Wednesday, March 15, 2006

not a good day

Yesterday, that is, was not a good day. I woke up paralyzed with nausea, afraid to move because I was sure that the slightest movement would result in my covering Tango with vomit. He had pressed himself into my armpit, his body stretched against my side- his favorite position. Josh usually leaves for school before I wake up, so Murray uses the opportunity to rest his head on Josh's pillow and scrunch his body under the covers. Just like a human.

After an hour of wishing the nausea away, I knew that I had to find a way to shower and get dressed, because yesterday morning was also my dreaded dentist appointment. For my root canal, ick.

Two weeks ago, I had a first appointment with a new dentist, who took the requisite dental x-rays, and found a cavity on my back lower molar. He warned me that it looked like it might be close to the root, and with a grimace, might require a root canal.

Ridiculous, I thought. I am an obsessive teeth brusher and flosser. I had braces in law school, and I learned not to eat candy to avoid stains or cavities, drink coffee through a straw to avoid staining my teeth (did you know that tip?), and I use flouride every week. My parents had dental problems while I was growing up, and their trips to the dentist scared me into action. I don't think I have EVER gone to bed with brushing my teeth. Ever. I'll ask my mom for confirmation, but when I tell you it is a compulsion, I am not exaggerating.

When my braces were removed at graduation, though, no one took x-rays, and I suspect that problem was existing at the time. The cavity is right on that moral they use as the anchor with braces, the one that gets covered by the metal band. It would have been impossible for me to prevent food from getting stuck under there.

Anyway, when I went for the filling, it turned out to need a root canal. The cavity had just infiltrated the root, and according to the dentist, if I didn't do something about it, it would decay the root and compromise the strength of the tooth. If we took out the infected nerve right away, I'd save the tooth from decaying too soon. This weekend I mourned my poor defenseless tooth, and moped around a bit, but the root canal was not bad at all.

It took about an hour and 15 minutes, long enough for my jaw to be screaming in protest from being held open. The periodontist said that many people fell asleep while he was working on their teeth, but that was soooo not going to happen with me. I did have a moment of panic when he told me that I was totally numb and wouldn't feel a thing, but then felt 3 sharp jabs in quick succession on the bottom of my jaw, under my chin. They were each less than a split second, but I was so surprised to feel such a sharp pain that I screwed my eyes up and started crying for a few seconds out of fear of what else I'd feel. That was it, though, nothing to write home about. It was certainly no worse than a regular filling, just longer.

In a month I'll meet again with my dentist to decide whether a permanent filling or cap will be required. He suspects a filling, but we'll have to see.

While the drilling was going on, I kept trying unsuccessfully to imagine myself in St. Croix to focus on other things. About halfway through, they turned on the radio or put in a cd, and strangely, played my wedding song. I say strangely, because the song I walked down the aisle to is fairly unusual and uncommon- Sarah Brightman's "No One Like You."

I took it as a sign that I should calm down, which I did.

In your eyes are my secrets
that I've never shown you
In my heart I feel
I've always known you

In your arms there's a comfort
that I never knew
You're what I've been waiting for,
there's no one like you

Sure as the sunrise, pure as a prayer
You fashioned hope right out of thin air
Ev'ry dream I abandoned,
seems it could come true
I believe in miracles,
there's no one like you.

17 comments:

Jess said...

Well, I am also compulsive about brushing and flossing, and I never had a cavity until I was 29. And suddently, last Fall I also had to have a root canal--and it sucked. It took forever, and that dental dam, and the needles, and the scraping. *shudder*

My point is, all is fair in love and dentistry. You can floss til the cows come home, but you might as well be flossing the cow's teeth, 'cause sometimes it just doesn't matter.

But you should get a gold crown. They're super cool and you can go all pirate on people.

Elizabeth said...

Sounds like you were very, very brave during that root canal. They will have to strap me down and shoot me full of horse tranqs if I ever have to have that done.

Nausea gone? Just one of those things that comes and goes, then? Hope so.

I've never heard of Sarah Brightman, but that song has beautiful lyrics.

Joke said...

I cracked a molar and needed a root canal.

I'd rather give birth to a flaming porcupine.

-J.

Phantom Scribbler said...

What a terrible day! I'm so sorry!

Dawn said...

It's odd that you mention trying to stay calm...I have a hard time staying present when I am having my teeth cleaned. I think I do it to not panic, but it is much better when I stay with my body.

And if you go with the gold Grille, you could have a small dog embossed into it.

Nancy said...

Was the nausea maybe due to being nervous about the root canal? I am assuming you didn't throw up. Kudos for that.

I hope you are having a better day. And if you do get the golden teefs, we expect pictures. ;-)

halloweenlover said...

I am cracking up. People, I am NOT getting golden teeth, beautiful though they may be.

I will, however, be asking about the embossed dog.

Jill said...

Nausea and a root canal--yikes--that WAS a bad day. I hope that today is going much better for you!

I, too, am an obsessive teeth brusher, and so far I've only ever had one cavity. However, I must admit that ever since I got my braces I have slacked off on the flossing; it's just so darn tedious to floss around and through them. I'm a bit nervous that some new cavities will come to light once the braces come off. Your theory about your cavity being caused by food trapped in the moral that anchored your braces sounds very plausible to me.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about yout tooth. I am an obsessive brusher/flosser with bad genetics. I have a lot of fillings and one crown, but have never needed a root canal.

Mr. MFBA, on the other hand, never ever flosses and just got his first cavity at the age of 35.

ccw

halloweenlover said...

I think I forgot to tell you about how Josh barely even BRUSHES HIS TEETH, and he's never had a cavity. I hate him, just a little bit.

Chatty Cricket said...

Teeth can be so arbitrary. I have never had a cavity, ever. But I rarely floss and I've been AWFUL about going to the dentist. I finally went for the first time in 3 years, and I was more than prepared to hear that I needed all new teeth. But thankfully, all of my chompers were in good order.

I credit the flouride treatments my dentist tortured me with when I was growing up. Ugh, they made me gag, but I'm convinced this is why I have never had a cavity.

And for the crown, I say go with diamonds. Maybe spell out Josh's name in a heart with an arrow going through? Like a mouth tatoo!!

Kristin said...

*shudder* I need to go to the dentist. I know I have a cavity. It's been there, winking at me, for a while now, but I've continued to ignore it. Now it's starting to hurt a bit sometimes, so I know I can't avoid the dentist anymore. Lord help me. I'm not so much afraid of the procedure as the NEEDLES required to get me numb. eeeeeeeeee *SHUUDDDDEEERRRR*

I never had a cavity until I was 20. Then I had two at once. Now here's another one (in my right back molar), and I wouldn't be surprised if they found one on the other side while they're at it.

I think I made it so long without one because I drank mostly water growing up. Water, water, all the time. Once I went to college, my soda intake increased dramatically and has remained at dangerous levels ever since. Though now, I'm back down to one a day.

halloweenlover said...

I did the flouride too when I was a kid and I've always hated candy, so I think it is, unfortunately, just a genetics thing. I didn't have a cavity until I was 24 or so, but apparently that hasn't saved me now.

Very sad. I just hope our future kids get Josh's teeth.

Ameloblast said...

Glad your root canal experience wasn't too bad. Are you sure you saw a periodontist though? Could it have been an endodontist?

jen said...

Me and Joke had the same deal. Though after about SEVEN shots of novacaine, I was numb and it wasn't a big deal. The shots were truly the wrost and the worst of the entire process.
Broke my molar on frozen easter candy, waited too long to get it capped, and it got infected. My procrastination cost me a little over grand. DUMB.

amygeekgrl said...

ugh, i feel your pain (figuritively anyway). i have always been a compulsive brusher/flosser myself and didn't get my first cavity until a few years ago, but man, it rocked my world. since the birth of ava, i have to admit my visits to the dentist haven't been happening and i need to get back in there for a cleaning. soon.
anyway, i'm sorry you had to go through all of that. hope there's no need for another one. ever. :)
doh, just read what you wrote about josh not brushing his teeth. jody is somewhat similar. he can have horrible dental hygiene and still have great teeth. some luck.

Anonymous said...

i have 3 cavities and i choose to get them filled without any knumbing at all. the shots are just too freightning.