I have control issues. Ask my husband. Ask my doctor. Ask my kids. Ask anybody!
I struggle with maintaining control and trying to find the happy balance that makes my family and friends not look at me with total confusion about why the towels have to be folded just so, when they are going to be crumpled on the bathroom floor in a matter of hours.
Today, I had a dentist appointment. A routine cleaning. Actually it’s the second cleaning in 3 months to try to get control of my mouth and the inherited mess that lies within. At the last appointment, I’d had a cleaning done and a filling put in on one of back molars. Since the filling, I have been having major sensitivity and sometimes even extreme pain. And the weird thing is… It even hurt to eat peanut butter from a spoon. So, Mr. Dentist looks at my mouth after the cleaning is done.
“Oh my. Hmm. Hmmmmmmm. Oh my. Well, it’s going to have to come out. I thought we could save it, but the root is just not cooperating. Do you want a root canal or should I just pull it? I recommend pulling it, because a root canal may not fix the problem. Pulling it will fix the problem.”
I like my dentist. He’s blunt, very straight forward, but he does give me options. He GIVES me the control. Did I tell you that I also have major dental anxiety? So so bad that my blood pressure spikes to like 155/100, I start sweating, hyperventilating and gag on anything that touches the inside of my mouth. Yeah, I’m a real gem to work with at the dentist. Everybody loves me…not.
Long story short… I have been trying to work on my dental anxiety. Usually I take Xanax to take the edge off. I didn’t take one today because I was trying to be a big girl. There weren’t going to be any bite wings to puke on, no drilling, just a little scrape here and there. I can do this without drugs. It was going to be my own little science experiment. Can Sharon get through one dental appointment with out any drugs? All day yesterday and all morning today, I was the Little Engine That Could. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can!!
Well there I was, laid out in the dentist chair about to have a part of my body yanked off with pliers and I didn’t take a fucking Xanax before I left the house. I didn’t even put them in my purse. No worries says the sickeningly sweet helper girl…we have something good for you. Nitrous oxide. Now I had heard of this stuff but I had never experienced this stuff. Let me tell you… It’s way better than Xanax.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Through your nose. Nose, honey. Close your mouth and let it do its job.
I lay there thinking, “This is no big deal.” I felt good, all warm, a little tingly, slightly fuzzy headed but still coherent enough to tell when the nurse upped the dosage a little right before the doc came in.
I actually started giggling when the Doctor was injecting anesthesia into the roof of my mouth asking me if I could “feel any of the little pricks.” I have never laughed in the dentist office, especially with a needle in my mouth. But today, I laughed. I giggled. I grinned. Doc suggested I have this wonderful nitrous at my next regular appointment in lieu of the Xanax.
I asked, “Can I get a prescription for this for my life in general?”
Unfortunately, no. But for a little while, I laid there thinking about how nice my life would be without the anxiety, the need for control.
For the first time in my life, I am looking forward to my next dental appointment.