Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Letting go

Warning: Discussion of things dentist-y ahead. If you don't want to read about what happens (to me, anyway) in a dentist's office, stop right here and go see how many pics of Charlie are on The Pioneer Woman's site today.

Okay! Here is what happens when I go to the dentist for a cleaning:

1. I walk in the door, feeling fine. No problems.

2. Nurse Ratched cleans my teeth and takes x-rays.

3. The dentist comes in, looks at the x-rays, says "hmmmm", looks at me, and says, "gimme all your money." (Okay, not really, but she might as well. It'd save some time.) She explains that I have a tooth that is about to go radioactive on my ass, and that it must be fixed right away, or else I'm gonna need a root canal six months down the road.

4. "but ... but ....", I splutter. "That tooth doesn't hurt! None of my teeth hurt! I feel fine! Really!"

5. The dentist shakes her head, shows me the x-rays which I cannot read, and explains that while the tooth doesn't hurt right now, by the time it starts to hurt, I will need a two-thousand-dollar root canal/crown. Which can be avoided by giving her a thousand dollars right now to grind down the tooth and crown it, avoiding the root canal.

6. Sighing, I make an appointment. An appointment with doom. hee.

7. Two weeks later, I walk into the dentist's office, feeling fine. I walk out a couple of hours later, numb to the gills. And once the novocaine wears off, the pain sets in. The grinding, constant pain, which will take anywhere from one week to a few months to go away.

I have TMJD, you see, a jaw disorder which means that any time I have to clench my jaw for any length of time, as in when they're taking impressions or setting crowns, my jaw says f*ck this and freaks out. Is fun! Not.

Right now I've been in pain for almost a month from my latest dental procedure. And who knows how many more days/weeks/months it may take until things calm down. And no, physical therapy doesn't help. TENS unit stimulation doesn't help. Hot/cold packs don't help. Freaking painkillers don't help. The mouthpiece helps a little, but not when the jaw gets cranked up the way it is now.

So I've come to a conclusion. I have find a way to deal with this, or else it'll take over my life and drive me crazy. I was there before, and it wasn't pretty. I have to find a way to ignore the bad, before I lose all the good.

I have to learn to let the pain go.


Heather said...

That is awful! You would think that they could come up with something to help lessen the pain.

Give me all your money...LOL!! Sad but true!

Holly Jane said...

I have that, too. Every time I go to the dentist, I warn them and ask for the bite-blocks they use for babies. They always exchange a prive eye-roll (which I can totally see because I am right there) and then say, "Let's just see how it goes." Then ten minutes later they are barking irritably, "Open wider. WIDER." "I CAN'T THAT IS WHY I ASKED FOR THE BITE BLOCKS WHILE MY MOUTH STILL OPENED."

dentists, bah. I feel you.

Badass Nature Girl said...

I really hope you find some relief. Here is a company that I LOVE and have many of their formulas. I have not tried the TMJ formula yet, because well, if it's not on the store shelf, I'm too lazy to order it online.

A little story: Once upon a time, I worked at Taco Hell. I usually worked the drive-thru and was training a new girl one day. She was a big snot. Anywho, in between cars, I'd be telling how the register works, in what sequence to accept their payments, hand them their drinks, etc, and this car pulls up to the speaker and into my headset I say, 'Welcome to Taco Bell, may I take your money?' The customer laughed (thankfully!) and I laughed at it (I still do!) but that girl I was training? not so much. Feel better soon!

Fish Food said...

Gorgeous picture.

Hope you feel better soon!

Bridgett said...

I know that this is just an anecdote and maybe I'm a bullheaded jackass that is cruising for imminent trouble, but I had a similar severe talking to from my former dentist (who I don't like much...he gives great care to my kid and my husband, but we just don't click). He railroaded me into making an appointment for an extraction I didn't want for a tooth that wasn't hurting, so I just didn't go back. I was willing to risk that the big-ass cavity that was going to kill my mouth was not really as huge a deal as he said. It's been three years now. I'm still fine. I went back to his office for a cleaning about a year later and the staff acted as though I have had the tooth extracted because it's still noted on my chart that he had scheduled the extraction. Hmmm.....

Needless to say, I have found and go to another dentist.

rockygrace said...

Oh, Brigett, that's a scary story.