Laughing gas was the only thing that encouraged me to continue visiting the dentist.  For the last few years, my dentist has pushed me to build up self-confidence and tough out the procedures with Novocain.    I’ve always been good with shots, never complained too much when I had to take a handful of needle pricks and even willingly hand over my arm when blood needs to be drawn.  I have nice veins.  I’ve been told that many times.

My teeth, on the other hand, are an absolute mess.

Since I was a little kid, my teeth have always been prone to cracking, breaking, chipping, and in some instances, totally crumbling apart like squashed cookies.  A number of dentists have described me has having soft teeth, high ph levels in my blood (which results in high acidity in my saliva), or just plain old bad luck.

As of this afternoon, I have officially hit the bottom of the luck barrel.  It’s empty.

The last procedure I had was pretty major, a retreatment on a root canal that was botched by the dentist I adoringly refer to as Crazy Hirezi.  Basically, Crazy Hirezi jacked up my mouth worse than Mother Nature could have ever done.  All this work now is to fix his poor work.  That retreatment ended up in a cracked root that eventually led to me sitting in the new dentist’s chair for 3 hours while he worked in 2-4 minute intervals as Novocain no longer works on me.  2-4 minute intervals were all I could take because I FELT EVERYTHING. 

It was time for nitrous oxide and me to get reacquainted with each other.  I couldn’t wait!

Today, as a result of eating on my left side in order to leave my right side alone to heal, I was back in the chair with a cracked molar, courtesy of, I’m sure, a freakin’ pita chip.  Or my own spit, considering the ridiculous way things have gone lately.  I told the dentist that I’d be willing to go through with the root canal for this tooth but only if I had the gas. 

He didn’t argue.  He couldn’t. 

The dentist hit me with a needle in such a spot that literally made my left eyeball freeze within a millisecond.  Uh…that was weird.  I couldn’t focus and immediately became nauseated, dizziness kicked in right away.  So I closed my eyes and breathed in the nitrous, ready to get into full-on I-don’t-give-a-crap-about-ANYTHING mode.  Yeeeeess…I was ready!

Then I felt it in my stomach, a strange sensation that I didn’t like.  I might have been high as a kite but I knew something was wrong.  And I burped a few times. 

Oooooh, nooooo!! Baaaaaaadd!!!

Becky, the dental assistant, took my nitrous mask off of me and asked me if I was feeling alright.  Uh…no, I think I’m gonna throw up.

She offered to walk me to the bathroom but, because my left eyeball was staring somewhere else, I couldn’t even bear to open my eyes.  The dentist put me back in the chair and pumped straight-up oxygen into my nose.  The dizziness started to dissipate but the stomach issue…ugh.  Still there.

But wait!!! Do you really think this nightmare is over?  Oh, no!  Just wait ‘till I tell you about my 20 minutes of convulsions.  Oh, yeah.  That was fun!!

Well, not really.

Um, Dr. X, I’ve only ever shook like this when I was coming off of my epidural.  Is this normal?

His response: Not exactly. I mean, it happens!  But, rarely.  Let’s hope it doesn’t last over 15 minutes.

Yes. Let’s hope it doesn’t.

The shaking lasted for what felt like for-freakin’-ever!!  They were throwing blankets on top of me to keep me warm while I wondered why they weren’t calling 911 for me.  Seriously, I thought I was going to die.

I didn’t die. Instead, I drove home praying that I would get over the Dames Point bridge before losing my lunch and I still have a toothache, some leftover desire to barf, and I’m wrapped up in a blanket with the occasional chills.

Elle brought me some orange juice – It has calcium, Mom, and calcium is good for your teeth.

My dentist is afraid to touch me now.

I’m not kidding.  He referred me to another dentist.


About Dena

I'm a sNew Hampshirite by way of suburban Cleveland, by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of home and place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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6 Responses to Blacklisted

  1. Doug says:

    Dena, hoping your feeling better soon. Rough, rough day for you obviously.

  2. Dena says:

    The good news is that my left eyeball is mostly back in place and the chills have settled to a relative 2.4 on the Richter Scale…as opposed to the, uh…1906 San Fran Quake level at around 3pm. Thank you, Doug 🙂

  3. Sra says:

    Wow, that is horrifying.

    I have recurring dreams where my teeth crumble in my mouth, and I can never spit it all out — it’s like my mouth fills with sand. I’m a little disturbed to hear that crumbling is possible.

  4. Laura Lee says:

    Oh Dena!

    this is just his way of avoiding some uncomfortable feelings, I’m sure. maybe he thinks you are a malpractice suit waiting to happen 🙂

    I wonder what that was all about? but I’ve heard some stories, and glad you’re ok, may wanna rethink that gas!

  5. Aunt Debby says:

    Dena, how terrible for you! My heart goes out to you!
    Dentist visits are not good for me also- but thankfully I can get by with the shot.

    I sure hope you recover well and find the perfect dentist for this problem.

    That note was sweet of Ella!

    Have a great week end to make up for this!
    Love, Aunt Debby

  6. Beth says:

    My god, that sounds like a horrible ordeal.

    I don’t like going to the dentist, but its purely for financial reasons. I always feel like I’m getting ripped off when I go. Its probably because we have subsidized healthcare over here, whereas its very hard to get a subsidized dentist. There are waiting lists to get one.

    I hope you’re feeling better and that the new dentist can work out what makes you go bleurgh before they go sticking you with any more needles!


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