Monday, 25 February 2008

Tilt Your Head Back

Just before Nadalene and Charlton's wedding in September a cap on my second molar was very loose and I thought it was going to fall out.  

Okay, simple enough, go to the dentist and get it pushed back in more firmly.  Just one of my famous last thoughts.

I need to set the stage here before this actress can go on.

I was getting my chemo (FEC) every three weeks so the timing with the dentist was important.  My blood had to be up and my chemo gut had to be down.  Fine, I get myself to the dentist and guess what, it is not so simple after all.

Number one, my gums have shrunk, probably from the chemo and so the cap no longer fits.  Fine, make me another one.  Number two, can not do that as the tooth and post have broken a bit and there is nothing for a new cap to hold on to.  Number three, I will have to go see an oral surgeon and get the tooth pulled.

Okay, what could I get done that day at the dentist.  I get some x-rays which should have been a few minute process which dragged on for 1/2 hour because of my severe gagging.  In she would shove the film.  Out I would pull it and hold my head over their garbage can.  In she would shove it, out I would pull it.  Finally I told her to give me the film, for her to stand by the camera and as soon as she saw me put in the film that she should take the picture.  Believe me it was a Herculean effort.  After that I get my teeth cleaned (You can only imagine.  And if you can't, re-read the bit about the x-rays).

I can't get in to see the oral surgeon until after the wedding.  Needless to say, I just kept pushing the tooth back up in my gum.  By the way, it fell out when I was eating a chocolate bar and I thought it was a stone or even a little bone from a mouse.  After washing the chocolate off of it I realized that it was my cap.  Then of course my tongue went up to the molar and sure enough the cap was missing.

I see the oral surgeon in October, he tells me he will pull it that day, but has to call my oncologist's nurse (Lori, who I love) first to see if my blood is okay.  He comes back in and tells me that No, he can't do it and they will have to wait until I come off of chemo.  My tooth is not killing me so of course I stay on chemo.

In the meantime, I need to go back to my dentist beause the post they put in to hold the cap feels like steel and it is long and cutting the shit out of my tongue.  The dentist proceeds to file the steel down.  Now I have the grinding sound with steel chips going in my mouth and the hygenist with a water hose scooping them out.  Does it sound fun?

Four months later, I am on a break from chemo so I rebook an appointment with the oral surgeon.  I tell him he has the go-ahead from my oncologist, but more importantly from my nurse Lori (hee hee).  

My appointment was on Thursday.  Mickey dropped me off and I went to face the music.  I was an absolute nervous wreck.  I need to reset the stage before I open the curtains.

Up the elevator to the 8th floor.  Down the hall to an office within his office.  The dental hygenist is kind (Kendra remember that).  I sit on the dental chair and tell her that I am nervous (as if she doesn't have eyes in her head) and that I have a bad gagging reflex.  She tells me not to worry as they are faster than a dentist's office and it only takes more time if the tooth breaks.  She leaves, the dentist comes in.  He tells me that it will be fine and that he will just give me a couple of needles to freeze it and then we will be on our way.  He puts a dental bib on me  and gives me a needle in the cheek (not bad) followed by a needle in the roof of my mouth (holy shit).  Tells me he will be back.

I sit straight up in the chair telling myself that 'fear is the mindkiller'.  I breath in and out and try to relax my muscles.  I look out the window at the CTV building, nothing seems to be working.  I am still petrified.  

I look out the window again and I see my reflection in the glass, it is almost like a mirror.  I see a giant baby Josephine with her bib on.  (I'm lucky I get to feed her quite often.)  I keep looking at myself/Josephine and then I actually start making baby faces and doing baby snarls at my reflection.  I keep snarling and moving my head just like Josephine does.  A miracle, I don't feel quite as afraid anymore.  Thank you Josephine.

The surgeon and the hygenist come in and I am all set to go.  I keep my eyes closed and he pulls.  He tells me she will have to hold my shoulders down as I keep popping up and he keeps pulling.  Tells me to open my eyes.  I do.  He says are you okay.  I nod.  I close my eyes.  He keeps pulling.  

Now he tells me what I don't want to hear.  The tooth broke
and now he will have to pull the roots out.
I tell myself what I want to hear: it doesn't hurt, they are
 almost done, keep your eyes closed.

It is done. I pay.  I phone Mickey.  Mickey comes to get me.

I get in the car and as she says how did it go.  I cry hysterically.  My nerves are shot.  I appreicated that Mickey reacted exactly like I wanted her too.  She said nothing and just let me be, because sometimes there is just nothing to say.

I want you all to know that I had myself all worked up for nothing.  We just can't let our fears get the best of us.  Do what you need to do to bring yourself back to what is real.  If it is horrible, it will be upon you soon enough.  Fear just makes it that much harder.

Thanks for listening to my whinings everyone.  Love from the actress with a huge gap in her teeth on the left hand side.


Mickey said...

Renee I laughed hysterically at you making faces as you see the giant Josephine in the window/mirrow. You are so funny. It is weird that the dentist office is never a favorite place for people and usually it never is as bad as our imaginations make it out to be.

Deborah said...

Yes, making faces at giant baby Josephine made me laugh out loud. and then I cried again with you.