“So, what’s the game plan?”
Dr. K. has a tendency to stick her fingers in my mouth without telling me why. She will, but you have to ask. Sometimes I don’t ask, too.
“We’re going to do a root canal.”
Wow. Never had one of those before. I’m always up for a new experience. Must make a note in my diary tonight.
My adventures in dentistry have been documented pretty extensively over the past four years, ever since I first found Dr. K. I’ve tried to make up for lost time by being a compliant patient, although I haven’t been into the office since late summer. Hey. I’ve been a little busy.
I’ve noticed that people always sort of shudder when they use “root” and “canal” in the same sentence. Sometimes in the same day. But this was pretty same old, same old for me. Some numbing, some drilling, some filling. At the end, dental assistant extraordinaire Jennifer squirted some bleach up there “to kill the bad bacteria.”
Of course I asked her about good bacteria. I didn’t lose my sense of humor for another 20 minutes or so.
Bacteria, among other fun stuff, can interfere with local anesthetic. They get an attitude. So Dr. K was a little surprised but just a little when the Marcaine wore off before I was even out of the chair. She injected some more to numb me up real good before sending me home with a prescription for an antibiotic. Just another day at the dentist’s.
It took me approximately five minutes to drive from Dr. K’s to the pharmacy. At the three-minute mark, I was sore. By the time I handed over the script, I was sorer. By the time I got home, another five minutes, I was in pain.
At the 10-minute mark, I was yanking business cards out of my wallet, looking for either Dr. K’s number or possibly Jack Kevorkian’s.
This was pain that could not be rated on a scale of 1 to 10. It needed at least Roman numerals, if not a whole new character set. According to Julie, my skin took on a shade of white that would have turned an albino’s head.
Back to the office. More anesthetic. More than that. A little bit more. Maybe just a tad here. Okay, maybe another full dose.
It took 90 minutes in the chair before I started to breathe like a normal person and stopped making snide comments to Dr. K (“I knew Mother Teresa, lady, and you are no Mother Teresa.”).
At least I feel special. This was a rare reaction, apparently. I think Dr. K is maybe writing a journal article this weekend (When Nerves Go Bad).
Ah, well. Nothing like a little pain to put life in perspective. In fact, after a few hours, when the horror had faded and the Percodan had kicked in, I even bought Girl Scout cookies. Of course, my feelings about Girl Scouts are also pretty well documented, and this one was a cutie, about 8 years old.
I was actually feeling all warm and fuzzy until she held up a box of cookies and said, “You might want these. They’re sugarless!”
Probably just an innocent remark.
And I’m pretty sure my parting comment about Mother Teresa went over her head.