All day long I’ve been delighting in going up to people and saying "Guess what I got!"
The answer is a bit less delightful.
I got a root canal.
Half of one, to be precise. But let me go back to the beginning.
Monday night at 10 p.m. the left side of my jaw began to hurt, especially the lower jaw. I took some ibuprofen and decided to call the dentist the next day. I had a hard time falling asleep but some time around midnight, I slept.
I woke up at 3:30 a.m. with a totally unforeseen amount of pain. I took some more ibuprofen, but it didn’t do much, so I paced back and forth a little in my living room, teary-eyed, wondering what to do next. I even called a couple of dentists. Naturally their offices were empty; it was 3:30 a.m. after all.
Finally, after consulting a friend with a weird work schedule that meant she was awake at that time of day, I did what any self-respecting independent 28-year-old would do.
I called my daddy.
I was too dizzy and wobbly to drive anywhere, so my poor dad came and brought me to Jackson, where my mom gave me some better painkillers, which put me to sleep. Early the next morning, my parents and I scheduled an appointment with the dentist. I then slept some more.
In the afternoon, I went to Dr. Deb Christopher in Jackson, who was kind enough to squeeze me into her busy schedule. After a couple of X-rays and a visual examination of my teeth, she told me I had two cavities, and that she believed one of them was a very bad one, an abscess, but that she had to look into it more before she knew for sure.
Of course, that meant drilling.
I’m a complete pansy about these sorts of things, but fortunately, Dr. Christopher was totally awesome. She told me to raise my hand if it was still hurting, and even used a topical anaesthetic so I wouldn’t even feel the painkiller shots.
I raised my hand just once, she stopped drilling immediately and gave me another shot.
After that I didn’t feel a darn thing.
Through every single step she told me exactly what she was doing and why, and how it all worked, which always makes me feel better.
Unfortunately, it did turn out to be an abscess, which meant I needed a root canal.
The procedure itself, if I understand it correctly, involves making a hole, schlorping out anything in there that might be infected, and filling it back in with an antibiotic clay filling.
The clay tastes a bit ucky, but it feels just fine (helped by more ibuprofen), and in a week, I’ll go back to Dr. Christopher to have that clay stuff taken out and replaced with a permanent filling.
I’m not dreading it in the slightest, because I know she’ll do a wonderful job just like she did yesterday, and I won’t feel anything at all except half my face going numb.
"Mom, will you tell me if I’m drooling?"
"No, I’ll just point and laugh."
So, from now on, when I say "I’d rather have a root canal," I’ll probably be telling the literal truth.
Root canals are not so bad, if you have a dentist who is awesome, highly competent and kind and tolerant of wimps like me.
Thank you so much Dr. Christopher! And thank you mom and dad, so very much!
You three made what could have been an utterly horrible experience a pretty darn good one.
Hey… guess what I got!