Previously, I had posted on my last painful experience at the evil dentist's office. To read part 1 click here.
Having vowed never to go back to the dentist ever again, or at least until next year, it was with great dismay that I noticed a nagging, throbbing pain emanating from my right bottom back molar. I ignored it, brushing and flossing my teeth extra diligently in an attempt to appease the dental gods. All to no avail, the throbbing continued - going so far as to not only be sensitive to hot and cold, but to sweet also. When my tooth hurt from taking a bite of a piece of chocolate, I knew I had fallen into one of Dante's Circles of Hell. I had no choice. I cannot survive without chocolate, I knew I had to go the the Dev, er, Dentist.
The first thing he did was give me an x-ray. I don't understand why even taking a stinking x-ray is so terribly painful. They stick a large rectangular piece of plastic in my mouth lengthwise and insist I close my mouth. This always drives me crazy. I feel like a crocodile in some bugs bunny cartoon with a stick holding my mouth wide open as I try desperately to close my jaws together, all the while the stick is digging into the soft tissue of my poor mouth. It takes several drooly attempts before he is finally able to take a picture.
"I have good news and bad news," he announced.
"Tell me the bad news first!" I demanded. I'm all for getting the bad news over with.
He ignored me. "The good news is that you don't have a cavity! But the bad news is I think you need a root canal."
He is smiling as he says this. I am not smiling. I am thinking the pain wasn't that bad. I am thinking I need to just get up and walk out before something bad happens to me. Unfortunately, I cannot move.
"So I think the nerve has died but I need to test this theory out," he said as he began a series of unorthodox tests including a searing hot piece of cotton, a tuning fork and a needle like instrument. I don't know if he is sewing or playing an instrument, but everything he does elicits sharp pangs of agony in my bad tooth. After the fifth time he hammered at my bad tooth with his tuning fork, he announced that the nerves are dead or dying and needs to come out. He then proceeded to announce to his dental technician that he will be performing a root canal immediately.
“Wait a minute,” I pleaded. “let’s talk things over first. I mean do I really need to take care of this situation right now? Right here? At this very second? I mean, can't I have some time to think it over? Give me a couple of days or months or years?”
My throbbing tooth said "Listen to him, fool! Before I make you crap your pants!"
I whine like a beaten dog as my tooth sends me a vicious reminder of why I was in hell in the first place.
We interrupt this post for a brief scuffle involving my dentist, the dental technician and my lockjaw.
After holding my nose and prying open my mouth, he injected the first chopstick full of medicine into my gumline as I shouted "Unhhhhh, ungggggggg, unhhhhhhhhhh, ga ga ga, unnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn, ne ne ne neeeeeeh, Unnnnnnng!" Which meant, "Oh God why have you forsaken me?" or "I hate you you miserable piece of dog excrement."
As he got ready with the second needle, I panicked and began to wail that I didn't want to do this anymore. Reaching behind me, he pulled out the laughing gas and placed it over my nose and let me breathe deeply until I began to calm down. When the nitrous oxide began to make me a little lightheaded, he asked me if I wanted the second shot now.
"No," I said. "Why would I want that?"
"Because your jaw is not completely numb yet and when I cut into the roots of your tooth to pull out the nerves you will feel it. It will hurt."
Having previously deciphered his sick code, I know that when he says:
It doesn't hurt he means It's gonna really hurt.
It might hurt means You are going to cry.
It will hurt means The pain is so bad it will give you diarrhea, possibly in your pants. This is why the chair is covered in plastic.
So he asked me again if I want the second shot. And he smiled. Again. He is always so smiley. Such a nice, smiley guy. I am not smiling. I am so far from smiling that he actually stopped smiling and looked a little nervous. After all, this is laughing gas. I should be guffawing like a demented hyena. And then I realized he wanted me to ask him for the shot. Me, the big chicken ask him for a shot. The irony hits me as I began to laugh. An Ernie laugh - you know like Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street? The one that goes kee heee heee heeee, kee heee heee heeeeeeeeeeee!
"Just give me the #$%&ing D&*% shot already! kee heeee heeeee heeeeeeeeeee!"
"You did great," he said. "You didn’t cry, you didn’t kick and flail your legs like usual. You didn’t slide down the chair. You were really good today."
“I believe I have soiled myself!” I said.
“No, that’s just your spit from when you missed the suction cup and drooled all over your pants.”
I vaguely remember the drooling, blubbering mouth rinsing mishap that he spoke of. Vaguely.
“Remember this is just the appetizer, the real meal comes next week, when we get to the real meat of the surgery,” he said.
I felt seriously unwell. “Why can’t you lie to me and tell me the worst is over?”
"Cause then you would be mad at me next week when you realized the truth," he replied.
"But I’m mad at you now!!!"
"And this was nothing, wait til we finish off your surgery next week."
“Thank you, and here is your bill. Since we are not quite done, you can pay half now and pay half later.”
I looked at the bill and the part of my brain that was still functioning completely shut down. This time, I’m pretty sure I have soiled myself.