Has your entire face from your eyeballs to your chin ever been numb before? Mine has...well is numb as I type. Let me start from the beginning.
My teeth have never been the greatest. Sure I got braces and used the whitening strips but the actual strength of my teeth...total crap. For now I will be blaming that on genetics, but no matter, my teeth have been less than stellar since I was a kid. (We are leaving the buckets of candy I consumed as a child out of this conversation.) What a surprise after avoiding the dentist for 6 years that I have 7 cavities. One for each year I was a bad girl for not getting a check-up and an additional one because that is how my life goes. After scouting out a few dentist I chose a dentist close to my work who was the most reasonably priced and who several of my co-workers go to as well. I promise I did my homework.
The dental assistant who took me back seemed nice enough. She wasn't into small talk (thank goodness) and asked me to set down my things and sit in the chair.
"Do you want gas?" she asked.
"Um...I've never had the nitrous...I drove myself so it's probably not a good idea."
"Oh everyone looooves the gas. It's the best. It wears off about 2 minutes after we take the mask off. It makes the procedure feel like it went very fast. You should be fine to drive home no problem"
"Yeah I'm not really sure I want it."
"Oh and it's free. The doctors just want you to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible."
"Ok. I guess it can't hurt."
As she put the mask on my I started to feel my toes tingle and my hands get super heavy. I can already tell that I am going to hate the gas. The dental assistant puts in 4 sticks of that nasty crap to get your mouth numb before the shots and lets me sit there and "relax" while the gas really starts taking effect. Soon a male assistant came in with the needle. He was very polite and seemed genuinely interested in my well-being which I appreciated. I told him I couldn't move my hands and he just laughed. Inside I was starting to panic, but he seemed competent and nice so I figured he would know if my body was starting to fall apart or not. He was great with the shots because I didn't feel a thing. He gave me 9 shots...yep nine! As he did them I could start to feel my right cheek...then nose and bottom of my ear get numb. Then to the left side. Same thing. By the time the doctor got in I felt like I had had lip injections and a million bees stings on my face. I of course kept touching my face to see that it was still there.
What is up with the dentists wanting to talk to you when they know that it is physically impossible to understand anything I am saying! He starts asking me questions about my teeth and of course I am spitting and drooling up a storm. Very sexy. He asks if I'm numb and I nod and say, "Is it normal to not feel your nose?"
He paused and then patted my head and laughed. He obviously couldn't understand a word I was saying. Reassuring.
The drilling began with what I will call the pixie drill. No one likes the sound of a dentist's drill but this drill seemed harmless with it's high pitched squealing. My mouth wouldn't open wide enough for him to drill properly because I am so numb so he told me he's going to tilt the chair a little. By a little he means we are going to do the procedure with me upside down. But I am floating on cloud nine with that stupid gas and now all of the blood is rushing to my brain and my toes are tingling even worse. I hear him change drills and he says my head is going to feel some shaking. Bring in the jack-hammer drill. This drill is not messing around. I can see flecks of my teeth flying in the air until one lands on my forhead. Nice. I of course need to swallow every 5 seconds since all my saliva is collecting in the back of my throat. When I do finally swallow all I taste is cement. No wait...that's probably my tooth dust they are grinding that I'm tasting. Seriously what is that girl assistant doing! Where is my suction! But again...I don't care because I couldn't even lift my finger if I wanted to. I am fighting my body to stay awake and I finally just muster all of my strength to take off the gas but they just put it back on and I can't talk with 5 thousand instruments in my mouth. Grunting was seriously too much effort. So I laid there. After about an hour the dentist asked me to bite down and grind my teeth. I couldn't even feel my teeth. Is that normal? He said that the bite is probably not right but just come in tomorrow and they will fix it. Oh ok...I'll just take more time off work to fix something we could fix now. Brilliant.
As the bright light turned off they sat me up and removed the gas mask. I felt like an anvil had fallen on my face. Oh and I couldn't see. Yep. I only had double vision. I started to panic. I tried to say something but drool was my only form of communication. The girl asked if I was ok and I shook my head back and forth. I tried to speak and after 3 attempts she understood that I had double vision. She said it's normal to be dizzy. Okay...but I wasn't dizzy...I said I had double vision. She said to take deep breaths and it will go away within a few minutes. They came back to check on me and my vision had not improved. I waited another 10 minutes and still nothing. They then put me on straight oxygen and said it should be out of my system soon. My left side was starting to improve but my right side was still super blurry. The girl came back in and asked if I wanted some water. Seriously? Seriously!? I can't talk...how in the world would I drink without drowning myself. Idiot. After waiting almost 30 minutes I was starting to see clearly enough and it was getting dark so I started the trek home with a hope and a prayer.
I am still completely numb over 3 hours later. Good thing I ate a balance bar before going because it doesn't look like I'll be getting any dinner tonight. Here's hoping for no residual effects from the nitrous and that I will be able to feel my face in the morning.