Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Dentist Had a Rumbly Tummy

I went to the dentist two weeks ago.  It's taken me that long to recovery my last good nerve, especially after taking Mama back to Ochsner's in Metarie, Louisiana to get the mini-AVR surgery scheduled.  I despise going to the dentist.  Oh.  He's a nice enough of a fellow with an easy touch.  It's just that I'm afraid of him and his implements of personal destruction drills.
I don't care for the probes and other things that can pick out last week's broccoli casserole from a body's cecum via a molar, either.

I used to have a certifiable phobia of the masochist parading as dentist until I realized they were actually human.  Through the years of watching them become less Neanderthal and more homo sapien I noticed that Dr. W always smelled good, Dr. A looked like an all-American Eagle Scout, Dr. C has intense eyes, and Dr. R...  Well... Dr. R. has a rumbly tummy.

I believe in getting the unpleasant done and over with as quickly as possible so I'm often his first victim patient on the appointed morning.  The conversation with his stomach tells me I'm often there after coffee but before breakfast.

Seriously?  Mayree?? You're blogging about the dentist visit and his empty gut?  Wellllllll...  It's actually about nitrous oxide and my brain and the dentist's almost-verbal digestive tract.

I don't go readily into the chair without the tank of nitrous steadily by my side.
I couldn't care less what happens after the mask is in place and the mixture of N2O is delivered to the lungs and then to the gray matter in this graying head.

As the sedating gas works it's medical miracle and relaxation starts I count ceiling tiles and wonder why they're accoustic.  I count the numbers of perforations in each tile.  I snicker to myself when I can't multiply tiles time perforations because somebody is talking in the room with me and the tank.

Dr. R is asking about cakes while administering the face-altering numby stuff.  There's no answering with the syringe where it is.  I hear his stomach ask "Yo.  Woman.  How's 'bout a chocolate cake?"  I feel my face crinkle into a smile while telepathically replying, "Curls are extra."

The dentist tries to sneak that scraper thingie around the line of peripheral vision but his tummy gives his actions away "Incoming!  Take cover!"

Scrrrrrrreeeeeetch scccccrrrratch scraaaape scrappe scrape! goes the sounds of metal on a lower left incisor.  My mind thinks of Dorothy Parker's line, "What fresh hell is this?" The GastroGeniusRumbler aka the dentist's stomach, says, "I told you so."

Fortunately, the dental carie is small and only the one drill bit, previously used to attempt to drain the Indian Ocean from Mississippi, sounds it's terror while the Voice of Stomach Karma sings to me Tom Waits' Underground.

The fluoride treatment tastes like new shower curtains smell.  Ggr (GastricGeniusRumbler) wonders if fluoride could ever be a secret ingredient in the basket on the cooking show Chopped.  Not being able to wrap my thoroughly relaxed and free-thinking mind around a good reason why it couldn't be, I pretend not to hear him.

Dr. R and his assistant are talking some cryptic code that sounds suspiciously like they know what they're doing and Ggr assures me it's almost over.  I'm actually a little saddened to realize the conversation will be finished before we've had a chance to discuss the gateway to the fourth dimension.

Surely enough, the bib is taken off and the O2 is turned on to kill my imaginary confidante clear my head.  You'd have to be there, in my mind, to understand the mirth and fear that happens simultaneously when this brain gets a dose of nitrous at the dentist's office.  I'm thankful to have had Dr. R's intelligent digestive organ to keep me company and for distraction last week.

I wonder if I should call the man and tell him chocolate curls are extra?

Mama's surgery is scheduled for March 2nd with an expected hospital stay of 5 to 10 days.  To say she's a little apprehensive is an understatement.  Y'all keep her in your thoughts and prayers and we'll both appreciate it.  <3 Mary


  1. Another terrific story, Mary. And we love 'em ALL! Relieved to learn that your Mama will be in the hospital long enough to get back her strength. Hearts and prayers go out to all! maryb

  2. "Yo. Woman." I laughed pretty hard. Good one, Mama.


  3. I’m so glad that you can post about your dental visit in a funny way! I can tell that you were scared at certain points. But, it’s important to realize that those instruments can be your teeth’s best friends if they are in capable hands. It also helps that you have a great dentist with a seemingly awesome sense of humor.

  4. You’re totally right, Landen! The instruments can definitely look very scary to the point where the mere sight of them can make one imagine pain. The key is to just take a deep breath, and remind yourself that the dentist needs these tools to help you get a health mouthy and a strong set of teeth.

  5. Oh yeah, those instruments can totally look formidable and scary! Thankfully though, the dentist I’ve been going to for years has made it a habit to explain to me in simple terms what each new instrument is and what it’s going to do. That definitely helps take the edge off for me.

  6. I've just decided to create a blog, which I have been wanting to do for a while. Thanks for this post, it's really useful!

  7. This is something that would make my kid never want to go to the dentist lol