Just Chew On This

And so it begins. The adventures of getting new dentures. My first dental visit in so long I’m amazed at the advancements that have been made. However, it was still scaring the hell out me as I’ve had a couple of horrendous visits in my past, along with going to the movies in Edmonton and watching Marathon Man. To this day, I can no longer stand to watch anything that Sir Laurence Olivier is in. It involved a dental torture scene that physically made me sick, during the movie. My date had to take me home immediately.

Getting back to the present. My first appointments were going to fix the cavities in my lower teeth. There were 7 and were being done in 2 appointments – three and then four. The first appointment last Thursday went surprisingly well. There were a few tense moments – before freezing – but they double-numbed my gums that the freezing wasn’t felt at all. I was relieved and my hands became unclenched from the dental chair arms.

There was one tooth that gave my new dentist a hard time, but he persevered and I was done in 20 minutes. Whew!!! Relieved, Nat drove me home and we spent the balance of the afternoon waiting for my lip and mouth to become unfroze. Supper was eaten in a more relaxed state.

My second appointment was this past Tuesday. Thinking the first one went so well, I wasn’t that tense heading into the dental room. A new nurse this time, but was well informed of my fears and she, too, double-numbed my gums for the freezing. This time, however, all hell broke loose. My dentist seemed to be struggling. A couple of the cavities seemed to be okay, but the two remaining gave the poor man grief. He struggled on one, in particular and to such an extent, I was grabbing the dental chair arms so tight my fists turned red. Having trouble getting to the root of things (pardon the pun) my gums were bleeding profusely (a bit exaggerated, but for effect) and he struggled to fill the cavity to his satisfaction. As he was working his nurse was continuously spraying water into my mouth, on my face and up my nose. It should also be noted that I wasn’t given any eye shades this time and felt like I had to duck at every turn for tiny particles spilling into the air. At one point he had to push down so hard on my jaw, it felt like it broke. My right side jaw was now stiff as a board and aching despite the freezing. My eyes being closed the entire time, I could hear my dentist instruct his nurse for certain items and tools that had some sort of tortuous name – drill, picks, spreaders, spoon extractors, hatchers – along with what colour of certain items he wished to use. At one point the nurse asked me to chew on this piece of paper hanging from some tweezers?? One of the easier things to do that afternoon.  Don’t ask, ’cause I don’t know and don’t want to know.

Feeling like I’d been there all afternoon, I was wondering about Nat in the waiting room. I’m thinking by now he’s really worried (knowing my fear) and probably thought I had been kidnapped. After 1-1/2 hours in the chair, together with a couple of breaks during the procedure, I was done. I could hardly get out of the chair without being a bit woozy. My back was aching, my jaw bone was burning and my head spinning. I was then advised that he would like me to return for a second stab at one of the fillings. He wasn’t really happy with the procedure and wanted to make it better – free, of course!!!!! Seriously??????

After discussing future events in this whole process with my advising nurse, it was suggested that I see the Oral Hygienist first –  my gums were really, really inflamed and I need help in being them back to a healthy state. THEN, the week after that I can come back for a second round at that one bloody cavity, along with getting a Crown, which is going to be an extra $1,000.00 Nat and I were never informed of. We are now one step ahead of Debtors’ Prison, to use a very old term.  We haven’t even gotten to the denture part yet.

I’ve been informed that the entire procedure, including moulding, making and inspecting the dentures could be done by the end of April. I’m not putting a lot of money on it – don’t have it anyways – but at least it will be quicker than I thought. I’ll be able to enjoy a couple of (hopefully) warm summer months before I go for my dental surgery.

I’ve gotten myself into this mess because of my fears and anxiety and I have to suffer the consequences – not in a tortuous way, however, but it has to be done and despite the entire procedure this past Tuesday, I am pleased with my new Dentist. He and his staff are friendly, considerate and helpful. During my entire life and illness, I’ve learned that I have to suffer alone. Bizarre as it sounds, I’m not affecting anyone else in my pain and grief, and I feel better with no outsiders around me. Suffering in silence is somehow my sanctuary, my peaceful place. Again, don’t ask, ’cause I don’t understand it myself.

On a whole other subject, we’ve got our taxes done and returned. Good return this year which will help with the dental expenses. If it wasn’t for the dental stuff, we could use the refund for a dozen other things, but our priorities have been laid out.

We had a quiet Easter. Visited with my side one evening for goodies and updates on everyones’ lives. Personally, I had a good time but was anxious to get home, watch the hockey game and contemplate things ahead. The suffering in silence thing rears its ugly head and my emotions get the better of me when talking to family, and sometimes Nat, who is supporting me in ways I can never repay.

The month of April is filled with Dental appointments, Nephrology appointment and am slipping in a manicure one day. It will feel good to talk to my manicurist. Like my great hairdresser, she’s become supportive and understanding and we’ve been getting along famously – or at least she makes me think so, and that’s all I care about – love and support.


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