So I sit… with my TWISP. Which is an electric cigarette. I have mastered the art of how deep a drag I can take without feeling like I have vacuum sealed my lungs together and then choking so that I cough, fart and make weird snort gasp noises while trying to get my lungs to unseal themselves. I won’t lie. It’s not nearly as satisfying as an actual cigarette. In fact, it’s annoying. I don’t have to push a cigarette on the side 5 times to turn it on, and then 5 times again to turn it off. If I drop a smoke, it won’t break. I can stick a cigarette behind my hear. If I stick a TWISP behind my ear it would be more of a circus balancing act than anything else.
I haven’t had an actual smoke now in two days. I won’t lie… I am not the nicest human being on the planet, especially when I am near a cigarette selling store…. But I was up to three boxes a day. For you non-smokers, that’s 60 cigarettes a day. I may as well smoke crack and enjoy the annihilation of my lungs if that’s really my ultimate goal.
So in my pre surgery paranoia, I decided that I would die if I didn’t quit smoking. Im scared they stick that tube down my throat and my lungs just…. Don’t like it. You know, like they don’t like random bit of food, or like they don’t like the TWISP, or like they don’t like the smell of tar…
So after the last episode of HORRENDOUS dentist… I was genuinely afraid of setting foot in another dentist’s office. But this one came recommended by my dad and my mom – and you know, Milne’s… we have standards. You don’t meet them – we have body bags of all sizes in a secret compartment in our cars.
So in I go. This dentist, a lovely German man with an assistant called Mercy – actually listened to me when I told him where the problem was. So he did a few small x-rays. Then he asked me if he could do a full face x-ray – and EXPLAINED why – a little clarity goes a long way. Incidentally the reason that machine hits me in the shoulder is because I have no neck. Again, a little clarity goes a long way.
So we begin. I need root canal on the one side (where the hole is I have been complaining about is) and on the side where the ACTUAL problem is… the infection is above the THEETH (plural) not tooth (singular).
So injection one. Between palate and bone. Painful but… all good. Another in my inside gum.
Nope, can feel it all still.
Six injections later and my nose, cheeks, bottom eyelids, lips, some of my mouth were numb…. VERY numb… but not the areas that were infected. So the dentist, bless his German sandals, gave me a choice. He either pulls the teeth and I just hold on tight and deal with it – or I postpone my surgery and I see a specialist who puts me under in hospital and does it.
Let me pause here – to say – that until someone has pulled teeth that are very much attached by roots and a PIN, there is no way of being able to make that choice and KNOW what’s going to happen. I chose to do it without the anaesthetic. I raised my knees, and planted my feet firmly on the chair, grabbed a hold of the arm rests as hard as I could, and said ‘Im ready’.
I was not ready. When a man sticks plyers in your mouth and you can hear and feel every crunch, pull and intensely sharp surge of pain with each twist and yank…. There is only one thing to do. And that is cry.
The poor dentist kept apologising but he had told me that once he had started he couldn’t just stop – so I never said a word, I never made a noise. I just breathed as calmly as I could, and cried like a baby. He reckoned the first one would be the most painful – but by then when your face is throbbing, the second one was just as sore…. And judging by how his arm was shaking – it was hard to get out.
Poor Mercy – the assistant, clearly didn’t know how to hide her facial expressions…. Because whenever my eyes were open, she just looked like she was witnessing torture and it was too much for her.
I was supposed to have the root canal on the same day and I just told him that there was no chance in hell I could deal with any more pain than I just had… so it would have to be in the next few days, I didn’t realise until afterwards but at one point he grabbed my cheek and used it to pull one way while he pulled a different way with the plyers. I feel like I have been punched by an MMA fighter in my face.
The dentist gave me a hug afterwards (I think it was for him and not for me because he felt bad) and told me he doesn’t know too many people who could have done that as calmly as I did. I tried to make a joke about being a super hero Novocaine junkie in my spare time – but when you can’t move your lips without drooling it’s not that funny. I told him I deserved a medal. He gave a tube of tooth paste and told me that was the closest thing he has to medal. He asked me if I wanted the teeth. I said no – that’s like being in a car accident and the insurance company gives you a bumper or a side mirror as a keep sake for your pain.
So Root Canal on Monday. Im hoping it’s not newsworthy. But just going to the Spar is newsworthy for me.. so… we will see.