I have an epic fear of the dentist. I cry just making an appointment over the phone. I was at Clarksville Dental Spa a few months ago getting my first check up since 2005 (seriously - that afraid) and all they could do to me was take x-rays because panic would set in as soon as they held up any instruments. They SWORE they could take care of all of my issues - which were much fewer than I had anticipated, seeing as how it had been 8 years since I'd been in to a dentist - 2 cavities, a root canal with a crown, and a deep cleaning- in one sitting. I take care of my teeth, I just hate going to the dentist. So we scheduled an appointment for a fully sedated block of 3 hours to get it all done at once. Sounded great to me! Knock it all out in one shot AND I'd get to sleep through it all? Perfect. Except that's not what happened.
First, they called me 3 days before my appointment and told me they'd have to reschedule for a few weeks later bc the dentist had some family events to attend that day. So, sweet, I got to dread it and have nightmares about all my teeth being yanked out of my head for an extra 2 weeks. Then, less than 48 hours before the second scheduled appointment, they called to reschedule it again. Tried to make it for 3:00 in the afternoon that same day. Umm. You can't eat or drink anything the day of sedation so there was no way that was going to work. That's just asking for a migraine. The next available appointment was for an entire month later. So this place that is supposed to cater to people with dental anxiety has now tripled the amount of time I have to deal with mine leading up to the big day. The original appointment was for the first week of May, the one they actually stuck with was June 19. On top of that, I had to resecure a sitter for Little and Mister had to reschedule a day off work every single time they changed my appointment. *And they make you pay up front, so you can't just get frustrated and take your business elsewhere.
So I took my 2 valium at bedtime the night before, just as prescribed. Felt nothing. It's supposed to help you sleep, but it didn't do jack for me. Probably because of my years of migraine medicines. Nothing in the weaker than a Maxalt seems to have any effect on me. Yesterday morning I woke up feeling like a slug and pouted around the house since I couldn't have any coffee and I knew that in just 2 hours I would be in the torture chamber. At 10:00 I took the two little football shaped pills called Triazolam, like I was supposed to. The nurse had told me they had a Xanax like effect to them. I've never taken Xanax, so that didn't mean anything to me. We hopped in the car and started to take Little to a babysitter so that Mister could stay with me at the dentist. At 10:15, Mister recognized a city code enforcer parked in the neighborhood, so he stopped and rolled down the window to chat with her for a minute. That's when I realized these little blue pills were no joke. Definitely stronger than a Maxalt. When he rolled the window back up I told him to swear not to let me talk to anyone until this was over, hide my phone from me, and why were the trees moving like that? That's the last thing I remember.
According to my husband, I was in and out of consciousness from that point on and when I was up, I was up and when I was down, I was o.u.t. Here are some of the highlights of the day, as reported to me by my husband.
Things I did or said on the car ride there:
~ Hey don't let me talk to Whitney. Promise you won't let her come out to the car. Roll up the windows RIGHTNOW so that she can't come out and see me, I cannot talk to anyone like this!
~Hide my phone. I really don't need to talk to anyone like this. Really. Take my phone and don't give it back to me no matter what.
~Ooh, my phone! I'm gonna call my mom! (into her voicemail) HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!! I'm on so many drugs!!!!! click. There, that oughta confuse her ALL day!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Let's call Gran! I'm gonna call Gran! (Gran picks up) HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!! I'm on so many drugs!!!!!!!! Wharrtre you doing? Druuuuuugs! That's what I'm doing! Why are the trees moving like that? I'm on drugs! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! ***pull into Whitney's house to drop off Andrew*** Sam, don't let Whitney come out and talk to me! I'm on too many drugs. HI GRAN! Don't forget Andrew! No, I'm talking to Sam - Gran! Hey!!! DRUUUUUUGS!
~pass out. pop awake. pass out. pop awake.
~dance to the radio and tell Husband that we should go to the club so I can go dancing
~Where's the kid?!?!?! Is he at Whitney's? Did we forget? Don't let her talk to me.
Things I did or said at the Dental Spa before the appointment even started:
~I can't get out of the car. Stop helping me! I can do it. I can't move my legs.
~ **standing in the parking lot** Can we just stand here for a minute? My legs feel heavy. **3 minutes later, Mister gives up and drags me inside.
~ Ask Mister to sign me in at the front desk about 16 times
~My mom calls back and I HAVE to answer it. Don't know what I said, but I know was loud.
~I HAVE TO PEE! Tried to take Mister outside to the bathroom down the hall but was redirected to the one inside the clinic by a nurse. Hey, a bathroom! I have to pee! You have to help me! **Start to take down pants while door is wide open. Sam saves the day.
~ **Aid comes to get me and I am still wearing my sunglasses. Tries to take them off and I throw a fit. I'm going to need those back! You can't have them. I need those when we are finished. **gives them to Husband. I'm going to need those back (angry glare at the receptionist who had nothing to do with it).
~ Yeah, that'll work! **At the numbers on the scale they weighed me on in the back room. Mister said I was pretty happy with my weight.
Things the Dentist and assistants told my husband I did or said during the appointment:
~Nurse to Husband: What church do ya'll go to?
Husband: Barker's Mill........
Nurse: Oh, okay.
Nurse: Well, she wouldn't let us do any work on her until we all prayed together first.
Husband: That sounds about right.
**YEAAAH!!!!!!! Good job, Katherine! Look at me, remembering whose in charge even when I'm medically and legally roofied!
~Dentist to Husband: What happened to her???
Husband: What do you mean?
Dentist: I mean, why is she so anxious? Did something happen when she was a child?
Husband: I'm not sure. I know she's been dreading this for months and she REALLY hates going to the dentist.
Dentist: Yeah, I could see that. Well we can't finish. She's a little girl and we've given her more medicine that we've ever given anyone ever before. All we got done was the cleaning and part of the root canal. She'll have to come back atleast 2 more times to finish that and the 4 cavities. ***4?????? There are 4 now????***
Dentist: We asked her if she was ok with coming back and changing her sedation method. She said ok but she's all drugged up.
Husband: No kidding.
~Nurse: Next time I think we'll have to try doubling the dose of pills and using gas instead of sedation.
~Nurse: Ok, she's ready to go now. You'll have to pull your car around back. There's no way she's walking out here.
Husband: Oh man. Are we going to have to stretcher her out?
Nurse: We managed to get her in a wheelchair. I'm not sure how long we'll be able to keep her there.
Husband runs to the car.
~ Where are my glasses? What did the dentist say? Where's the kid? Don't let me talk to Whitney.
~Nurse to Husband: So some of the draw down effects of these drugs are sleepiness and confusion. You need to stay with her all day. As in don't just put her to bed then take off somewhere - you need to actually be right there with her.
Husband: Ok, that's fine.
Nurse: And most of the time, the patient has lots of tears and crying as the drugs wear off.
Me: **waves hand in a dismissive manner** Psshhhhhhhhhh. he's got that one down with me! Laughs histerically as I flop about in my wheelchair.
~Husband tries to get me in the car and I inform him that I can't remember how to get my leg inside the door.
Things I did or said on the way home:
~ pass out
~pop wide awake What'd the dentist say?
~pop wide awake, look in the backseat and scream "Where's the kid?!?!?!?!" Tells me he's at Whitney's and we are going to get him right now and I say.....Yep, you guessed it "Don't let her come talk to me. Promise? I don't wanna talk to anyone. I'm on drugs. What did the dentist say? Did they get it all done?"
~Pop awake and see Little in his car seat behind me. Where that kid come from?! What did the dentist say?
~pass out on the couch for a few hours, much to my husband's relief
~wake up groggy, but not quite as incoherent. Where's the kid? What'd the dentist say?
~Burst into tears at the thought of having to go back a few more times to finish up what was supposed to have all been done in one visit. *But I only cried one more time! So take THAT nurse who said I would be a big baby all day*
~When is my face supposed to feel normal?
Mister: In about 2 hours
Me: Oh. wait - 2 hours from now or from when they numbed me?
Mister: When they numbed you.
Me: Umm, it's after 5:00. I've been numb for like 6 hours. What did the dentist say?
*ended up not wearing off until sometime over night. I think I was numb for about 15 hours. I totally believe them that they gave me more drugs than any other patient ever.
~ *As my head got clearer* Me: What did the dentist say? Did they get it all done?
Mister: deadpans "NO. I told you, you have to go back bc they couldn't finish."
Me: WHAT?!?! Why not? OMG I have to go back????!
Mister: What do you want me to say? I don't know why they didn't finish! I don't have all the answers.
**Mister clearly had lost his sense of humor and patience with me at this point and didn't care to hide it from me**
Mister: I'm taking the kid and going outside for a while.
Me: bursts into tears for the second time "Why are you being so mean?"
Mister: Because I've already answered that for you like 20 times. You keep asking me the same thing over and over again.
Me: I can't help it!!! I'm not doing it on purpose, I've been on drugs! How do you not understand it? You WORK on a drug task force!
Mister: flees for the safety of the outdoors but later apologizes
So there you have it. The more entertaining parts of the day, that he's remembered to tell me so far. I cannot believe I have to go back again and that they found 2 additional cavities. My entire face is going to be numb that day. I am really just so disappointed that a place that claims to cater to people with my phobia and guarantees that they will make you perfectly comfortable and can handle it all - couldn't seem to get a grip on how to fix ANY of my teeth. NONE. All they did was clean them. Didn't fill a single cavity. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH I HATE THE DENTIST! Thank you SO much, very first dental assistant when I was a tot who backed me into a corner and pointed the explorer (the worst tool ever - it's the one shaped like a hook) at me and yelled at me to get in the chair or else she was calling over the dentist - and you don't want him in here, believe me! And thank you, Chandra, the clumsiest person to ever change rubber bands and brackets on someone with braces. Never left that place without busted gums, a slit bottom lip, or shredded cheeks - every month for FOUR years and a month.
There is NO WAY I'm allowing them to finish my root canal without IV sedation. I've been awake for one before and it was the worst experience I've ever had at the dentist. So add that to the 2 examples above of why I am absolutely petrified of the dentist. Plus, the crazy patchwork job they did on that tooth left me with a big grey smudge on the front of the tooth! A FREAKING GREY TOOTH. So now I have to walk around looking like a meth mouth until this root canal gets finished - which with their track record of postponing appointments could be next February.
So, if you'll excuse me know, I think I ought to call my mom and Gran and make sure I didn't say anything worse than "I'm on druuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugs!" Oh, and Whitney - thank you for watching Andrew, even though I apparently wanted to hide from you.