Thursday, July 02, 2009

In the Dentist's Chair...

On Tuesday, I had to go to the dentist because my tooth broke while I was eating salad. I didn't bite the fork...just a mouth full of lettuce and dressing when suddenly, I felt something hard. Grossed me out when I saw part of a tooth, until I realized it was mine!

Okay, so I go to the dentist knowing that I will need to have a crown. That means lots of sitting and waiting, so I took along my "Fire in Fiction" by Donald Maass so I could spend the time learning how to fire up my manuscript. The doctor came in and looked at the tooth while her assistant prepped the torture instruments.

Next, she applied the nasty tasting pre-numbing solution. I saw her lean closer to read the cover of my book. She asked, "Oh, you are a writer?"

"Yes," said I. (Wondering if I will get something good out of this visit to include in my writing)

"That's interesting." Then she lifted the needle large enough to put a bull elephant to sleep in less than 3 seconds. She rammed it into my mouth and I tried not to jump. Since I was so good, she decided to twist it upward and try again. I did jump a little, hoping she would be satisfied and take the needle away. But, noooo, she jabbed it into my lower gum next. I hate needles!

Then, blessedly, she was finished. Whew. She raised my chair so I could read my book and told me she'd be back in a few minutes to see how I was progressing. Okay, I guess that means to see if I was getting numb. So, I proceeded to read and try to forget what would be coming next. (shudder)

About five minutes later the dentist appeared again with a smile bordering on that of Garfield about to squash Odie. All teeth. You know what I mean? She asked how I was doing. I told her I could feel tingling along my chin now. Wrong answer.

"I'm just going to give you a little bit more, baby girl." (Baby girl??? Now, I'm starting to get scared. Really scared.) So she gets a needle, which has grown in size, and shoots me up a little more.

A little more time reading and the walking smile returns.

Then, the drilling began. Oh, how I hate that sound! The dentist proceeded to stretch my mouth to an unnatural width, and her assistant stuck a fire hose into the opposite side of my mouth to siphen out the overflow (or to hide the blood?). I hear them chatting happily, while I'm verging on a migraine headache. Pain throbbing in my temples, while the drilling continues. I'm praying they finish soon. Not going to happen.

Next, they put a rubber thing between my teeth and tell me to bite down. That is supposed to keep my mouth just right for the drilling to continue. But, the doctor is having a problem getting to one side of my tooth. So, they change sides! Now the dentist is on my left and with a happy grin, says, "Ah, this is much better!"

They talk about how great I'm doing. How do they know? They have no idea I'd like to club both of them and shove the drill down their throats! Now I can smell something burning. And taste burnt residue in my mouth. Oh, please, I pray, haven't they reached my stomach yet?

Finally, they finish. Both are happily praising the wonderful job they did. The rubber thing is removed from my mouth and two Garfield faces look at me. "You're such a good patient."

I try to smile, know I'm smiling lopsided, and say, "Actually, I'm just preparing my fists to slug both of you."

Laughter. They think I'm kidding.

"Our patient is a writer," says the dentist. "Maybe we'll wind up in her next book."

I reply, "Oh, don't worry. You will. Both of you. I will kill you both. It's legal you know!"

More laughter.

Then they squirt a ton of mushy cold clay down my throat and tell me to bite down.

Have you ever heard a dentist rave about making a wonderful impression? Have you ever seen what those impressions look like? I have. My dentist showed me. She was so happy with the way it turned out. She explained everything, like "See this? This is where your gum is...and this is...oh, this is just so beautiful!" It looks like blue and orange brass knuckles to me.

After one more impression, the assistant finally seats the temporary crown and I'm free to go...after I pay $300 for the first half of the expense of having a permanent crown made. much pain for so much money.

Then I have to go back to work. My throat is numb, my bottom lip is numb, my tongue is numb, the whole left side of my face is numb. I looked at myself and tried to smile. Nearly screamed. What a scary thing to behold! So, I stopped and bought myself a chocolate Frosty for lunch. I mean, what else could I eat? I closed my office door because I didn't want anyone to see how much trouble I had trying to slurp that ice cream off the spoon seated in the right side of my mouth. Then I looked down and saw a nice chocolate drip on my blouse. Thank goodness for Tide to Go. I cleaned that spot and then proceeded to eat again. Looked down and found another drip on my blouse. Cleaned that. Grabbed my little mirror and looked at myself. A big blog of chocolate was sitting on my chin. And I didn't even feel it!

A couple of hours later, I could speak with some clarity. Boss called me in. We chatted about a report and when I got up to leave he said, "Do you have any idea how you sound when you talk?" Then, this high faluting president said, "blubba, blub, blub, blubba!" My face must have shown my shock. Then he said, "Just kidding."

Oh, not funny. He will also be killed off in my novel.

Thanks for stopping by!

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