Pwn3d by my dentist, who gains r00t (canal) access, Part II

Last night, in a hurry to prove that my blood pressure was just fine, I ran over to Rite-Aid to take the chair test.  You know, the blood pressure chair by the pharmacy, in the dark corner?

I failed.  Over and over.  Take a look for yourself:

So it wasn’t looking good.  I needed to get my blood pressure down to about 120/80 or so.  I just couldn’t relax.  There is a lot on my mind.  The dentist, this weekend’s upcoming 1/2 triathlon, my job, and of course, my blood pressure.  Sort of a vicious cycle.

So I left Rite-Aid a little dejected, feeling that I was going to die in the chair in the morning.  That night, I took one Valium at 9 PM.  (I took another one, 12 hours later before the dentist’s appointment).

My friend, Jason Harris’ sister, Jen (who is also an old friend from Convergys) picked me up in the morning and drive me to the dentist.  I made my way to the counter, signed the I Won’t Blame You if I Die papers, then trudged over to The Chair.  I sat down and they started the gas.

One thing I remember when on the gas, today:  Richard Marx’s Hold on to the Night was playing and I thought to myself how beautiful of a song it is.  I was so taken by it that I knew I was out of my mind.  It’s not THAT great of a song.

The dentist drilled, poked, drilled some more.  At one point I saw a torch being held by his assistant.  The gas told me that a torch in the dentist’s office was perfectly normal, so I brushed aside any protests that I might have uttered.

It, all in all, took about two hours.  My tooth is better.  I can floss between it an its neighbor without any issues.  I’m happy to be done with it, for now.

Honorable mentions:  Patrick Phillips picked me up from the dentist and we went to lunch, then to work.  Paul Penrod drove me home, after work.

Pwn3d by my dentist, who gains r00t (canal) access

Sitting in the dentist’s chair, I had vivid recollections of why I don’t like going to the dentist.  There was the time I had a seizure while receiving an injection of Novocaine.  There was the time that I had my wisdom teeth removed when I was 18, in Utah, when my primary residence was California.  And then there’s today, in the chair, while I sort of regretted telling the staff that I really didn’t do well with stress in the dentist’s office.

My blood pressure was checked before starting the gas.  It (my blood pressure) was too high.  The dentist asked me if I deal with high blood pressure.  I told him that I don’t, that in fact, I just finished a triathlon on Saturday.  I’m in great shape.  I just happen to stress out when I go to the dentist.  He started the gas on me and kept monitoring my blood pressure (which I believe is sort of SOP, anyway).  Finally, when it dropped just enough for him to feel comfortable, he started numbing me up.

This has always been a stressful time for me.  I’m never numb enough.  I’ve had dentists, after giving me a shot of something, somewhere in my mouth that I wouldn’t feel anything, even though I informed them that experience dictates that I’m probably not numb enough.  I’ve had those same dentists (actually, just one) start drilling anyway, to less than favorable reviews (patients in the waiting room probably second-guessed their own appointments).  But today, with the gas and a few shots of the Good Stuff, I let him start drilling.  It hurt.  A lot.  But I pushed my head into the back of the headrest and let him keep going.

Mom used to tell us kids about how Grandma Koontz used to have this kind of stuff done, sans Novocaine, or anything of the like.  They grew them tough, back then.

When he saw the tears in my eyes (this is my guess, anyway), he asked me if it hurt.  With my mouth at 12 percent vacancy, I responded that “YefbuIkaaaay.  Eeoee.”, which he, an experienced dentist, heard as “Yes, but I’m ok.  Keep going.”  He told me that he wouldn’t, that it hurt too much.  Maybe he’s like a teeth whisperer.  At his age and point in life, he’s had enough experience with people like me that he feels pain when I feel pain.  It’s also possible that he wasn’t able to guess my level of litigiousness (I’m a 2, which is low on the Starbucks Scale).

At points in this visit, I’d drift off to sleep or wake to drilling, or to obey the dentist’s instructions.  But mostly, I just tried to guard against those things that people say when they’re on the laughing gas.  But even with my incredible willpower, I still managed the following:

1.  “On a scale of 1 to 10, how am I as a patient?”

2.  “Would you consider me high maintenance?”

I was very concerned about what they thought about me.  I remember apologizing a lot.  After a while, they stopped saying “It’s ok”.  So my humility might have been a little excessive.

Soon, though, the ordeal was over.  I was informed that everything went very well.  I was also told that because it took approximately 4-5 days to get me to point that I didn’t wince in pain, that I’d be coming back this coming Tuesday so they could finish.  Except this time, they’d be ready.  I’ll be taking Valium an hour before.  They will gas me, inject me and even consider a medical coma so that they can finish up the root canal.

I can’t wait.

Brutal training run

In church. The girls come home, today, which is great. Can’t wait to be together, again. Very tired.

Yesterday, Lynn, Jeff, Mike and my buddy, Patrick Phillips and myself ran the Provo Half Marathon. Afterward Patrick and I biked 20 miles to the Spanish Fork Reservoir and swam in some very cold water (about 1/5 mile). Then we biked 20 miles back to my house where the ordeal ended. It was exhausting and today I’m very sore.

Today, I pulled the largest zucchini out of the garden. Huge. I wonder what it will taste like.