November 4, 2014: have a panic attack at the dentist

Well tonight’s something new I could have done without. I’m not a huge fan of the dentist but I’m also not one of those people that hates it or gets anxious before appointments.

This evening I was having a cavity filled. I had developed a cavity underneath one of the old silver fillings (I thought fillings fixed the cavity problem, but what do I know?!) I had someone other than my usual dentist, I’m not sure if she’s taken on a partner or maybe a graduate student. Anyway the needle to freeze was the most horrific needle pain I’ve had. And when I say needle I mean needleS because he gave me three. He also froze the left half of my tongue. While I was laying back I slowly became aware that breathing was a struggle. I knew my tongue had fallen back and blocked my airways so I tried to breathe through my nose only. Breathing that way was a challenge as well. I started to worry that my throat was closing up and then my ability to breathe stopped altogether. By this time my whole body was shaking in panic but I couldn’t just jump up because he had the drill going. I raised my hand to get his attention. When I sat up I was gasping for air and began to hyperventilate and cry.

I’ve had freezing and cavities before but this has never happened. He told me it was because I had such a small mouth so my tongue blocked all my airways. He also told me that for next time if I was anxious we could use laughing gas. Although that does sound pretty awesome, I don’t think it was my anxiety disorder that caused me to react that way. I think anyone unable to breathe would be just as panicked.

Now that the freezing has almost worn off, my jaw is in incredible pain on the needle side. I can’t open wide enough to eat. Maybe he put the needle(s) in a muscle? If don’t know. I do know that I will never be seeing him again. I could nicely fit a straw in my mouth though. Whiskey! Get in my belly!

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