Monday, August 10, 2009

Ode to N2O

If anyone has ever seen my smile then you know that I have "problem teeth". From the time I was a child I've had issues. Apparently as some point during my youth something happened and the enamel didn't form properly on my teeth. Thanks to that little snafu (which has no real cause that anyone can identify) my life has included dozens of trips to the dentist for fillings, caps, and other pleasantries. You'd think after 20+ years of these visits that they'd get easier.

Not a chance.

I had to go back again today. I brought my MP3 player to drown out the noise. They used the local numb-er, then busted out the shots. I thought I was prepared. By the fourth poke I was ready to bolt, and I must have looked like it. The dentist and hygenist both looked at me and asked if I was okay. When I told them I wanted to run, they didn't hesitate.

"Maybe you'd like some nitrous oxide." Thank you Lord for the happy gas!

I can't tell you how close I was to a panic attack. I was one prod away from leaving with a numb face and unfilled cavities. My shoulders were tense, my knees locked, and I was sweating uncontrollably. It was pretty awful.

But then they gassed me.

I don't remember much past that, and that's the way I like it. Everything blurred blessedly together. It was a happy time.

And when I got up to leave I saw the four year-old boy in the cubicle next to me...with his own little baby happy-gas-mask. You know, I'm okay with that.

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