Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gas me up or Knock me out

Preventive and proactive care is normally a positive event in one's life, but there are times when you say, "I feel worse now than before I knew there was a problem." Last month I had my semi-annual dental visit which was also time for the annual bite-wing x-rays. Nothing unusual, during the visit, until near the end the hygienist mentioned I needed a filling. I glanced at the display screen noticing the highlighted tooth (a left molar). No big deal, I thought, it's been a long time since I needed one.

After some scheduling and rescheduling on their behalf, the procedure was scheduled for this past Thursday at 1:15. All went as planned until they called me a little after 12 asking if I could arrive earlier. Being that I was just finishing my lunch (a salad), they were located within 5 minute drive from my job, and all was slow, I left around 12:30, arriving there shortly after that. Spent a few minutes in the lobby playing BlackJack on BB and glancing at The Young & the Restless while I waited. Still, there was no indication that rest of my day would be dreadful.

I didn't remember until this woman stuck an anesthetic stick in my mouth that they were going to numb me with novocaine injections and it usually takes MANY before the work can begin. Having the previous experience of meds wearing off DURING a root canal, I recalled being told to try to relax as much as possible to let the meds work quickly. The first round injections came and went. I tried, REALLY tried, to "shut up", but doc's assistant continued to ask me several questions and instructing me to adjust my jaw in positions not normally done. During this inquisition, the second round of injections came and went because I still had sensations in lip and tongue. Maybe she thought that by talking, the meds would be "worked" into the proper areas. Not sure how much time had passed, but now The Bold & the Beautiful was on overhead monitor.

Finally when my saliva glands were in overdrive and my speech was so jumbled she could barely understand me, it was time to start. Doc was called in and he began with ANOTHER round of injections. It was a positive that I did not feel anything while doc went about doing his thing with his motorized gadgets, the negative happened later. I left their office just after 2pm.

Having a previously planned appointment canceled, I returned to work with no plans to speak to anyone, but of course Hubby wanted to have a phone conversation. Amid this conversation, I had to end it abruptly. Instead of the numbness decreasing, it began to increase to the other side of my face. This continued for the next hour or so.

Problem: lunch wore off and hunger cravings kicked in. There was no way I could eat my regular afternoon snack: Washington apple. Searching for alternatives in my desk I found some sugar-free thin mints. Breaking one apart, I was able to kill the snacking urge by letting pieces dissolve on my right cheek.

Rest of the day had a plethora of emotions: anger that I felt worse than before the procedure, annoyance to constantly push in my lower lip and check for drool, displeasure in taking Tylenol for the pain in the injection location, and aggravation that I couldn't eat anything until 8pm without fear of biting my tongue. Even then there was a possibility my cheek was still in danger.

Now here it is, three days after the procedure and there are still sensitive areas in my jaw. Next time, there has to be better way: either gas me up or knock me out.

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