Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Salvation in a smock.....

It's rare that I jump out of bed with a song in my heart and a genuine delight that morning is here. But Monday morning, and it was actually morning, saw me skipping round the house with all the gusto and delight of someone who was overjoyed to be alive. I was going to the dentist and I was fucking delighted. Soon my pain would be over. Or something like that.

So there I was, relieved but still in pain, in the dentist waiting room. There were about ten or twelve others. We all bore the look of chipmunks storing nuts for winter. Each one of us suffering with swollen cheeks and pained expressions of anguish. Each one of us regretting our less than perfect attitude towards oral hygiene. And if they were anything like me they were making solemn pledges never to find themselves in such dire straits again.

Everyone says you feel no pain whilst you are sitting in the dentists waiting room. I was assured by all and sundry that the moment I sat my ass down the pain would magically disappear. Such tosh and indeed hogwash. My need for relief became even more urgent in the same way it does the closer you get to the toilet with a full bladder.

The only thing keeping me from bursting into tears was the smug knowledge that I was second in the queue, well that and the desire not to embarrass myself in front of some young kids who seemed to be dealing with their pain much better than I was. I considered perusing the magazines, maybe that would keep my mind off the Guantanamo-esque pain. But neither golf or period homes really interest me. Period Homes? WTF? If I'm being honest a troupe of scantily clad burlesque dancers performing a routine to the works of The Smiths wouldn't have distracted me.

And then I was called...

"Waiter? Manuel Waiter?"

"THAT'S ME!" I was a smudge too enthusiastic and nearly knocked the perfectly stacked tower of Period Homes magazines to the floor.

"Upstairs, room five."

"Awesome-o"

Maybe it was just the early morning sun streaming through the window but there was what seemed to me to be an almost heavenly glow around the dentist.

Salvation in a smock.

"So what seems to be the problem?"

"I have a sore tooth." I replied in a cheeky chappie sort of way.

"And do you want to tell me where it is?"

Don't say in my mouth, don't say in my mouth.

I resisted, this was no time for bad jokes and wisecracks. She probed and poked with a gentleness and deftness of touch that gave no hint of the brutality to follow.

"Yes well that's going to have to come out. You okay with that?"

"That's fine" is what I wanted to say but instead it came out as, "Thbalts Blime". It's really difficult to make yourself coherent when you have six fingers in your gob. Adopting a much graver tone she asked her assistant for various tools - pliers, angle grinder, saws that sort of thing.

I should warn you that there is much swearing from here on in and scenes of very gory nature.
Well, more than normal.

The dentist and her assistant left the room for a brief moment whilst they took an xray of my busted gums. I must stop calling the dentists colleague her "assistant". It's not like she was dressed in a sparkly dress and wearing flash lipstick in a Las Vegas stylie. When they returned the dentist told me to sit back and relax. She looked deep into my eyes and said, "This might hurt a bit."

"Okie dokie", thought I.

In went the needle followed by various other instruments of war that surely must be banned by the UN.

A bit? A fucking bit? Are you fucking joking? Was that sarcasm? Sundays one all draw with Chelsea hurt a bit. Stubbing my toe on Saturday morning hurt a bit. The extraction of my tooth did not hurt a bit. It fucking hurt a lot.

The tooth didn't want to come out. I had to get four injections such was the vexatious nature of the proceedings. She pulled and pulled but all to no avail.

"Don't worry about the crunch noise."

"What crunch noise?" I thought as I sat there contorting in a pain I hadn't felt since I was married.

Oh that fucking crunch noise.

It was the sound of a pair of medical pliers crushing what was left of my tooth in half. Let me tell you I will be hearing that noise for weeks.

Two, three, four more crunching noises were to follow. I could feel my mouth filling with blood.

"Suction please."

They then stood back to asses the situation. There was a touch of the Waco siege about all of this. I swear if they had played some shite rock music and the sounds of animals being slaughtered I wouldn't have been surprised. I really wanted a break. I was panting and sweat was pouring down my face. I relaxed my body for a moment whilst they gathered a couple of new tools together including and big assed crow bar and some Black and Decker drill bits.

Round two commenced with more drilling, more blood, lots of suction and me considering wether to cry or not. I wish I had kept my eyes closed the whole time but curiosity got the better of me. I just had to see what was going on. I wish I hadn't. I saw the dentist baring down on me with a very perplexed almost worried look. I think she really wanted to get her leg up on me to get a better grip of what was left of my tooth. I knew then that things weren't going to plan and that we were well off script at this point. I was shaking, the dentist was shaking, the dental nurse was changing her surgical gloves. I really do think I bit her. Eek, that's not cool.

But five minutes later the ordeal was over, well for those two anyway. The relief was enormous. I stood up with all the confidence of a new born lamb, shaky and with blood still dripping from my mouth. This garnered a very peculiar reaction in the taxi office a few minutes later.

I really did want to hug the two of them as I left the dentist room but I didn't have the energy. I was spent, worn out, for want of a better word, fucked. But we had been through an ordeal together and we will always have a special bond because of it, like hostage survivors. As I left the room I'm sure I heard the dentist call her husband, "It's okay darling you can get that new car. I've hit the mother load!"

I've to go back next week and quite probably for a few months to come.

I don't mind one bit. (That is sarcasm)

45 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

Jesus Christ, they had better at least sent you home with some decent drugs, Manuel.
Sounds like she should have sent you to an oral surgeon for the extraction to be done properly.
I only hope she didn't fuck up your jaw bone in the process.
Dentists are a pack of evil cunts.

Manuel said...

medbh: I have consumed more drugs in the last few days than I have in the last two years......I've been quite monged and spaced since I got home.........I don't blame her at all......personal responsibility n all that....

Native Minnow said...

So happy that my last trip didn't end up like that.

Manuel said...

minnow: you wanna swap dental experts? I mean it;s worth it just for the blog gold......

eguinan said...

Aw man!

How am I supposed to sleep after that?

[Reaches for 'Music for Airports' again]

Manuel said...

eguinan: consider yourself lucky, I wanted to post a photo from inside my mouth but LMM gave it the thumbs down....

Silverstar said...

Was she at least a pretty dentist? I've been lucky, but the one root canal I had had me wanting to fly out the window. Especially when I got the bill.

Manuel said...

silverstar: cant say I noticed, like I say I had my eyes closed most of the time. I hate the thoughts of the bill......

savannah said...

brush & floss from now on...thank you for giving me a new mantra, sugar!! xoxox

tomeoftheunknownblogger said...

Well Manuel, I guess this is where they separate the men from the boys, eh?

I had my wisdom teeth extracted in the chair - one side at a time with about a week in between - rather than undergo anesthetic and have it all once by an oral surgeon.

My dentist, an East Indian woman with very spindly arms, tugged and tugged and wound up having to break those teeth apart and take them out piecemeal.

Deep roots, I guess. The weirdest one was the root that opened up into my sinus.

When I called back later and said I could blow through from my nose (sinus) to my mouth - and was this normal - they said "Don't do that!" They also said it should heal over in a day or two.

I've been through the long ordeal also, after an elbow from my late wife hit me in the face whilst we played volleyball and broke a front tooth. Jesus, did that f**king hurt! And so did the months of follow up.

*Sigh* I feel your pain.

Rob

Steve said...

What an experience! It is like I hope they didn't charge you much for that torture.It sounds like it was a cut above tieing some string to your tooth connecting it to a door handle and yanking it.I hope you do not have to work for a couple of days yet.

Simon said...

When I die and my flabby flatulent corpse is laid to rest, my soul will be permanently imprisoned in a dentists chair. You have just described my worst, most feared, most dreaded absolute nightmare. I have an actual phobia of dentists (not just scared - a real, full on, uncontrollable phobia) and I've been to one maybe three times in my whole life. And even then only when my face was the size of a medicine ball and I couldn't actually see straight with the pain. I can't even sit in a dentists chair without shaking, sweating, and lashing out at the nearest person in a white lab coat. I can honestly say "I feel your pain" as I have had enough agonising toothaches because of my lack of dentists visits - they are the devils own torture. Glad you got is sorted, but rather you than me.

Manuel said...

savanna: it's the only way....

tomeofhteunknownblogger: good grief! I mean it's hard to know how to respond.....

steve: I expect the bill to hurt the most.....

simon: dude they are hard to avoid......

redleeroy said...

This is worrying, I have had a sore tooth for months now. It is only sore when I brush, one eye closes and I make a noise that sounds like 'eyeee-aaaaa'. Jesus I have to make an appointment don't I ?

Manuel said...

redleeroy:nah leave it for a while then poke it out in the middle of the night with a pencil and a spoon.....I mean it couldn't be any worse....

redleeroy said...

hmm, I think I would prefer dentist pain to unchecked self pain.

Manuel said...

redleeroy: fair enough but it is something to consider....there is a certain satisfaction in diy dentistry...

Red hair, Red face said...

got 4 teeth out so i could get braces.....its the crunch sound that got me....well that and the blood, swollen face, needle in your gum, and bits of the roots he couldnt get out.....ah the memories

Old Knudsen said...

Is it safe? no really the tooth fairy will give you money for it.

Manuel said...

red hair, red face: bwahahahaha that's exactly what it was like yesterday....

knudsen: the tooth fairy would throw up if they saw what remained......

fatmammycat said...

Reading that actually made me brak out into a sweat. I am reliving my own dental horrors vicariously right now. Horrible, my sympathies.

belfastyouthworker said...

did it cost a bomb? bloody NHS. i had toyed with becoming a dentist at A-level choosing time, this was before i realised i was thick as shit

sheepworrier said...

Eeep!

*runs off to brush teeth*

AnFearBui said...

A visit to the dentist for me in the mid 70's was a bit primative.
Extracted teeth were just fired out the open window & you were given one of those ubiquitous metal soup bowls & returned to the waiting room to stop bleeding. Quite a sight for those still waiting.
I did have to have a deep filling without any painkillers once. I thought he was going to drill into my jaw.
The release from pain is bliss though.

Manuel said...

fmc: it wasn't pleasant......it's still not very pleasant today....

byw: bwahahahaha.....They haven't presented me with the bill yet....it's a work in progress......

sheepo: yes, it's a salutary lesson for us all.....

Melissa said...

The crunch.
errr. ouch.

So do you have to wait tables with blood dripping from your mouth and high on drugs? That will make for some interesting blogging.

Glad you got our toof problems sorted anyhow!

Manuel said...

anfearbui: the 1970's as a whole were a bit primitive.....but the moment when I realised it was out was indeed bliss......

Manuel said...

melissa: no, I luckily had planned to take a few days off.......

Kitty Cat said...

uhhh I actually shuddered reading that, effing horrific! Had to get two teeth taken out when I was 13 so I could endure 4 years of braces, and had to get wisdom tooth out last year. I've had a bloody lifetime's worth of people's fingers in my gob. Dentists, that is.

Queenie said...

Urggh!

Poor you! Was it top or bottom? Anyway, whiskey and panadol...works wonders.

sheepworrier said...

...or just whiskey.

Manuel said...

kitty cat: yeah that's right "dentists".....

queenie: bottom.....I'm more a port and nurofen man....

sheepo: obviously...

raptureponies said...

Jesus! You poor sod. I had a foot on my shoulder once to get a tooth pulled... and then I got braces to yank all the other teeth in to close the gap.

Sorry if my comment appears twice. Stupid internet.

Manuel said...

raptureponies: no but seriously I thought you were gonna say you had a foot growing out of your shoulder......that trumps toothache every time.....

livesbythewoods said...

I had 2 wisdom teeth taken out in hospital under a general anaesthetic when I was about 21.

When I got home I had big bruises on my chest and on the back of my head where they had knelt on me and banged my head repeatedly on the trolley whilst hauling my teeth out.

Well, that's what they told me, anyway.

I kept the teeth. They're very big. Did you keep the shards?

Manuel said...

woddie: I was offered them but I was too fucked to think about it....I wish I had...

Maxi Cane said...

Dentists are my Spiderbastard.

Sniffle&Cry said...

Girls blouse.

Manuel said...

maxi; get them in the corner and beat them with a brush.....you know it makes sense....

sniffle & cry: yes, yes I am.....

Gypsy said...

Well you won't get any sympathy from me young fella. I had 10 teeth out in the chair today and stitches and then they put my brand new dentures in on top of all that pain. Only problem....the bottom one didn't fit so I have 4 teeth missing from the bottom.

Did I mention the 12 fucking injections? That's right....TWELVE. Two of them almost sent me flying out of the chair and I'm ashamed to say a few tears were spilled. I think I'm going to be losing a few pounds in the coming days :)

jen said...

Ouch.

I was 15 when they whipped out my wisdom teeth, under general anasthetic (ah, the good old days). Woke up puking the blood I'd swallowed during the operation and with a face like a badly bruised hamster - if a hamster didn't have fur that is.

They did give me some excellent drugs though.

Manuel said...

gypsy; sweet mother of christ that's rough.....I feel your pain.....

jen: ah post op drugs......wonderful.....you should be able to get them after work too....

Anonymous said...

I hate to say this, but England and Ireland have a notorious reputation for bad dentistry. I'm a server in Canada with no dental insurance but I make sure I pay for a check-up and cleaning every year so rotting teeth never happen. I'm not saying that rotting teeth never happens here 'cause it does, but that it happens less. I've never seen a waiting room full of people in pain in a dentist's office here. Only people waiting to mend little problems to make sure big problems never happens. Still love you and your bad teeth though!!!

Anonymous said...

Ooops! Happen, not happens!
(Grammer correction)

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