I’m an asshole, Part 2

RoseIn November I went to the dentist for a regular checkup. It was the first time I had been in about five years. I know. Completely unacceptable. I have lots of good excuses though. Like my dentist moved and I never took the time to find a new one, and I have severe anxiety when I go to the dentist. I always have. I finally decided to bite the bullet and went for a checkup.

Of course when I went in he found some problems and I needed a “little” bit of work done. (Little according to him.) I made an appointment for right after Thanksgiving and went in for two fillings. It was pretty much a nightmare experience.

I explained to him that I have trouble being deadened. I’m not sure why, but it has always been a problem in the past. Of course he assured me that he would take care of me. Twenty plus shots later he was getting exasperated. He finally asked where it was hurting. I told him, and he finally hit the right spot.

The problem was that my system was overloaded with the deadening medicine. I didn’t know it at the time, but it has the same type of stuff in it that an epidural has, and it is possible to have the same type of reaction. I started shaking, and when that happened I started having flashbacks to when I was in the hospital with Bud. If you read his birth story you know that was not a good thing.

Unfortunately my bad dental experience wasn’t over. I mentioned in my Project 365 post that I went to the dentist last week. It was pretty much a nightmare.

Sometime in January I started having migraines every day and a lot of pain on the right side of my face. I finally realized it was a toothache. Just thinking about going to the dentist made me start to panic. I waited about a week before I called and made an appointment.

When I called I asked him to prescribe me some anti-anxiety medication. It was one I’ve taken before so I didn’t think I would have any problems with it. He agreed, but he prescribed a higher dosage than I’ve taken before. I didn’t think it would be a problem. I was wrong.

By the time David got me to the dentist’s office I was completely looped. I don’t remember a lot of what happened, but I do remember vomiting all over his office. And then again when I got home. Somehow David got me into the bedroom where I pretty much just passed out until later that night, when I woke up to take pain medicine and then went back to sleep.

I was still pretty looped on Thursday. I had to stay home another day, but when David got home he told me that I needed a root canal. My dentist was referring me to someone else for the procedure, but David couldn’t remember who. The dentist is closed on Friday so I called and got the information this morning.

I’ve been in pain all weekend. I’m taking so much Ibuprofen that my stomach is starting to rebel. I’m pretty much miserable. (Right now I’m making excuses for what I’m about to tell you.)

I called the new dentist today, but got a weird computerized message. I tried several times and even left my number, but something didn’t seem right. I decided to drive over on my lunch hour to see if he was closed on Monday. If not I planned to make an appointment in the office.

When I drove up I saw a funeral floral arrangement on the door.


That was my first thought. I decided to go ahead and see if they were open. Maybe a family member had died or something and they were still open.

The door was locked, but people were inside the office. One of the ladies opened the door.

“Can I help you?”

“Yes. My dentist referred me. I wanted to make an appointment, but if you’re closed I can come back later.”

“Dr. S passed away.”

“You’re fucking kidding me.”

I didn’t say that last part, but I totally thought it.

That’s right. I found out a man had died, probably unexpectedly, and my first thought was about myself and the inconvenience his death was causing me. Not his family. Not about the tragedy of him passing away, but about myself.

By the time I got back to my car I did think about all of those things, but still my main concern was myself and my pain.

Thankfully the lady in his office gave me the name of another dentist, and I have an appointment for Wednesday. Also? The new dentist uses gas so I don’t have to take any anti-anxiety meds before I go.

Of course I’m expecting something awful to happen because of my assholeishness.

It would serve me right.

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  1. says

    It takes stuff a minute to sink in, and your first thought wasn’t the first thing out of your mouth. If you have been living this for this long, it’s like a new curve on a roller coaster. In fact, that is what I think when I go into a new curve on a roller coaster. You didn’t know him. It just took a second for the reality to sink in after the pain, the drugs, the time and the drama. I would bet the people in the office thought, “Dang, she was nice.”

    We are beginning the dental drama with Small Fry. His mouth is a mess and the dentist we got in with was a …well, I didn’t like him. We need 2 extractions, 2 fillings (unless they need crowns), and two root canals(only they wouldn’t use that word). If he is at all competent. The local expert on CL/CP is out-of-network. I am thinking of blowing our flexible spending money on his mouth.

    • Erika says

      “Your first thought wasn’t the first thing out of your mouth.”

      Boy am I EVER glad that has been my case in many situations. I’m sure others share that gladness! But for this reason you shouldn’t have any guilt. Who knows what people think in some situations. I know I’vev hand plenty of not-nice thoughts during times that were completely innapropriate. But you didn’t say them, and that’s what counts.

      And my goodness am I ever with you on the dentist in general. I hate going!

      • says

        That not spewing the first thought thing takes a lot of practice. Ten years ago I probably would have said exactly what I was thinking.

    • says

      I’m pretty much blowing the rest of my flexible spending account. Next year I really need to put more money in that thing.

      I hope they thought I was nice, and didn’t notice the “well crap” look on my face.

  2. says

    Oh my god! That is crazy! What a story!

    My husband is a basket case with the dentist too. When I go in the ladies all laugh at how anxious he is.

    I hate hate hate going to the Gyno. In fact I haven’t gone in 3 years. I so need to make an appointment.

    • says

      David is now calling me “dentist killer.” As in he must have died so that he didn’t have to put up with having me for a patient.

  3. says

    “assholeishness” – I’m loving that! I actually had a similar experience years ago when my youngest was scheduled for surgery (at 4 weeks of age). His surgeon slipped and fell on the ice, was so injured it ended his career. But they didn’t bother to tell me. I showed up at the hospital and they introduced me to the surgeon who was taking over my son’s case just a few minutes before they took him back to the OR. It was quite surreal, and very unprofessional. And it turned out the “new” surgeon wasn’t covered under my insurance, so I ended up spending a fortune out-of-pocket. *sigh*

  4. says

    Awww hon, you’re not a horrible person and are very, very far from being an asshole. It’s a natural reaction. You’ve got all of this anxiety about going to the dentist and then you try to find someone else and when you do, he’s dead. The knee jerk reaction is “now what?” An asshole would have gotten back to their car and gotten angry at the dentist for dying, a good person like yourself steps outside of themselves and looks at a situation objectively, putting others’ needs/concerns before your own. *That’s* why you felt bad. So no, not a bad person at all. You’re human.

    On the dental front, I TOTALLY understand because I used to not have a problem with dentists, then in the past 5 years I’ve noticed that the numbing medicine doesn’t work on me. It works for about 5 minutes, then I start to feel pain. They give me enough injections to kill and elephant, yet here I am, still able to feel the drill. {shutter}

    Good luck bella!

    • says

      Actually I was a little pissed off at him for dying before he could do my root canal. This could have been a very different post if they hadn’t referred me to someone else that can get me in tomorrow.

  5. says

    I just laughed. I am soooooo sorry somebody died and for your dental issues, but seriously, that is funny.

    I’m an asshole too.


    I hope the new doctor gets you fixed up without side effects or trauma. You poor thing.

    My condolences to the doctor’s family and his staff.

  6. says

    I think I need anxiety meds to calm me down after reading that. I have told you before, I am pretty anxious when it comes to the dentist too. My husband gets annoyed because he can’t understand it but it is real for me. I have to hide it in front of my girls so they don’t somehow pick it up and have to go through what you and I do just to get our teeth checked. Good luck tomorrow! And gas is really the answer to getting through that kind of appointment.

  7. says

    It takes A LOT to get Tim deadened too. You two could totally commiserate on that! I’m sorry it’s been such a hassle but I hope you like the new dentist and that he doesn’t you know, keel over… 😉

    p.s. you are not an asshole!!

  8. says

    We’re all like that though. Especially when in pain.

    Glad you’re getting gas. I love my dentist because she gives me gas. Feeling your fear slipping away and being replaced by happy thoughts is simply amazing.

  9. says

    Considering that is the last problem you expected to encounter, your reaction seems completely reasonable. It is not like you knew the dentist, and you weren’t hateful. I hope things get better soon though.

  10. says

    Oh, my. That is terrible! I can only imagine your face when they told you he passed.

    I can’t laugh. I want to, but I can’t.

    And I’m really sorry you’re having so much pain. I need, need, need to see my dentist bad but keep putting it off. You’re totally not alone in the excuses department.

    Call me if you need some new ones.