It finally happened. I had a day that I can officially classify as the worst day of my life.
So I broke a tooth over the weekend. It was very much concerning, and I had a complete panic attack over it. It didn’t hurt, if that’s what you’re thinking… But I’ve been dizzy, tired, and having nose bleeds for weeks now, and in my warped little head a voice went, “You’re so fucking dying… now your teeth are falling out… you are SO fucking dying.”
I immediately tried to call my mom, but she had her phone on silent from the movie earlier that day (we saw the Hunger Games, and it was awesome, but so sad… totally forgot I cried through all of Book 3) and she was gone to Walmart. So for four hours I called her repeatedly, and freaked myself out into madness. Even I, however, can only panic for so long before it just wears off. I even tried calling the Walmart, though… cuz I was freaking out hard. No one answered. I hate Walmart. They’re such a shit-show.
Well I was not dying. I called the dentist, who was closed, and left a message that I was concerned about my broken tooth. They called me on Monday morning and told me to come in, because they weren’t busy. That… was a big fucking lie. I sat in the waiting room of this place for two hours before they got me back. But I learned something in that waiting room…
The sound of Bing Crosby singing Christmas songs over a dental drill is the most horrifying noise in the world.
Now, the dentist (and yes, I always refer to all dentists as a singular unit like this) has been telling me to get my wisdom teeth out since forever. They kept telling me that they would be impacted and it would be terrible and painful and all my teeth would mash together. That did not happen. All my wisdom teeth erupted just fine, except one that came in sideways. Still, they didn’t mash my teeth together and once they were done coming in I didn’t experience any discomfort…. until one cracked in half this weekend. I had already figured out that it was a wisdom tooth that I had broken, so I was prepared for them to yank it out, whatever. What I was not prepared for was that they wanted to take all four wisdom teeth… oh and BTDubz, I had three other small cavities they may as well go ahead and fix.
I didn’t realize it had been a whole year since I’d been to the dentist… I just don’t track it well, but I brush twice a day and try to floss every morning, so I was very pissed about the cavities, and figured that I may as well get the teeth out since I was there. I knew that if I left I would never do it and they would rot my whole head out. I’m THAT PERSON. So I got the price quote, and resigned myself to the fact I’d be spending the whole fucking day at the dentist, and geared up for what I didn’t know would be the worst day of my life.
Yes, they shot me full of novocaine. My mouth went totally and completely numb to the point it felt like my face was huge. The shots fucking hurt, though. I figured, whatever, the shots will be the worst of it. Nope. As much novocaine as they pumped into my face, when the dentist went to drill out my cavities, it fucking hurt. So they had to shoot me up more, wait for it to set up, and then drill in again. So I thought, that has to be the worst of it. Nopity nope nope. They went to fill the cavities, and the first dental tech to try was nice and tried to talk to me a bit, but then he handed it off to some other broad, who I’m assuming was having a bad day, and she was mean. Not only was she mean, but she fucking hurt my face. How? Well my mouth was numb, but not the lip she kept jabbing, or my face she kept holding in a vice like grip as though I had just shot her children in front of her and she was making sure I looked her in the eyes while she got her revenge…
So I went into the extraction a little edgy.
Okay, I was already fucking edgy. I’m scared of the dentist. Like to the point I physically shake. The dentist is not a scary concept, but dental work is the most horrifying thing, ever. I dunno why, but oral pain is my most feared pain. Break my arm, sure. I could probably deal with that… Poke me in the gum with a needle? NO. FUCKING NO. So I was already nervous as hell… they fill the cavities and that hurts, which makes me a little more edgy, and then it’s time for the extraction.
Now, I was under the impression that in the 9,000+ years that dentistry has been around, that they’d come pretty far with extractions. I don’t know what I was expecting them to do, but the answer was not TAKE A FLAT HEAD SCREWDRIVER AND PRY YOUR TEETH FROM YOUR FUCKING HEAD. I mean, maybe that’s naive, but that just seems to unprofessional to me. Granted, it wasn’t a real flat head screwdriver, it was some dentist tool that looked exactly like a flat head screwdriver, but at least no one had assembled a tree fort with it recently or something. I’m just saying, that in 2014, that shouldn’t be how you pull a fucking tooth. That’s insane. That’s some backwoods hill billy dentistry bullshit that BOTH my hick family and my Mexican family could be doing while drowning you in moonshine or something.
To be honest, the first tooth, the broken one, came out pretty easy. Both the top wisdom teeth were okay. I thought to myself, okay, this isn’t as bad as I’d been lead to believe it is… I can totally do this. I was deceived! Because the bottom teeth were fucking terrible. They didn’t want to come out. The dentist had to cut them into pieces and THEN pry those pieces out of my head… The tooth that came in sideways was the worst of all four. They had inject me with more anesthetic, because the nerve inside the tooth wasn’t numbed out while he was trying to cut through it.
It was horrible. I cried. I couldn’t help it. I tried really hard not to, but that shit hurt. It shouldn’t have hurt, since my whole face was numb, but the way the dentist jammed that shit into my face and then pried around was fucking painful. My jaw muscle got all stretched out, my head was jammed down into a terrible position, and at one point the fucker’s hand slipped, which caused that flat head screwdriver to stab me in the back of the fucking throat. Doesn’t seem that it punctured the back of my throat, but he didn’t even apologize or something! It was just, “You know what, just cry. We’re gonna take this Bite Block out of your head and let you cry.” Yeah no shit I’m gonna cry you fucker! You just nearly punctured the back of my god damn throat.
I didn’t say anything. i couldn’t with how numbed up the rest of my face was. I just cried and let them finish. Then I paid $400 for the procedure and left.
I left that office feeling like someone had raped me. It’s the only analogy I have for the feeling. I was traumatized, I hurt, I was emotionally broken, I was still amped up on adrenaline, and I felt like nothing in the world was ever going to make me feel better, ever. I was literally broken. All I wanted to do was curl up in the fetal position in some crevice or nook where no one could find me and cry forever. I didn’t feel safe. I didn’t feel anything except weird pain. It wasn’t face pain, since I couldn’t feel my face. It was vacuous pain. The kind of pain that made me cut myself as an adolescent. That kind of overwhelming pain that you can feel but it doesn’t come from anywhere. It’s excruciating, and yet you can’t pinpoint where it’s coming from, so you have nothing to associate it with. It consumes. It tortures. It creeps down into depths of you and negates anything you think might be okay to hold onto and corrupts it. I didn’t know that the dentist was capable of that kind of pain.
So, broken as I was, I still couldn’t go home. First, I went to my car to plug in my phone that had died. Unexpectedly, I sat there and cried for a while. Then I walked to the grocery in the same parking lot to fill my prescriptions. That was weird, because I couldn’t talk. My mouth was full of gauze, so I just handed over the script to my unusually cheery pharmacist and tried not to cry. Then I went to the bathroom and cried some more. Then I picked up some drinkable yogurt and waited for my scripts. I stood there thinking to myself, it’s really not fair that after all that I can’t even have some Chipotle… not that I think I could stomach it, but it would be a nice reward.
It struck me funny, but not laughable, that I had that thought, because before all the trauma of the day, I had told the first (of four) dental tech that pain pills are the reward you get for doing something responsible. Some guy in the next area had been talking loudly about how his implant fell out and while it hurt he didn’t like taking pain pills because he was scared of getting addicted. So I said to her, “No. Pain pills are the reward you get for doing something responsible that will result in some kind of pain… and you don’t get addicted to them, you just enjoy them until they run out. They’re my favorite part of being responsible.” She thought I was a riot. Little did I know that pain pills were in my future.
I went home. The dental tech that tried to rip my face off had said I should drink milk or eat some yogurt to go with my pills. She wasn’t wrong, since I’d been there all day and had not had anything to eat or drink. So I poured some yogurt, but then realized I wasn’t sure if I should take the gauze out of my mouth for this or not. I thought I should, since the yogurt could seep into the gauze and live cultures in your gauze seems unsanitary, but I didn’t know. Then I was looking at my dosages for all my meds and one just said take as directed but no one had directed anything. So… I texted Mom to call for me. When she didn’t ping back, I called, forgetting my inability to make words, much less attempt to articulate without bawling, and ended up just texting her again.
By the time she called back, I’d already taken out the gauze, drank some yogurt and water, taken some pills, and put in new gauze cuz my mouth was still full of blood. I had to get ahead of the pain that was sure to spark up if my face ever came back into feeling. Unfortunately for me, the Percocet made me nauseous. First time, in my whole fucking life, that percocet made me nauseous. I went to lay down, but I didn’t make it fast enough… and I ended up throwing up water and yogurt and blood all over my bathroom. Cleaning that up was bad. I was already broken, but it just got worse.
I ended up spending most of the day in bed with the dogs. Mom brought me teas and soups, since I was starving, but I couldn’t stomach much. I did feel better when my face came back to life. I dunno why, but feeling REAL pain is always better than the emotional pain that a traumatic experience creates. I was still pretty fucked up, though. I cried at mom. I cried to the dogs. I cried a lot. After I managed some soup I took more percocet, and slept the rest of the day and night, waking occasionally to take more percocet.
I was thoroughly impressed to wake the next morning relatively okay. I wasn’t shaky anymore. I didn’t feel like the world was ending. I didn’t feel too much pain in my mouth. It was surprising. I took some Advil for the ache in my jaw, and had some soup. I slept a lot and watched some weird movies, but wasn’t anything like the day before.
And today I’m back at work. Which is crappy. Like, I got a four day weekend, but what a shitty way to spend it.
Still, I got to hang out with the dogs for a day and a half… ish… and I do love my dogs…
Seriously, though… I’ve had kidney stones, gall stones, snapped an ACL, chest contusions… wisdom tooth removal is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced, ever.