Monday, April 18, 2011

Appointment #9

On Friday, April 8th, I went in to have my first filling ever, on tooth #23. It had been a while since my last appointment, at least given the frequency I have become accustomed to, and I seem to keep having high blood pressure readings lately. Ironically, in comparison to the majority of patients who are anxious or afraid, I believe that in my case it is because I am so absolutely impatient and excited and filled with 20 questions and new developments to share practically every time I go which makes me frantic and hyper for the first ten minutes. Go figure. Though the appointments at the University from what I understand considerably longer than other practices, I for one consistently feel like there is never enough time to make it through all of my questions and news before the three hours or so is up. As you can probably tell, I love to talk! Don't however get the wrong idea, as I assure you I talk and ask more questions and have taken a completely engaged role in my treatment. The only time I am not trying to learn all there is to know about everything I am enduring is when I have a a mouthful of hands and tools, and even then I am blown away by how well my dentist has managed to comprehend my consonant-less language of gurgles and grunts.

Before we got started on the fillings, another Dr. was showing Rakhee how to check my occlusion in order to get a more accurate cast with which to register my bite in the cast of my mouth...I think? We also discussed briefly some possible alterations to my treatment plan should I choose to accept them in the future that could save me a great deal of money from my generic ballpark $30 grand figure I came up with, if indeed 13 implants were were the right and possible choice of action as yet to be determined until a few more weeks and a consultation with the Prosthodontist.

Shortly afterward I was prepped to meet Mr. Drill for the first time, or...at least by the teeth that will continue to live in my cramped studio apartment of a mouth after the disgusting, germ-hoarding old tenants were finally evicted.

So although I have heard for my whole life everyone's fear of the infamous drill, what was a completely new surprise for me was this strange rubber dam contraption, or as I like to think of it, a blanket tightly tucking my sick teeth in before their Lidocaine sleep, from which they wake up from "all better."

Though from my previous visits I feel I have reasonably decided that as far as dentistry tools go, the infamous "Minnesota" is probably my mouth's archnemesis, I must admit that as someone who has split a LOT of wood by hand in his day and even has a scar from a freak woodsplitting accident, these little plastic wedges used to push the teeth apart while working on the filling freaked me the hell out:
 Though it took a little longer than expected, I reassured Rakhee to continue until she was satisfied.

Finishing up, Rakhee asked a nearby student Lindsey to get us some floss, to which she replied "Only if he puts me in the blog!" Now that like, the whole class has seen her presentation and many students apparently have been following along with me on this journey (though they don't seem to ever comment! :-P Hmmpf!) I really am starting to feel like a celebrity. I know it's bizarre, but lately I almost feel more and more like the school is my community, and I always look forward to seeing everyone's familiar faces again, especially all of those who have had a hand in my care. I believe the number of students is now at seven or eight. And yes, I am even counting the ones who have done nothing more than smile, pick on me and give me floss :-)
Lindsey and Rakhee, CONJOINED! Sorry I accidentally cropped out your floss-holding moment of fame! Next time!
Lord knows I most certainly pick on all of them nonstop. I am always wondering if everyone thinks of Rakhee and I as the straight "A" suck-ups who ask too many questions, or the class clowns who often no doubt seem to be having way too much fun for stereotypical dentistry.

That's about it for this appointment. It has been a really intense week. I have not been sleeping well at all. SOOO much on my mind. It's incredibly exciting, yet sometimes really draining. I am going to try my best to catch you all up to the present tomorrow night. Thanks for caring and reading along. I will leave you with a picture of the pile of tools it took to make #23 whole again. Goodnight!
Oh, and one more.
Leaving that day, I couldn't help but feel happy. It is one thing to keep getting teeth extracted over and over at appointments and leave all sore and numb with bloody gauze in your mouth. It is a completely different feeling to walk away from the dentist after the first actual work after so many appointments devoted towards fixing one of my teeth I am keeping. It felt good. I am slowly but surely, learning to accept my mouth for what it is, a work in progress, with exciting potential. Though I still must admit I feel like I look pretty freaky when I look in the mirror and I honestly cannot even picture myself with front teeth, leaving that day, I felt confident enough to take a silly "myspace mirror" picture (circa 2004, I know) and do something completely different--not show off my ass in my new jeans or my sparrow or nautical star tattoos or how fucked up I was in some club or all the other endless stupid narcissistic pictures we all post online, but in this one, I wanted to show off my mouth, for the first time since the Internet. I made this my facebook default picture that night. It's a pretty lame picture of me, as far as pictures go, but I can't deny that it didn't feel good to put out there.

1 comment:

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