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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Torture Chamber

Ever since I started writing this blog I promised myself that I would write a new post at least once a week, usually on Mondays. If I have a lot on my mind, then I might post 2 or 3 times a week. But no way could I write anything yesterday because I was being tortured....for 2 and a half hours! 

After I was led into this special room outfitted with all its fancy equipment, a pleasant lady had me sit in this leather reclining chair and she put a little bib around my neck to protect my clothing from all of the spit, blood and goo to come. Then this guy walked in and cheerfully jabbed a big old needle into my gums several times and left me to sit there waiting for the effects of the drugs he had injected to take hold.

Soon he and his assistant were back to begin the torture process. He grabbed a drill and started whirring away on my tooth. But because the Novocaine did not work well enough, I felt the drilling all the way through my skull and they practically had to peel me off the ceiling, the pain so excruciating. So he grabbed another syringe full of Novocaine and jabbed around with the needle some more.
As I am lying back with the bright lights shining down, I closed my eyes and tried my best to picture myself sitting beside a gurgling stream somewhere deep in the Rockies, in a feeble effort to take my mind off of what was going on in my mouth. But with my mouth propped open with a rubber dam while the dentist drilled away and his assistant held my tongue aside with a piece of gauze (my tongue has a mind of its own and doesn't like to cooperate), I felt like I couldn't breathe or swallow and had to fight the urge to let panic take over.

Long story short, I had to have a root canal and a crown put on a very bad tooth. Anyone who knows me understands how much I HATE going to the dentist. Many times I have said I would rather take a beating than go to the dentist. 

Though it took 2-1/2 hours from start to finish, at least the work was all done in a single visit and I don't have to go back for a long time. I have several crowns in my mouth, but this is only the second root canal I have ever had and this one seemed much worse than the first. 
This was the first time that I have had a dentist make the crown right there in the office, though. There was amazing, state-of-the-art computerized equipment that they used to map out the exact size and shape of the crown, then molded it, "baked" it and glued it in all at this single visit. And it fit perfectly on the first try!

But after all of that, the most painful part of all was checking out of the office. When I handed my paperwork over to the lady behind the desk, she punched some data into her computer and calmly said, "That will be $1800." What the hell! Do I look like I carry that kind of money around with me, I thought. Even though I have dental insurance, come to find out, the coverage is pretty measly and they don't cover crowns or root canals at all....not even a small percentage of it! Fortunately, they agreed to work out a payment plan for me. But it's gonna make the budget super-tight for a long while. 

I still think $1800 is pretty outrageous for a couple of hours in the torture chamber, but I guess they have to pay for all that fancy equipment somehow. 

Anyway, I survived, but I'm still hurting. Today I feel like someone punched me in the jaw, and my wallet is still screaming bloody murder!

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