ELSIE_BEE

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The day held such promise--and then I wasted it on drugs. And in the dentist chair.

Monday, May 03, 2010

I started the day at 7 a.m. by going to yoga. It went well and I walked out feeling invigorated. I came home and had a blueberry and yogurt smoothie and then had to go to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned. No big deal, right?

When I got to the dentist's office, I was feeling great and took the steps two at a time, bounding into the office. The receptionist greeted me with the news that I was due for my 24-month periodontal scaling. This news took a little of the joy out of my day. For those of you who haven't made the transition from menopausal hell into periodontal hell, all I can say about scaling is: think of your average bluegill getting scaled; that's about how much fun it is.

This news almost took the wind out of my sails but I was having such a great day and felt so good that I wasn't going to let a little thing like this ruin it! I sat in the chair and meditated the entire time. Every time I would feel what they describe as "discomfort" (and the rest of the world would describe as "excrutiating pain") I'd make sure that all my muscles were relaxed and I'd concentrate on my breathing. It worked! I made it through the ordeal really, really well.

The dentist always comes in at the end of the cleaning to do a short checkup, tell me that everything looks fine, and says "See you in six months." This time, though, the hygienist said that the doctor wasn't in today and that his wife would be examining me.

I thought that this was odd and was just about to ask if this was her day off from work or if she'd had to request the day off from Denny's when the hygienist noticed my bemused look and told me that my dentist's wife is also a dentist. Whew! Not that I was worried about a waitress looking in my mouth, telling me that everything looked fine and that her husband would see me in six months but still...

Either things had gone straight to hell in my mouth over the last six months or else Mrs. Dentist was much more observant than Mr. Dentist but the upshot is that I didn't escape nearly so easily today.

Apparently back in the Dark Ages when they used to use silver fillings, I had had some really incredibly wonderful dental work done because the silver fillings had lasted over 30 years. One might think that that would be GOOD news, right? Well, one would be wrong.

Apparently, (and I'm a little confused as to the particulars of this) but either the silver fillings expanded or my teeth contracted or something because the silver fillings in my molars were cracking my teeth. She painted this horror story of them cracking in half and "IF YOU'RE LUCKY, that will happen above the gum line. We (by which I assume she meant her husband) will have to do a root canal and cap it in that case. If it cracks below the gum line, however, kiss the tooth goodbye." And she went on to say in addition to the crowns on the cracking molars, that we needed to replace all the other silver fillings before they started cracking teeth, too.

Okay. This means a lot of dental work. But like Scarlett O'Hara, I figured that I'll worry about that tomorrow and get the hell out of this office right now before anything else goes wrong. I got up to the front window to make an appointment and ran into another snag--due to insurance reasons, I need to get as much of this done before June as possible. Which means sometime in the next three weeks. Yikes.

The upshot of the whole thing was that I ended up going back this afternoon for another 3 1/2 hours of dental work AFTER my morning scaling. If I believed in God, I would have been cursing him. This might involve some "discomfort", the dentist's wife informed me, so we'll just give you a prescription now. Take it before your appointment. (Translation: get to the pharmacy, get the drugs, take them and get your butt back here.)

Triazolam sounds pretty innocuous, doesn't it? HAH! After dutifully taking my pill, I got to the dentist's office with my eyes crossing. I could barely navigate the stairs going up to the building much less take them two at a time.

I slept in the dentist chair for over three hours. Every once in awhile I'd come quasi-awake and then figure that there's no point in pushing myself so I'd go back under.

After my husband drove me home, I read the warnings that come with the prescription: clumsiness, dizziness, drowsiness, blah, blah, weakness, bizaare behavior, changes in personality, blah, blah, confusion, depression, hallucinations, blah, blah, blah...until I came to the interesting part:

SOME PATIENTS TAKING THIS MEDICINE HAVE PERFORMED CERTAIN ACTIVITIES WHILE THEY WERE NOT FULLY AWAKE. These have included sleep driving, making and eating food, making phone calls, and having sex.

I guess that if I'm going to be doing these drugs, sitting in a dentist chair with my dentist's wife capping my molars is probably a lot safer than making phone calls and having sex.

But now it's time for a pain pill because my mouth hurts like a son of a gun.

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  • GRAMMACATHY
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    next Friday
    emoticon
    4026 days ago
  • YDURAS
    I've had my share of root canals, thanks to some medication side effects. Turns out I have nice deep roots on my teeth - which is great unless one needs to be hollowed out or removed. Breathing helped, as did finding a surgeon who didn't try to coddle me. (I had a really bad experience because a doctor told me that I wouldn't feel anything and then I freaked out because I thought if I was feeling things through the anesthesia then something must be really wrong. I did much better with the doctor who was upfront with me. I can handle pain if I know what's going on.) I don't know if scaling requires the kind of icing that an extraction or implant does, but if they tell you to use an icing routine, follow until bedtime. That always seemed to make the most difference for me. And if they're going to give you antibiotics, live culture yogurt is your friend in keeping your gut flora going.
    4026 days ago
  • ELSEEBEE
    Having been at the dentist yesterday, this had me laughing out loud, with you, not at you! I had an experience like that 2 months ago when I went in to get veneers on my front teeth. After 3 hours and as much anesthesia as he could give me (because of the heart meds I'm on), he had to give up and just use bonding to fix the teeth. Then I had to go back yesterday and have the bonding sanded down because the teeth were too long. I had to have some of those old fillings taken out and replaced, too. But I decided having crowns was better than broken teeth (some had already started cracking). "Old" age is hell, isn't it? lol!

    emoticon
    4026 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4021974
    Mt dentist retired about three years ago, and I haven't found a another one yet, mostly because I'm convinced it will go down something like this.
    4027 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6675752
    Oh, Elsie, I am in such sympathy with you. I hate going to the dentist, and getting unpleasant surprises is horrible, horrible.

    I had the silver fillings too, they want to take them all out if they are big because the mercury (well, the amalgam) is stronger than the tooth and so won't "give" like a whole tooth would and that's what they mean by cracking the tooth. I should know, I grind my teeth and now 3 of 4 of my last (furthest back) molars are gold crowns where they used to be teeth with amalgam fillings. So you don't HAVE to get this done now, you can wait and see. I've done that with a couple of teeth because my dental plan just doesn't cover a lot of work in one calendar year. So far, the worst tooth (with the most filling) has gone a year past what they were worried about.

    So you don't have to do everything they recommend, but if your dental plan covers it, that is something to think about.

    Good luck with the work, and you are a STRONG woman to spend most of the day in a dental chair. I bow down before you!
    4027 days ago
  • LLEWIS6879
    Oh man!!! What a nightmare!
    You wrote it really well though. It was very entertaining.

    I wish I had kept a copy of the e-mail I sent to everyone after I had my radioactive thyroid uptake test.
    Not that I was in pain, but I had to lie on my back for 45 minutes with my head hanging off the end of the table with a giant upside down ice cream cone one inch from my neck. It was so FREAKING cold in there that I was shivering and the tech was like, "Miss, I'm sorry, you're going to have to stay still... Big help he was. Then we were almost done and the fire alarm went off...
    Talk about a comedy of errors.
    (Not that yours was funny... well, the writing was funny...)
    Hope you feel better tomorrow.

    emoticon
    See? Clean white shiny teeth!!!
    4027 days ago
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