Wednesday, April 21, 2010

tooth reexcision

i'm skipping radiation again, but this time, it's because i'm on cape cod for dental work. sadly, i was so excited about this. but...

i severely misunderstood what getting a crown on your tooth means. i was naively picturing something like popping a cap on a tooth, the way you pop a cap on a pen. i had no idea it actually means being stuck in the chair for 2 hrs while someone drills your entire tooth down to the bone, making it sound like there’s a jet engine in your head, while you try not to swallow all the blood. he told me he had to drill more than expected, because when the root canal had been done several years ago, the decay was right up to the bone, so today he had to drill a little bit of bone in order to get around it and seal it off. my brain automatically interprets this as, “oh, couldn’t get clear margins, again.” like it was a tooth reexcision, minus K and the IV of happy juice. calling it a “crown” makes it sound like something nice that goes on top of your tooth, but really, it’s like getting an entire new tooth glued to the pitiful stump of your old one.

also, my bite is off, due to my stress-induced jaw problems. he showed me exercises to do to help relax and realign my jaw, and made plans to make me a new nighttime mouthguard, now that i have gnawed the hell out of my old one to the point where it's riddled with holes.

before the appt, i braced myself for the Cancer Conversation i knew we'd be starting with, trying to plan brief responses to his inevitable questions, responses which would not invite further questions. and that seemed to work - he replied with, "my heart goes out to you. i don't know what more to say." i appreciated that, and thought, whew, cancer conversation out of the way. but about 90 mins later when i was in pain and swallowing blood and really just trying to take deep breaths until it was all over,

he actually pulled the earphones away from my head (i was listening to his alison krauss CD - very nice of him) to say something like, "you're going to be okay! you know that, don't you? you're doing so many good things, and you will be okay. if you were NOT doing all these good things, you wouldn't be okay." trying to continue focusing on alison krauss, i did the smile-and-nod thing, but when i heard "blah blah blah silver lining blah blah" come out of his mouth, lulu rushed to my side and started barking like crazy.

lulu's warning to the world at large: DO NOT use the words "silver lining" in reference to cancer, ever. this goes back to the "cancer is not a gift" thing.

by the way, i've been hearing stories from a few of you that lulu has been helping you out during doctor's appointments, too! i'm so glad! lulu can teleport anywhere, instantly, so feel free to borrow her whenever you need her!!

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps YOUR Lulu just barks at times like that, but MY Lulu would clamp down on the ankle to drive the point home ;-).