"We're not going to need the ice."
Allow me to put this quote into proper context: There I am, sitting in the chair in the endodontist's office, where I had been for nearly 40 minutes before the nice man with the rubber gloves even walked in (What? Rant? Me? Never!), and he wants to take a look at my tooth to see what's going on in there. He taps on a few teeth with his mirror-on-a-stick, and then sticks his thumb in my mouth and starts pressing on my teeth.
NOTE: this one tooth has only been livable because I figured out how to avoid serious pain: no chewing on that side, no big smiles, no projectile spitting (which was a bit of an issue while snorkeling), and I even had to stop brushing the outside surface of that tooth (not such a big deal - it was all composite material anyway, and there's always Listerine). With these precautions, I had scaled back to 2 or 3 doses of Motrin a day.
So this dentist straight out of Little Shop of Horrors pushes my bad tooth with his thumb. I'm fairly confident that I levitated out of the chair at that moment. And then I heard him say to the hygienist, "We're not going to need the ice." Apparently he believed that I did, in fact, have a raw nerve. And if he didn't believe me then, he would 30 seconds later when my eyes welled up with tears and I started sobbing - not "ouch that stung a bit" crying, but heaving, hyperventilating "youreallyhurtmemuthafucka" tears. I was crying so hard I embarrassed myself. So the nice man reclined my chair and pumped my mouth full of Novocain. They decided that they'd squeeze me in for the root canal right then and there, so that I wouldn't have to drive all the way back to downtown Orlando (did I mention that that's the only place within 50 miles of my house that's covered by my darn dental HMO?) another time.
We moved to another treatment room, and then Doogie Howser, DDS came in and introduced himself to me. And there, in the endodontist office, I had another "you know you're old when…" moments. Yep, I'm fairly confident that I was older than my dentist.
And after 40 minutes of drilling, probing, stabbing, clamping, and filling, I was done. The whole process was surprisingly non-traumatic. Dr. Howser was very blunt - this is going to hurt for a while. He's got me taking 3 Motrin every 6 hours, whether it hurts or not, until Friday. He also wrote yet another prescription for vicodin, which I'm most likely not going to fill. I still have more than half of the pills from last month's bout of mouth pain… and the stuff only makes me loopy.
I had a cookies & cream milkshake from Chic-Fil-A for lunch, and I have blended veggie soup and yogurt for dinner. Since I haven't been chewing much on that side of my mouth anyway, I figure I should be able to eat solids again tomorrow. I certainly hope so, because there's taco casserole in the fridge with my name on it!
By the way, this little episode has made me my own hero. When you tell someone, "I had a root canal this morning," they generally throw a puzzled glance your way and say something along the lines of, "and you're WORKING?" Honestly, the Novocain has long since worn off, and I'm an hour from my next pill popping session, and I'm in less pain now than I have been in a month. Dr. Howser said that, too. He says it'll hurt worse tomorrow or the next day. Even still, the pain is a little easier to handle mentally when you know it's ultimately going to go away.
Special thanks go to Mr. ParkHopper, who not only woke up at 8:45 this morning to drive me to Orlando, but also sat in the waiting room for 3 hours, took me out for "lunch," dropped me off at work, packed and delivered my dinner. Am I lucky or what?
Umm…I'm wondering if either my real dentist or this place I was at today would e-mail me a copy of my post-canal x-ray. I'd love to put a Christmas light border on it and e-mail it to everyone I know. That's almost even better than the Gatorland picture from September!