On Wednesday, I had a dentist appointment for a crown and a build-up. I hate going to the dentist. Really, who enjoys it?
I’m a complete baby, hear me, about pain. If I even get a paper cut, I about can’t stand it. Yep, I’m just a wimp!
So of course, I requested laughing gas (nitrous oxide) and several shots to make sure I was good and numb, and wouldn’t feel any pain. Normally, I don’t like taking any type of medication, even Tylenol for a headache (I prefer essential oils). But the nitrous oxide helps so much with anxiety; I thank God for it!
The staff at my dentist administers the nitrous oxide before giving me the shots, because I hate those, too – but they really help with not feeling the pain.
It’s not just the pain that bothers me; it’s the high-pitched noise of the drill, too. Loud noise, as I’ve tried to explain to my very noisy husband Ray and very noisy kids a hundred thousand times for our entire marriage, really bothers me. I’m extremely sensitive to it and to strong smells (even “good smells” like perfume give me a headache).
I pray a lot before going to the dentist (and have others pray, too). But I was still nervous before the procedure, so Dr. Sherman’s wonderful assistant chatted with me about her empty nest (her daughter moved out and she cried and was glad to find out her daughter really missed her) and other inane things like commenting on my cute black boots, to keep my mind off the fact that I was about to have a practical stranger at very close range in my face with power tools.
I’m so thankful that my dentist, Dr. Sherman, is okay with me having my iPhone in the dental chair, so I can listen to worship and praise music while he works on my mouth. If Dr. Sherman needs to give me any instructions like, “Open wider!” (he says I have a small mouth, but my husband Ray would disagree strongly with that), he just talks loud so I can hear him over my earbuds.
He says I practically have a death grip on the dental chair arm when he gives me the shots. But he’s very gentle, and the nitrous oxide has been kicking in, so it feels like just a pin prick. Before he starts replacing the crown, his assistant makes sure my mouth is numb first by poking my gums with tools.
When Dr. Sherman started the drill, I cranked up the volume of Jeremy Camp videos on YouTube and tried not to scream, “Get me out of here now, God!” Did I mention that I hate going to the dentist?
I just breathed in the nitrous oxide, listened to the music, and prayed that Dr. Sherman would not hurt me. (He’s very gentle; he didn’t! Thank you, Jesus!)
Soon he suddenly stopped everything and said something. I shouted, “What?” and then turned down the blaring worship, He then said he had to pull my tooth. What a shock.
Now, unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve had a tooth pulled. I’ve drank Coke® since I was a child and eaten chocolate bars and other junk for my entire life. Things which have been terrible for my teeth. (I do brush and floss regularly, but it doesn’t do a lot of good when you aren’t taking care of yourself!).
I stopped drinking Coke® and radically changed my lifestyle in January 2015, but the damage had already been done. There was too much decay, he said.
He couldn’t save the tooth, so he recommended pulling it. This would be my 3rd pulled tooth. I promise, this is not a fun thing to do, in case you were wondering…so avoid it if you can!
Fortunately, this tooth was not vital for chewing like a back molar would be. I asked if he wanted to pull it now or later, and he said he recommended now. So I said okay, while I was still down under.
It wasn’t good news, but he reassured me that it wasn’t a vital tooth for chewing and even if he tried to replace the crown, he’d have to do a root canal (which I won’t have), and then I’d probably lose the tooth anyway. To avoid more expense and
further trauma more dental visits, I decided to have it pulled right then.
He said all I’d feel was some “pressure”. As long as there was no pain, I was okay with that. I did hear a “cracking” sound, which was a little unnerving, but the tooth didn’t crumble (thank God!) and came out all in once piece. No pain! Thank you again, Jesus!
Since then, I’ve been taking it easy at home, relaxing and resting, putting on an ice pack to reduce swelling the first day, taking Ibuprofen. No exercising or working. Ray asked me yesterday what my “plan for the day” was. He often asks me this. It irritated me and I said, “Ray, I just had a tooth pulled! I don’t have a plan. The dentist told me to take it easy!”
Why am I telling you this dentist story? Just to share part of my life with you. And to ask you these questions to reflect on, pray about, and journal (I’ve included Scriptures for you to look up and meditate on.)
- What is causing pain in your life? What is the solution to that pain? (Psalm 56:8)
- As the saying goes, “A pound of prevention is worth a ton of cure.” Be sure to take care of your body, as well as your soul and your spirit. What is one thing you can do today to take care of YOU? There’s only one, beautiful YOU! (1 Corinthians 6:19)
- Do you need to shift your focus from the noise of this world to God’s still, small voice? (1 Kings 19:12. Maybe put your worship and praise on!)
- What needs to be removed (extracted) in your life? Unforgiveness? Bitterness? Envy? Worry? Stress? Anger? Discouragement? Unbelief? Pride? (Ephesians 4:31)
- Are you too busy and distracted in your daily life? Maybe it’s time to look at your schedule and your own, little plans. Have some quiet time with God and let HIM plan your day and order your steps. (Psalm 119:133) He might tell you to do nothing – to just “rest and relax”
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