Every six months, I find myself in hell, asking myself the same question. Now, I surely don’t know the answer to this and I’d love for someone else to enlighten me –
Why can’t I go to the dentist and have it be a simple procedure?
Eight years ago, I had to have wisdom teeth removed. They were bony impactions, nudging my sinuses, creating an infection in my jaw, and apparently wrapped in a nerve because to this day I can’t feel part of my lower lip. I ended up having to go under general anesthesia for the procedure. They had a hell of a time waking me up and when they did, I vomited for 3 days straight. I didn’t go back to the dentist for years after that.
Last April, my nightly grinding resulted in a broken back molar necessitating a root canal and a crown. My root canal failed because apparently, a day isn’t enough time for antibiotics to combat swelling from infection. (Duh.) I had to go in a week later to finish the root canal, and then my temporary crown fell off 3 times while waiting for the permanent one to be finished.
In October, I went in for 3 fillings on the lower left and I got a burned lip, stabbed in the cheek, and punched in the nose inside of a 5 minute period. Clearly, I was all but ecstatic for yesterday’s visit.
I was in the chair and the topical numbing agent was starting to kick in -my lip was good and tingly- so he gave me the first injection of novocaine. It nicked my jawbone at first, but I was pretty numb and he changed course so the rest of it was fine…
Until he gave me the second injection….right into my trigeminal nerve.
For those of you who haven’t had anatomy in a decade or so, that’s the nerve which has three branches in your face to control things like chewing, scowling, blinking, and in my case, howling like a banshee. If you’ve never experienced a similar kind of torture, it’s like having someone set one side of your face on fire and then pour gasoline on top of the blaze.
On top of that, the nerve also innervates your eye, and mine was more numb than a Titanic casualty. My eye had no feeling and could not track properly, so I was cross-eyed with double vision for 3 fucking hours. I walked into Target to fill a prescription and people looked at me, concerned that I didn’t have a grown up escorting me. “Can I help you find something?” *mumblemumble* “What?” “I just need a prescription!” *drool and run away in shame*
I went home and grabbed some ibuprofen, sat down in my recliner, and woke up 3 hours later on the couch with no recollection of how I got there. This morning, my face was red and streaked with veiny bruises. I look like Darth fucking Maul, and it is NOT awesome.
I have to wonder if being a toothless hillbilly would really be all that bad…