Thursday, June 20, 2013

That Time I Got a Repeat Root Canal

Today started with yoga in the park with Jenn

and ended with a root canal. I wish it had gone the other way.

Here's the story of the root canal:

When I was in second grade, I was running with a baton (not like a conductor's baton, because why would I run with that? It was a baton you run with in a relay race. Is there a name for that kind of baton?) and I somehow whacked myself in the lower front tooth. Then I had to get a root canal. I wish it was a better story.

Fast forward twenty (!) years. First of all, I can't help but feel old because I actually remember things that happened to me twenty years ago. And not just vaguely remember, like those flashes I get of stuff I kind of think I recollect, but actually, vividly remember.

Secondly, while I do remember the incident of hitting myself (and wondering how people don't do that more often--am I running wrong?), I don't remember the root canal itself. So I had the luxury of not remembering how horrifying it sounds when someone drills into your tooth.

But I was reminded today! A few months ago, I mentioned to my dentist that I've had occasional discomfort or sensitivity at odd times--not when I eat or drink but randomly, unrelated to other sensitivity I've experienced. My dentist ordered several types of x-rays, and eventually he and the root canal specialist discovered that I have two canals in my lower front tooth (apparently quite rare--I asked him if I'm special, and he was hesitant to confirm or deny). So my original root canal took care of one canal but not the other. And today I got to have root canal part two.

Actually, the process was horrifying from start to finish. The specialist did a fantastic job of trying to keep me calm and making me feel at ease, so at least I had that. But then she gave me the shot to numb my jaw. And after a few minutes, I blurted out, "Oh my gosh, I'm really nervous!" I tried to make it sound casual, just so they were aware of my nerves, but the specialist just laughed and said, "Oh! That's the shot. It makes you react that way--kind of panicky like adrenaline." Oohhh, okay then! I managed to calm myself down.

The rest of the procedure moved along as smoothly as it could, considering. But it's still horrifying to spend two hours wondering if the numbness is going to wear off too early and listening to someone creating a hole in your tooth. Just take my word for it.

I have no point to this post. I have no healthy advice to deliver or brilliant thoughts on how to deal with a medical procedure. I'll just say that the thing about a root canal is that it doesn't hurt enough to get special treatment from your spouse or justify eating milkshakes every day, but it also hurts just enough to feel like you can't bite into your favorite foods, like the bison burgers we're planning to enjoy tomorrow night.

The end.

1 comment:

  1. My teeth started hurting as I was reading this. OUCH! The bison burgers sound really good though!