correct note thanks to an inability to sing on key.
The latter part required no embellishment. If I had to sing on key to open the giant stone door leading to freedom and pirate treasure, while every wrong note resulted in the floor crumbling beneath my feet and falling certain death (think of Goonies where they had to play the piano correctly to do this), I’d be a goner.
I was at the place that terrifies me more than any Zombie Movie (yes, for some inexplicable reason these also scare me – even during my Rent Horror Movies Every Friday Night phase in high school). Sure you can outrun them – at least in their older incarnation – but what’s the point when all the fun things in life are missing and your spouse and/or child suddenly wants to eat your brains?
No, I was at a place lower on the Evil Totem Pole than A Nightmare in My School or Zombies R Us.
I was in the Pit of Despair….. for me this time.
And I was not happy about it.
I had a check up last Friday, my first since The Two Terrifying Pit of Despair Visits of 2008. These visits were caused by The Worst Gag Reflex… Ever while pregnant with The Tackler: if I dared to brush my teeth – especially the molars, it would kick into high gear and I had to sprint faster than Usain Bolt to worship The Porcelain Goddess. After this occurred a few too many times, I quit trying so hard.
Thus not one, but TWO visits that year for all the work required.
To say that I was slightly apprehensive about my first check up following my pregnancy with Lil Diva (which had The Worst Smell Induced and Second Worst Teeth Brushing Gag Reflex.. Ever) would be like saying summers here are just a little warm – an understatement of epic proportions.
… and then the bomb dropped.
The tiny little gap between my back molars that appeared two weeks before, was in fact due to part of a filling coming out.
A filling done less than two years ago, during the The Two Terrifying Pit of Despair Visits of 2008.
This was So NOT Fair.
I sensed tears forming in the corners of my eyes. A The-Drill-Is-In-My-Near-Future-Breakdown was imminent. I’d spent the entire check up blasting sound through my headset to drown out The Drill sounds a few rooms down. Even in The Bad News Room (i.e. the consult room, but you see inside if the news is bad) with the door shut, I still had to play music on low to override the high pitched noise). I did NOT want to have The Drill visit my mouth and if the *&#%ing filling had held, I wouldn’t have to!
Yes, The Pit of Despair regresses me to a child again. I’d say to a three year old, but The Tackler was quite good at his visit, because at three, you’re usually safe from all but a cleaning. During one of The Two Terrifying Pit of Despair Visits of 2008, I actually had a meltdown thanks to an issue with their scheduling.
The hormones didn’t help matters.
And now I had to face The Drill… again. Maybe more than once if a crown was needed.
All because the last filling refused to stay put.
I was nauseous just thinking about it.
They oh-so graciously (after I nearly had another meltdown) offered to do the new filling for free and only charge me if a crown was required.
“Are you going to need nitrous?” the receptionist asked. “If you do, there will be a charge for that.”
“Do you want me to stay in the chair, or run screaming to the parking lot?” I quipped in response.
I was only partially joking. The only ways I will stay in a room with The Drill are:
1) By strapping me down and restraining me. Last I checked, they didn’t have manacles on the chair… yet.
2) Knocking me unconscious. Never had this done, even when my wisdom teeth were pulled.
3) By getting me high on nitrous. This still requires a headset blasting either TV or music during anything involving The Drill.
As one and two aren’t options for basic fillings, nitrous oxide is as essential as Novocaine.
Wednesday afternoon arrived far too soon.
Naturally, this was the one day all week that both children napped at the same time. Lil Diva fell asleep twenty minutes before I had to leave.
It’s like they know I’m about to leave so they can sleep for Daddy.
Dread pooled in my gut as I pulled into the parking lot. I put my ear phones in place and hit play on my Rock & Heavy Metal playlist – it’s efficiency at blocking out unwanted drill noises far surpasses the dulcet tunes of say, Enya.
They called me back promptly (DAMN!) and immediately shoved some gauze with Novocaine into my cheek.
I’m pretty sure this is the vital step that was skipped at my very first cavity filling session in my early tweens that began my terror of the dentist. Because when they gave me the shot of Novocaine, it stung more than stepping into a giant mound of fire ants.
My current dentist knew better, and by the time giant needle injected me with enough numbing medication to make me drool for a few hours, I was already breathing in the lovely NO2. Instead of pain, the injection made me think of a great grandmother pinching your cheek – only in the inside – really fracking hard.
I’d also found Everybody Hates Chris on the the TV and attempted to lose myself in that.
Thankfully it wasn’t an episode about the dentist.
I was pleasantly floating, distracted by the odd time delay sense nitrous causes: you think or speak a sentence, but the brain believes several seconds have passed before you hear it. Similar to watching a news reporter in the field communicate via satellite to the station – there are several seconds lag time.
I even found a wireless connection and posted on Facebook via iPod while waiting for the Novocaine to fully numb my mouth.
Kelly K Is high on nitrous… Thank god…September 29 at 4:10pm via Facebook for iPhone
Weird? Definitely. I never claimed I was fully sane. It was a way to distance myself from what was about to happen (I did the same thing while in labor with Lil Diva… not only as an update, but to forget how much the contractions were starting to hurt).
Even with all of this prep work, when The Drill turned on my heart rate skyrocketed and I had to actively fight my flight response and go Jackie Chan on my dentist.
Instead, I tried to focus on the TV or the ceiling (when her head was in the way), all the while violently strumming the fingers on my left hand – which I was suppose to raise if anything hurt. I hummed madly – as much as one can with your mouth propped open – like someone about to have a nervous breakdown.
Time stretched as though I now lived within a dream, a nightmare. A dream within a dream like in the movie Inception, where the dream world moved much slower than the real world.
Why does that never happen in the dreams where you’re laying on a beach in a tropical paradise and relaxing while sipping a tasty beverage from the shell of a pineapple?
The whole visit took a little over an hour, most of it spent just waiting to get numb. Almost the shortest visit ever, minus the time I had one wisdom tooth pulled.
And it was still too damn long.
I walked next door to Target afterward, my brain a bit disconnected from reality. My heart rate still elevated.
It didn’t feel right to drive yet. Shopping on the other hand….
I escaped the crown…. this time. I know it’s in my future someday. The deep grooves in my teeth are a cavity party environment that could put Animal House to shame.
And when that day comes, I’m hoping they’ve invented teeth that we can just replace our old ones with. Ones that will last forever, never require a filling, and work and feel better than our natural ones.
Anything to avoid The Drill ever again.
Otherwise I’ll be flying high again, killing the few brain cells that survived having children.
Eh… who needed them anyway.