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.
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.
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.” ..as 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.