:: Thursday, February 23, 2006 ::
canals with roots
life: I put it off and off, psyched myself up to go in December and then when it didn't happen then, I had to get back in the game again. I read most of Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now which Morgan recommended, and tried to get over my fear and anticipation of the future "what might happens" tainted by past dental experiences.
To paint broad brush strokes, I hate dentists (sorry folks). But really I hate the pain they inflict. I have never met one who actually got pleasure out of it, but you have to imagine that doing this everyday can't be the job of someone who doesn't have some midly sadistic or dominating tendencies...
My opinion of this changed yesterday. I had root canal surgery. Mandy took me and patiently waited and studied two hours at Dr. Carr's office in the Oxford Medical Centre here in London. Dr. Carr had a general practice, but only does root canals now. And is one of the only dentists other than the InterFace folks who can administer IV anesthetics. The guy is great, not just in his work but also in his bedside manner. He - and his staff - puts you really at ease. And getting work done in a brightly daylight lit room is much different than in a cube somewhere under flourescent lights.
We arrived early and waited only a couple of minutes before I was in the procedure room and I was hooked up to the 'machine that goes ping' (watched some Monty Python last night) and was told my BP was quite good at 120/70 for someone who was nervous : I figure telling people I am nervous helps sometimes. The IV was inserted and it was the only thing I really felt. I hate needles too and getting a large gauge one inserted in the top of your hand and taped down is not fun (nor is the ECG leads being taped to a hairy chest). However, the technician doing it was a pro and got it done first time.
Dr. Carr came in the room from behind the chair and put a calming hand on my shoulder. I asked a couple of questions about how long it would be for the drug to take effect and then when it was put into the IV stream the next thing I remember was a couple of hours later. As I was coming out of it, I felt the weight of the lead vest on my chest and lap and the gagging plate thing they insert in your mouth to get the above X-ray image. I also remember them talking about a vacation to the Bahamas and wanted to comment that I had been there. And one of the female assistants saying it was neat that even unconscious that the body knows to swallow.
It started around 10 am and I was awake and moving about at noon. And in the car a few minutes later. I felt kinda wobbly, 3-4 beers like for me, the right side of my face and lips was numb from I assume local needles (shudder!), and I was a little puffy as well. I spent the afternoon napping and watching the Canadians lose the men's hockey quarter finals in Torino.
No pain, no real discomfort. I don't remember the procedure at all. Though I am sort of curious as to whether I was aware of it while it was going on.
If you have an issue with pain, dentists and the like, and have to get a root canal done, go to someone like Dr Carr. It was well worth the extra coin for the anesthetic. He will even email you images to post on your blog. :)
It is pleasant to have your opinion changed for the better on something. Thanks Dr. Carr.
:: Mike Wood 11:12 [+] ::
Glad it went well. Next time it won't take you so long to go (hahaha)