Monday, May 12, 2008


Right now I am filled with self-pity. I just got back from the dentist's office, where I had multiple fillings done, after a two-year hiatus of professional dental care. Words cannot express my shame at requiring multiple fillings; that kind of thing happens to other people, not good, floss-conscious people like me.

The left side of my face is numb, if you include the part of your neck down to the adam's apple within the idea of "face." My lip is droopy and heavy, and my words were slurred when I profusely thanked the dentist, like a cretin, for drilling in my mouth and making my saliva spray onto my shirt and glasses. He used a variety of implements today, including: drills, the suction tube that always traps my tongue, a wedge designed to keep my mouth open, an egg beater, a staple gun, and a blow dryer. When he was drilling I could hear the high-pitched whine like a scream coming from someone else inside me. I tried to pretend I was on an airplane, but this was a failure. There wasn't enough anesthetic in my upper teeth, so I could feel the drill in a particularly specific and uncomfortable way. I was gripping the seats of the chair and clenching my butt and flexing all my leg muscles until I couldn't keep it in and grunted for help. So, I got an additional dose, which means I should be able to resume making facial expressions by the weekend.

Once again my dentist was about 14 years old; at one point I swear he said, "hold still, man," although it was hard to tell over the roar of the blow dryer. The important thing is that I'm back on the straight and narrow dental track, and have my next cleaning set up for November. My only hope is that by then I will once again have feeling in my face. Honestly, right now I could be drooling out of the side of my mouth -- what the hell, I probably am -- and I wouldn't even know it.

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