Wednesday, September 15, 2010

~-- HIGH --~

This could also be titled "Dentist: Day 2"

I went back to the dentist today to have my two cavities filled. I was...nervous, to say the least. I don't like pain, and I really don't like that feeling that you get when your mouth is coming out of anesthesia, like your whole face has fallen asleep. I don't like that uncomfortable little prick in the gums in order to inject the anesthesia. And like most, I hate the sound of the drill in my mouth.

I expressed my concerns, and they laughed at me. Why? Because they were baby cavities. No big deal at all... still, when they told me that the nitrous gas was FREE, I opted for it, because that's what it is there for: to calm you. Also, a guy at work told me that it was like, the best thing ever. Perhaps his favorite thing in the world maybe not favorite, favorite, because he's a dude....anyway, never mind. Scratch that.

So they sat me back in the chair, put the sticky pre-anesthetic aesthetic on my gums, which dripped down the back of my throat and made my tongue feel like it was clogging my airway. No biggie. They also put the little mask over my nose and started pumping the nitrous. And then the cute hygienist came in a gave me the shots. I still didn't like the poke, but it wasn't as bad as I remembered. And then he did it again, which I didn't feel at all because I was already numb. He asked how I was feeling, and I was fine... I wasn't feeling the effects of the gas, and so he TURNED IT UP.

It didn't take long after that to start feeling it.

I've never been under the influence of anything. I've had Vicodin and and Tylenol with codeine and Benadryl, and even a sleeping pill for taking my wisdom teeth out... but it's never done anything that I could physically feel the effect of.

This was different. I was floating. My muscles relaxed, starting with my lungs and then working to my extremities. I felt my already weak, sorry excuse of biceps deflate. Then my thighs, my calves and finally, the tingly effects had reached my toes.

The dentist was really good about explaining what was going on. I was afraid that they had done the anesthetic too soon, and that it was going to wear off before he was finished drilling. (Turns out, they had me in and out of the joint in 30 minutes and the aesthetic has only just worn almost completely off.) I still hated the sound of the instrument that they used to clean out the cavity. It was the high pitched one.

The actual drill.... it rattled my whole brain. "I would like the one thing that most people fear," I thought to myself, obviously high. My skull was vibrating, and I was smiling. And then trying not to smile as I thought that it was probably the effects of the laughing gas, and then smiling some more. I wonder if the dentist noticed, because even though I thought I was smiling, maybe my lips and face were too numb and there were too many hands and guards in my mouth to be able to tell.

I knew that I was high, because I was floating and could feel the effects that the gas had taken on my now completely relaxed body, which made me self conscious. Remember, I've never been under the influence of anything, so I didn't know how I would react. I was worried that I would do something stupid, and I noticed that when I exhaled through the mask, it was making a slight wheezing sound. Which embarrassed me. So then I tried to take slower breaths and exhale even slower, which made me light headed, which made me smile because I would practically gasp for air - but it had to be through my nose - taking a bigger whiff of the gas, and smiling again. About halfway through the cavities, I was ready to be done with the gas. I wanted to breathe normally, and I started taking two breaths from the mask and two through my mouth. I wanted to ask them to take the mask off, but I didn't know how to do it - my mouth being full of hands and instruments. So I stuck it through and tried to enjoy the rest of the effects.

They were seriously done in no time at all. My appointment was at 5:00 p.m., I was out by 5:43 p.m. The assistant made me wait so that I didn't stumble out of the office. She said that she's had patients blackout as soon as they stood. I made an extra effort to not look like an idiot walking out of the office, but I was still dizzy. I sat in my car for a few minutes after, made it to Pleasant Grove, and sat for a few minutes more...just to be on the safe side.

I discovered that 1) I do not like being out of my full faculties. If I ever did drugs, it would have to be in private where I would not make a fool of myself. It really ruins the buzz when you are concerned with what other people think of you. 2) Nitrous is probably nothing like actually being on drugs, though, it is likely the closest I'll ever come to it. 3) It is called laughing gas for a reason. I was particularly smiley throughout the whole thing, and I attribute that to the gas and the weird things I was thinking while under the influence of it. And 4) Having cavities is really not that bad...especially the brain-rattling drill. Which still makes me want to laugh.

Oh! It was really fun to see how hard I could bite my cheeks without drawing blood because I couldn't feel them. Even more fun, trying to eat with half your mouth numb. I'm surprised I didn't choke on any of my food, because I was never really sure if I had chewed everything up completely. Still, I had just gone to the dentist, I felt like I deserved an ice cream cone. And whatever aesthetic they used is magical! It has nearly worn completely off, and there hasn't been an uncomfortable, prickly feeling yet.

Success!

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