There are only a few things that make me very squeamish…spiders, needles, and dental visits.
Today I came face-to-face with the third item on the list. Yes, folks, it was time for my six-month cleaning.
I loathe going to the dentist.
I suspect my issues go back to when I was a child. Super Sis and I were pretty much threatened that if we got cavities, things would go very badly for us.
I had perfect teeth…until I turned sixteen. I’ll never forget being told that I had three cavities…my first.
My mom was so mad that she made me drive myself to the follow-up appointment to have them filled. The dentist was a good thirty to forty minutes away.
I was petrified. I already didn’t like needles. I had no idea what to expect after the needles.
I was also grounded for a long time.
Ridiculous, I know.
When I got married and enrolled in the dental plan offered through the state, I went faithfully, never enjoying the task but doing what I was supposed to simply because I was supposed to. I don’t think I got any more cavities for a long time…if ever after that first go-round.
In 2010, I had a bad incident with a cavity that broke free of its filling and infected a nerve. I had two teeth pulled during that visit. I blogged about it here.
It was awful…lots of shots…with needles…lots of pain afterward.
I didn’t go back to the dentist for a long time after that.
When the Mr. finally got me to go back (and stop wasting his money), I freaked out when I had to get x-rays done.
This, my friends, is the stuff of my nightmares.
Getting dental x-rays done is TORTURE for me.
Although I am known to talk quite a bit, my mouth is actually quite small.
My jaw doesn’t open very wide, so sticking those wing things into each side is as painful as it is uncomfortable. I nearly gag every time as well.
One year, I was so freaked out that I sat in the chair with tears rolling down my face. I was completely unnerved, and my body told on me…releasing the fears that I was trying to hold inside.
The dental tech was extremely mean and condescending when I cried.
I never went back to this dentist’s office.
The new place I’m at is very family friendly, but today…oh today…I wanted to run out screaming.
It was x-ray time, declared the gal.
I wanted to refuse and gingerly broached the subject. She politely avoided my veiled request.
I went into full protection mode (remember my post yesterday about being a force to be reckoned with).
She tried to offer “suggestions,” but I wasn’t buying them and politely *ahem* told her so.
I think I offended her because she said, “I’m just trying to help.”
I felt like one of my students who doesn’t want help when offered…every bit as rebellious too.
The first two x-rays were o-k-a-y. Rather than remove the wing from my mouth, she slid it over to the other side of my mouth…no easy feat.
She stuck in a new wing for the third x-ray, and things went badly from this point forward.
I don’t know if the left side of my mouth is smaller than my right, but things were not fitting right, and I know I had a deer-in-the-headlights look…pure panic…as she adjusted the x-ray machine more than once or twice to get it just right.
I really wanted to pull that wing out and stick it somewhere unpleasant, let me tell you.
It was finally time for the fourth freaking x-ray, and she tried to slide it around into position.
It didn’t work because, in case somebody didn’t get the message, MY JAW IS TOO FREAKING SMALL FOR X-RAYS.
She pulled it out and then stuck her finger under my tongue.
I have no idea.
She said, “That’s just my finger,” as I was gagging.
Uh huh. I’m going to keep this rated G. I quit cussing last May, but I really wanted to start back again.
She finally, finally got the stupid wing in…the pain far, far worse than the others…and snapped the stupid, stupid x-ray.
She later told me that my palette is shallow.
My teeth are small too.
Yes, dear. Most of me is small except for my feet, and those don’t need x-ray wings stuck between the toes, thank you very much.
Then, after looking at the x-rays, she announced that everything looked great.
Gee, I wanted to say, I could have told you that without the freaking x-ray.
She was a sweet girl, but sometimes I wonder what these people are thinking.
My jaw now hurts badly, and I have a headache.
I am going to start refusing these x-rays again unless I’m having serious problems.
I really don’t care if I have a cavity brewing; I’ll wait until a cavity hits a nerve before going that route again.
This is the stuff of my nightmares.