I had to go for a root canal earlier this week. My sixth. The dentist tells me that the two biggest causes of cracked teeth (which lead to people needing a root canal) are kids and horses. Ooh look: four kids and a lifetime of riding horses. My teeth are screwed. And if you're wondering how kids can damage your teeth, then you haven't fed many babies; you're holding the baby post feed, gently trying to bring up whatever air they managed to swallow while drinking their milk and suddenly they decide to launch themselves backwards, straight into the side of your face. Maybe there was just too much air waiting to come out, I dunno, but when a baby launches themselves backwards, you'd better get out of the way or your cheekbone gets broken. As do your teeth.
Now, Louise Hay, that doyenne of New Age wisdom, has something else to say about root canals, that it's all about feeling that your root beliefs are being destroyed and you can't bite into anything anymore. I'll have to have a think about that one a bit more, I mean, middle aged, former stay-at-home parent, built a fortune and lost it, gave up work/business creating... how on earth might my root beliefs be destroyed?
I know, I know... sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but I thoroughly enjoy being sarcastic. Quite a lot of the time.
So, in I go to the dentist, an old hand at this root canal lark, knowing that there'd be maybe an hour's worth of minor discomfort while I was sitting in the chair, sweating, sticking to the faux leather covering because I'd forgotten (again) that wearing shorts isn't the thing to do when you go to the dentist, my mouth wide open, jaw aching, and then it would all be over. Too easy. I know how this goes. But not this time. Oh no, this time things get interesting. This time, the heavy duty anaesthetic decided that it was tired and it was going to take its bat and ball and go home, because it didn’t work.
Okay, let’s have a second injection of the hard stuff in a slightly different place. Nope. I can still feel things. Not as much, but it’s certainly not numb.
Right, hopefully it will be third time lucky…
At this point, I’m thinking back to a post a friend put up a few weeks ago about. She’d also had a visit to the dentist and her anaesthetic didn’t work because apparently she has the MTHFR gene “and we all know what that means”. I’m sorry, my mind went into ‘What? WTF? MTHFR gene? She’s having me on, right?’ And no, I don’t know what having that gene means, what does it mean? I’m not even going to go along the track that my mind was pursuing till I googled it. Yes, there is such a thing as an MTHFR gene and one of the impacts of having it means that anaesthetics don’t work so well on you. Apparently, they didn’t work at all for her but the plentiful Valium that she took prior to going to the dentist did. So, all good. Or at least, as good as it was going to get; she was calmly in excruciating pain.
But obviously, I’m not a MTHFR because the anaesthetic finally worked on me and on we went with the root canal. Till we hit another snag: the nerve in the root was infected (I could have told you that, it was bloody sore) and it wouldn’t stop bleeding. Kind of like my nose…
Oh, didn’t I tell you that? In between injections 2 and 3, I asked for a tissue because my nose was running. Only it wasn’t running, it was bleeding. After waiting for five minutes or so for the bleeding to stop, and as my speech got more and more slurred and more and more of my face went numb (all of the right side of my face was numb EXCEPT for the tooth that he wanted to work on!), I just stuck a tissue up my nostril and suggested we just carry on regardless. So, there I am, mouth wide open, having a root canal done with a tissue sticking out of my left nostril for the entire process. Nice. Just how I want to be remembered: “Oh yes, it’s that woman that we have to inject up to the eyeballs to get her teeth numb, Make sure there’s lots of tissues handy because there’ll be blood everywhere.”
And what does the wonderful Louise Hay say about nosebleeds? They’re a cry for attention. No kidding, Einstein. I have no idea at all why I might have been looking for attention at this point.
But, on a good note, Stage 1 of the root canal is done… actually, no, we’re not even at Stage 1: we’re at Stage 0.5. Because of the nerve bleeding, he had to put antibiotics into the tooth and seal it up. I have to wait for four weeks while the tooth heals and then, when it's nice and healthy again, we go back in and kill it. Who’d have thought, eh? You have to make something better BEFORE you take it out. Hmm.
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Hi! I’m Karen O’Connor, hormonally-challenged, menopausal writer, blogger, self-confessed sarcasm enthusiast, mother of 4, wife of 30 years, destroyer of souls... no, wait, that's just in the mornings...