Tag Archives: root canal

my facebook friends resolution comes to a grinding halt. . .

yes, grinding.  as in teeth.

today i was supposed to revisit mr. anonymous — the 314th — friend.  why is he anonymous?  he believes that people will not regard him as well if they knew that he is pretty much housebound.  anxiety attacks coupled with depression have created his own personal prison.  i visited him at his home and was so happy to have the chance to connect with this new friend that i did something pretty dangerous and ridiculous afterwards:

luckily, no facebook friends were harmed during the filming of that sequence!

so today i was going to travel back to the home of mr. 314, this time with facebook friend #315 tony tyner in tow!  say that last sentence five times fast when you have just been shot up with novocaine.

tony also has endured periods of being housebound and i thought he and mr. 314 could commiserate, be helpful to each other, to be friends.  mr. 314 particularly needs this because his wife has left him, he has no job, his doctors give him escalating dosages of zoloft that don’t seem to do much good. . . things are rough and they’re going to get better, but maybe it would be nice to have a friend or two.

and friendship can’t just be on facebook.  it has to exist outside.  and that’s what today was supposed to be about.  the three of us.  until. . . last night a funny feeling that when you’re a kid of six or eight is simply magical!

i used to give my kids dollar bills for the teeth that they’d leave under their pillows. oh, whoops! joseph and eastman, please disregard this caption! the tooth fairy really exists, along with santa claus, the easter bunny, and the mother’s day didyouforget? dragon. . . .

my tooth wiggled under my tongue.  and that’s how i knew that i wouldn’t be able to play facebook matchmaker today.  this morning, i had another round with the drills, the needles, the “open wide” and part of the tooth was taken out.  i go back for another visit to have what’s left of the tooth capped.  this tooth is getting a lot of attention and i hope it is appreciative!

it’s tough to do an interpretive dance about dental work. or a collage. but this picture  from the 1931 movie “public enemy” pretty much sums up my day.

there’s another movie that serves as a coda:

the 1939 movie gone with the wind concludes as rhett butler says “frankly my dear i don’t give a damn” when scarlett o’hara at long last declares her love for him. as he leaves, she is at first heartbroken but then concludes she’ll win him back because, after all, “tomorrow is another day!”

and tomorrow i will figure out how to get back on track with facebook!  wait!  maybe investors feel the same way i do!

not completely abnormal and the thirteenth tooth.

i was supposed to see two facebook friends today but my teeth got in the way.  specifically the thirteenth tooth.  it cracked open in the middle of the night and, eight advil later, i was sitting on the sidewalk outside my dentist’s office waiting for somebody, anybody to show up for work.

some reflexologists and traditional medicine professionals believe that the large intestines and the lung meridians of the body affect teeth 4, 5, 12 and 13 of the upper jaw. so a disturbance in the thirteenth tooth could be a warning of lung, intestinal, pituitary, and thymus gland problems! i just thought the side of my face was exploding with pain!


my dentist said “aren’t you glad this didn’t happen when you were out meeting facebook friends in another country?”  and i think i agree although one thing i found through this journey of meeting all my facebook friends is they have been nearly uniform in their hospitality.  i’m sure if i had been in taiwan, facebook friend warner sills would have found me an endodontist.  that’s a fancy pants name for “person who can get rid of that pain that starts in one tooth and makes you want to rip the side of your face off and wear a mask like that dude in phantom of the opera”.

my dentist sent me posthaste to dr. trina, endodontrial genius and then he called their office to make sure i showed up.  he’s not dumb, my dentist.

a root canal is no fun, particularly when the only drugs you’re getting make you feel as if your face has just ballooned out to the size of a small townhouse.  in the course of the surgery, dr. trina discovered that i have not one but two roots in my thirteenth tooth.  this, she declared, was “not completely abnormal.”

she told me the surgery would take two hours.  she wasn’t inclined towards vicodin, codeine, laughing gas, or even a small martini.   she’s into natural childbirth, natural appendectomy, and natural root canal.  i was on my own.  well, not on my own:  trina had both hands and several surgical instruments in my mouth and an assistant kim who occasionally took a jab at me.  i worried that one or another swab, finger, needle, scapel or drillbit would go down my throat.

i have a number of facebook friends with post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, agoraphobia, ms, fibromyalgia:  some of them have complained about the state of their own teeth.  after all, most dentists don’t do house calls.  and most of these friends are pretty terrified of dentists.

dwayne johnson, aka the rock, starred in the 2010 blockbuster “the tooth fairy” along with the dazzling cast including ashley judd, julie andrews, and stephen merchant. it was a poignant commentary on our belief that after the pain of teeth extraction we should get a reward. what i got was a bill for one thousand smackers and an ibuprofen because dr. trina said in a few hours i was definitely going to feel it.


i felt trapped in the chair, trapped by the topical anesthetic, trapped by the pain that the root canal was supposed to cure.  and two hours in a dental chair? trapped, trapped, trapped.

then i remembered the point of the williamsburg bridge experience in which i tried to get to facebook friend #317 michele piersiak who lives in staten island.  i was in brooklyn and mr. mapquest said “walk over that bridge.”  i hadn’t known i was scared of expansion bridges strung up over three lane highways and hundreds of feet above the water.  but once i was in, i had to figure out how to get myself across.  saying thank you helped.  i said thank you to just about everybody and everything on the williamsburg bridge.  i was a blubbering thank you, sobbing, red-faced thank you note.

and i did the same at dr. trina’s office.  i started thinking about how she had spent four years in college, three years at dental school, and another two years in specialized training for endodontics . . .  all so she could stick her hand and her drills into my teeth.  all so she could say that my double rooted tooth number thirteen was “not completely abnormal”. . . . obviously i couldn’t say “thank you thank you” out loud but suddenly, i really DID feel grateful for all that work she put in at school so that she could get rid of the pain.  of course, i’m writing this while my mouth is still just a little bit numb.  supposedly, in an hour or so i’m going to begin a long, dark night of the soul.

but i’ll take not completely abnormal.  not a bad title for the rest of me.