I went to the dentist today. I hate going to the dentist. I had my teeth cleaned in November for the first time in seven years. That's how much I hate going to the dentist. I had to get two fillings on the left side, in the back. Because it had been so long since my last visit, I had sort of forgotten what getting a filling entails.
But first, I digress. I hate needles. A lot. Now, I can deal with getting a shot, because it's generally quick and the needle is small. Having blood drawn is a whole nother ballgame, as they say here in the South. The needles are larger, I can feel them in my vein, and it takes a lot longer. I was 17 when I went away to college. I, like every other new coed in the history of higher education, had to get a physical. That physical included blood work. My mom took me to an urgent care because I didn't have a doctor at the time. I was so upset at the prospect of getting blood drawn that I cried. Hard. The doctor came in, and in his best bedside manner, sat down next to me on the table to talk to me. In his most "I'm really concerned that you'd be better off in a mental institution than a university" voice asked me what was wrong. Was everything okay? Was there something the blood work might reveal that I didn't want my mom to know? He actually did not believe me that I was that needle-phobic. He finally let it go, but I don't think he was convinced.
Here we are back in present time. I still have big time needle-phobia, or belonephobia (your SAT word for the day). I'm in my dentist office. Let me tell you about my dentist. Dr Patterson. I randomly picked him because his office is near where I live and on a bus line. I also picked him because I read For Better of For Worse and the father, Dr. Patterson, was a dentist. I figured, with the same name, he has to be a good guy. To my surprise, my dentist was quite young, around my age probably. And HOT.
So, here I am in the office of Hottie-Pants, DDS, laying back in this lounge chair when he sticks this Q-tip(tm) in mouth. It tastes like pina colada at first and it's supposed to numb my mouth a little. The pina colada taste quickly wears off to taste like medicine. Gross! He removes the Q-tip(tm) from my mouth and tells me he's going to give me a shot to numb my mouth. Whachoo talkin' 'bout, Willis? Determined not to cry in what is only my second meeting with Hottie-Pants, DDS, I was quite composed. Yes, both my heart rate and blood pressure rose to record highs, I squeaked a little, but I didn't cry. I believe I felt my throat closing up a little, but I didn't cry. He tells me to chill for five minutes and he'll be back. When he returns, I starts poking in my mouth to see if the Novocaine has kicked in. It did not. In an effort to recreate that pivotal scene in Marathon Man, he sticks another needle in my mouth, which is pried open by two people as far as it will go in every direction possible. For those of you that don't remember, getting Novocaine is not like getting a flu shot. They have to go kind of slowly when giving you the shot and they have to be sure they hit several key nerves. Uh huh. Yeah. This time, I fought back tears. I think I freaked him out a little. After the second shot, he waited a few more minutes for it to kick in. We talked about the weather and the new surgery wing of the hospital across the street. Again he poked around in my mouth to see if I could feel it. I could. I told him I could not. He removed an old filling and gave me two new ones fairly quickly. When he was done, he asked me how it was and if I could feel anything. At that point, I told him I could still feel a little pain but told him I couldn't because I didn't want another needle in my mouth. He looked upset, like he felt bad. I tried to tell him I had a high threshold for pain so it was okay. He still looked like he felt bad.
The left half of my mouth was numb for the better part of the day. I came home and slept for two hours. Since my mouth was still pretty numb, I heated up some refried beans. I ate squishy foods until pretty late in a vain attempt to not bite my tongue. Unfortunately, I bit my tongue about three times, without knowing it. My mouth still hurts a little.
The best part is that I have to go back next month for two more fillings on the other side. Oh. Joy.