Wednesday, September 12, 2007

dentalphobia rides again

What is it about the dentist's office that gets to me? I never hear about anyone else like this.

Ever since I can remember, I have always been the biggest chicken when it comes to going to the dentist. Well, I might have figured it out today. With my last dentist, and now with this one, I've learned that I always need to ask for an extra shot of Novocaine if they are going to be filling a tooth.

Today was the first visit in forever with this dentist. He fixed one thing for me many moons ago, and now today, he put a filling in for me. He started out with Novocaine in three different areas because there are three different nerves going to your molars, he said. But partway through, he ended up giving me extra Novocaine, just as I had asked in the beginning. Why, oh why, don't they believe you? I always can feel what they're doing when they don't give that extra oomph to it.

Well, anyway, it dawned on me today that I've probably always been that way. And the first dentist I had probably never gave me an extra shot of it when I complained. He probably just kept working on my teeth, and no wonder I cried when I had to go see him. And he just thought I was a big baby. That would totally explain it! It doesn't explain him whapping me with a towel or actually calling me a baby out loud, however. That explanation is one I won't say cause I'm on a "nice or nothing" diet when it comes to talking about other people.

(Yeah, I told my girls they were on a "nice or nothing" diet one day when they were bickering. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. So of course, E-girl tells G-girl, "Mom thinks I need to go on a diet!" As if.)

The next dentist I had when I was a kid was more patient, but he never gave me that extra shot of Novocaine either. I cried there, too. It's crazy.

So the knots in my stomach make sense, even though I'm all grown up now. I swear every muscle in my body tightens up when I'm getting fillings. I have to keep consciously relaxing each one. It's like my neck, back, legs and arms are tightly wound rubber bands, twisting, twisting...and pretty soon only my heels and the back of my head are touching the chair.

I have to bark silent orders at myself. "Neck, relax. Knuckles, unclench. Back, soften up. Shoulders, loosen and stretch. Do not panic. You are not drowning in your own saliva. You can breathe through your nose." I had to do that about a dozen times today. Once the dentist noticed, and he wiggled my knuckle a little. "Relax," he says. Ha!

I've always tried to be consistent and matter of fact with my kids in bringing them to the dentist. I didn't want them to pick up my attitude. And they seem to be fine with it. I watch them carefully for signs of distress, but they always seem so cheerful when we go. It's so amazing.

G-girl said I should try "happy gas". "You'll just zone out, Mom. You won't even want to move." I don't like new things. I don't think so. Too far out of my comfort zone. Although I can't use comfort and dentist in the same sentence unless I lie.

Ugghh. I'm so glad that's over. Till October when I go back for a checkup.


Miss Paula said...

Oh boy!! I don't like going either. It's not that I am afraid, it's time out of my schedule to go and sit while they pick!

When I was little the dentist had too much of me, I wouldn't let him give me a shot. So he referred my mom to a children's dentist. That was fine, they had better toys!

As for my kiddos, never any trouble. So what was I really like way back when??? Maybe I don't want to know...

d.t.x. said...

Happy Gas? I liked Happy Gas. G-girl is right when she says you won't want to move. Your just so relaxed. You can move if you want to but WOW.