Thursday, February 9, 2012

Getting to the root (canal) of the problem

These past few days I have had a problem. And it sounds like suchh a lame problem and I would like to say that I NEVER listen to problems like this but it was sooo persistant that finally I just said, "problem! Whhhaaattt is it?? What is SO important that it cannot wait until mid-April when I am home?" Here is the problem.

My tooth hurt.

I know.

And again, I reallyy don't listen to these problems. I say "ow." And then maybe pop in a couple of ibuprofens and get on with my life. I simply do not have time to deal with such minor issues such as a toothache.

But this time, my tooth just wouldn't shut up. I brushed. I flossed. Possibly more than ever before. I ibuprofen-ed. I complained. I told my tooth very firmly to shut up. I told it that I did not have the time to deal with this sort of craziness and whatever it was going through could it promptly shut up anddd now. I told Heather. I told daddy. Daddy said,

"Nicole, your health is the most important thing! You could have an infection! You need to get to a dentist!"
"But daddy, I hatee the dentist!"
"Nicole I mean it! You need to get that thing checked out!"
"But....what if I rack up a huge dental bill??"
"Don't worry about that! We'll take care of it! When it comes to your health, getting the help is the most important thing. Don't worry about the money."

And it made me want to cry bc my tooth was hurting lots and my daddy is so nice to me.

So I put on my big girl pants and looked up dentists in Rexburg. I called the Pediatric one bc on their website they SAID that they treat young adults. I guesss 19 is too old for young these days. Whatever.

So I asked who they would recommend and they gave me two different dentists. I called the first and they said they could pencil me in! ....At the end of the month. Apparently the dentist is going on a 10-day vaca. Because that is more important than my teeth.

I told them that I might get back to them. Then I called the second dentist and they were soooo nice! They got me an appointment that very afternoon! My friend Kathy drove me and they X-rayed my mouth. As I was sitting in the seat I took in my surroundings and I felt more relaxed based on two observations....
  1. The office was very open. I could hear the dentist from the reception area. That means that they can't be too awful to their patients, or else people would hear.
  2. I also remembered that this office is on a strip mall, so that means that they also have to be nice bc otherwise all the people who were going to the other stores would be scared off by all the screaming and they wouldn't have any more customers.

 I felt a lot better after these realizations.

After the X-rays (which was actually prolly the most painful part of my experience) the nice dental assistant sent me back to the front to fill out the paperwork.

I felt so big and grown-up filling out my own paperwork. It was the first time I had ever done it without my parents. In fact, it was the first time I had ever gone to the dentist without my parents. It's not what I would prefer, but I had to do it. I was glad that Kathy was there.

The nice secretary told me not to worry about the insurance part bc she had already gotten it when we were on the phone. She had even called my insurance company to make sure this was covered. It was! She is so nice :)

But actually, I would like to make a note. This experience wasn't bad at all. The whole staff was so nice. I felt perfectly safe and taken care of. Sometimes things happen to me that force me to grow up, but a lot of the time I don't really mind. It's a good learning experience.

Then they called me back to look at my teeth. The dentist came in and poked around my mouth and looked at the X-rays. "Yep," he said after a minute. "You'll need a root canal."


My eyes widened and my mind started racing. My daddy had had a root canal many years ago. It's kinda been a family joke, just bc it happened at such a funny time. I may include that story at the end of this post.

But I wasn't thinking about how funny it was. I was thinking about how in pain my daddy looked. I felt those years of laughing at that story condemning me. I sadly realized that I deserved this. Karma had finally caught up to me, and if it had its way I would not get the last laugh.

I frantically began thinking that I was too young for a root canal! Then I remembered how my favorite polisci friend Paige had told me that she has had two root canals, and she is just a few months older than me! I cast around my mind for another reason of why this could not possibly be happening to me. Then it hit me- I was not prepared to deal with this!

But all the sudden I "faced reality" (my daddy's favorite story about me.) I realized that I was dealing with it. I needed a root canal. In a way, I had already gone through the worst part. I was just going to have to be brave and do it orrr I was going to have to deal with the pain for the rest of my life.

I chose the root canal.

The dentist and dental assistant set to work on my mouth. They gave me multiple shots on my gum and somewhere else in my mouth. I dunno. I can't see down there. The kind dental assistant rubbed my shoulder soothingly as the dentist stuck the needle in my mouth. I felt it, but it wasn't so bad. It was numbing medicine, so it kicked in pretty quick and I didn't feel the rest of the shots.

Then they drilled in my mouth and put screw-type things in. I'm not sure what they looked like bc I have a very firm rule for the dentist office-

Never, under anyyy circumstances, look at what instruments they are sticking in your mouth.

Just don't do it. I implemented this rule bc I have a very active imagination, and it is just good for my sanity that I let some things remain a mystery.

A few times I would start to feel something, and whenever this happened I would calmly and simply say, "ow," and they would stick me with more medication. I was quite afraid of dying of too much medicine, to tell the truth. I prayed sooo much that I wouldn't die, and I'm still here! Heavenly Father doesss answer our prayers :)

After about an hour of all this they stopped and told me that they would finish up on Monday. I thanked them for their time and they gave me their numbers so that if I was having any problems I could call them no matter whaaatt time it was. I thought that was very nice of them :) The secretary told me what medicine to take and how much and how often and then told me what it would cost with the insurance.

My happiness deflated. I got in the car with Kathy and called my daddy to tell him the news. I'm not kidding, I think it was a combination of a lott of things bc I just about cried when I told him. My daddy said very gently that I shouldn't worry about it. He said he was expecting a bill like that. He dismissed my offer that I pay half. He reminded me of what he had said earlier that my health is the most important thing. He told me that his root canal had cost almost four times that, and that made me feel a lot better. He also told me that a Queen of Sheba had apparently died from a root canal bc there simply wasn't the technology to take care of it. He said that he hadn't wanted to tell me that earlier bc he didn't want to worry me. He said he was very glad that I had gone to the dentist and gotten it taken care of.

I was once again struck with how blessed I am to have my father. He is the best daddy in the whole wide world!

Kathy and I went to the store and I bought a lot of soup and yogart, since I cannot chew very well and am not supposed to chew with that side of my mouth anyway. I guess I acted a lil weird in the store. It reminded me of when I texted my family that I was at the dentist's office and Kelly texted back,

"Have fun getting high :)"

What a jokester.

I also got dill pickles bc I had been craving them and also more of the medicine I needed and apple juice and orange juice (high pulp) bc I firmly believe that I deserve it. I also bought Kathy some chicken bc she drives me everywhere and waits in dentist office lobbies for me so I won't be scared. Then we ran into Noel and roommate and they drove home with us. It was ex-actly what I needed. Hmph.

Then I went home and Michelle came over bc Wednesday is Gator Jack night. I greeted her, but my voice was weird bc my face was still numb and I had a very distinct lisp. I told her that I had gotten a root canal. Michelle cast me a skeptical look, then said,

"No you didn't."

I blinked. What? "Yessss I did." I told her. Awkwardly and with a lisp and I'm sure drool coming out of my mouth.

"You're joking. I don't believe you." Michelle said.

"What? Whyy would I lie about thiss-pp?!"

Michelle laughed at me and continued to think I was lying to her. She said, multiple times while looking at me with pity, "I wish I could just believe you. But I can't!"

I would glare back. "Well that'sss-pp shaa-ooo-pidd."

I ordered chili soup and attempted to eat it. Through-out my attempt at feeding several massive strings of cheese hung themselves from my chin, and I wouldn't know until Michelle would laugh at me bc my face was numb and I wouldn't notice. Finally she believed me, and then she couldn't stop laughing. Michelle is such a good friend.

At Gator Jack's they give you a cookie with each order. These cookies are de-LIcious! I love them! But I could not chew, so I was reduced to putting the cookie on the side of my mouth that I was allowed to chew on an pressing it down with my index finger until it crumbled enough for me to swallow. While I was in the process of this pathetic ordeal, I noticed a girl openly staring at me. I was about to glare at her when she was like, "Nicole?" very timidly.

I then realized it was Brittany! The Brittany from math class who I love! I met her friend and introduced her to Michelle and explained about my condition. They all laughed at my lisp-filled story and expressed their sympathy through the merriment in their eyes. I'm not offended though, bc I know I sounded ridiculous, and if Michelle was going through the same thing I would prolly tell her the exact line she said to me....

"Okay I'm sorry I'll stop laughing....Let's be honest. I'm never going to stop laughing."

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