Friday, January 27, 2012

Oh, My Achin' Tooth

Yesterday I had a root canal. My first ever. I feel a little violated.

First of all, I was sad that this poor little broken molar who's been with me for so long couldn't hang in there just a few more weeks to hit the 50 milestone with me. And lest you think, "it's just a tooth, who cares? - you lost your uterus and didn't shed a tear over that major organ - why so sad?", think about all the memories you have surrounding your teeth. First there's the slight little wiggle - "Mom, mom - my tooth is loose!!!" Then the pull-out hysterics (wait, was that just me?), then the Tooth Fairy, and then the little nubbins of a brand new grown-up "permanent" tooth who would soon guide you through your life of chewing pleasure. Oh sure, adult-stressed-out-you abused it with continuous grinding, but it could take it, right? It was supposed to be permanent, after all. Alas, no. RIP my sweet molar #19.

Once I worked through the grief, my "fight or flight" response kicked in, which, for me, is more like a "tremble in fear" response with the same adrenaline rush. I am terrified of the dentist. Terr-If-Fied. Seriously, I cry almost every time I'm there. Thankfully, my dentist doesn't think it's strange for a 40-something-year-old person to cry in the chair o' doom, so she dries my tears and pets my forehead until I'm all better. I am in love with this woman, even if she is a masochist deep down inside. The next few days hours were a blur: I cried and hyperventilated, endured unceasing torture, got some good drugs, and survived. Cue Aretha.

Naturally, when I got home I played BraveFace and announced to The Husband that, "It doesn't hurt at all!" He smiled. I guess pointing out that my face was still numb and when it wore off I would be in all kinds of pain, which would be the impetus for all kinds of whining, would have been just plain cruel. Oh wait - he did that. And he was right, dammit. To quote one of my besties during childbirth, "Dude, this hurts a lot!"

I'm pretty sure the only way to power through this trauma involves lots of ice cream and Vicodin. I'm also pretty sure that's what the grown-up Tooth Fairy will be bringing me.

1 comment:

Ed Hochhalter said...

I can feel how important your teeth memories are. Every bit of tooth is important, but if it's time to let go, I'm afraid we have to do so because, just like a relationship, it might get worse. Anyway, just like memories, teeth can last for a lifetime if we take good care of them.