I hate August. There are not that many things that I hate in this world, but I hate August. For one thing, it’s hot. For another thing, it’s hot. Thirdly, I think all spiders everywhere go on terrorism campaigns in August. Finally, in August of every year, I go to the dentist.
I used to have a thing about the gynecologist and the number six, but I’m thinking of changing from a fear of the Mark of the Beast and pelvic exams to a fear of the number eight and dental fillings (of which I need eight). I can’t wrap my brain around the fact that we pay people to poke around in our mouths with sharp instruments, declare a virtual smorgasbord of problems, drill into our teeth to verify the problems, and then fill them up with amalgams of various substances. What is that stuff anyway?
Yesterday was D-Day for me and because The President (as in GWB) happened to be speaking RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO MY DENTIST’S OFFICE, The Guys dropped me off two blocks away and I walked because the street in front of the dentist's office was closed and there was NO parking within many, many miles. As if that was not a sign to reschedule the appointment.
First of all, I need to warn you that this may get long, because right now I feel like telling the whole story. I know that this is not a blog to voice my anti-dentite ramblings; rather, it is dedicated to chronicling the lives of our family. However, I am 33% of this family and I think I can take just a moment to tell a personal story.
So anyways, they dropped me off and I went in and picked up some magazines to read. The cover of the 27-year old Newsweek said, “How Our Mouths (and Stomachs) Affect Our Lives.” Another sign.
But do I adhere to gut reactions? Feelings of evil looming behind plexiglass windows with intake forms sticking out under the bottom? Prior experience with dentists?
Sing it out now: NOOOOooooOOOOO.
I walked right into the exam room and said, “Hey doctor. Here I am.”
Now, what I should’ve said right after that was, “Where’s the nitrous oxide? Let’s go ahead and get that going right away.”
But oh no. Brave me. Brave little I-Had-A-Baby-Without-Any-Drugs Me decides that it’s worth it to save the thirty bucks and endure the drill with only oxygen sliding through my nostrils.
But not for long.
First, the numbing shot didn’t work, so I had to have a second dose, but only after he TESTED to see whether or not the first shot worked by DRILLING INTO MY NEXT-TO-LAST MOLAR ON THE UPPER LEFT SIDE. Next, I tried doing my yoga breathing. I tried alternate nostril breathing. I tried to picture the beach (which should be fresh in my mind). The doctor was talking about The President. About Cheney. He was telling me that joke about Bush wondering how many is in a Brazilian. Do y’all know that one? OK, I’ll tell it: Cheney walks into the Oval Office and tells Bush that he has bad news: Three Brazilians have been killed in Iraq. Bush says, “Gosh, that’s awful.” Pause. “How many is a Brazilian?”
My black Mary Jane shoe is rubbing a hole in that orange pleather reclining chair. In walks the receptionist (dentist’s wife). He says, “Honey, who sings that song that’s on the radio?”
She says, “What song?”
He says, “That song that’s on the radio.” (It was "Lady" by Kenny Rogers.)
She says, “I don’t know. I’ve never liked that twangy stuff.”
Y’all: These people had to be pushing 80. They must’ve been in this same building playing that same station for 45 years or more. And all the while she has never liked country music. Now that is love.
So then she says, “Kee-yum? Are you all right?”
How are you supposed to answer their questions with a drill, a suction tube, and an entire plantation’s worth of cotton in your mouth?
I just grunted and wiggled my foot some more.
She says, “Fred, pull out the drill.”
He does, and two minutes later I have that mask over my nose and am breathing in what felt like gaseous chocolate, it was so good. Then I had my typical laughing fit, they turned it down some, and on with the show.
The only problem was that I had previously inquired as to about how long my mouth would be numb. Answer: 45 minutes. At this point, it’s been nearly half an hour and I am watching the clock. My feeling-around tongue is telling me that I don’t have very much tooth left back there after all that drilling, and at this rate I figure he is not going to finish up in the 15 minutes of numbness that I have left. I start taking deeper breaths. He is telling me about how this guy he graduated with REALLY liked the gas. You know. Wink wink. He really liked it. Janitor found him half-dead in his own office laid up in the chair after the hygienist went home. The room starts spinning. I start waving my hand: “Urn it own.”
“What?” they say.
“Urn it own. As. Urn it own. I onna ow up.”
They turn it down a little. I don’t throw up.
The feeling comes back into my arms. I can now hear more clearly, and what I hear is this: "Ewwww. This is a bad one. If this is any indication of those other SEVEN then we’re in for a long haul.”
Y’all just go ahead and buy some stock in nitrous oxide because I cannot take that drilling. It smells funny and you can feel tooth dust flying around in your mouth. I can't take it.
Meanwhile ... back at the ranch, er, fire station, The Guys are having a blast climbing on ladders, getting stickers and coloring books, trying on hats, and finding out about fire safety. There was a fire station right on the unblocked part of the street, and the two of them spent the entire time there, living it up. I mean what could be better? Ladders. Hoses. Big red trucks with sirens and lights. Hats. Dalmations. Well, maybe not dalmations, but still.
Is it this hard for the rest of y'all? There are a lot of things I can take. Childbirth, for example. But I cannot take the tooth drill without the gas. And guess how many he filled yesterday? Of the eight?
I have to go back tomorrow.