Words I Never Used to Use

14 May

Before last year, there were words that I never used, at least not in reference to myself:

  • Oncologist
  • Chemotherapy
  • Urologist
  • Hemoglobin
  • Follicular

I now have another one to add to the list, and it is an ugly, ugly word.  {grin}

  • Endodontist.

photo source

Who knew there was even such a person??

I had to have a root canal on Friday. Yuck and yuck. But, I am happy to report it was no where near as bad as I thought it would be.

I started having some pain in one of my lower back teeth a few weeks ago.  It hurt anytime something cold or sweet touched it, but then it also hurt randomly.  I tried to convince myself that it was sinus pain (even though I thought sinus pain typically affects the upper teeth more than the lower ones – and the doctor confirmed this when I shared my avoidance rational to him).  So I put off going to the dentist.

Last Tuesday night, the pain came back with a vengeance.  So I went to see the dentist on Thursday and he said, “well, Rachel, it looks like there might be a little fracture which would allow bacteria to get into the nerve and that could be what is causing the pain.  You probably need a root canal so I’m going to send you to Dr. Jansen.”

A root canal?  Are you KIDDING me???

I have great teeth.  Strong, straight, good, solid teeth.  Not perfect teeth, but really good teeth.  I’d never had a root canal before.  And I’m going to be straight up with you guys.  I was scared.  :)

Root canal just sounds so, well, awful.  I mean, think about it.  They take a drill and dig down past your tooth and into the roots and nerves that are holding it in place.  Nothing good can come of that.

Thanks to Dr. Jansen and his staff, there was no pain – at least not during the procedure.  They were wonderful!  Made me comfortable in a cushy leather chair, gave me a blank and a pillow and the remote to the TV.  Although having the remote was pointless – as IF I could be distracted by TV while he was excavating inside my mouth.

He gave me a shot of Novocain.  And then another.  And another.  And a fourth one.  During this process, he was telling me about his residency at UAB and living in Birmingham.  I asked if he was a Bama fan and he said YES.  Oh no.  I thought I was going to have to get up and leave.  He could tell by the look on my face that I was not a Bama fan.  :)

Right after that, he said he was going to give me another shot just to make sure it was numb.  After five shots of Novocain, I was pretty much numb down to my shoulders.

So, he started to work, telling me what he was doing all along the way.  At first, I was so nervous I was shaking a little bit.  The far right corner of my bottom lip wouldn’t stop quivering.  (It was the only part of my mouth that wasn’t paralyzed by the Novacain.)  I think it was the anticipation of possibly feeling pain that was making me shake.  After a few minutes, it settled down, and before I knew it – we were done.  Might have taken 30 minutes all together.

They gave me instructions (which I neglected to read) and sent me on my way.  I returned to work feeling pretty proud of myself for getting through it with no pain.

And in a couple of hours, the Novocain started to wear off and I grabbed the Ibuprofen FAST.  I also had some Lortab, but didn’t want to take them while I was at work knowing I’d have to drive home.  Then I read the instructions that said to take the pain medicine on a regular schedule for the first 1-2 days whether I felt pain or not.  Hmmm….guess I should have read the instructions and started taking the Ibuprofen right after the procedure.  Oh well, live and learn.

After Friday, I really didn’t have much discomfort at all, so if anyone tells you root canals are awful, don’t believe them.  It was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  And that was my first (and hopefully only) experience with a root canal.

Have a wonderful Monday!!
♥ Rachel


8 Responses to “Words I Never Used to Use”

  1. The Savvy Sister May 14, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    Just had my first as well 3 weeks ago. Glad yours was pleasant.

    • rachturner May 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

      Susan – Was your root canal bad? Sorry you had to have one. :(

  2. Tranquil Moments Photography May 14, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Root canals scare the heck out of me too but you made it seem like not such a bad thing. You have a marvellous Monday too Rachel!

    • rachturner May 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

      Daphne – I guess it could vary from doctor to doctor and also depend on the equipment being used, but I’ve had fillings that were more uncomfortable than the root canal. :)

  3. Cancer Warrior May 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    Hope I never have to find out!
    Funny how our vocabularies have changes. Just over a year ago I would not have known if you could eat Invasive Ductal Carcinoma for dessert!

    • rachturner May 15, 2012 at 8:49 am #

      What is so amazing is how quickly we pick up all of the medical lingo. I was so focused after my diagnosed, I couldn’t believe everything I was learning and retaining.

  4. jksmith032460 May 14, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    I think having it easy for a root canal was a present because you have had it rough for a year. A painful root canal would have been over the top!

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