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.