Friday, November 21, 2008

Mr. Happy Tooth

Unexpectedly, we received several emails regarding Brian's travails at the dentist. They all wished him the best and gave him encouraging words but they all apologized because they thought his problem was so funny. (Shelley thinks it's funny too. Brian would think it's funny except he's too scared.) He sweated and sighed for 2 days thinking he would not be able to get any medication but the dentist finally phoned and said he had a prescription ready for him. Armed with his happy pills, Brian now felt he might be able to get through his root canal.

With all his teeth troubles you'd think that Brian would have had a root canal in the past, but he hasn't. When he first told Shelley he needed a root canal he couldn't help but notice that she paled on his behalf. When he asked her why, she merely mumbled and demurred. Silly Brian then went to the computer and looked up the whole procedure on the internet. It would seem that, with the problem he has with dentists, ignorance might be better, but apparently not.

We'd emailed our daughter because she works at a dentist's office and asked her how much an uninsured root canal would cost in Canada. Not taking into account x-rays or freezing, the bottom line cost would be at least $700; for all the procedures close to $2000. Did we mention that Brian's dentist in Canada almost refused to work on him anymore because he flinched at every move made. The dentist told him he felt so bad operating on him he wasn't sure he could continue to do so, and then he hit upon the idea of medication. When we thought perhaps we wouldn't be able to get a prescription for Brian, we'd discussed pouring a tumbler of vodka into him but the idea didn't sit that well.

We picked up the prescription and once again Brian headed to the internet to see what kind of medication he'd been given. Surprisingly, it was mostly used for anxiety or panic attacks. There was a caution because the medication could be highly addictive and another caution for people over age 60. When Shelley pointed these 2 cautions out to Brian he was unconcerned.

"Of course it's highly addictive, you don't worry about anything" he told her. "I'm only going to take it for the days I have to go to the dentist. Don't worry. You worry too much!" he scoffed at her.

Shelley rolled her eyes and went to go read her book.

After a terrible night's sleep, we both rolled out of bed quite early. Brian paced the front room until it was time to take his happy pills. Shelley valiantly tried to ignore him but from time to time would stop his frenzied movement and give him a pat or a hug. Finally it was time to go and we hailed a taxi and started off to the specialist.

"I've got a stress headache" Shelley told Brian in the cab.
"Funny, I've just started to calm down", Brian replied as the pill started to kick in.

Upon arrival at the specialist's office we only had to wait about 5 minutes and they took Brian into the operating room. They left the door slightly ajar so Shelley could peek in from time to time. She was prepared to go rushing in to save him if she had to, but no long moans or shrieks of horror emitted from the room, just the calm voice of the Doctor asking in Spanish how Brian was and Brian's mumbled reply, "OK".

Later, riding in the taxi home Brian told Shelley there was one moment when he jumped in the chair when the Doctor hit a nerve, "But he was good" he explained. "He stopped right away and sprayed something on the tooth that dulled the pain and made sure I was OK before he started again".

Brian's got another visit to the specialist and several visits to the regular dentist coming up. He's gone through the tough part though, even though he doesn't know it. In the cab, riding home, Shelley had patted him on the shoulder and commented "Piece of Cake" and he got angry at her for a second for diminishing his accomplishment.

"OK, I'll ignore you then!"

"Oh don't ignore me! That's worse."

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