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Monday, June 25, 2012

Root Canal

I went into the dentist yesterday, to get a root canal -- surprised I needed one -- but anyway .. Dentists have to live too right? (Anyone who disagrees with this statement, join me at midnight under the old elm tree -- bring your sheets and pointy hats.)  

Anyway, I showed up promptly at 6:30 a.m. (dentists obviously don’t use Facebook; besides, he had his golf clubs in the corner and told me he had an appointment to get out on the links at 1 p.m.).  I was ushered in by his wife who was his assistant... and who was wearing the black outfit with the pentagram prominently displayed across her chest. She was very nice. (but scarry .. I think it was the lip piercings or the facial tattoos)

The dentist walked in and tightened up the restraints on my chair. He made sure the buckles over my wrists were secured. He then pressed a pedal on the floor behind the chair and my chair tipped backwards--‘til my feet were 4 feet above my head. He said, “Now, this isn’t going to hurt,” as he stuck his gloved finger in my mouth... under my front lip... and rubbed back and forth. Oil of Cloves it was not! but it tasted that bad!!. He kept telling me NOT to suck his finger. : (  I thought thats what he wanted!!! .

He then pulled out a needle -- it was about 12 inches long -- and screwed it into a 2-ft plunger type apparatus. He commented that this was his favorite needle because you could stick a horse with it and the horse would not complain. I couldn’t make the connection either. He then stuck the needle into a bucket of green liquid.that looked like green antifreeze but I suspected it was embalming fluid. When he pulled the plunger part up, the bucket emptied into the needle. He held it up and tapped it to make sure there were no air bubbles in it, then he squirted a bit in the air -- more for effect than anything.  The hygienist, who happened to be limping by, fell to the floor claiming that he had hit her other leg this time. She dragged herself off in the direction of another hysterical patient. I vaguely heard her telling her screaming patient that she would have to postpone for an hour until she could walk again.

That’s about when I felt the dentist grab my upper lip and stretch it out toward the wall. He hooked it to a bungie cord he had hanging there. Then I felt the horse needle penetrate the my inner lip right where it sits under my nose. I coudlnt see much cause my lip was in the way.  He pushed down saying, "There that didn't hurt, did it?"

Heck no, I thought,  A pit bull ripping off my lip would hurt more... I think.  

Suddenly, I felt a twitch in my eye, and he whispered to his wife, "I think I just severed his optic nerve!"  A little more  loudly to me he said, "Don’t worry, sir, you should be able to see again in a week or two."

Then he seemed to meet some kind of resistance, so he asked his wife to hold the needle while he climbed up on his chair to  use his foot on the plunger .. pushing the needle through the resistance. When it popped and moved forward an inch, his wife said to him, a bit crossly I thought, "Honey, you just perforated the chair again."   Then he  had to yank the needle upward through my skull cap up toward my nose before he loaded all my sinuses with green antifreeze. My left eye went cross-eyed. He tells me that should go back when the freezing comes out.  It didn’t bother me too much at the time because my thinking was all fuzzy. (Actually, I was hallucinating about little fire nymphs sliding out my nose.)  The Doctor said quietly to me, "You may feel a bit of discomfort when the freezing comes out. Most of it will drain out through your nose but some will use your tear ducts. You won’t feel it for the first while. Try to remember to keep wiping your eyes and nose even if your face it dead. “  He talked so calmly. I’m sure one of us was hypnotized. I’m not sure if it was him or me.

He then slapped my face--hard--and asked me if I could feel that. I said "no" (there was no way I was going to tell him I could feel a bit on the tip of my nose).  But, he noticed me twitch, so he said .. "Honey, can you kick him in the face down there just to see if he has feeling... for me?"  His preposition was dangling. Wasn’t it?  Somehow, he had me correcting his grammar as I was hallucinating.

Then he got out his drill. It wasn’t the ordinary dentist’s drill .. this was one from Home Depot .. Black and Decker I think .. small .. but would take ¼-inch bits.  He used it to clean out the hole. That was ok because he only used a 1/16-inch metal (and bone) bit. He did have to pry my mouth open a bit more, but he had a special tool for that .. a small 12-inch pry bar called "Deep Throat".   And because the cord was short he kept pulling it out of the wall while he was drilling. That’s when the bit would jam. Now that wasn’t the tragedy it sounds like because while the bit was jammed in my jaw bone, it got a chance to cool down some. He  would get the witch to hold it while he stooped down and yanked the cord back so he could plug it in the wall socket again. Because it was on "continuous play mode" it would start right up... every time.  He was lucky because the last time it jammed in my tooth, it wrapped up the nerve. I think it was the right nerve; but when he yanked the drill up, my right eye went wall-eyed. It snapped back in place though when the nerve snapped.  He said the wobbly vision might stop later this week but if it didnt come see him and he would give me an introduction to his brother-in-law the optometrist.  They witch with the tattooed face grunted approvingly.

“There, I think thats got it, after he tried one more time with a smaller drill bit ” he exclaimed with glee.

They said I passed out then,  but, I can’t remember a thing.

When I came too he was mixing cement in a bucket."This stuff works as good as silver and mercury used to," he said. “Besides, I’m going to use the leftover to repair the crack in the wall I made when the jack hammer flew out of my hands last week.” I didn’t ask. My mouth was still supporting “Deep throat”. And besides the Witch had left that "thing" hanging over my lip--the thing that was sucking a hickey on the inside of my bottom lip.

Finally he finished packing the Inland-Cement-Company brand cement into the hole. "This will be a bit hot while it’s drying, but I have packed the hole I made up behind your right eye, so the heat should cauterize the blood vessels to the back of your nose and you may never have to worry about nose bleeds ever again.” He said this with an excited voice as if he had done me a great favor by mistake.

He cleaned up the blood and debris and even tried to wipe the snot and blood off my shirt.

Finally he pronounced me "fit to go."

The witch said something under her breath too. Something about a fat lip being ideal for piercing.  She was trying to convince me when I was grabbing my coat.  All I can remember is something about if i got two rings in my lip they would do my sexual organs for half price.  I agreed to consider it.

At the desk in the reception area. I paid my fee while the receptionist passed me a cup to take care of the green liquid streaming down my face .. I never noticed it before … all i noticed was that my head seemed heavy.  I paid the full $3817.84, but I was a bit offended when she stuck out her hand for a tip. I only gave her a quarter.


  1. Dont think i'll ever visit a dentist again after reading this...Haven't laughed so much since the last time i sniffed laughing gas!!:-):-)

  2. This is probably the funniest root canal story I’ve ever heard of! You are hilarious! The comparisons both of you made are a bit weird, but it was really funny. I loved the dangling preposition part! It somehow sounded wrong, didn’t it? Hahaha! But anyway, I am glad that the procedure went well for you and that you didn’t feel any pain.

    Eugenie Velasquez