Monday, August 12, 2013

Project: Don't Faint II -- Report

Things that happened at my dental school appointment today:
  • A woman before me in the queue requested she be assigned "a small student, please"  She then sat and did embroidery in the corner furthest from the point from which students call in their patients.  I am still agog -- why, pray tell?  WHY?!
  • A stocky lad with a Scottish accent arrived after me. He had a rough beard and broad shoulders.  When he was called, his surname was "Burly." 
  • I was called up.  See "Things that did not happen," Item 1.
  • I seriously contemplated asking my (21-year-old female) dental assistant if she would please hold my hand.  I was terr.i.fied.  I really felt like it would help.  I gripped my own hands tightly together in my flat-lap instead.  Sweaty, tight and all me.  Gross.
  • My dental student was careful.  The injections were not so bad.  Still not fun.  But they are never as bad as the anticipation. Well, except that one time.  Today = not bad.  But tell that to my bottom lip and lip corner --  I trembled up a storm.  I was embarrassed while holding my own hands.
  • After the needle part had passed, I braced myself for the drilling.  I remembered the drilling was so much worse than the needle last time.  My memory was correct in this, but I failed to recall the torture device that is the rubber dam which comes beforrrre the drilling.  Disturbingly close to waterboarding, peop's.
  • The word "pulp" was thrown about far too often for my liking.  [Report to tutor:] "I can see a blush of her pulp about half a mill. under the surface, but I think we can save it;" [To me:] "When you come back, hopefully the seal and filling we've put in today have helped strengthen your tooth so that we can simply replace that filling.  If, however, the decay has advanced nonetheless, the pulp [grimace and stomach flip] will be exposed and root treatment will be necessary."  Pulp, pulp, pulp.  Great in orange juice, gross in teeth.  /shudder
  • I settled into my calm and focussed breathing place after the (second) dam was secure (yup, the first tore).  I decided Frodo had helped me through my post-birth repairs with Esky, perhaps I could channel some other fictional character to help.  I decided the high-pitched drilling symphony illicited visions of a miniature Wall-E and Eve working on my teeth. Not one, but TWO unreals, to the rescue! Somehow, having cute artificial intelligence doing the same work made it more bearable.
  • The robots were busy at their work in my imagination when the assistant provided suction on the rubber dam that made a fart sound.  The rubber dam blocking my mouth proved sufficient motivation to curb my laughter.  Just.
Things that did not happen:
  • Pants wetting.
  • A root canal.  
  • Fainting.  None of it.  I felt close more than once (dizzy and light-headed), but my chair was FLAT (not tilted), and I made sure I had a big breakfast.  I hoped as I ate it that it was the last time I saw it.  Careful breathing = also good.  Must remember that ...since I will be going back to have the temporary (flouride-rich) filling replaced with a permanent one in 3 weeks. 
The duration of this appointment (waiting room, X-ray and drill'n'fill) was the longest I had been apart from Mia to date. Our oxytocin-laden reunion was an excellent cure for the lingering discomfort -- of which there was so much less, this time!  How sorry I now feel for those who come out of such appointments and don't get to nurse away the troubles, come on get happy!
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