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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Addicted to the dentist?

I've always been careful about my addictive tendencies. I've always known what happened in Vegas could very well stay in Vegas, with me behind bars, if I wasn't careful.

Thank goodness, I tend to worry about what other people think of me. This keeps me from jumping off the deep end with drugs and alcohol. In a nutshell, insecurity and the need for control keep me grounded.

The main reason I could be a drug addict though, is that I metabolize drugs very quickly. I'm talking about "regular" drugs like Advil, Vodka, and maybe an Ambien every once in a while, not illicit, illegal drugs. You think I'm joking, but I'm not. I've never used an illegal drug. Not even Pot. I'm not kidding. And I grew up in Eugene, so that's saying something.

The only other adult I know who hasn't smoked pot is my husband. I mean, he's the only one I'm sure hasn't. But people can't seem to lie if you ask them if they've ever smoked pot. Most people smile a little when you ask. I think they're wondering if I'm asking them if they want to smoke pot.

They usually say "well, college doesn't count, right?" Or they say "why, do you have some?" Or they just don't say anything, and get a bit of a worried look, like maybe god or their boss is listening. When I explain I never have, they laugh. They think I'm kidding. They keep waiting for the punch line. It's a good party trick, really, to watch their reaction.

The only reason my husband and I haven't smoked Pot is because we don't like smoking in general, and Pot is illegal, and we're super careful about rules, for some reason. I want Pot to be legal, for medicinal reasons, for the record. I always vote for it. But until then, nope. Can't do it.

My husband won't even cross the crosswalk at midnight when there's a red hand, and no cars around for miles. He just won't. It's like his feet won't move until that white hand shows up and says it's okay. It's like there are cement blocks on his feet that disappear as soon as he sees the white hand.

Maybe that's why I married him; I knew he wouldn't lie or cheat, or spend all our money on drugs. I'd rather save for nice shoes. Or diamond earrings. Still waiting for those...

But anyway, back to me and legal drugs. My favorite legal drug is nitrous oxide. I learned about it at the dentist. My teeth are sensitive. I think the dental hygienists used to think I was making that up so I could get high. But then they tried to work on my teeth without it and found that I literally jump out of the chair, and sometimes bat their hands away. Involuntarily, of course.

I try to make jokes about it, but it's hard to joke with someone who's just had her hand batted away from your mouth, especially if her job is to put her hand in your mouth. Its not like I bite her or anything. I just yell "ow," move her hand and sit up. It's a little disconcerting for her, I suppose.

I doubt they teach those nice people how to handle this sort of thing at hygienist school. Especially from a middle aged housewife who seems so normal when she first sits in your chair and asks you about your kids and your dog, in such a normal, regular way. I think I just catch them by suprise when I grab their wrists so unexpectedly. I can't help it. It embarasses me too, I assure you.

One smart dentist figured out that if he gave me nitrous, I'd get my teeth cleaned every six months, and wouldn't bother his staff so much. If he didn't, I'd wait 2 years. He was a good business man, I think.

When I moved to Bend, I was worried some random, new dentist wouldn't believe my sensitive teeth story, so I avoided going for nearly three years. Thank goodness for me, I have excellent teeth. I mean, really excellent, straight teeth and good gums. Otherwise, I'd be strung out on nitrous all the time. And I haven't had dental insurance in years, so we'd probably be bankrupt just from the $100 for the nitrous every time I'd have to go in for a bad case of gengivitus. I'm so lucky.

One dentist needed to fill a tiny little cavity once about ten years ago. He gave me Novocain. It didn't take. He gave me more. It sort of took. He gave me a tad more, and said I'd be fine. I was fine for the first ten minutes. Right in the middle of the drilling, it wore off. I'm not kidding. I wouldn't make that up, it was Novocain, not nitrous. He said he couldn't give me any more, it was too dangerous, I might overdose. Is that possible?

I'll tell you about dangerous...oh. my. god. I felt like punching the poor guy, and I'm not really a puncher. Never again. I've never had a cavity since, thank goodness. No more sugar in tea, or hard candy for me, can't risk it.

So all the new dentists started giving me nitrous, and I was just fine. Except it wears off after 10 minutes. I always tell the hygienist to hurry up and start picking plague right after she turns on the gas. For some reason they always want to chit chat with their friends. Sure enough, halfway through the cleaning, when I start clawing at the arm rest and jumping out of the chair, they start believing me when I say it's wearing off.

The smart ones just turn it up a notch. The dumbs one say "that's so weird, I wonder why it wore off so quickly?" I try not to go back to them. I'd hate to have to grab their wrists or punch them.

This is why I don't do Meth or cocaine, or pot, or even drink to excess. It's just not worth it. I know the buzz will just lasts a few minutes, and those drugs, and good vodka, are just too expensive for that tiny window.

Why would I waste my money? Or my life? I just don't think I'm the type to use drugs for a long-term escape from realtiy. I'd have such a narrow window of time for the escape, and then BAM, I'd be right back where I started, just broke with a headache. I think I'm too practical to be a true addict.

But a little nitrous at the dentist a couple times a year? Well, I think I'm due for another cleaning.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just a few suggestions (I am a dental hygienist) As far as the nitrous oxide: does the hygienist tell you that you should focus on inhaling and not to talk while using nitrous? I have found this works better--if you talk, you are inhaling less...Also about turning it up; sometimes that does work--but I did that once for someone who then after a couple of minutes threw up!
Also, regarding the sensitivity you may want to try MI paste with Fluoride--it is a desensitizer paste you can only get through the dentist. Also--do you grind/clench your teeth? That can cause sensitivity to cleanings as well.
When you noted the dentist was a good business man for suggesting twice yearly cleanings--nah--just a smart dentist--it is much easier to clean off 6 months worth of stuff than 2 years worth--especially on a sensitive person!
Oh, you may want to consider something alittle outside the box to eliminate the sensitivity altogether--being in Eugene you are surrounded by "open minded" people---one who I met is Robert Bike--he taught me about EFT--(also gives a GREAT massage...)
Good luck! Gail Johnson RDH