38 Comments

  1. I have to agree – without small tortures, the good times wouldn’t have context (or at least as much).

    Great read – I share your unease at medical procedures. I feel you for sure.

  2. I hate going to the dentist more than anything in life! Did i say I hate it? But glad your appointment turned out ok…and also that you have something to look at..the TV and the cute doc..

  3. I almost couldn’t read this. Every time I have tooth pain I get petrified that I need a root canal! I’m glad you made out okay, but it didn’t change my mind!!

    • Laurie Stone

      Christine, I think the best thing about root canals is having them over. Then a relieved, happy feeling takes place for me. I guess that’s the only good that comes from them.

  4. I didn’t have a good experience with my last root canal, Laurie, so I would definitely have anxiety if facing another. I have been a nurse for over 30 years and I HATE medical procedures. My PCP has finally talked me into another colonoscopy and now I’m procrastinating about getting it scheduled, not responding to phone calls and letters pleading with me to contact the scheduling department. I can relate!

    • Laurie Stone

      Molly, I’m also overdue for my colonoscopy and dread it. Turning 60 this year, I have a slew of check-ups I’ve put off for ages. I’m going to grit my teeth and go.

  5. Not had to have root canal yet! Briefly thought a wisdom tooth would have to come out, which I would not have liked, but it’s stayed thus far. I dread having blood taken (dodgy veins) and going under general anaesthetic medical procedure wise. Not sure I feel better once over! Though would probably have to concede that I must have felt better post general anaesthetic when my appendix ruptured than I would have otherwise! I have had that nervous dread followed by relief with other things though.

    • Laurie Stone

      A ruptured appendix does not sound like fun. I’m sorry. I also have dodgy veins. It takes them 10 tries on each arm to finally end up on my right one.

  6. I’m not afraid, although I’m not as brave as I used to be. I used to have my teeth drilled without novocaine because the pain of it wearing off was worse than having the teeth drilled. Now I use the novocaine and the dentist is surprised when I start to nap in his chair. They play music through the office. At any time I might hear The Beatles or Jimi Hendrix or Van Halen, but the last time I was having my teeth drilled, for some reason, they decided a classical music station would be great and it might have been if they weren’t playing The Ride of the Valkyries.

    • Laurie Stone

      No Novocaine, Jennifer? You’re the bravest woman I know. I can’t imagine. Sounds like you have a hip dentist office with Jimi and the Beatles.

  7. When I got braces at age 12, I stopped worrying about dentists and pain. It made me tough, plus my body accepts anesthesia REALLY well. Dentistry aside, it’s those other things that cause stress, like driving downtown for a meeting in the rain, attending an event in another city, things that are new and different. That’s MY introversion rearing her slightly homely head 🙂

    • Laurie Stone

      Terri, All those sound like good stressors. I just like the way I feel after. The relief feels so good. Plus, there’s certain pride in accomplishment.

  8. I got the chills and sweats reading this. I had a dentist screw up a lot of teeth. Long story short…found an amazing one who has really fixed me up but best of all, he (and his staff) are amazing when it comes to my anxiety! I am beyond thankful!

    • Laurie Stone

      Stacey, I think that’s what I like about my dentist. Everything is slow and he speaks softly. I’m sure he knows most (if not all) people don’t want to be there!

  9. I’m not a huge fan of the dentist and that drill! Even writing about it makes my skin crawl. Well done and yes I love that tingling when the novocain wears off.

    • Laurie Stone

      Sue, It did take longer for the Novocaine to wear off this time, which got me worried, needlessly. The only thing good about the dentist (or any medical procedure) is having it over. I find my happiness quotient goes up a lot afterwards.

  10. I am so glad to hear someone else is as neurotic about this stuff as I am! Have had one root canal in my life and pray not to have any others. And speaking of prayer, the doctor actually said, “You can stop praying now. The worst is over.” He must have seen my hands clenched in front of me! Glad you made it through and wishing you no more of these . . .

    • Laurie Stone

      Kristine, Glad I’m not the only one who’s neurotic about this. I’m sure the majority of people hate medical stuff. Still, its a necessary evil. Shiver.

  11. I’m glad you made it through the procedure relatively unscathed. I always worry about not answering the dentist when he’s talking to me, but it’s impossible in the middle of dental work. The last thing I want to do is swallow the drill. (As a matter of fact, it’d probably be the last thing I’d ever do too.)

    • Laurie Stone

      Bun, The worst are the dentists who want to talk politics, especially the ultra-conservative ones. I’ve learned never to argue with anyone about to use dental implements in my mouth. I just nod.

  12. Heather

    I have to admit getting my teeth cleaned is one of my most favorite procedures. Crazy, according to most of my friends. I have had cavities filled and wisdom teeth pulled without issue. So I do not have dental anxiety. What does scare me is having to have my neck adjusted. Thankfully, I have only needed it to be done a few times. It took a ton of self talk and faith in my chiropractor to get through it. Felt great when it was over.

    • Laurie Stone

      Heather, I’ve never had my neck adjusted. That would be right up there with medical tortures for me. You sound brave for going through with it.

  13. Good for you! Last year I was in dental hell. I got a postcard from the endodontist about a check up of the retreat root canal. Maybe in May if I need some spice to my life!

  14. Yikes. I lay awake thinking about everything. Even things I enjoy doing. Haven’t had a root canal yet, thank goodness, but have had surgery on both feet. Ugh. It was worth the sleeplessness that preceded, so you are right!

    • Laurie Stone

      Diane, Surgery on both feet doesn’t sound like fun. The only good thing about these events is the relief and happiness you survived.

  15. Laurie, I am so afraid of the dentist that I couldn’t even read this entire post 🙂 . I have a hard time getting numb so my root canal included being heavily medicated and living in dread for weeks before. I agree, all of the difficult things we go through, especially as we get older, make us appreciate the peace and quiet and, dare I say, dullness of regular life.

    • Laurie Stone

      Sharon, Here’s to the dull side of life! I agree, as I get older (and more set in my ways), I love returning to my comfort zone. Of course, I don’t appreciate my comfort zone as much until I’m pulled out of it.

  16. Oh no, my hubs recently had a root canal and it made me cringe! I feel your pain!

    Normally, there isn’t any doctor appt that makes me feel uncomfortable except for my dermatologist. After having many skin cancers and having them surgically removed, I dread having another. Sadly, years of not covering up have done a number on me. Silly me.

    Hope your future dentist appts go smoothly! Having a doc you know and trust is the best!

    B

    • Laurie Stone

      Bren, I love my dentist. He’s adorable and sweet. It definitely makes a difference. Sorry for your dermatologist challenges. There’s always something.

  17. I so related to this post! I feel that terror–and sense of relief–when it comes to flying. I drive myself nuts in the days leading up to a flight, imagining all that could go wrong. And then, when the plane touches down at my destination, all that tension just drains from my body (the Xanax I took at the start of the flight helps, too!). And I feel overjoyed to be alive (whether I’m just starting a vacation or business trip, or coming home). Torture is a little spicy, isn’t it?

    • Laurie Stone

      Roxanne, I’m the same way about flying! When those wheels touch down, all the tension drains from my body. You do feel more alive and appreciate all the little things. But its not till you step out of that comfort zone, that you appreciate its there.

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