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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Feel the Pain and do it Reluctantly

It now 5:30 in the morning and I have been been awake pretty much constantly for the last 50+ hours. Not as a result of one of my usual bouts of insomnia, oh that it were but no, but as a result of chronic toothache. To many people toothache may not seem like a big deal, some painkillers maybe a quick trip to the dentist and problem solved, but for me it is not that simple. I have a severe dental phobia and as a result have not seen a dentist in about 10 years. This phobia results from several very bad experiences with both general dentistry and dental surgery as a child resulting in me having to be treated in hospital on 2 seperate occassions following dental treatment. I am terrified of dentists but I did this morning (following a great deal of nagging from Sheldon) manage to get and more importantly attend an appointment at out local emergency dental surgery. The dentist there told me that I had at least 2 maybe 3 cavities that would need filling but that they weren't in urgent need of repair so I would need to wait until I could get registered and book an appointment with a general dentist before getting them done. She also noticed a rather large mouth ulcer which I#m pretty sure had errupted the night before leaving me feeling like my jawbone was trying to escape out of the side of my face. She gave me some Difflam to stop the pain and reduce the swelling. That worked great and the pain from the ulcer is now none existant.

So thats it end of problem right? Wrong! A few hours after the pain relief had taken effect on the ulcer I started experiencing excruciating searing pain throughout one of the teeth that the emergency dentist told me that I would need to get filled. I have spent the rest of the day since then filling my self with all of the painkillers that Sheldon and I have in the flat ( a cocktail of Ibuprofen, paracteamol, aspirin and codeine) in order to try and get some form of relief this has worked to some extent ( the pain has reduced from excruciating to almost tolerable but it is still unremmitant)but not enough to allow me to get any sleep. I am currently going slowly insane as a result of the combination of pain, sleep deprivation and a mild drug induced haze, and am trying to find a way to distract myself until the dental surgery opens at 8am and I can get hold of them to try and get myself an appointment to sort out this tooth. I'm going to have to wake Sheldon up ( he stayed up with me for a while but eventually dozed off and I'm currently resisting the urge to wake him up to request pain relief in the form of cuddles, but one of us should at least be able to get some sleep) in order to phone them as the pain in my tooth means that it hurts when I talk, breathing through my mouth is slightly painful aswell, the damaged tooth is extreemely sensitive. Hopefully I"ll be able to get seen by either my regular dentist that I have now registered with or the emergency dentist and get someting done as if I loose much more sleep I may well reach the point I reached before where I went wondering the streets at 3am  out of my mind with my laptop but no shoes.

I'm really dreading the thought of having the dental work done but the dentist that I am registered with is very experienced in treating nervous patients and dental phobics and comes recomended by this forum, and I have been told that Sheldon will be able to accompany me into the surgery while I'm having the necessary treatment which helps put me more at ease because I know if something happens that I don't like he will make sure that the dentist stops doing it, the people that I saw at the emergency surgery were also lovely, very acommodating of my nervousness and let Sheldon come in with me.

My main fear with dentists is the lack of contol when I'm having treatment done and Sheldon has been constantly reminding me for the last 2 days that I am the one who is in control of my dental treatment and that I can say no at anytime if what the dentist suggests I don't like. The major difference with dental treatment this time is that I am now a consenting adult whereas before I was a minor and consent was gleaned from my parents there was nothing I could do to get the dentist to stop if I was scared or uncomfortable whereas this time I can or if I can't for some reason I know that Sheldon will whereas my parents wouldn't.

While I have been considering this dental treatment one phrase has been constantly springing into my head and that is the title of this book. Feel the Fear and do it anyway! Considering this though I have come to the conclusion that it is a ridiculous notion and I'm not going to the dentist because I hgave miraculously realised that my fear is irrational and I should just get on with it. I'm going to see a dentist because this pain is severly affecting my ability to pass myself off as a functional human, and what ever the dentist may do to my its bound to be preferable in the long run  to this level of unending paim. On top of that my fear of dentists is not an irrational fear, I'm not a dental phobic, I'm a rational adult who has been caused some not incosiderable damage by dental practitioners in the past and am therefore wary of tyrusting the in future, to quote Sheldon's mother "thats not prejudice, thats informed oppinion" so based of these considerations I have decided that my mantra regarding this dental treatment will not be the well meaning but entirely uselees in this scenario "feel the fear and do it anyway" but rather "feel the pain and do it relcutantly."

Not long now til the dental surgery opens so I'm going to try distract myself with some suitably brain numbing television. Hopefully the next post I write will be minus pain and plus sleep. *Fingers crossed.*

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