Friday, February 18, 2011

A Root Canal.....Seriously???

 I have been dreading an upcoming root canal.  Two weeks ago, after taking two rounds of antibiotics for an gum abscess that led to the need for a root canal, I was ready for my scheduled dental appointment.  I don't know if I was really ready, but I had certainly prayed about the procedure enough that I felt better about it and was ready to get it over with.  You see, when I go in for dental work, I have a few obstacles that can interfere with it being routine.  I am allergic to LATEX, I have a condition called malignant hypothermia, which means I am allergic to anesthesia and, I have a heart murmur, which means I premedicate with a heavy dose of antibiotic an hour before the procedure to protect my heart from bacteria, that gets into the bloodstream. 

A week prior to my appointment, the secretary called to say that the endodontist could no longer get the medication I had used in the past to numb me up.  When I ask why, she said they no longer make it so we would need to try another medication.  Well, I wasn't really thrilled about trying out something they had never used on me, so I called my regular dentist to see if, by chance, he might have any.  BINGO!  See how the power of prayer works!  He said he not only had it but he was still able to get it.  This was wonderful news and I didn't mind the fact it was an hour away, I said I will be right over to get it.  I had overcome my first obstacle.

After that, I headed to the pharmacy to pick up my pre-med to be taken the morning of the root canal.  Now, I just had to remember to take it!  Obstacle two complete!  Well, almost!

I was a little stressed over the third obstacle, the latex issue.  It was clearly marked on my chart "NO LATEX"  however, being in the restaurant business for many years, I know how cross contamination works.  It was not only the latex gloves I was worried about, the "rubber dam" that endodontist use are also made of latex.  I was willing to do the procedure without the rubber dam but I was concerned that the dentist might not be.  I certainly didn't want to wind up in the ER like I had a couple of times before.

 When I arrived at the office, I had my OWN (more about that later) Ipod, I had taken my meds, brought my own anesthesia and I reminded the secretary to remind the dental assistant and dentist about the latex allergy.  When she returned to the lobby area, she informed me that the dentist had purchased a rubber dam that was "latex free" and of course, had both vinyl and latex gloves!  I was so excited but don't know why I was surprised as I had prayed for a perfect procedure.  God is so good. 

The dentist informed me before we started that he would be doing the entire procedure since we have all the "difficulties" to deal with.  Most times, root canals are done in two appointments.  That was just fine with me!  I told him to give me a punch if he needed to ask me anything, I  put my earplugs in, cranked up the volume on my Ipod (to full throttle) and I was "in the zone".  After about seventy minutes, he tapped my shoulder and said "all done"!!  Whew, I had survived another root canal. 

A funny story about my first root canal, 5 years prior to this one.  I realized my IPod battery was dead just before the procedure so I quickly borrowed one from a trusted friend.  He ran through the basic steps in using it and I was out the door.  Knowing he liked country music, I figured I was safe with his choice of music.  When I say I crank up the volume, I actually mean max the volume.  I don't want to hear any of the noises that go on during a root canal.  After a couple of great country songs, there was a series of bootie shaking, hip grinding, rap songs with lyrics that had words that honestly I didn't know could be sold or downloaded.  Talk about embarrassed, that is an understatement!  Remember, the volume was as loud as it gets, the base was pounding in my head and probably vibrating the dental chair.  I could see the dentist and his assistant shaking with laughter and I was positive it had nothing to do with my root canal. If you have ever sat close to anyone with music pounding in their ear, you know that those sitting close by can enjoy the music too.   I had no clue how to turn the volume down or advance the songs without looking at the IPod.  With my mouth propped wide open, a water squirter and sucker upper hanging in my mouth and fingers and elbows all over my face, I decided its best to just go with it. 

After checking out at the desk, I could hear laughter coming from the back room.  I couldn't get out of that office fast enough, nor could I wait to call my friend.  In his defense, he said he had downloaded a series of "free" songs off the internet and had no idea those were on there.  Thanks, but I will be sure if I go back to that office, I will have my own Ipod with a fully charged battery!  Oh, and some good clean music!  Praise God for all of his many blessings :)