It's been a week of physical pain for me.

Allow me to elaborate.

On Sunday, I made the grand mistake of using expired sunscreen. On Monday, a pan straight out of a 450 degree oven fell on my arm. I'll spare you the pictures. It's horrifying. But yesterday! Yesterday I had to go to the dentist for two fillings. The first fillings I've had in over ten years.

Let me tell you something: it is completely true that humans block out traumatic events. If I had remembered how terrible it is to get a filling, I would never have gone.

After dodging some severe thunderstorms on the drive to my hometown, I pulled up to the dentist's office, took a deep breath, and walked inside. They took me back to the little corner room in the back of the building. I hadn't been in that room since I was several inches shorter, had braces, and still bought my clothes at Delia's. The brown chair was still in the corner where my mom would rub my leg while I whimpered through getting many a filling and crown because I have the teeth from hell.

But this time? This time I walked in alone. I wasn't even scared. How bad could this be? I am a grown a$$ woman. I got this.

I leaned back in the chair as the hygienist turned on the fluorescent exam light above me. Within minutes the dentist walked in and told me it was time to give me shots to get me numb.

Oh yeah, the shots.


Suddenly, my confidence waned. He grabbed a needle the length of my arm (no, literally) and started to point it towards my gums. I started shaking. I wasn't going to make it. But just when I thought I was going to lose it, Mirrors came on the radio. By the power of Justin Timberlake and synthesized beats (and feeling like Kelsey & Alissa were with me), I made it through 3 very long shots of novocaine.


They sat me back up in the chair and told me they would wait ten minutes until the left side of my mouth and tongue are completely numb. I sat there still shaking from the shots and trying to calm myself down as the numbing tingles spread across my face when the music on the radio disappeared and suddenly I hear *ERRR ERRR ERRR ERRR THIS IS A SEVERE WEATHER ALERT ERRR ERRR ERRR ERRR*

"Uh oh. That's not good" the hygienist said as she gathered supplies to drill holes in my teeth/kill me.

Wonderful. There's probably a tornado and I'm going to die. In the dentist's chair with a half-numb mouth. The absolute worst place on earth. Worse than the time I nearly died on a stretcher in front of my coworkers.

Why all my near-death experiences must happen in the most horrible places, I'll never know. But thankfully I managed to live through this one.

Once the left side of my mouth was numb and tingly and feeling like it weighed 500 pounds, it was time to begin. I have no idea what happened in the my mouth, but there were whirring noises. Loud, high pitched, whirring noises. I couldn't feel it, but judging by the sound of the drill I knew it was supposed to hurt. It didn't hurt, but I was flinching anyway. The noise and knowledge that that thing was in my tooth was enough to make me want to scream. The noise was like nails on a chalkboard. In my tooth.

The first filling was quick and somewhat painless. I was still a smidge optimistic. But then he got started on redoing the filling on the second tooth. Within minutes, the heavy duty drills were called into the action. They vibrated so violently I think I have whiplash. Every time the whirring ended, I thought it was over. But it never was.

"Uh oh. This is worse than we thought" my dentist declared. That's the last thing you ever want a dentist to say to you. It got better because then he put something in my mouth that resembled a pistol. I had hoped he had the good sense to put me out of my misery, but unfortunately it was just another drill.

The dentist drilled, suctioned, motioned, drilled, suctioned, grabbed the pistol, suctioned, drilled, rinsed, repeated. My mouth had been wide open the entire time. Half my mouth may have been numb, but nothing could numb the horrendous jaw ache. For all I know he took my tonsils out too with how long and how wide my mouth had been propped open.

"This is the last time with the shaky drill," he said as I braced myself for the drill that was so intense it made my brain shake.

"Wait, wait, no, this is the last time," he'd say a few minutes later.

"Well, I thought we got all the decayed tissue, but there's a little more. One more time..."

*buzzz whirrrr buzzzz crshhhhhhh whirrrr drillll buzzzzz*

"Ok, last time. Brace yourself."

After an hour of this he was done. Well, I thought he was done. He still had to do his bippity-boppity-magic to seal everything, which is not any more fun than the drilling.

"Ouch. Ouch. OMFG OUCH," I yelped as my body involuntarily bounced in pain.

"You felt that?! You were not supposed to feel that."

"I felt that. I really felt that."

"I guess you're anesthetic is wearing off," the hygienist said as she continued her medieval torture on my tooth.

Once again, no surprise. When I got my wisdom teeth out 10 years ago I woke up in the middle of the surgery and kicked the doctor. She's just lucky I didn't kick her, too.

I may have been able to feel things happening in my tooth, but I still couldn't tell that I was drooling all over myself. I found out when the hygienist pulled out a mop to wipe my face with. Always a self-esteem building experience.

They finally finished and I got in my car and drove to my parent's house to have dinner with my mom, which was good planning because after that I needed my mommy. We went to Panera where I attempted to eat soup with one side of my face. It was so much harder than I ever dreamed. My lips did things they were never intended to. There was a guy sitting across the room who watched the entire production and didn't even have the decency to keep the giggles to himself. Whatever, dude. I just had drills in my mouth, ok? Nothing like struggling to eat a bowl of soup in public.

Apparently it came with a side of humble pie.


  1. ew. i had to endure a terrible dentist visit last thursday. the only good part about it was that it was at 1030 which meant i got to skip out of the majority of the work day.
    however, my fillings were in between two teeth so apparently when that happens it calls for these thin (aka SHARP) little metal "forms" to be SHOVED into the space between your teeth in order to preserve said space when the filling goes in. fillings have never been traumatic for me, but good lord! my jaw hurt sooooo badly after i left that damn office. i guess thats what happens when metal slivers get jammed into your poor gums.
    dentists are rude.
    also bad teeth suck.
    just know im right there with ya sista

  2. I wouldn't be able to go by myself probably.... I'm literally scared of needles!!!! Poor you and hugs! I would run screaming out the door. I still have my wisdom teeth...

  3. "You felt that? You weren't supposed to feel that" and "This is worse than we thought" are two things that a dentist should NEVER SAY to someone sitting in their chair.

    I'm glad I could be there with you through the power of Justin Timberlake and synthesized beats ;)


  4. MICHELLE. Why do all of your medical-related adventures almost always end in disaster?!? You poor baby!!! I'm glad you had plans to meet your mom after. Some things only Moms can fix... worn of Novocaine is one of those things.

    I am cracking up just THINKING about you struggling to eat soup with a numbed-up mouth.

    TIMBERWIVESSSSS to the rescue!!!

  5. Oh gosh. I feel so bad for you! I know exactly how you feel. I have to have like the super dose of Novocain and sometimes dentists don't believe me. And my dentist has giant sausage fingers. Next time, bring your iPod and turn that baby up so you don't hear the horrible drilling. I even have to do that when I get a cleaning.

  6. What a douche for him sitting in the corner laughing at you. What a hater.

    Girl, you have bad luck with the dentist..good Lord! Hopefully you don't have to get anything done for a LONGGGG time.

  7. Annnnnd this is why I am a grown ass woman that has not been to the dentist since college.

  8. Oh my goodness. I'm glad I've never gotten a cavity...

  9. Awww, buddy. You are subject to states of emergency. It seems to happen just way too much.

    Last year was my Year of the Dentist - the first time I'd had dental coverage since being a minor, and my choppers had apparently used that intervening span of years to take A SERIOUS TURN. I found the worst bit to be the head pain from the physical strain they put on your face and jaw while wailing away on you with those mondo drills.

    Stay strong, bud! And don't think about the follow-up visit!

  10. WORST!

    Well, on the bright side... At least they never said "Oops"...?

  11. "This is worse than we thought" is the absolute WORST thing to hear from your dentist - I have intense anxiety over going to the dentist. Shaking, sweating, hyperventilating - all before I even walk into the building.

  12. HAHA this is basically my exact experience just a couple of weeks ago! I feel your pain!!!

  13. The drilling and the little bits of tooth dust that get all over your face? I HATE IT. At least I think it is tooth dust. I'm probably making it much worse than it needs to be.

    I got fillings back in march and one of them never quite settled right and still hurts when I chew...I've been back twice to get it fixed and then I gave up because I was sick of those people...

  14. OH HELLS NO. I feel like you deserve sunshine, rainbows, and a whole weeks worth of good lunchtime Target trips to make up for that kind of trauma. Also, Dentists are awful, mean, and no good. I think they are the kids that got bullied too much, and now take it out on everyone else.

    My mouth is feeling sympathy ouchies for you.

  15. My grandpa is my dentist, and while that may sound like it would make the experience more pleasant, it actually makes me not like my grandpa as much. That and he has a drug addict wife who is younger than my mom, and he also refuses to pay taxes so the IRS is constantly taking his things away.

    my family is fun.

  16. And this is why I hope I never, ever have a cavity. That sounds utterly miserable. I will keep going to the dentist as long as he keeps telling me, "Your teeth look perfect." If he stops saying that, I'm not giving any more guarantees on regular attendance.

  17. hahah, awesome and not awesome. Sorry about the dentist (worst ever. Who would want to go into a profession where everyone hates you/is scared of your power anyway?!). But funny about the guy laughing at you. It happens. And it's funny when it does.

  18. I'm unsure why ridiculous things follow you around! I got 3 fillings at the same time the other day, and it took about 48 hours for the pain to wear off completely... but no tornadoes, public eating or wearing off of pain meds. crazy girl.

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