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December 8th, 2021
3 Teeth

I had to have 3 teeth removed on Tuesday, and even though I *thought* I had mentally prepared myself well for the surgery,
what I hadn't prepared myself for was the extra waiting period which left me...alone
with all of my racing thoughts...for more than 15 minutes.
Now, my dentist is amazing. Don't get me wrong. I am truly happy to have him as my dentist; however,
leaving someone to their thoughts, under gas, especially someone who has panic attacks, for more than
30 minutes in a room...awaiting that that kind of surgery is a little much to ask for.

I went to pee twice over the course of the waiting, and I waited so long I had not just 1 panic attack,
but several...and my gums needed to be re-anesthesized. After 30 miutes or so, the gas simply stopped working.
The first tooth came out rather easy, but the anesthesia quit working 1/2 way through pulling out my very
infected 2nd tooth. It hurt like hell.
I felt every damn poke, prod, stick and pull...right on through the pulling of the third tooth, and the gum cleaning afterwards.
I cried like a baby.

I often say that on a pain scale from 1-10, 10 would be like being burned at the stake.
This was a 20. I felt like not only was I burned at the stake,
but then after surviving the ordeal, was promptly disembowled...with a fork.
I'm not kidding.

Now, generally, I can talk myself out of a panic. I can calm myself down.
I can prepare myself for various things that need doing, because I've analyzed
the situation, based my predicitions on past outcomes, and have a pretty good idea of about how long I can mediate
and moderate my mind-racing, anxiety and the like. In other words, I knew that I would be ok under a certain amount of time.
I could ward off my regular pain and anxiety for about 20 minutes. TOPS.
The entire process took from the time I was put in the chair at 9:30 am until the process was completed, at 11:00 am.
Granted, I need about 5 minutes to
compose myself between the first tooth and the second, but the full blown panic attack happened during the surgery.
Yeah. It was a bad experience.

I'm 2 days post-op now, and my jaw aches, but so far, so good. I can't really eat anything with any texture.
I'm pretty much having to swallow anything whole.
I should be back to some normal function by Friday.
I have 1 more tooth that has to be extracted in January.
After this experience...being the culmination of all of my fears of the dentist, pretty much,
I think one little tooth extraction should be fine. I hope.

I've been distracting myself with making holiday wreaths, and watching ghost videos on YouTube while eating pudding,
and I don't think I'm going to want pudding for a long time after this.

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