Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oh God. The Dentist.

I'm going to the dentist this morning. In an hour and a half, I will be at the dentist. I'm leaving the baby with my mom. Both of them will be thrilled with that arrangement. Baby Lawns loves my parents and visiting their home (lots of sparklies to look at there).

I am 100% freaked out. I haven't been to the dentist in six years people. I am embarrassed to admit that, but it's true. I am more terrified of the dentist than of any other doctor. Dental procedures scare me more than anything else.

This is a totally irrational fear. I know this. I have had oral surgery. I have had a tumor irradiated and a C-section. A dental cleaning can't possibly compare, yet I am petrified. I could barely sleep all night thinking about it.

So why am I so scared of the dentist? It's not pain I fear. It's not needles. I am totally desensitized to needles at this point in my life. It's gagging. I have a hyperactive gag reflex and I can't stand the feeling of metal and especially cotton in my mouth. I'm scared I'm going to throw up or not be able to breathe. I feel claustrophobic in the chair and trapped and awful. To me, there is no worse feeling and so, six years ago, after my oral surgery and after getting six veneers I started procrastinating going to the dentist. I skipped my six month cleanings. Then it was a year. Now it's six, just like that and the six years flew by. I didn't mean to go six years.

After five years I started imagining that I had incurable gum disease and was going to lose all my teeth and have to wear dentures. The thought of that made me scared to go to the dentist because I didn't want to hear bad news, so that added to my procrastinating in a way that I understand doesn't really make sense. I know how stupid I'm being.

One of my other New Year's resolutions, being that I've killed all the plants, was to stop neglecting certain aspects of my health like my eyes and my teeth. I think it's just that over the past few years I've had to go to the doctor so much that I got sick of it and didn't want to do anything else medically related. This might surprise some people who know me. I know there are family members etc. who think I'm being dramatic and that I go to the doctor too much and have too much blood work. To these people I say, well, you don't want to know what I say, but look - I don't want to ever go to the doctor at all or get blood work done ever, but it's not exactly a choice here. I have a chronic condition and it needs to be monitored pretty much forever. Because of that I let other things slip. I let my phobias rule.

A few weeks ago I finally got my behind in the eye doctor's office. I had been having recurring, painful inflammation in my right eye which I was convinced was something that was going to make me lose my whole eyeball and make me half blind so I'd have to wear a glass eye or a pirate patch. Turns out I have a mild condition called episcleritis that is related to my autoimmune illness and I just need to use some steroid drops when it flares up and no, I will not go blind from it. It will just annoy me periodically and my vision is perfectly average for my age.

I had really been terrified of the eye doctor too. I thought he was going to stick needles in my eyes. He didn't. I was fine.

Let's hope I can survive the dentist. Wish me luck! I'm doing it! I'm facing my fear!

14 comments:

Karen said...

See if they'll give you some happy gas to help you relax. I went 7 years without going to the dentist (one bad dentist will really mess with your ability to get into that chair...), so I understand. I have a dentist who is trained in "gentle" dentistry and specializes in what she kindly refers to as "nervous" patients. I went to see her after a friend recommended her, and told her flat out that I was nuts and likely to throw up or run. She's a lovely, lovely person, and has gotten me through numerous cleanings, replacing my old fillings, and fixing a chip in my front tooth when I slipped and did a full faceplant in the street on the way to first grade lunch duty a few years ago. Bring your iPod, ask for drugs, whatever it takes, and if they tell you no, go find someone else. Oh, and make sure and tell them you're nuts like me. Good luck!

Arwen said...

If you close and hold your left thumb tightly in your left fist, you will have no gag reflex. I don't know how or why it works but it does.

One Crazy Chick! said...

Ask for something to help your nerves. I just went after 4 years and the c-section from hell (like yours). I did fine at the cleaning but had a panic attack for the filling. Gas. Ask for the gas.

~*~Esmerelda~*~ said...

Try Xanax, the breakfast of champions, and dental phobes. :o)

Life in the mom lane said...

I hear ya... I too do not like the dentist. I hadn't been for over 10 yrs. and then felt like I had to go once my kids were old enough to get that mommy wasn't going... that whole setting a good example thing.
Went yearly as they were growing up and white knuckled it the entire time... now that they are older I haven't been in about 4 yrs. I know I need to go... but think I need to find a dentist I actually like- I don't care for our current dentist...

Anonymous said...

I hate going to the dentist also and put it off for three years. Agree with the previous person---let them know you are fearful, ask for drugs (I get laughing gas and have them numb my gums before the cleaning and check up), and wear headphones. Call around. There are plenty of dentists that will work within your comfort level.

JoeinVegas said...

The dentist is one person I too do not like going to see.
Good luck on your visit.

LegalMist said...

Good luck! (I bet you'll be just fine...)

Pudge450 said...

I, too, fear the dentist bacause of some really painful dentistry when I was about 9 or 10 years old. Think - no anesthesia for a filling (50 years ago)

My Dentist once told me he had NEVER had an adult patient as afraid as me.

Also, once I was having an impression made while under gas. I felt like I was going to throwup; but, I DIDN'T CARE, because of the gas! Luckily, his assistant recognized the gagging and quickly removed the appliances. I didn't throwup. Thanks goodness.

Good luck.

Laurie said...

I am EXACTLY like you when it comes to the dentist, and now I think I need a root canal and can't decide if living through it will be worse than actually going to have it fixed. And if I DO go, I only want that one visit to clear everything up so I can wait another 8 years and won't need any follow up. (I know - I'm nothing if not delusional!) I tend to think that as long as my teeth look good and I'm not in pain I'll never have to go again, but I know I'll be sorry. Looking forward to hearing what a breeze it was for you to help me get motivated to go. Good luck and congrats on biting (haha!!) the bullet and making that appointment! You go WL's!!! ♥

Kerry said...

So how did you do?

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about sedation dentistry? I have a friend who is totally terrified of the dentist and has been going to a sedation dentist for several years with great results.

Before sedation, the nurse would come into the room and ask him to keep the whimpering down because he was scaring the patients in the waiting room. And that was just for a cleaning...

Anonymous said...

I am just like that as well. I feel you pain! All I can say is Ipod, loud. And the xnanax is a good tip! Must get my hands on some.

Dentist in Los Angeles said...

Keep me up great work.Thanks for sharing!


Dentist

Amazon Search Box

About Me

Blog Archive

Search

Loading...

Followers

There was an error in this gadget