give me root canal or give me … anything else, really.

People who say, “I’d rather have a root canal than (something I don’t want to do here)” maybe think that a root canal is a super fun alternative for anything painful in life.

Let me assure you, it is not. I know, because I got my first today.

And I wasn’t even supposed to have that lovely experience until next Monday, but they called this morning and said they had an opening.

At first, I was excited, because I thought maybe a job was calling me about an interview, but no – just the fucking endodontist’s office – which is really a pretty sweet description of how my life is going right now.

At the same time, my teeth have been bugging me on and off for about a year or more, and I’ve had my share of dental troubles in the past. Additionally, I was informed that one of my teeth had an abscess forming on top of it, so that’s the kinda shit you might not want to wait on (except that I did, because I can imagine death waits for no man but especially not me, and everything [not getting the root canal, and then getting the root canal] becomes a life-or-death scenario. Just ask my pre-husband. He’ll tell you).

So I drive to the dentist’s office (because Paul made me…

…Also, I didn’t feel like driving, because yesterday I had to take the written test for an IN license, which I failed, because I didn’t know how to get out of a car if it was underwater, and it was like, “Well, obvs you would roll down the window but I don’t fucking know because I have a fear of dying and I would never be in a situation where my car was underwater, and also I don’t ever want a car for fear that I would be the one to drive it underwater!!!!” but the answer was that you’d roll down the window AND you wouldn’t open the door AND you’d climb out the roof, or something. Just in case you need to know, now you do… and apparently seven other questions which I maintain for the sake of my dignity were the hardest questions in the world. But really all this did was reinforce my belief that I am a failure at all things life, and between the job not-gettings and the not-money havings, plus the PTSD-like flashbacks of my reputation re: cars and licenses, I may have had a slight nervous breakdown yesterday…?)

and despite my protestations, we made it on time. We sat in the waiting room for 20 minutes, they told us it would be about an hour and a half, Paul went home and… after about 40 minutes of trying to get a clamp on the tooth to separate it from the other teeth, they finally got to work.

Now I write this as if it was pretty straightforward, except I’m leaving out the part where they attempted three or four different clamps to put on my nub of a tooth, which didn’t stay. Or when it did, then the rubberband would pop, which would cause the clamp to fall out. My poor gums. I had a rubber wedge on one side of my mouth to keep it open, and a rubber dam over my entire mouth to try and keep out bacteria while they cleaned out the tooth. Meanwhile, they’ve navigated the chair so that I’m angled somewhat upside-down, the love of my life has gone home, and I am certain that this is how it ends for me.

Now, I don’t understand why dentists do this, but they ALL do it, and that is that they ask you questions that go beyond the scope of simple “yes” or “no” questions. Over the hour that they gutted my tooth, the dentist of course asked me if I was okay, which – you know, all things considering, I was fuckin’ peachy! – but then he was like, “Hey, I know you can’t talk right now, but do you like pho? What about sushi? Think of a good sushi place so I might be able to check it out.” Meanwhile, his assistant is telling him all the places NOT to go for sushi, while also asking him if he liked making dentures when he was in school (he didn’t, but found the finished product rewarding).

At one point he stopped, and his assistant is like, “What’s wrong?” and I’m like, “OH FUCK!” except that I’m upside down and my mouth is pried open so it doesn’t look like I’m doing anything but lying there, BUT LET ME TELL YOU, I WAS FREAKIN’. And he goes, “Does… does she have a referral?” and the assistant is like, “No,” but I was like, “Jokes on you, bitch, because I do!” except it looked like I was pointing to my purse, because that’s what I was actually doing. And she said, “Oh, do you have a referral slip in your purse?” and brought it to me. And I said, “Nnnn, eyy ooh,” then I successfully navigated opening my purse and got my phone, which had the referral slip on it.

And then he was like, “Oh. Oh. Yeah, okay.” and I was thinking, “This means I don’t die now?” And assistant goes, “What?” and he said, “Well, I was expecting the tissue to be necrotic, but it’s just mildly irritated. Except this tissue is necrotic, and this one isn’t. And usually you don’t see that. Super interesting. You don’t often get to see the process.” And she goes, “Oh, wow, that is interesting.” And I’m like, “Hey, guys, I appreciate me being super interesting and all, but can we get your kicks on your own time?”

They cleaned out three of four canals, which sounded like some drilling and the assistant asking periodically, “EDP?” (this wasn’t the three letters she used, probably, but at that point, I wanted out from my inversion) and he’d answer, “Sodium,” so much that I was like, “STOP TRYING TO MAKE EDP HAPPEN, BRENDA, IT’S NEVER GONNA HAPPEN!”

And then it was over, with explanations to take antibiotics if my face blew up, and painkillers if the pain was unbearable, and not to chew on one side of my mouth, and that I would probably be uncomfortable for a couple of days, and did I have any questions? And I drooled and said that no, I did not.

So then I go to checkout and pay, and am informed that my insurance is inactive. I mentioned in my last post that COBRA was expensive, but now it was just downright rude. So the receptionist looks at me as if I have told an egregious lie, Paul’s waiting for me and tells me he can only stay for 10 minutes because he has a job interview to get to, the receptionist is waving pieces of paper in my face that clearly say, “INSURANCE INACTIVE” even though I’m not hard of comprehension. So I tell her that I wouldn’t have set up the appointment if I didn’t have insurance, call COBRA right there, tell Paul to GO! GO! GO! because I’m not sure how long this will fucking take, COBRA says I’m covered, gives us a different ID number than the one I had; I apologize for the mixup, she pretends as if she wasn’t going to kill me five seconds ago, and then I pay $537, schedule a followup appointment, and take an Uber home for $9.

So. That was my day. How was yours?

Have a good night, friends. Be kind to yourselves.

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