Wednesday, August 22, 2012

201.2: Toofer Update

I'm sitting in my dark office and only half of my face has feeling in it.

By last night I couldn't stand the pain from my tooth. Clearly and antibiotics were not helping it because that was day 7 and it was only getting worse, not better. The pain was so bad that my Tylenol 3 for my TMJ didn't even touch the pain. I think I slept about 20 minutes at a time and woke up with pain and throbbing each time.

So this morning I called the dentist and was disappointed that I couldn't get in until 1:30. Then then my phone rang at 9:15 and I was told that if I could get there by 9:30, they'd see me. So I ran, err drove quickly there. The dentist took an extra, looked at the tooth and commiserated with me. Apparently it was a bad cavity that had pulp showing and was all the way to my root.

So I was off to the endodontist to get a root canal that should put me out of my misery. Only remember, I have TMJ? Take your index and middle finger and turn them sideways. Then open your teeth and stick them in. If you can fit both fingers in, you're a normal female. I'm not. Turn those two fingers back, but stick them on top of each other. That's about how far I can open...on a good day.

The whole way to the endodontist I struggled with anxiety that reaches a panic attack. Will I have enough room for the endodontist to work? Will it be a big man with big hands or a small woman with petite fingers? I try lots of things to get me through this, mostly I self talk about how it will be ok. How we will both do the best we can. How they're not going to be mad for my small opening.

I got to the office and in the chair and my anxiety loomed over me like a huge shadow on a sunny day. I met the endodontist and he was so nice and caring. It put me at ease. But then he started the root canal. And I tense up, I get hot, I do a lot of negative self talk and my face gets white. The assistant keeps asking if I'm ok and I recognize that as my cue to relax. I start trying to visualize my back yard and the soft feel of Nico's fur. The sun on my face and the wind over my skin. I do a lot of imagery talk to take me away from what is going on and somehow the 45 minutes passes and I am done.

It's about 3 hours and the Novocaine is wearing off. My tooth is aching from the work done on it. My jaw has muscle spasms that are painful. My forehead is tense because the muscles up there are spasming also. I can also feel all the tendons and connective tissues in my neck getting sore from over extending my opening for so long.

But the throbbing tooth? It's gone. Well, that's not true. It's throbbing, but from work, not from unknown pain. And I'm hopeful with a little rest and relaxation tonight that I can spend my vacation virtually pain free.

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