I went in today to an oral surgeon for a consultation on having my wisdom teeth removed. I posted on my previous blog that I had chipped one of my wisdom teeth back in August (yes, that long ago.) I must confess that before August, it had been a looong
time since I had seen a dentist. You see, I have dental anxiety...severe dental anxiety. I found a reasonably nice dentist who knew of my anxiety and he said that while the chipped tooth did not expose a nerve, the tooth would give me trouble down the road. He also told me (and showed me) that the enamel around my wisdom teeth was flaking off and again, I would have trouble down the road. He offered to yank those bad boys out for me. He told me he could numb me up and have it all done within 45 minutes. NO THANK YOU. Did he miss the part about me having anxiety? I don't want to be AWAKE during the procedure. Sheesh
I politely declined but told him that I would have the teeth removed before my next cleaning. Well, that time has come and gone. I cancelled my cleaning last week and thought of my promise and since I don't want another stern lecture, I called the Oral Surgeon the dentist recommended. I had the option of either going in for the teeth extractions or having a consultation with the surgeon. I wanted to meet the surgeon first so if I didn't like him, I could find someone else.
Today was the day of the consultation. I sat in the office and filled out the appropriate paperwork before I was led into an xray
room to watch an 11 minute video on wisdom teeth extraction. It wasn't a graphic video by any means, in fact it was just a video of an actor doctor sitting behind a desk looking into the camera reviewing the procedure, possible side effects of light anesthesia
and post op side effects.
The first inkling of impending disaster came when the actor doctor was describing the potential side effects of the anesthesia
. I began to feel slightly light headed. The feeling worsened quickly and to distract myself from the video, I began rooting through my purse, pulling out scraps of paper to throw in the trash can. But I couldn't concentrate on my task, all I could hear were the side effects listed: nausea, dizziness, vomiting, drowsiness. I broke out into a cold sweat when the post op discomforts were listed: bleeding, swelling, stiffness of the jaw, pain. I tried concentrating on my breathing, but the dizziness only worsened and when the actor doctor started talking about the possibility of dry socket, I placed my head between my legs and tried reasoning with my body. I had undergone surgery in the past. Back in 1998 I had a lump removed from my breast. I had light anesthesia
during that procedure and it was no big deal. Why was I freaking out? No reason to freak out...stop trying to pass out! My vision began to waver when the actor doctor warned of the slight risk of nerve damage during the extractions. I sat on the floor rested my head on my legs, feeling foolish that my mind was not in control of my body.
The receptionist came in right when the video ended. She fussed over me and brought a cold pack and a technician. I told her how embarrassed I was over the fact that I almost fainted over a video. The receptionist crouched down and patted my back and told me that her daughter had the same problem of passing out. I told her of my dental anxiety and really, I wasn't like this most of the time. Both the technician and receptionist hauled me to my feet and ushered me into the next room to sit on a dental chair. Not long after they left, another technician came in and tilted the chair back, way back, until it felt like I was laying on the top of my head. She tried to take my mind off my embarrassment by asking me if I was married, commenting on how long she was married etc etc. After a few minutes she reversed the position of the chair and the doctor came in.
The doctor teased me a little bit, telling me that he wasn't sure he wanted to work on me because I was so scared. I laughed and told him I wouldn't be too difficult to deal with once I was knocked out. He looked at my teeth, reviewed my medical history, briefly touched on the procedure (as to not induce another near fainting episode) and told me to bring someone with me to take me home etc. He told me that impacted wisdom teeth were a more common occurrence
and it was a good thing that all of my wisdom teeth were visible and in place. He assured me that the procedure would be easy and trouble free. (Yea, we'll see about that)
I'm due to have those wisdom teeth removed next Monday at 1pm.
It's going to be a long week.