Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I have a confession

Seinfeld fans will know what I mean when I say I'm an anti-dentite. I know, I know, go ahead and call me a bigot. But, if you'd had the same tortures inflicted on you by those in the dental profession that I have had, you'd be one too.

Remember Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors? He was my first dentist. For years, I walked around with one of those horrifying looking and extremely painful headgear creations that are sadistically rooted into your skull.  To this day, I can feel the pain from that piece of tormenting architecture - long after I've forgotten the pain of childbirth.

And, no dentist since the first has been any better. In fact, one married and then cheated on one of my loved ones.  No surprise there, considering they have evil in their souls.

Despite my last DDS (Demonic Dental Sadist) who believed digging into vulnerable nerve endings and sensitive teeth while your sinuses are clogged and your throat is closed  is the height of enjoyment, I still went. I'm a responsible adult, after all.   Not every six months, like they request in order to get your insurance money keep your teeth healthy, but I did go yearly.

And, without valium, I might add.  Not that I didn't try to get some.

My final straw with these demons from hell was when I needed a root canal and my wisdom teeth out.  I showed up on time and was delighted that this time I would be put under anesthesia.  Finally!  A dental experience I could enjoy.

I woke up after the procedure, only to be told there had been a complication, and that my sinus had been punctured.  I got an immediate sinus infection, and a few days later began to cough.  And cough.  And cough some more.  I ended up in the hospital with bacterial pneumonia.  I was hospitalized for a week, on an antibiotic IV drip. I had a collapsed lung and an infection so bad it had spread to my kidneys and bladder.  Naturally, it was caused by dental treatment .  The infected tooth and punctured sinus leaked bacteria bugs down into my lungs and almost killed me.

And, if you think Steve Martin didn't get a thrill out of that, you need to think again.

So, I gave up.  I stopped going.  I ignored dentists.  I flossed, I bought fancy expensive electric toothbrushes.  I did everything I was supposed to, but go to a dentist.  Two years went by.  Three.  I began to realize that this probably wasn't smart, so I'd make an appointment.

And cancel.

By now, I had a full-fledged phobia. 

Guess what I found out?  If you have chemotherapy with gum disease and bad teeth, it can make you sick.  Those bacteria that just slowly eat away at your gums until your teeth drop out when you are 70 can actually kill you when you have no immune system.

So, today, I called the devil.  I found a "sedation dentist" and explained I'll be facing chemo in November and need to get everything done at once.  They fit me in for October 1st. I guess I'll do a little whitening too, as my reward for undergoing horrendous torture.    If I'm going to lose my hair,  I should at least have white teeth.

I'm way more nervous about this than anything else.

Cancer sucks.  It made me go to the dentist.

1 comment:

  1. Keep the white teeth! I just had my teeth cleaned the other day (which is an experience I hate) and there was a fruit fly circling the entire time. I kept watching it with my eyes and the hygienist kept laughing at my looking around. But we both agreed I didn't need that extra bit of protein and laughed about it.

    Cancer sucks big time.


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