Filling the Pain

Ah, I love the 40's. That's the great time in life when the fillings that hurt so much getting them as a 13 year old start to rust and fall out. You would think something made out of mercury, aluminum, and kryptonite would last longer than 30 years. Am I being unrealistic here? Surely not.

In any case, I had 2 of them done today. Back left molars if you must know. Big honkin' fillings from what I can tell. I can't open my mouth far enough to see them because she (my dentist) made me open my mouth so far, it messed up my TMJ, another gift that keeps on giving into your 40's. Seriously, I can only open my mouth about 50% of what is usual. If I had to speak this blog right now, it wouldn't be happening, my friend. If it was, you'd only hear 50% of it, or every other word. Now there's some people in life I WISH I could only hear 50% of, but unfortunately they don't know who they are.

What a great superpower that would be though, eh? "Half Speak" powers! You can have your invisibility or flying powers, I just want some peace and quiet. Or at least 1/2 the peace and quiet I'm getting. I'm sure the dentist feels like she's living those powers because when I answer those questions she's asking when I'm all numbed up I'm sure it sounds like Joe Cocker at Woodstock.

Which takes me back to where this started, namely in a compromising position under the bright lights of the dentist's chair. Because the Doctor can't really ethically prescribe sedation, anesthesia, or narcotics for fillings, I had to settle for Novocaine. She kept claiming that because I was so tall that it required more doses. So, I got 3 and she started to drill. "Did you feel any of that?", she asks. How does one respond to a question like that? "Yes, frankly I felt ALL of it, particularly the part where the drill touched my enamel. Yeah, that part. Yeah, that hurt. Yeah, it hurt. Other than that, no I didn't feel anything."

So of course I said I felt some near the end, because I did. She then gave me a "booster". Now, I'm 47, and I've never had a booster of 'caine before. It's one of the benefits of your 40's I think, and there aren't many. And besides, after paying $82.00 out-of-pocket for these two fillings, because they were "natural colored", I figure stick it to the insurance company. They don't keep track of how many shots of novocaine it takes the Doc to shut the old guy up. Heck, I'd have taken a couple of shots home with me if they would have offered. I could use it in my toe when I get one of those ouchy hangnails.

At this point, I'm getting pretty numb. One of my eyelids is drooping, and I can't feel a thing from my chin to my left temple. I've forgotten my children's names and am picturing my lip to look something like :

I'm sure it looked normal, but I felt like it kept flapping against my chin.

The Dentist then took the opportunity to finish the grinding and drilling. I kept trying to picture Myrtle Beach, complete with waves lapping against the shore. Of course as soon as I got 2 waves into it the drill would hit Warp 5 again and I'd be right back at the mercy of a merciless woman with a background in dentistry. So much for visualization therapy. All it made me think of ultimately was the stinging jellyfish of Myrtle Beach.

The only saving grace of the whole episode was that I mistook the drilling of two cavities for one. When she said she was almost done, I wanted to kiss her. Having hideous novocaine lips, I figured I better settle for a muffled "sounth gooth".

And what's with the LED light thingy used to polymerize the filling? Anything that can solidify a liquid substance in 30 seconds can't be good for you. I noticed she and the assistant kept looking away while this light was vaporizing my new filling. One day they'll probably pin that device to prostate cancer or extreme lipittius or something. Don't say I didn't warn you.

The nice receptionist out front took my $82.00 with a smile and said "See you in 3 weeks!". I didn't even get a cruddy toothbrush out of the deal.

So I head to work, flying on a head full of novocaine, droopy left eyelid and all; probably shouldn't have been driving.

Once at work, I try and proceed with business as usual. My Friday routine involves getting a sweet roll and I wasn't going to let the dentist ruin that too. But alas, she did. You think I could open my mouth wide enough to get a bite of it in? Hardly. I managed to get one bite in and from there it's a bit blurry on what happened to it. A good portion of the bite went into my left cheek and has yet to emerge. Not to mention that I think novocaine temporarily paralyzes your tastebuds, because I couldn't taste a thing. Couple that with the fact that I was like a cow choking up his cud for the the next half hour and you get a good picture of the enjoyment factor. Needless to say I put the rest of the roll aside until after lunch, when it was only a slightly better experience.

And don't even get me started about drinking the hot coffee. It's only 1/2 hot see? Left side; Not Hot. Right side; Scalding. Wierd. An ouchy kind of wierd. Drool a little to impress your co-workers and mess up your shirt, and well, Happy Friday. I can hardly wait to see what my 50's bring.

So what is the moral of the story? Visit the dentist only if it's throbbing, bleeding, or coming out in your cracker jack. I'm serious and I'm...

Blogging off.


Unknown said…
Jim, I really appreciate all of your posts and the heart, humor and honesty I hear I them. Feels like you are just sharing what you notice and discover on life's journey.
You have so much to share as a writer.

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