• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Hi guys, yet another newbie with problems (long, sorry)

I know what you mean about the feeling of resignation. It in itself can seem foreign after being in flight mode for so long. But Stress Doc is right, of course. It's normal, and your reaction to the feeling is normal, too. Your rational mind is finally taking control over the fear. That's a major breakthrough, and you should be proud! Don't resist the new feelings as long as they get you moving in the right direction. Let the new rationality guide you and keep you motivated.

Good luck on getting that appointment date settled, and keep us updated, okay?
Thanks for that Cielo, it feels really odd, and not in a good way. Like something inside me died and I'm slowly going rotten from the inside out. I decided I couldn't cope with the wait until Nov 25th so am now going to attempt to do the whole lot without the IV sedation. Apparently they can't do as much at a time if you're not "under", so I have to go through a lot more sessions now and without any sedation, since they refuse to give me oral sedation again. Not good, but as I said, I just don't care any more. Not about this and not really about anything else either. I feel very sick all the time, whether I eat or not, and just want to feel something like normal again. I've forgotten how that feels, to be honest, but I don't want to be this person that I've become. I'd rather be nothing than be this.

I have to go on Friday morning for the full mouth debridement and if I can cope with that she will decide if she thinks I can cope with her doing the rest of the stuff like a normal person. Otherwise the whole thing is aborted until the day before Thanksgiving, and I don't want my holiday ruined. Neither do I really want to pay out $3000 to the anaesthetist for three or four hours' work. So, I've made my choice. If it works, it works. The only relatively good part I can see about this whole thing is that there's a faint chance I may be able to retain a bit of control over the proceedings, unlike when you're under sedation and they can just do whatever they like. That is, of course, if I can get myself into the chair in the first place.

Guess I need to try and find a positive head to put on before Friday.....
Hello Swansong,

I've just read your posts and I am inspired by how far you have come. You have taken so many positive steps to take care of yourself. you have taken the steps to talk with Stress Doc, you have driven close to the office and walked those "extra 10 steps" each time going further, you have done some hypnotherapy to aid things along, you have seen a psychiatrist, and posted on here to share and for support. These are all such positive ways of taking care of yourself as you continue to step forward in this process. you have done so much to step forward. very wonderful.

Choosing to go through the appointment awake is also a wonderful way to experience that you made it through awake. It will build a new foundation that you did it. the experience will be a new reference point for you that you can do this! just like you all the victories that you've made that I wrote above, this will be one more victory that you will have under your belt. your willingness to say that you will take this step is a victory in itself.

We are here to support you. PM me if you would like additional support:cheers:. We are all routing for you. I KNOW you can do this. Breathe into your belly.

in peace and support,
Dr. Shirley
Hello Dr Shirley,

Thanks for your post, I was afraid I'd alienated you with my comments about why people would choose to go into dentistry so I'm glad you're still here.....

I know that I will probably be proud of myself if I make it through tomorrow without too many hysterics, or indeed make it through at all and manage to get anything constructive done. However, I just wrote my appointment on the calendar (once I do this, it's like something is definite so I put off doing this until now) and so I just noticed tomorrow is Friday 13th. As a very superstitious person, I never deliberately arrange anything for this date as it seems like a foregone conclusion that it'll all go wrong. Funny how the mind works, isn't it. I was just starting to think maybe this might go ok. However, the que sera sera thing is still there so we'll see.

One thing I did want to ask; Stress Doc says music might be a good idea (ipod etc) but I was kind of thinking it might be good for me to do the Show Tell Do thing (or is it Tell Show Do?) and get her to give me a running commentary so I have no nasty surprises. I'm not sure which way to go with this now. What do you think? I'm going to take my eyeshades and ipod anyway so I have options, and I have a small memory foam pillow that I can squeeze in case I feel the urge to hurt myself; I can do without doing that again. Worth a try. The hypnotherapist also gave me a touchstone so I'll take that along too.

I'm writing a list of things I need them to know for tomorrow as I'm probably unlikely to remember any of them in the morning so am trying to be prepared. I still feel empty and black and sick though, and I wish they could have done more in one go so I come out of there hurting less times.

Thanks again for your support, it's very much appreciated and I will look forward to your comments on the above - and if anyone else would like to chip in, please feel free to do so.....
Hi Swansong,

I wanted to let you know that I was not alienated by your comments about why people go into dentistry. I am glad that you felt safe enough to voice your honest opinions here on the forum. When I hear you speak so honestly and from the heart, my heart opens and I feel compassion for your sadness underlying it all. We are here... to support each other. and I am here to support you in your journey as well.

Great ideas you've had. Bring things that bring you comfort that is the goal. to bring things that comfort you through sound (music), touch (your pillow and touchstone), smell (if you have a fragrance you like to smell or an essential oil like lavendar on your wrist points or under your nose).

Be as conscious and aware of your breath and body as you are able to. focus on your breath. By checking into your 5 senses. what does this music sound like. What does this pillow feel like? Feel the softness and texture of the fabric of the pillow in your hand. What does the touchstone feel like. Rub it. Play with it in your hands. Breathe into your belly. taking 10 deep belly breaths to ground and center yourself.

You will be great!!!!!!!! You have come so far and you will be fine tomorrow also! We are all routin' for you.

peace and blessings,
Dr. Shirley
I really want to get throught this, I do. I'm not looking forward to the all the pain along the way. I'm doing this so my husband will stop snapping at me. If I end up not in pain that's a bonus. What's really bothering me at the most right now is that I want to hurt myself, I want the pain to take away the feelings in my mouth tomorrow. This isn't right, I thought I'd accepted the treatment. I know I have to do this. Damn, but I want to cut. I'm trying to distract my hands. Can anyone help? I feel I need the pain, deserve the pain, that it'll distract me. Dammit. Help?
Hi swansong,

one great way to release a lot of this destructive energy is to shake your body. Just like when you imagine animals out in the wild that have gotten into a tiff... like two ducks... when they are done.... they shake off all that negative energy. it is a primal response to release the energy. as humans we often have not allowed ourselves to shake off this energy.

so stand with your two feet on the ground. bend your knees slightly. and start to allow the shaking in your hands, your arms, your torso, your legs... and breathing into your belly. taking long breaths. and shaking your body until your body feels that it has released what it feels that it needs to have released. you will feel calmer and much more at peace when you've done this.

and when you feel tension arise in your body if it's some time later, then go into this shaking your body until you feel relaxed once more.

you will be fine. try this and use this. it will definitely help you.

you will do great.

peace and blessings to you.
Dr. Shirley
OK, update #642 or wherever I'm up to now....

Dr Shirley, thanks for the shaking thing - don't know if I'd want to do it in public though! And it's kind of difficult in a small restroom too (lol). However I did manage not to cut myself this time though I did find myself playing with the scar from last time which is still kind of tender as it was so deep. But no broken skin, that has to be a step forward, right?

Last Friday, the 13th (yes, I know), I finally got my full mouth debridement done, without sedation of any sort. Progress, right? I managed to get myself into the office and into the chair, ok with some coaxing from my husband and the staff, but I did it. I thought of everyone on here who's been through worse, and I told myself I COULD do it. My BP when I first got into the chair was 298/189 so I had to wait a bit and calm myself down before they could start, they said they couldn't legally work on me with those numbers. The procedure took a full two hours, twice as long as a normal person as I kept holding my breath (not on purpose, it just kind of happened) and having to stop them so I could get my breath back. They put numbing gel on my gums but I have to say it was still really uncomfortable in some areas so I don't know what it would have been like without. When she went around my painful molar I almost jumped out of the chair but after my reaction she did carefully avoid that area, so brownie points to her for that one - and at least she saw that it hurt me when I was really me and not a spaced out zombie. Most of the actual cleaning was ok, but certain areas (especially close to the gums) were very sensitive, didn't like those bits. When I finally left the office, I felt like I'd been through a spin-dryer on the extended cycle, kind of rag-doll limp. I guess that was just the tension leaving, took a while before that feeling wore off, but I wouldn't have wanted to drive myself home. I still feel proud of myself though, I did do it, even if I did manage to make it harder than it should have been.

Still, now at least my teeth are clean and the tobacco stains are gone! It's taken until today for my jaw to (almost) stop aching due to having my mouth open for so long, and I suppose because I was tense that didn't help either. Although my gums still feel like they've been sandpapered they're not as bad as they were - anyone know if that's an after-effect of the numbing gel or something? I don't think she actually did sandpaper my gums! I also had fluoride varnish put on after the debridement (weird stuff, all white and gunky) which had to stay on for four hours before I could clean it off. Now that all the plaque etc is gone, my teeth are more sensitive than before but I'm hoping this will wear off with time. I'm using CoQ10 toothpaste and Tea Tree toothpaste and mouthwash, and my mouth is feeling a little bit better each day. I'm hoping now I've actually been and had something done once, the second time walking through the door and getting into the chair should be somewhat less stressful. Hopefully.

I've made an appointment for next Monday morning, the 23rd, to get most of the other work done without sedation. I need to know I can do this. So they'll be doing one (maybe two) root canals, two big molar core build-ups with pins, two temporary crowns, and they'll also be making a stent (drilling guide) for the implant. They're saying it would normally take under three hours but with me it could take six if I don't have the IV sedation. So I'm still practicing my self-hypnosis and my breathing exercises, I've put an audiobook on my ipod, I'll take my memory foam pillow and my touchstone, and I'll hope for the best. At the moment I'm calm, hopefully this will continue. I just want it all to be over. At least I've made a start, to be honest I never even thought I could get this far! So thanks again to you all for the non-judgemental support and encouragement, I don't think I could have done any of this without you all being here.....
Congratulations swansong!!!!!:jump: you made it through your first appointment awake! and you made it, and your teeth are cleaner and healthier already... so awesome.

I had to laugh when you mentioned the shaking thing in public.... yeah, that would sure be "interesting" to see wouldn't it!!! LOL! Nah, that's meant for the privacy of your home. It's really great when the stress is getting unbearable..... as a way of releasing it. and awesome that you made it through the night without cutting too!

and yes, the gums can be a little tender after the procedure, but as you mentioned they will feel better quite soon.

Keep up the goooooood work!

Dr. Shirley
Well, I did promise myself I wouldn't post again until I could be positive, but unfortunately I don't think that is going to happen anytime soon and I need to get all this out of my head now because it's all building up and overwhelming me, so all I can say is I strongly suggest that if you have an appointment scheduled anytime soon please think twice about reading the rest of this right now. It's not nice, and it's definitely not positive.

Basically, I'm drowning in a huge vat of misery. I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel, everything is getting worse instead of better. I can't see any way out at all, I seem to be going backwards instead of forwards.

Monday November 23rd, I went for the major works at 8.30am, no sedation. I'd hardly slept, I was mentally exhausted before I started, but I was still resigned. I managed to get into the office and even into the chair but I had to wait a bit until my BP went down before they could do anything. She used the numbing gel on my gums before the injections but hell did it sting when the stuff went in. Then it appears I swallowed some of the numbing gel so I couldn't swallow properly - horrible horrible horrible. She made a stent for the implant, did impressions and more x-rays, did a root canal on I think tooth no. 18, and pulled out the big filling from tooth 19 and replaced it and prepared both those teeth for crowns. I kept having to stop her because the drilling hurt like mad and she kept putting in more injections but omg, I was just crying and sweating and in shock from the pain. The bite block almost killed me, the pain in my jaw from it on the opposite side was almost unbearable. And because I hadn't cut myself this time, I had nowhere where the pain was worse than in my mouth. So so hard. Anyway, over four hours later they finally let me out, though I could hardly walk. I'd asked for the reversing stuff so the numbness would go away quicker so she gave me that. It made the numbness in my jaw and cheek go away, but my tongue is even now still numb and stinging like a bad burn all down the left side - and this was eleven days ago. It's all tingly and pins and needles and I can't taste anything there at all, and it hurts. Oh, it hurts. And I can't speak clearly any more.

So, she'd put on two temporary crowns and stuck them together for strength, told me to eat soft food, not to eat anything hard or sticky, no chips, no bread, no gum etc. Fair enough. I got home in a total daze, my jaw aching like crazy, didn't know what time or what day it was or anything, put a heat pad against my face, took ibuprofen, crashed on the sofa, cried. Later that day I touched the new temp crowns. Didn't hurt at the front, no shooty pains there, but when I put even the slightest pressure on the back of tooth 18, omg that was bad. Awful pain where there'd been no pain before. I tried to eat some soft chicken/mayo salad with that side, and again, horrible shooting pains. By Tuesday evening this had not improved at all, and although I touched it occasionally to see if it was improving at all (hardly any pressure) I didn't try eating again. So Kev rang the dentist and made me an appointment for the Wednesday morning. He said they said it sounded like a bite problem and should be easily and quickly solved, and I had to try and believe that. And so, the day before Thanksgiving, I forced myself to go back. She filed down the temp crowns but it didn't help the pain. She made me bite numerous times on a hard thing to try and work out where and why it was hurting me, since the x-rays showed the nerve was well away from the surface. Biting on this hard thing so many times was so so painful, and I told them just do what you have to do to take the pain away. It has to be said I was in a state when I arrived that day, I had expected to ache but hadn't expected the pain, and couldn't believe I was having to go back so soon. Anyways, after a time they left me on my own just sitting in the chair crying to myself, bracing myself for them to do a root canal or whatever and finally after I'd been in there a full hour they came back and said they couldn't do anything that day, they were fully booked, and here's a prescription for painkillers. Absolutely great. Just wonderful. After biting on the hard thing so many times, I was in an awful lot more pain than before I went in, and in a lot more pain than when I'd left on Monday. She told me I should have left the two teeth alone, basically implied it was my fault it was hurting because I'd overused them. Yeah right.

Thanksgiving Day; we had a couple of friends over for dinner, and I cooked a whole roast dinner with all the trimmings (how on earth I did this when I felt so bad I have no idea but it seemed to come out ok). I couldn't eat a bite of it, I just sat with a bit on my plate and some on my fork and watched everyone else eat. It smelled so good. Don't think I need to say any more on this, let's just say it wasn't a good day for me and I couldn't find anything at all to be thankful for.

The weekend was utterly miserable, I sat on the couch with my heat pad and my painkillers - waiting, waiting, waiting for it to get better. I made some egg/mayo salad and just forked that straight down and swallowed whenever I got really hungry. I can't do soup, I can't control the liquid and can't open my mouth far enough to get even a small spoon in. At least hot and cold don't seem to be such a problem now.

Monday morning, and after about 2 hours' sleep Kev calls me (wakes me up) to say the dentist will see me in an hour. So in a total nauseous fog I get bathed and dressed and wait for him to come home from work and pick me up. I'm so low at this point, nothing matters. Again I have to wait until my BP goes down, although I'm not (yet) shaking or panicky or anything, I just don't want to be in my body anymore. Not a good place to live. More poking and prodding, more x-rays. She decides finally that she will do a root canal on tooth 18 as she has no idea why it's hurting me. With no sedation again, she numbs the area and gets going, and when the drill hit that filling material, oh boy, there are no words to describe the pain. She puts in more stuff, waits, tries again. No difference, the agony is indescribable as soon as the drill hits that tooth. Finally she puts some stuff into the tooth itself and that kind of works a bit. Again, the bite block is killing me and she won't let me swallow (I keep gagging) and she still can't understand why it hurts. I honestly don't have the words to describe this whole experience; suffice to say I came out three hours later, broke down in tears/howls in the lobby of the building, retched and retched in the car park - although there was of course nothing in me to come up - and finally got home, feeling at least ten times worse than I had the previous Monday. I'd asked for the reversing stuff again and also asked her to put some in my tongue since it was still numb/burnt feeling from the last week, and she said she couldn't actually put it into my tongue, she'd already put it in the nerve that supplies the tongue so it should be fine. A lot of help that was.

So here I am, eleven days after the first of the major work, with a numb hurting burning tongue, an aching jaw, and teeth that I daren't use as I don't want to be blamed again for overusing them (even though I think the shooty pains might have gone). I'm still on mashed egg/mayo, occasionally mashed potato, but nothing tastes right and salty things seem to hurt my tongue worse. Carbonated drinks are a no-go area. I think the ache in my jaw may go away eventually, but I can't speak properly - I keep slurring my words and can't do the s sound at all. I have earache on the left side and my throat is also sore on that side. Swallowing is painful, even just saliva. I'm still taking ibuprofen but it doesn't seem to be doing anything, and I don't want to take stronger painkillers because I can really do without becoming addicted to those. One of my front top teeth is also now catching on one of my bottom teeth from time to time, making a feeling like nails scratching down a blackboard, so I'm trying to keep my teeth apart all the time. Wonderful, huh.

I'm pretty much at the end of my tether now, I don't know what I've done to deserve this. I've tried to do what was right, I've tried not to do what was wrong, and I don't know if I can carry on. I don't want to live like this. I've had enough. I've tried so hard to fix all this, I've done so many things to try and make it right, and I'm just worse than ever. What have I done wrong??? I wanted to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it feels like someone changed the points and shoved me off into the wreckers yard instead. I'm supposed to be going back and getting the permanent crowns put on as soon as they're ready, possibly next Monday, and I have an appointment for an initial consult with the oral surgeon on the 10th about the implant on the right side, but all I want to do is curl up in a dark closet and stay there forever and ever, amen.

Yesterday I went and sorted out my will and my financial and medical power of attorneys, made a living will etc so at least now I have all my ducks in a row whatever happens. That's a relief. I really need to try and make it into the New Year so I can see my family again (we're due to go back to the UK on Dec 26th) but if there's no improvement by the time we get back to the States on Jan 9th, I think I'll call it a day. I'm honestly ready to just check out. This isn't a life any more. Every time I think things can't get any worse, somehow they always do. Every time I trust someone to make things better for me, they screw up. Or I screw it up, or whatever. Everything seems to be my fault somehow, I can't do anything right.

I'm going to sign off here because I just needed to get all that out of my head. I will try to keep posting, but as my mother used to say "if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all"....