Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG
July 19th, 2008
A Self Recommendation

I am not the only girl in the world who looks forward to long waiting room intervals at doctor or dentist offices.  Where else does one get a good chunk of uninterrupted time to read?  Not even being locked in the bathroom compares, because when you’re in the bathroom you can still hear them clawing outside the door to let you know: “James just licked my bowl of oatmeal and when I told him to stop he just laughed and started running in circles and now he’s outside with the cat and he says he’s gonna give it a bath in that one bucket you told us not to touch but I think maybe he’s trying to drown it because he’s just being naughty today so are you almost done in there because I need some toilet paper cause our bathroom ran out and bobo won’t help me find my pencil.”  My eye is twitching.


So anyways, on Wednesday I was looking forward to my dentist visit so I could finish my book.  But first some background… I told you a week ago that I went in and the dentist said I needed a cavity filled, right?  And then they said I’d have to wait until August because they were going on vacation.  I thought I could make that work, but nope, I couldn’t.  My jaw has been KILLING me.  So I made an appt with a different dentist, Dr Robert Self.  I am not kidding.  That’s his real name.  I went in at the appointed time, and then sat in the parking lot for over a half hour and started getting opposite of happy and gracious because the doors stayed locked and all the lights in the bldg were off.  I went home to call them, full of Self-loathing, and even their line didn’t pick up.  So then I got online and found the confirmation email they had sent – in order to send them a sweet little note in return about how hot their parking lot is – and I saw that my appt was scheduled for *Thursday*. Not Wednesday.


Ok, so since I was no longer appalled at the lack of professionalism on their part, I went ahead and kept my Thursday appt.  And guess what the new dentist said?  He said, “You don’t need a cavity filled… You need a ROOT CANAL”.  And all these nurses in black frothy funeral gowns floated in and they twisted up their green faces and chanted, “You’re gonna die.  You’re gonna DIE.  YOU”RE GONNA DIE”

So after the first two hot flashes passed, I mustered up some pretend sanity and told the guy:  “Nuh-uh, the other dentist just said it only needed to be filled”.  So he pulled out the X-ray and proved it to me.  And the reason I knew he wasn’t lying, is because he said, “It hurts all the time, right?  Cavities don’t keep you up at night, but what you have certainly would do that.  Root Canal”  


I told him, “Fine, I’ll come back, but I need to warn you, I have an inordinate fear of anything medical – seriously.  I feel like I’m gonna have a heart attack just thinking about it”  So he said, “No problem, we’re gonna give you some valium and then hook you up to the gas machine and you’ll sleep thru the whole thing”.


So the next morning (which happened to be yesterday) I took the little valium pill that he told me to take an hour before my appt.  And boy did that thing kick in fast.  Dippy came in to show me a letter that he got from Mr. Grand, but all the letters kept hop scotching.  Geoff the Great drove me over (I remember little of the drive), then he took me into the waiting room, and then they brought me down a hallway – boy was I feeling dopey – and then they put me in that diabolical chair and immediately – and I mean immediately – I snapped right back to my normal self.  No dizziness, no loopiness, no giddiness.  It was gone.  GONE.  When the nurse came in and asked me how I felt I told her, “Well I was nice and doped up, but, uh.  I, uh. I’m too alert.  I can’t do this. I think I need to go home”.  So she patted my arm (which normally would have really irritated me, but didn’t this time) and said, “Let’s talk to Dr. Self, first” So he came in, and by this time I was shaking and sweating and my heart was galloping, and he said, “Here, put this on and breath deep and you’ll be out in a couple seconds and everything will be fine” 


So I nodded and let them strap this elephant trunk over my face and started breathing.  After about three minutes I looked over at the nurse and said, “When’s this stuff sposed to kick in?”  and she sort of laughed and said, “It’s supposed to start working as soon as you breath it”  So I told, “I think your tank is empty”  and she said, “Nope, it’s full” So I said, “I think somebody accidentally filled it with regular air” and she said, “Ha ha”.  Then I asked, “Do you have it turned up?  Maybe you should turn it up” And she said, ‘we’ve been turning it up this whole time and now it’s going full blast – are you breathing thru your nose?”  Am I breathing thru my nose?  I was snorting my head off trying to get that gas to do its dumb job.  So we all just kept sitting there staring at each other and waiting for me to pass out – the Dr. was a lot more patient that I would have been with a panicked lunatic in my chair. 


After about three more minutes I said, “How bout you give me another one of those valium.  It worked earlier… maybe I just need a higher dosage”.  I felt pretty doctor-ly-ish because they all thought that was a good plan.  I ended up taking THREE, and the last one they told me to chew.  Ok… first of all, don’t take valium.  Second of all, don’t chew valium.  That stuff tastes like burnt sewage. 


The nurse said, “Honey, you just need to calm down –that stuff is sure to kick in”. 


Ten minutes later, now being totally doped up on enough valium to knock out a large elephant, and nearly hyperventilating as I furiously sucked that gas through my nose, I looked over at the nurse and said, “uh… what else do you got?”


Then Dr. Self said, “Look, you can come back some other day and we can try this again if you want, but seriously, the longer you wait the worse that tooth is gonna get”.


So I started maniacally inhaling that non existent gas and told him, “No, that’s ok, I’m ok, I think I’m ok, just get it over with” and then I started shaking so hard that my flip flop fell off.


I have to hand it to Self, both he and the nurse showed extraordinary patience.  So he told me to open my mouth – that was not easy.  As ridiculous as this sounds, I almost started crying.  After about 15 minutes I asked the nurse, “Could you please turn up that gas?  Please?”  And she told me again that it was all the way up and I should be knocked out cold”.  And then the doctor told me, “This is gonna take about an hour and a half, but you won’t feel anything because I’ve completely numbed up your mouth” 


That’s when I *really* panicked, and I told them, “Ok, listen, this will sound weird, and I’m sorry for being such a pain, but I can’t do this unless you bring my husband back here and let him put his hand on my head”.


So about 15 seconds later they were all making introductions and my husband had his thumb pressed into my forehead and was winding locks of my hair through his fingers.  And within about thirty seconds I was in this lovely, dreamy half conscious state.  Every time I opened my eyes my husband was standing over me gently pulling his fingers through my hair.  That dental procedure was the fastest 15 minutes of my life – at least it felt about 15 minutes.  Geoff the Great stood there for almost two hours through the whole thing.  When we left, the nurses and the dentist kept repeatedly telling him how glad they were to have him back there. Then we went home and I slept like a cow for the rest of the day and all thru the night.


In a week and a half I need to go back in to get a crown put on, which, naturally, means I’m a princess. 




July 19th, 2008 - Posted in Awful Medical Procedures | | 29 Comments

29 Responses to ' A Self Recommendation '

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  1. jenig said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 9:47 am

    You forgot to add that you probably sounded like this (with a numb mouth): “Ok, lispten, thispth will thdound wveird, und I’m spdorry fthor being stpthuch a pain, but I can’t do thispd unlessthdp you bring my husdthband back here and let him put histh hanpd on my head”.

    And I didn’t know you’ve ever had burnt sewage.

    (*that’s* what I’m cackling about):-P

  2. petersonclan said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 10:36 am

    My Grandma used to go to a dentist named Dr. Paine. No joke. I’d NEVER go to him, if you ask me. But she sure loved him. he pulled every one of her teeth over the years…

  3. Annemarie said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 11:32 am

    oh my. my oh my oh my.

    You are so freaky. And I am SO glad that you have such a stupendous husband.

    Princess? I thought it was Queen Mother.


  4. chickadee said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 11:46 am

    been there.
    the crown is no picnic either. take geoff with you again.

  5. Emily said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    I agree with Chickadee….the crown stinks too. Been there…I have bad teeth and have had several root canals.

  6. Jennifer Pepito said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    How fun to catch up on your blog. Your son is adorable, what a special thing to have all the siblings together. And to have your dad there, amazing.
    Good to hear about Geoff’s job, pray all goes well. Miss you guys.

  7. Julie Park said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    That is just so sad it’s hilarious! I was in KOREA when I needed my wisdom teeth taken out and it was the same sort of experience. They had me take something that gave me the shakes and it was supposed to calm me down – I was deliriously nervous! I was shaking and crying. I just boohoo’d. They took me to the back, laid me down and the dentist came in, just looked at me and proceeded to hack out my tooth with what appeared to be a rusty scalpel. Oh, and he didn’t say a WORD to me. not even hello. I was looking for the entrance but all I saw was a whirr of really mean hygienists and face masks and rust. It was the worst experience of my life. It hurt like the dickens too. never went back to get the other 3 done. I found an american-trained dentist who would knock me out.

    about the crown. that’s what I told my little girl when she went to the dentist and noticed that something happened between the funny gas and the cashier’s desk. I gave her a mirror and she opened her mouth to see. As her eyes bugged out, I told her very proudly, You are now a true princess. You have a CROWN. She was very pleased.

    Your experience makes me tense up and erk. I hate going to the dentist. But I’d like to keep all my original teeth too, so it’s a necessary evil. Thanks for sharing. and thank goodness for your sweet hubby. He really is great. 🙂

  8. Julie Park said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    oh, and I’m serious. There was a dentist we heard of at Duke or something and his name was Dr. Chip Silvertooth. No kidding. And there was a psychiatrist named Dr. Looney. No kidding. And there was an orthopedic surgeon named Dr. Bones. I’m NOT kidding!!! Some people are just destined for an occupation.

  9. jess said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I’m assuming that was an example of Emmi talking to you through the bathroom door..

    and your story made me both feel terribly awful for you, and laugh my head off at the same time. We are definitely sisters. That stuff doesn’t work for me either. When I had my ‘procedure’ a couple of weeks ago, I kept waking up all the way through it begging for drugs, and they kept having to give me more and more of their magic ‘knock-out medicine’ through my IV- which I’d initially been obnoxiously opposed to seeing as it involved a needle finding it’s temporary home in my big fat arm. remember when Geoff took me to get my wisdom teeth out when I was 11? and then to Baskin robins for a big huge milkshake? Geoff is just an all-around, Japanese-American hero.

  10. Marsha said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Hi Princess! Well, I’m the queen so you still have to do what I say. 🙂

    I cannot believe you lasted that long in the chair without passing out… that is so crazy! Glad it’s over with and that all is well.

    You’re not going to have a panic attack over the crown, are you? Because a couple of my kids have them and they did just fine. YOU CAN DO IT!

  11. Cindy in GA said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    You poor thing! I am totally with you on the fear of dental work & medical stuff. I do get in some really intense prayer time when I’m in the dentist’s chair, however, so I guess God can use even my crazy fear for good. :o) So glad that Geoff the Great (Jefferson???) could be there to help you through it!

  12. Jennifer said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    Ok, the whole house is hovering over my computer wondering what has their mother howling like a loon. I am really sorry you went through that, but seriously it was worth the good story. Love you friend and thanks for the ache in my side for laughing so hard.

  13. Angie:) said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Hello from one princess to another…. that is if having a crown (of the tooth kind:)) makes me a princess!:) Joshua and I are SUPER DEE DUPER GLAD that you survived the experience at the dentist!!

    Kevin and I love Frank Peretti!:) Joshua likes your new ducks and Coie’s fancy shmanshy old time dress…. right up his historical alley:)

    Fun to learn aboou you and Geoff! Kevin will have to read it, too!

    Love you!
    Angie & Joshua:) (my blog reading companion)

  14. Becky said,

    on July 19th, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    This is too funny and exactly how I would react. Its been atleast 8 years since I’ve been to the dentist and I intend to not go as long as possible.
    My last two c-sections evoked two such lovely panic attacks with the doctor kindly yelling for my DH to get in there and calm me down. I didn’t mean to get all irrational and sobbing like a blubbering whale, I just decided during my surgery was not the time for the nurses to be fighting over which radio station they would “jam” to.
    Anywho … thanks for the comment on the dress. I know your girls could sew these up lickity-split! They are super simple!

  15. Heather said,

    on July 20th, 2008 at 2:34 am

    Girl, you crack me up!! That was hilarious! Sorry you were so worried about the procedure though..that’s not funny. But the rest of it was! That was so sweet that your hubby came back there and calmed you down like that. It’s amazing the effect our men can have on us, isn’t it? Congrats to your sweety and congrats to you for making it through that root canal. I must admit…I wouldn’t be that brave either if my dentist mentioned those two words to me. At least you made it in the door…but that could’ve just been the valium too. ha ha!

  16. mamasmurf said,

    on July 20th, 2008 at 9:12 am

    I’m just like you! Can’t stand going to the dentist unless I absolutely have to – then it takes me an age to pass out!
    Well done to you and Geoff the Great for getting through it all. Oh yes, you’re definitely up to “Queen” status!!

  17. on July 20th, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    So I have to say that I find it utterly remarkable that you did not pass out with the gas full-blast!! That must have been some serious adrenaline pumping through your system to keep it from affecting you. I think a T-Rex would have done better in the dentist chair than you. LOL!!

    I had to have some horrible stuff done a few years ago and I felt like a TOTAL moron. I have birthed five babies at home with no pain meds, but I was quaking like an aspen when they gave me the shots. ACK!!! I feel your pain (well, OK, I don’t, but you know what I mean.) :+)


  18. Megan said,

    on July 21st, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Oh Jen!!! That’s about all I can muster up 🙂

    What a patient, loving, strong husband you have. Ryan would have fainted at the first sight of them drilling in my mouth. He didn’t even watch our first sons birth completely. Then when he “saw” Thomas’ 6-min. delivery he was amazed and said, “wow you go through a lot!” And that was my easier delivery of the two!

    I’ll be lifting up our future queen as she will soon be crowned Queen of anything not medical!

    Blessings to you and sorry I missed you after the service. After I ran into you I proceeded back to my chair like a good little kiddie and then just before I got to the door I spotted babies! Brandy and Sky were watching after their little ones in a room and I am realing longing for another baby since we’ve been trying for nearly a year 🙁 Please pray for God’s will for our childbearing.


  19. Nancy B. said,

    on July 21st, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Ryanns comment says it all—:)

    Our dentist looks just like Beatrix Potter! Isn’t that wild?

    Love you,

  20. Gayle W. said,

    on July 21st, 2008 at 10:35 am

    You had to have been absolutely PETRIFIED for all of that not to work!

    My hubs is scared to death of the dentist like that, too. How sweet is your hubby for standing there, over you, like that….

  21. Amanda said,

    on July 21st, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Oh, Jen! So sorry to hear about your experience. Reminds me (on a smaller scale–on my part) of the time it took 3 shots of novacaine and an hour to numb my jaw for one little filling. I, too, was shaking & crying. Stupid dentists.

    Big cheers for Geoff the Great. What a guy!

  22. Michelle said,

    on July 21st, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Poor Jen, I feel your pain.
    I am a HUGE wimp when it comes to needles. I had to have majory surgery last summer, and I wasn’t afraid of the surgery part at all…but I was TERRIFIED of the IV that I had to have prior to surgery. They had to sedate me just to give me the IV!

    Seriously though – your tooth may be agonizing, but your story was SO funny! (Sorry to laugh at your pain!)

    Praying all is well now,

  23. Kim W said,

    on July 21st, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Oh my GOSH!!! YOU are a laugh RIOT!! I’m sitting here at my ‘puter laughing about like I did w/you at Wendy’s and Jenna (the only other one home right now) keeps yelling in from the other room, “WHAT is your PROBLEM?!” At least I don’t have any mascara on right now. lol

    Well, I’ve had 2 root canals. So, I can relate. I inherited funky teeth. But…since I’ve been making my own toothpast, for about 3-4 years, I haven’t had a cavity since!! If you’re interested, it’s very easy:

    ~3 ts. baking POWDER (not soda)
    ~1 1/1 ts. poroxide
    ~3-5 drops of EITHER peppermint, spearmint or wintergreen essential oil.
    ~Mix well in small container, don’t put lid on unti the fizzing stops. (I use a washed out Burt’s Bees Almond Hand Cream jar. It’s the perfect size.)

    Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<

  24. Lynan said,

    on July 21st, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    my knee dr was dr. cain…

    yay for geoff the hero!

    about reading in waiting rooms… today I was able to take Elijah to the ortho alone carrying along barnaby rudge (dickens). I read for a good 1/2 hour then some lady on a cell ruined it all. she kept calling children to see if y’all can make it to vbs tonight? ah well maybe next time.

  25. Laurie said,

    on July 22nd, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Oh, Jen, I feel your pain….
    I’m a HUGE dental wimp!!! I’ve given birth four times with no pain meds at all…but take me to the dentist and they better have that gas ready to go (yep, even for cleanings…)

    What a sweet hubby you have!!!


  26. GRAND said,

    on July 24th, 2008 at 2:31 am

    I told you to brush your teeth better….

  27. jenig said,

    on July 24th, 2008 at 6:05 am

    yes, but you never told me i needed to brush my ROOTS *or* my canal.

  28. on July 24th, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Okay, I’m not Ashley, PinkFlamingo. Ummm. That would be…Ashley. I’m mom~ Letitia, who will have glorious SandBetweenMyToes in a less than 2 weeks!
    I am petrified of the dentist, too, and haven’t been since Ashley (21) was a baby. One day all of my teeth will probably just hit the floor at once. We’re dealing with the teeth this week, too. Briana just had all 4 under-the-bone wisdom teeth out Tuesday.
    As much as I laughed at your ordeal (sorry), I finished it teary eyed. What wonderful unSELFish love your husband has for you. It’s also obvious how tremendously you love and need him by how much you relaxed with just his touch.
    You have many reasons to smile!

  29. mom24 said,

    on May 14th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Holy cow – this one had me ROFL and crying! But it doesn’t help me since I am so afraid of the dentist that I haven’t been in 3 years! 🙁
    Nice to meet you, funny lady! I found your blog by way of My3Boybarians and will dorp by again….

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