Thursday, July 21, 2011

Face Your Fears

Last week sucked. But, in an effort to be positive, I avoided griping about the annoyances in my life. All in all, this is turning out to be a better week. However, one of the crappy things that happened last week has inspired me to discuss one of my biggest fears:

The dentist.

What happened that caused this inspiration? Well, on the day that my friend and I went to Ann Arbor, we had lunch at Zingerman's. It's a somewhat overpriced but delectable deli that's very well known in the Midwest. Anyways, I was munching away on my sandwich which included some pumpernickel with a rather hard crust. I was nearing the end of my meal, when suddenly I detected something very hard in my mouth. Much harder than pumpernickel crust. I basically threw poor Amelia at my friend and ran to the bathroom.

I had broken off part of one of my teeth. Ironically, the day after Amelia's first tooth had popped through.

That was bad enough, but the first thought I had was "OMG, I'm going to have to go to the dentist." I could have thrown up right there in the middle of the restaurant. You would think that someone who has given birth without pain medication would not be afraid of some dental work. But indeed, I am. I went to a few verbally harsh dental professionals as a teen, and I've pretty much dealt with this by complete avoidance as an adult. I did get brave once in my early 20's and went to a new dentist. He was kind, but somewhat stupid in that he apparently thinks the best way to overcome a dental fear is to show you your teeth after they've been drilled. Not. Helpful.

Add to that the fact that I have inherited my family's hillbilly teeth (no, really-- my great great grandma used to keep her moonshine cold by putting it in a creek in the holler. Which is awesome, but she could have kept her bad teeth to herself), and you have a recipe for some deep seated anxiety. It was essential that I find a good dentist that would take my anxiety seriously and not scold me for the condition of my tooth.

This led me to the office of Dr. Hebeka this past Tuesday. The bad news is that a week from today, I will be having a root canal and partial implant done on the tooth that broke. Eventually, that tooth will also have to be crowned. And, I have to have five cavities filled sometime in August. The good news is that Dr. Hebeka seems to take anxiety very seriously and will be giving me laughing gas and wants me to wear my ipod while I get this procedure done. He also offered me valium, which sounds awesome, but alas, I cannot take it while breastfeeding. Sigh. The sacrifices I make for this kid.

As a side note, I also found out that I have tori (my bones look like the second picture in the link), a thickening of the bone in my mouth. WTF?!? Apparently, it only occurs in 10% of the population. None of my other dentists have ever mentioned this. The discovery of this mouth malformation led to me forcing my husband to open his mouth in front of our bathroom mirror that evening with me so I could compare our oral bone structures. All my life I thought everyone had these bulges of bone in their mouth. You learn something new every day, I guess. Things like what a freak of nature you are and so forth.

Stay tuned for how I cope with-- or become violently ill over-- next week's dental work. Suspenseful, I know.

What are your biggest fears? How do you deal with them?

1 comment:

James & Kristi said...

Wow!!!!!!!!!!! That is a lot to deal with and have been through a lot, so no wonder you are freaking!

I have faith that you will pull through like a champ and I'll be sending some good vibes your way.