It doesn’t matter how old I get, I still get scared when I even think about going to the dentist. It invokes such fear in my heart, that I develop restless leg, but there are times when you just can’t put it off any longer. Like with most situations in life, the width of one’s wallet, or the depth of one’s pocket, usually determines how and when something can be done, even if it’s a medical necessity. Truth be told, that’s quite sad. Society should be of such, that regardless of your economic status, one should be able to get whatever medical care that is needed. It seems like it should just be a basic human right, however, this is not the world we live in. We live in a world where if you can’t afford it, then you can’t do it. That should be ok for non-necessities, but your health should get an.
Anyhow, last Friday I felt this weird kind of nagging in my face. It wasn’t pain, but it was annoying. I was able to dismiss it all of Friday and Friday night. Saturday, it had graduated from annoying to bothersome. I can do bothersome. Bothersome doesn’t stop me from doing the stuff I gotta do. I was in cool discomfort, but I was ok. By Sunday morning I felt like I wanted to rip my face off and by Sunday evening, the pain was maddening. For the first time in a long time I could not wait for Monday. I had to go to the dentist and there was no putting that shit off. I went into work as normal, did the things I had to do, then received a call back from the Dental Office that I could come over. I left my office immediately.
While I’m sitting in the waiting room, I see my right leg starting to shake uncontrollably. I tried crossing them, with the left leg on top, then the left leg started to shake as well. The panic attack was starting. I was scared shitless. I tried to distract myself, then I said, maybe I can blog about my dental experience, ( I know, I’m a pathetic psycho to even think about blogging at a time like that), so I take out my camera to start snapping a few pics. Figured it would take my mind off the inevitable, for at least a little while.
I was trying to see if I could get an action shot, of how ridiculously shaky my leg was, but all four pictures came out looking like that one. Now I was going to take a couple more snap shots of my dentist’s office, but then I heard…
I almost dropped my camera. I immediately put it away and my eyes locked with the lady who was sitting next to me. She looked as if she was in agony. I didn’t say a word, but just listening to her mumbles. Through her self-rambling, I discovered that the blood curdling scream came from her son and he did that several times. If my own pain hadn’t been so severe, I would’ve gotten my ass outta there faster than Tiger Woods could’ve hit on a white girl. I was like ‘What are they doing to that kid?!’
Now I have been seeing my dentist for years, so I had no doubt about his ability, but those screams did make a question or two pop up in my mind. I felt like a small helpless child myself. It took me back to that movie ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ with Steve Martin as the dentist. To me, he personified what I thought all dentists were like.
I have also had a few not so great encounters with previous dentists, which turned me into a dentist chair ho. I would switch on one mid-procedure, should they enter my orifice in a questionable manner. Come to think of it, finding the right dentist is probably like finding the right boyfriend. You gotta get poked the wrong way a couple times, to realize it’s just not working for you. Needless to say I was going to be the next patient after that screaming little kid and I was not looking forward to it. About 15 minutes after, a cute little boy emerged from the door with tears in eyes, but a big smile on his face. He ran to his mother and hugged her as if he hadn’t seen her in years. It was as that moment I wished I had called my husband or a friend, to come hold my hand. The dental assistant then came to the front and called my name, jolting me back to reality, It was time.
I walked in, wobbly legs and all and was taken to the available room for the dentist to come and check me. I laid on the reclined dentist chair, which is really quite comfortable. I even got the gumption to pull out my digital camera again, to snap more shots for the possible blog, which I am doing right now. 🙂 It pays to be prepared. 😀
After I took what would be my last picture in the dentist’s office, (see above),I started dosing off a little to the smooth sounds of Busy Signal, serenading ‘One more Night’ from the little bose speakers up in the corner and awaited my fate. When I heard the bass voice of my healer/pain inflictor, I jumped.
“So tell me what’s happening Tameka.”
This little girl Paris Hilton baby voice came outta me. Like I said, when my nerves kick in, strange things come out my mouth. It could be an accent, I dunno, I surprise myself every time. After I explained, he did this pressure test thing. OMG! He tapped my wisdom teeth, and I saw stars like in a Wile E Coyote Road Runner cartoon. He told his assistant to give me a panoramic X-Ray, so they would know exactly what they were dealing with. Just the X-Ray alone cost $250.00. I remember saying
“Oh Ma …………”
You can fill in the blank with any swear word of choice. It will probably be cleaner than what I actually said. I saw my money do this right before my eyes.
After I shook off the shock of the x-ray cost,I went to another room to get it done. There was this big contraption of a machine. It looked like some kind of torture device, which I suppose was quite fitting, as I was in a dentist’s office. It looked exactly like this photo below, sans the white folks. 🙂
It was quick and painless, unlike everything else that transpired after.
I went back to lay down, and had about 5 minutes of rest to some more easy listenings, before my dentist came back to explain my options. First, he showed me my x-ray. a panoramic x-rya looks like this. Below is not my personal x-ray, it’s one I stole off the net.
My x-ray looked pretty good. I could’ve sworn I’d had way more dental work done, but I guess I didn’t. However, my wisdom teeth, which is what he suspected before the x-ray, were the problem and they needed to be removed pretty much immediately. Now, I went to the dentist thinking a cavity, worse case scenario, maybe a root canal, not a friggin’ extraction. I’ve heard enough wisdom teeth horror stories to give that creepy skeleton guy
who hosts “Tales from the Crypt”, lots to cackle about. I was petrified. People normally know in advance when they are gonna extract their wisdom teeth. At least that’s the impression I got. This whole pull out teeth thing came as a helluva shock. But, what was I gonna do, say no? I was in pain like you couldn’t imagine. I am trying to remember if my Labour Pains were worse than or on par with the pain I was feeling. To make matters worse, being the nut-bag that I am, I remembered reading an article just a few weeks ago, about a 24 year old man who passed away, because he could not afford a dental procedure, to take care of an abscess that he had. He opted to keep taking pain killers, and in the end the abscess spread and it killed him. Imagine that shit. Then my good dentist had to also point something else out to me.
After looking thoroughly at my x-ray, he noticed that my bottom wisdom tooth had a curved root, almost hook like and it looked slightly intertwined with a nerve, which was bad. If they touched the nerve and caused any damage to it, it could have developed into palsy, and resulted in paralysis or permanent numbness in the lower part of my face. Talk about throwing me a curve ball. What was I gonna say? I was damned if I didn’t do the extraction, but I could be damned if I did it as well. I just let my voice be heard through the pain and I said,
“Just take them out now, I don’t care.”
Had I not been in so much pain, I doubt I would have been able to make such a quick decision. The writing was on the wall. ‘Dem suckas was comin’ out!’
I then went around to the other side, where the procedure was going to take place. It was like a slow march to the electric chair……
Evil looking isn’t it?!