The one where I out myself

18 May

No, not that way.

Here’s the deal – I’m a bit of a freakshow.

I mean that in the nicest, sweetest, most entertaining of ways.  But let’s be honest – I have issues. I have pretty baggage that coordinates, which I’ve collected over the years.  And I’m not talking about family – HA!

No, I have a collection of anxiety, depression, and a few phobias.  All of which I brushed off as “not that bad” until they became THAT bad.  Something about having a panic attack, where my face went numb and I couldn’t figure out how to breathe correctly led me finally to seek help, learn that what I was dealing with was actually huge, that I wasn’t just making stuff up, and hey, sometimes a little Prozac can be your friend.  Eventually, Prozac and I were able to part ways, and depression lifted, anxiety chilled out.

But I still have Issues.  Lovely, sparkly Issues.  Like anything to do with vomiting (heck, the word itself can make me feel queasy).  Or most recently – dental issues.

Yes, I have a Big Fat Fear of the dentist.  A fear that I know is a bit ridiculous.  I’ve always had great dentists – it was actually my orthodontist that caused me so much pain.  Especially with the hook.  Every damn visit, I’d end up with a hook in the gum.  To the point that I would wait for it, do my customary yelling of “Ow!” and he’d apologize and be more careful.  Then there was the day my eye tooth was in the way – so he moved it.  He physically moved it.  Do you know the nerve ending for that tooth runs up along the side of your nose and around your eye?  I didn’t either until that moment.

So yeah, I have well-earned fears about my teeth.  I avoided the dentist for most of my adult life until my back molar cracked.  I vowed to stop being a dumbass about not going to the dentist.  I also stopped drinking pop for the most part because of an acid chart in the dentist’s office.  Now when I drink a Coke, I am certain I can feel it eating away at the enamel.

Anyhoo – a couple weeks ago, I was eating a muffin, felt a bit of an “ow” and chewed on something not soft.  I was certain – CERTAIN – I had broken a tooth.  CERTAIN.  It made sense in my poor anxiety-riddled brain.  I mean, sure, I’d been to the dentist 6 months before, she looked over it all, did x-rays, all was well.  But I could be grinding my teeth at night for all I know and that’s why all my teeth are crumbling out of my mouth.

Of course, the right and proper thing to do in this situation…is panic and try to ignore the pain.  Some days it didn’t hurt, other days, it did.  Every day, I’d vow I’d call the dentist.  Every day, I’d conveniently forget that vow.  Some days, I had no pain and then think “Wow, my tooth doesn’t hurt” and instantly I could feel the nerve flare up.

Meanwhile, I was certain more pieces of tooth were trying to crumble off.  And I thought of my grandmothers, both long-lived ladies and wondered, if I’m not yet forty, and they lived to be 88 and 92, I’m going to have to spend the next 50 years worrying about these teeth!  What if they don’t last!  I should stop avoiding that phone call!

And then it’d be Friday afternoon – too late to do something.

Eventually, it got to be too much.  I finally got up one morning, and confessed to my husband that I needed to go to the dentist, then started crying…

Have I mentioned I have the best husband in the world?  Who offered to call the dentist, take me to the appointment, sat with me as the dentist checked out my teeth, called them all good, but mentioned a seed had gotten stuck way up there in my gums.

A seed.

All this for a seed.

This is where the rational side of my brain turns to the irrational side and says “You’re such a dork.”

So now, I’ve had that area flushed out and flossed intensely and flushed again with an antiseptic, have some specialized mouthwash to use for the next few days, and a new lipstick as a reward for being such a brave girl at the dentist.  Worst case scenario is that there is a small cavity or crack that they can’t see, if the pain persists, to just go back.  But he was pretty certain there was nothing wrong except a seed causing all sorts of inflammation and issues.

A seed.

And once again, the rational side of my brain is saying “See?  It wasn’t that bad.  It’s NEVER as bad as you think it’ll be.” the irrational side of my brain mutters “feck off” under its breath and admits the rational side was right.

Secretly, my irrational side is relieved to know that my teeth aren’t all crumbling out of my mouth.  And once again, I’m vowing not to be so dorky about visiting the dentist.




13 Responses to “The one where I out myself”

  1. bridget nejman May 18, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    Thank you for this! I am the same exact way! Both of your fears, are my own….but you have to add birds to the list.

    • phoebz4 May 18, 2012 at 8:21 am #

      I’m okay with birds. Bats however? Ugh. Not very good with mice either, but better since having experienced bats in my house.

  2. misskittyrn75 May 18, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Thank you! I also have matching luggage that for some reason, unlike the airlines, I can’t lose. Anxiety, depression…been there…my phobias are clowns (my kids have never been to a circus) and cockroaches.

  3. maryct70 May 18, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    I have the same fear…I try to be brave for my kids, but I hate it. I recently went back to the dentist after …. well after a long gap, and had to confess to the hygenist about why it’s been so long since they’ve seen me. Honestly, I’d rather go to actual confession.
    To make it worse, I still have 2 baby teeth, and I am always reminded that they just won’t last forever, so that just makes me freak out about having them fall out in a meeting sometime after taking a bite of a bagel
    And just like you, when all was said and done, the dentist visit wasn’t so bad, but I still feel like I could lose a tooth any minute.

  4. Wendy Carroll May 18, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    This is why I’m looking forward to dentures.

    • May 18, 2012 at 11:55 am #

      Gaaaah, Wendy, no you’re not! I have implants where an old bridge sat for years and years, and part of the LONG, uncomfortable and unattractive restoration process was a denture instead of front teeth. It was gruesome. (Although I admit, now that it’s DONE, implants are my second favorite thing after my original teeth, which got knocked out at age seven.)

  5. noangeilli May 18, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    I gotta tell you, I think you and I would be great friends and would have a blast laughing at each other and our similarities! 😉


  6. Karen May 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    When I was 6, let’s see, that would have been in 1954, I had a cavity. My mom took me to the dentist to have it filled. No big deal, right? Well, in 1954 my dentist didn’t use anesthetic. So as the tears rolled down my face and the hiccough-y cries came out, my tooth was filled. I never went to a dentist again till I had a tooth literally crumble in my mouth in my late 20’s. Now, at 63, I still remember. So now I have a terrible habit of digging my fingernails into the palms of my hands as soon as the dentist comes into the room. And I have a really good, patient dentist now that is aware of my fears and is very gentle with me. Still I leave with nail marks in my palms.

  7. redmitten May 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    i needed this post. thank you. i’d rather give birth than sit in a dentist’s chair. but my fears don’t end there. (but is it fear? or panic? anxiety? a sense of everything being over before it starts?) i think it is a sense of doom, a sense that the next shoe is going to drop at any moment….but as your post reminds us- ha! it’s a seed, for gosh sakes! a seed…most of the time we become immobile because of a seed. thank you for reminding me of this!

  8. charlie May 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Just a note: If you are worried about the Dentist and pain, just ask them for gas. I get it even when I just have my teeth cleaned or in addition when they have to use shots. Seriously, I suck it as deeply as I can and it’s like heaven. The rest of the good news? By the time you are ready to leave, you can drive. I rather look forward to going in now for the drugs…uh, gas.

    • phoebz4 May 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

      LOL – oddly enough, it’s not about the pain but what they might find wrong. Once in the chair, I’m a good little patient. Which just makes it all the more silly why I’m scared to go.

  9. eisnikki May 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Where did you find the matching luggage? Mine is mismatched, inherited from various relatives and half of it seems to be held together with rapidly fraying tape…..

    I love how your rational side argues with your irrational side, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one like that lol!

  10. Jessica May 19, 2012 at 2:45 am #

    I also hated the dentist, and still need tremendous support to get me to actually go. Somewhat of an answer to at least numb the worst of the anxiety was 0.5 mg of xanax half an hour before going.
    I needed alot of work done as I had – ta da! – avoided the dentist for over 2 years. Now I’m awaiting my 3rd crown. It’s not only that it hurts, it’s the cost as well.

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