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I Need An Extraction But I'm Too Scared To Do It

Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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I've been browsing this forum for a week or so, trying to get up the courage to join and reach out for support. So I'm here now, and I'm absolutely terrified. I don't know what else to do, so I thought I might as well make a post and see if I can find a way to work through this, or someone who can help me work through this.

I'm 36 and I need to have my wisdom teeth removed. I only have two, one on the bottom left and one on the top right. Both are in bad shape. The entire crown broke off of the left one a few months ago. The one on the right is nothing more than a rotten stump after slowly crumbling away for a period of years. Both are infected, but the left one is really badly infected. So much so that it's making me sick, and I had to go to the doctor yesterday and start taking antibiotics.

I know that I should make an appointment and go in and have them removed. Probably sooner rather than later. But I was browsing these forums today, reading through these articles and trying to figure out how to cope with all of this mess, and that alone made me start crying. I tried to calm down and take a break from it all, but I was still feeling overwhelmed. I actually ended up on the kitchen floor, just curled up in a ball and sobbing.

I don't know how to cope with this, and I don't have anyone who really understands what I'm going through. My closest friend just told me to, "Suck it up, buttercup." But when you're on the floor having an emotional breakdown, that really doesn't help.

I know that if I go to the dentist I'm going to start crying right there in front of everyone. The thought is so embarrassing, knowing that everyone in the building will be able to hear me and they'll probably think I'm acting like an idiot or being a big baby. I also have an extreme fear of needles, and I have horrible panic attacks which have, in the past, lead to sudden vomiting when I'm under a lot of stress. I have thrown up on the floor of the doctor's office, just because they told me to have blood tests. Which I refused. So I imagine it won't be pleasant if I go to the dentist and start crying and throwing up.

I feel like I could start crying again right now, and probably will. I try telling myself that if I could force myself to have IV sedation it wouldn't be so bad. But I honestly don't know if I can even walk through the front door, let alone make a request when I'm crying and hysterical. Of course, I don't know if my insurance will even cover IV sedation. I've heard that it's considered a luxury so most insurance companies won't pay for it.

I'm just really scared and I don't know what to do. Hopefully making this post will help somehow. Maybe just talking to someone about it is what I need. I don't know, but I guess I can always try.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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Hi,

your fears and concerns are very common and reasonable. I would suggest first pointing out what specific issues are on you mind. You don’t need to capture all topics, jus some clear ones, just start with something.
mHave you seen a dentist who told you these teeth need to be extracted?
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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Messages
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Actually no, I haven't seen a dentist who told me that they need to come out. I've never been to a dentist before, for obvious reasons. I'm assuming they'll need to come out, because they've decayed so badly and gotten infected. The hard part is trying to get myself to go through with it. As of right now, I'm just trying to get the courage to call and make an appointment, because I know I really should do something about this, even though I really don't want to.

As a side note, I tried asking about this on another dental forum. There was a dentist there who told me that it was better to remove the roots left behind when my wisdom tooth broke apart. He said that if I didn't, I could get an infection in the bone underneath the tooth, and at the time I wasn't experiencing any symptoms. Two weeks pass and I've come down with a horrible infection and feel absolutely miserable. So I guess he was right about the infection part.
 
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Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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You can always chose to have the wisdom teeth removed sedated. It will still require having a dental check-up. Can you think of anything that can help you make you such an appointment?
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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Northern California
Honestly, I think the main thing that could help me make the appointment is the desire to start feeling better again. Yes, the antibiotics are helping, but I've spent most of today with a horrible stomachache, nauseous, run down and miserable. I don't want to have this procedure done, but at the same time I just wish everything was over with so I wouldn't have to feel this way.

Forgive me, because I know this sounds really childish, but I was thinking this evening and I realized that it might help if I was allowed to bring my stuffed animal with me. Maybe I could handle making the appointment if they were okay with that. I have a friend who sees a therapist for severe anxiety, and he says he stuffs a couple Furbies in his backpack whenever he leaves for his appointment with his therapist, or whenever he leaves the house in general, because they help calm and comfort him.

I have given it some thought and I could actually tuck my plushie in my purse and no one would even know it's there. If they let me hold it during the exam, or maybe hold it until I start to go under from sedation, maybe that would help. Maybe I wouldn't cry as much. I don't know. It's just a thought.

A blanket would be nice too. I thought I read somewhere - maybe it was on this website - that some dentists will give you a blanket if you request one. If I knew they would let me have my stuffie and maybe a blanket, then maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

I'm sorry. The whole thing is just really frightening and I'm trying to think of the things I find comforting. I was abused when I was very young by a person outside the family, and then following a series of bad experiences at the doctor's office, as well as some other unpleasant experiences I'd rather not go into, I developed these fears and anxieties and can regress into a more child-like state when I'm scared.
 
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Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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Catie, your suggestions are terrific. They are not only doable and easy to implement, but also can be a great way to find the right dentist for you. What do I mean by that? You can first write an email to several practices and present yourself and your story (I would decently mention the medical experiences) and also mention what can help (stuffed animals and blanket, maybe even more ideas) and wait for their reaction. If a practice takes care to their patients' well-being, they should have no problem with those suggestion.
I think that your goal should be making sure that the dental appointment will go completlly different than your past medical experience. Meaning: if you had back then a man, ask for a woman dentist (or wise versa), if you came alone, come now with a companion, if back then it was in the city centre, search for a rural area practice, and so forth. Try to create a clear distinguish from the past experiences to the future one.
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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I guess I could give that a try. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to email them and just ask and explain the situation. It might actually help if I know in advance whether or not they would be okay with it, instead of just going in blindly without having a single clue. Because honestly not knowing is part of what makes me afraid, I think. I've never experienced anything like this before, so I really don't know what to expect or how any of this will feel. And that alone scares me. A lot.
 
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Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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That is an interesting video. I didn't know that they had so many ways of trying to distract a patient. I guess it's a good thing, but I still feel nervous.

I sent an email to one of the dentists I had in mind. Chose them because I know they offer heavy duty sedation. Haven't heard anything in the form of a reply yet. And the longer I wait, the more nervous I become.

I keep thinking the sedation might be enough. Not sure if I could even calm down for them to administer the sedation, maybe they could give me a pill first then the regular sedation? I don't know. I don't know how any of this works. All I'm doing is working myself up and I feel sick at the thought of it. I honestly wonder if I should just try to schedule it with a hospital instead so they can use general anesthesia so I'll be completely unconscious because I really don't think I can do this any other way.

In fact yes, that's probably a better option is at a hospital because I'm seriously starting to feel like I could go into another anxiety attack right now. I've already started crying and I just don't see how I'm supposed to do this, I really don't. I horrified at the thought and I don't think I can do this. Maybe in a hospital setting under general anesthesia I could manage, but right now I can't see myself going through with this at a regular dentist.
 
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letsconnect

letsconnect

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Hi Catie, sorry to hear that you haven't heard back from the dentist you tried to contact 😞. Maybe try contacting a few more? We've got some tips for finding a phobic-friendly dentist here:



It is possible to take a pill before the regular sedation. We have some information on IV sedation here:

 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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Northern California
I don't know if this is considered a success or a failure. It might be a little of both.

I made up my mind to find someone who will do the procedure with general anesthesia. I absolutely cannot have it done any other way. I will seriously freak out if I try. I know my history of crying, vomiting, panic attacks and attempts at running from the building, so this is the only option I have.

I tried calling various places to ask if they do extractions under general anaesthesia, and had a panic attack before I even made the first call. I started hyperventilating so bad I had to go to bed and lie down because I was on the verge of passing out. One of the places I called said that if I came in and was looked over, they could refer me to someone who uses general anesthesia.

So I did it. Honestly, I thought I was going to vomit and soil myself simultaneously. But I brought a stuffed animal without even asking ahead of time if they were okay with it, and I wore my worry ring. I swear I had a death grip on my plushie the entire time, my other hand spinning the center piece on my worry ring constantly.

They were actually very nice to me. I was completely honest and told them I was scared s***less. And when they checked my vitals they told me my pulse was 101.

I've never been so terrified in my entire life. But now I have a consultation with someone who is supposedly going to do the procedure under general anesthesia. The dentist even wrote in his referral paper, "patient has extreme dental phobia/anxiety and will likely require general sedation."

All of this sounds like a simple solution, but the place I'm going to doesn't take the kind of insurance I have. Which means that I have to pay it all myself, and I'm currently unemployed, waiting for my unemployment to kick in and I have limited funds.

I feel like such a coward. I could do it somewhere else with conscious sedation and have my insurance pay for it. But instead I'm probably going to end up spending over a thousand dollars just to keep from having a panic attack and running from the building in tears. Because believe me, it wouldn't be the first time I've run crying out of a building due to my extreme anxiety.
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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My extraction consultation (what a lovely name that is) is scheduled for next week on December first, and I'm honestly starting to think that I can't do this. I'm so scared at the thought of having this done that it's making me feel physically ill right now.

How am I supposed to get through this? Because I thought this would be a simple solution, but the more I think about it the more it seems impossible.

I think I'll be given two options, either general anesthesia through an IV or general anesthesia that's inhaled. Both options have me absolutely terrified.

I can't do needles. I really can't. And if I even see a needle I'm going to lose it and they won't be able to calm me down enough to do it that way. I know because I've been here before, where I've been kicked out of clinics because they tell me I'm too upset for them to get anywhere near me for blood tests.

But I've been reading about inhaled general anesthesia on this forum, as well as elsewhere on the internet, and it talks about how the patient might require a breathing tube to maintain their airway. That honestly scares me to death because I had to watch my mother dying while she was in the hospital on a ventilator for a week. And I know that there is a history of problems with anesthesia that runs in my family, and I keep thinking I could end up like my mother, hospitalized and on a ventilator until I eventually die like she did. She didn't die because of problems with anesthesia, though. But I remember the way she looked and I keep thinking that could be me next.

Maybe I'm just going overboard with this, but I'm afraid this is going to kill me. I'm afraid of there being complications, I'm afraid of dying, I'm afraid of having my wisdom teeth removed, I'm afraid they may insist on doing the procedure with an IV, I'm afraid of panicking so bad that they'll kick me out and then I'll have no where to go. I already have a heart condition as it is, so there's a possibility that I could have a heart attack from the stress.

At this point I honestly wonder whether or not I could learn to live with the infections and just cancel the whole procedure and back out of it entirely. It seems so much easier than going through with it.

So I'm just here, sharing my story and not knowing what else to do. At least I know the people here are kind and caring, and that they understand what I'm going through. Which is nice. At least I'm not alone in my fear.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Hi Catie,

thank you for sharing your thoughts and your story and your worries with us. I was sad to read about your past and even more so to read that you feel about yourself as a coward. :( You are not. You are just trying your best.

Reading how much this scares you and how complex your situation is (needle phobia, panic attacks to a point of throwing up, having break downs to the point of almost fainting) I was wondering whether this may be too much for you currently. By that I do not mean the black or white thing such in sense of „shall you get the treatment or not“ but more the question whether pushing yourself forward is the best way to go. The issue with panic attacks and melt downs and pushing too hard is not only how unpleasant those things are for you when they occure, but more importantly how it can affect your ability to cope in the future. You may be very focused on simply getting rid of those teeth right now and I am confident you would manage to, but for what price.. avoinding the dentist forewer from there on? Avoiding health care even more than you did before? I am glad that the staff was nice to you during your last appointment and that you brought your stuffed animal with you (btw. how did they react? was it es embarrassing as you anticipated?)

It is always good to approach difficult tasks in small pieces. For now, it may be good to remember, that your next appoitnment is a consultation. You will be talking. No treatment, no extraction, no needles. You will just have a chat. This is a good opportunity for you to come up with questions, preferences, worries and everything that makes you nervous. If you can‘t do needles, let them know. If you have fears regarding the treatments, let them know. Ask them for solutions. They may be able to come up with much better things than google does.

Another part of this is this: it‘s your teeth and you decide. If they insist on IV, then you go. Surely, that would be sad and unpleasant and you would have to seek for a new practice. But you would be able to cope. You decide how things will be done and the role of your dentist is to give you options that suit you. No need to pressure yourself into anything that you don‘t want.
Your fear of panicking.. well I am pretty sure you will panic, as nervous patients do when seeing a dentist. I see how you fear they may kick you out and I was sorry to read that this was your experience in the past. Usually, doctors do not kick nervous patients out and certainly not someone who is under severe distress. That would be irresponsible. If a client (and that‘s what you are - you are a client, a paying customer) is not doing well, then they should take care of you and give you space to get down again. Not throwing you out. You are allowed to panic as much as you like, it‘s your visit.

So wrapining it up, I see your panic and the huge amount of distress this is causing you.. and I am wondering whether you can use your anxiety and fears as a source of information that may help you find a way of treatment that suits you instead of using it to cancel the appointment.
Another thing I was wondering was whether you have any mental health counselor / psychotherapist on your side, that may help you to come up with further ideas in terms of coping?

We have a nice article about panic attacks here. My favourite part is the long quote from Fraser Hendrie, a dentist for nervous patients.

Sending you good vibes, you got this. I know it‘s scary, but you got this. :grouphug:
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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Thank you for that, for your kind words and understanding. Because I really appreciate you taking the time to respond and offer support. That really means a lot to me.

To answer your questions, they were okay with me bringing a stuffed animal. I apologized as soon as I brought it out of my purse, saying I'm sorry and that I know I must look like such a baby. But the lady (assistant I guess?) just smiled and told me it was alright. The dentist actually told me it was a cute toy and asked me what kind of animal it is. I told him it's a Niffler (yes, I like Harry Potter and collect the toys and other merchandise), and he said it looked like a platypus. Which is true. It really does look like a platypus. So it wasn't that embarrassing. Not really.

I agree that doctors should try to help their patients if they are upset. I really wish they would, but I get the feeling that doctors get fed up with me really quickly. Because I cry and get sick, because I don't want to have lab work done. So they boot me out. I've also been forcefully restrained for blood tests. I only succeeded in having a blood test once, and only because it took five people fighting with me while I was crying and screaming. After that I started having nightmares about being held prisoner by doctors in a hospital, about them chasing me if I tried to escape and forcing me to have shots and other painful treatments. So you can see why I'm such a mess.

Up until now my history of bad experiences is all I've ever known. I expect to be treated badly, I expect people to be rude and mean, to tell me what to do without giving me a choice, to force me to do something against my will. These are my expectations and that's why I'm afraid.

I don't have a mental health counselor or psychotherapist to help me through this. Honestly, I probably need one. One of my former doctors suggested that I take anti-anxiety medication. But I've had doctors ignore my heart problems when I was a teenager, saying it was anxiety because "young people don't have heart problems." I was later diagnosed with tachycardia and a viral infection in my heart. I worry that if I start taking medication for anxiety or seek counseling they might stop taking my health complaints seriously and blame it on anxiety. Because I had heart problems and was sick for a very long time, going from doctor to doctor in different towns, always being ignored, telling me it was stress, until one of them finally realized that I was actually sick.

So yeah, as you can see I haven't had the best time with people in the medical profession. For now I'm keeping my consultation appointment, but I don't expect it to go well. I'll probably start crying because the closer I get to this becoming a reality, the more terrifying it becomes. But I will make a list of questions and concerns and try to get through them as best as I can. Right now, I can't see myself going any farther than the consultation. But I guess I'll try the consultation even though I really don't want to do this.

Also, sorry for rambling on and on in this post. Talking helps, I think. So I just sort of spewed a bunch of stuff to get everything off my chest. And I sincerely thank you for listening to me.
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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I need to vent. It says I can vent here so please forgive me for a moment because I don't have anyone outside of this forum who really understands what I'm going through right now.

Earlier this afternoon I made the mistake of telling one of my friends about my situation. I don't even know why I told her about it. I wish I didn't. She immediately responded by telling me, "Oh, you need to have those out. It's no big deal. My daughter just had hers taken out and it's really not a big deal at all. It'll be fine."

Of course this sends me into panic mode. I didn't say it aloud, but internally inside my head I was screaming, "No big deal?! Of course it's a big deal! This feels like the end of the world to me, the end of everything!"

It's like every time I start thinking that I can do this, something comes along that makes me think I can't. And it really doesn't help when my friends tell me that I have to do it. That only makes me feel more afraid and uncomfortable, like they're trying to make me do something when I'm not ready.

I need to stop discussing it with my friends, and if they bring it up and insist that I have to do it, I need to figure out a way to just politely explain to them that I'm not comfortable with them talking about it like that. But it makes me feel down, not having anyone that I can turn to offline who understands. They all just say do it, do it, you have to get it done, it's not a big deal. But for me it is a big deal. It's a huge, enormous, tremendous thing that I don't even have words for.

And yes, I know that I should do it, but I honestly don't know if I can. I tried to stay calm. I didn't want to embarrass myself by crying in front of my friend. And when she left it's like the strength went out of my legs and I just collapsed against the furniture, just crying, almost screaming, because all of this is just so horrible.

After that I told myself that I might as well give up because I can't do it. And then my wisdom tooth on the bottom left side started hurting again. Of course, like a reminder, like everything is just trying to force me into doing this.

I honestly wonder if I could learn to live with this. It hurts and I don't want to deal with it hurting anymore. But then I think about having them removed and part of my brain says, "I would rather be sick again and in pain."

So yeah, this is just me, scared and miserable as usual. I don't know why it bothers me so much to do this. I don't know why it has to be so hard. I really am trying my best to cope with it, but it doesn't get any easier. Honestly, am I forcing myself to take on too much right now? Maybe I am. Maybe I shouldn't be doing this at all. I really don't know. I'm just trying my best, but I don't know if I can succeed. Sometimes it really feels like I can't. But I guess I should be proud of myself for making it this far at least. By itself, that is something, I suppose.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Sorry to read about what a hard time you are having, Catie, and also about your past experiences. There is so much going on...

First of all, feel free to vent as much as you like. This is what the forum is here for. Talking helps, even if it‘s just a bunch of anonymous people online.. or maybe I should say it helps exactly because of that. So again, write as much as you like as listening is the very least thing we can do. Your concerns remind me of my journal years ago.. after every entry I was afraid to get kicked out here because of writing too much. Needless to say that it never happened.

By the way I am glad you wrote again because I intended to reply to your post but missed it so it was good to read of you again and get reminded.

Reading about five people holding you for your blood test.. I don‘t even know what to say.. you know, once you experienced enough „abnormal“ experiences, it kind of becomes the inner standard and something you expect wherever you go, you know, what I mean? It is not normal to hold anyone down for any kind of treatment, it‘s shocking. There is a thing called “informed consent“ - and for the purpose of this explanation, feel free to even remove the informed part - the point is: you are an adult and nobody can force you to do anything. You decide what will be done and whether it will be done. I am so sorry you have been restrained in the past and obviously this is what you experienced and I don‘t know the background of when or why that happened, but it‘s not ok. At the same time I am aware that just saying it won‘t repair the damaging consequences this had on your trust towards health care professionals.. and your other experiences only add on to that.

Anxiety sucks. It‘s like being stuck between not wanting to do something and at the same time knowing you have to. It‘s not a good place to be and all kinds of roller coaster feelings belong to that process. I see how you really do not want to do this and maybe feel really trapped. The purpose of anxiety is to prevent us from doing things that harmed us in the past so right now your anxiety is doing exactly that. It sounds like the remark from your friend put additional pressure on you and made you feel disvalidated in your feelings towards this. Your fear is valid. Anything that you feel is, no matter what other people think. You are facing your fears, dealing with traumatic memories, trying to solve dilemmas and having negative expectation of the future.. it IS a big deal and that‘s ok.

Hope there won‘t be any other people commenting on this and hopefuly you find at least a few thoughts that make you see a bit of light in the dark place right now. Keep us posted and again, feel free to vent as much as you like. It helps, not only you, but anyone who is, or will be, in the same situation.
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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Thank you. I'll admit that I was afraid that I was writing too much. But you say that it's alright, so I won't worry about it anymore. Because it really does make me feel better to just talk about things.

Just providing some information about my horrid blood test experience - you said you don't know the background of when or why it happened. I was in my late teens at the time. Somewhere between 17 and 19, possibly 17. My mother had already taken me to a clinic and they turned me away, telling my mother, "Get her out of here. She's too upset. We can't do anything with her like this, so just get her out of here and take her home." After that my mother took me to the hospital, where they put me in a back room and brought in a bunch of people to restrain me for the blood test. My only guess is that, because I was still so young, not having turned 21 yet, they might have thought it was okay because I was still a teenager. Or that's my guess anyway.

You are absolutely right about the roller coaster of feelings associated with anxiety. That perfectly describes what I've been going through. It's easy for me to think about putting this off when I'm feeling good. I can tell myself I'm fine. Then I start having pain and feeling sick, and I think maybe I really should do this, but at the same time I still don't want to. It's like being drug in two different directions at the same time and it just isn't a nice feeling at all.

I'm actually a bit of a mess right now. Last week I relapsed into another infection. It was Friday night. My tooth was just absolutely throbbing and I had to sit with an ice pack on my face for a couple hours. After that I started feeling sick, had to go back to the doctor Saturday and get more antibiotics. My stomach hurts too, nauseous, and all because of this infection coming back.

And then this afternoon I got a call from the oral surgeon to confirm my appointment for the consultation tomorrow afternoon. I told them yes, I would be there. Then I sat down and just proceeded to cry for twenty minutes. I don't even try to hold it back anymore. I've been looking through the articles on this forum and they say that it's okay to cry. So I cry. And tomorrow won't be fun because I'm sick, I'm scared, I'm in pain and I'm sure this will push me over the edge and I'll cry some more.

But in your post you mentioned finding some thoughts that would bring light in this dark place. I try telling myself that I'll feel better afterwards, if I can manage to get through this. It would be nice to stop hurting and feeling so sick and miserable all the time. I guess if anything I could try to hold onto that thought. I try telling myself that all I have to do is go to sleep then it'll all be over. It's still so frightening, though. I don't know why I have to act like this and be so afraid. It feels like I'm doomed and it's so horrible.

And now I'm crying again as I type this. I have a really nice, supportive boyfriend, though. He doesn't mind if I cry all over him. And I have. Many times since this all began. He listens patiently to me, even when it's late at night and I can't stop crying.

There is also an online friend of mine who had her wisdom teeth out a couple months ago. She doesn't talk about it like my offline friends. She answers questions that I have, she offers helpful advice and tries to gently reassure me that it's not the worst procedure in the world. The way she's been behaving lately during our evening conversations, it gives me the feeling that she's trying to cheer me up and take my mind off things. She makes me laugh even when I'm sick, so at least I'm not completely alone. I have you guys, too. And it helps. It doesn't hurt to seek out the support of others, online or elsewhere. Worth trying actually. I only really talk about it with her and my boyfriend now. I don't discuss it with my other friends, I just ask that we not mention it.

It's funny because I was there for my online friend when she had her wisdom teeth removed. I worried about her beforehand, I talked to her and tried to help her feel better when she came home from the procedure. At the time I never thought that our roles might be reversed. If I do manage to go through with this, I strongly believe that she will do the same for me.
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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Well, my day didn't go very well. I'm not surprised, though. Because everything that happened at my consultation... it's just the same as it always has been. It fulfills my expectations, I'm used to it by now.

So, I went in for my consultation, and I actually tried not to cry while I was in the waiting room. I know how bad I get, and I didn't want to get thrown out before I was even really let in.

They called my name, they took me in and asked me how I'm doing. I was honest, I was just shaking all over and clutching my stuffed animal, and I told them that I wasn't doing great. When the oral surgeon came in, he talked to me and wanted to look in my mouth and that's when I started crying. But I was able to calm myself after a minute and I let him look. But it only got worse from there.

I asked them if they do general anesthesia and they said yes, but they only do it through an IV. They don't have the inhaled kind. That's when I started to lose it. I started panicking and telling them I can't. I just can't deal with needles. The surgeon, I got the feeling that he didn't want to deal with me at this point. He walked out and left his assistant with me, and she kept talking to me and trying to calm me down.

She kept talking to me for several minutes. She told me that they have a pill I can take the night before to help calm me down, and then another pill I can take an hour before the surgery to supposedly calm me down so I can deal with needles and let them do the procedure. But I didn't want to do it that way. I really can't. I don't want to deal with needles. And so she kept at it, and that was just making me more upset and scared. She said their sedatives always work. She said in all the years she's been doing this, no matter how old or young their patients are, man, woman, child or adult, they get through it with the sedatives and everything is fine. Keep that in mind as I continue.

And at that point I just completely lost it. I started crying hysterically, I seized up and then I couldn't breathe. I couldn't even speak or hardly even move. The assistant kept telling me to breathe, take some deep breaths, but I couldn't. It's like I have these moments where I'm so overwhelmed by fright that it's like these convulsive movements, either making it so I hyperventilate or seize up and can't breathe. Which is why I come close to passing out when this happens.

When I was finally able to make some noise and take a breath, it just came out as this horrible, wretched sobbing, wailing, one deep breath then screaming all the air out of my lungs, seizing up and can't breathe again. I don't know how I didn't faint. But I can't really control it. How can I take deep breaths to calm myself when I'm all seized up and can't draw air into my lungs?

The assistant had enough, I guess. She knew it wasn't any use so she left and told the surgeon what was happening. She then came back and said they couldn't do anything with me and that I had to go somewhere else. She said their sedatives wouldn't be enough, that the surgeon didn't think they were strong enough to calm me down for the procedure. And yet she said they've always worked on everyone else. But apparently no, not for me. I had to leave.

So that's where I'm at right now. They were in such a hurry to get me out of the building they didn't even let me finish setting things up for the return trip. See, I have free transportation to medical and dental appointments through my insurance. I have to call the driver first and let him know that I'm ready to be picked up, then I have to call transportation and activate the return trip. The assistant called the driver for me, found out he was ready and parked outside, then basically just hurried me out the door and that was it.

My driver was shocked that they booted me out and didn't even let me finish setting up my transportation. He was nice, though. And finished making the necessary calls so I could go home.

Just another lovely outing, though I really don't know why I would expect anything else at this point.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,269
Hi Catie, I'm really sorry that your visit didn't go well and that you didn't feel heard by the oral surgeon. It must have been quite devastating when he just walked out on you - after working up so much courage to see him in the first place 😥.

Looking for someone who is more empathetic is certainly an excellent idea. I'm not sure though if there are many places who would offer inhalation induction for GA nowadays (IV induction is a lot safer and quicker, so there may also be issues with professional liability insurance? just speculating here). Maybe the best way forward would be to enlist the help of a psychologist or mental health counsellor who can provide both emotional support and practical help.

You said that you're reluctant to seek the help of a psychologist or mental health counsellor in case this would lead to your health complaints/heart problems not being taken seriously and blamed on anxiety. I really don't think that would be an issue. Confidentiality is central to the therapeutic relationship. Unless there was a safeguarding issue (a risk of serious harm to yourself or others), the general principle is that therapists are not allowed to tell tales on their clients. So there's no reason why they would discuss this issue with a doctor or dentist.

:grouphug:
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2020
Messages
39
Location
Northern California
It's sad to say this, and I am very, very sorry, but I don't think I can get professional help with a mental health counselor with regards to my fear of needles. Just thinking about it right now is making me feel afraid, my heart is pounding and I'm honestly scared of the thought.

I think about the outcome if I did such a thing. What if it worked and I was able to tolerate needles? That end right there, the conclusion, being around needles, it scares me so bad that I can't do it. I'm not ready to. Maybe then, on the other side of things, I would be alright with it in the future. But right now I can't tolerate the thought of being around needles enough to seek help. It makes me too anxious and afraid. My hands are starting to shake right now as I'm typing this.

It's sad to say this too, but my phobia is so extreme that I'm one of those people who will avoid needles even though it is damaging to my health. Years ago I pretty much accepted that I will probably die young in my forties due to some health problem I can't get treatment for. Years ago I told my mother don't ever call 911 or take me to the emergency room if it looks like I'm having a heart attack or some other medical emergency. I told her I was going to sign the do not resuscitate papers so I could hopefully avoid needles and just die peacefully if I had a medical emergency. And for almost a decade I was bedridden and sick due to my heart problems because I couldn't let them run blood tests to see what was wrong. I just kept going from doctor to doctor until I found one who suggested a heart virus was the cause and gave me medicine. Then, about a month later, she said she would take me off the medicine if I didn't have blood tests to check for potential side effects. So I had to order my medication online to avoid needles once again.

I've been calling around and looking for places that will do inhalation anesthesia. A friend of mine told me that her granddaughter had her wisdom teeth removed at a place where they used inhaled general anesthesia. She gave me the name of the place and I called them, and they said they used to do that but they don't have anyone who will do it right now due to covid 19.

I tried calling another place and they said, "We'll probably give you the inhaled general anesthesia anyway, but it depends on how bad it is, like if the tooth is impacted or deep down in there." The earliest they can see me is in January, so I booked an appointment with them anyway while still looking for someone else that can do it sooner. I figured long about now I might need that as a backup in case anything goes wrong, so for now I'm keeping that appointment just in case.

Then I called a third place and they said they will give me inhaled general anesthesia but only if I have a referral from a dentist with notes explaining why it is necessary, and they take my insurance too, so that's a plus.

I never thought I would say this, but I really like the dentist that I have, the one I saw back in November when all of this began. He is so friendly and nice, and he's very sympathetic, caring and compassionate and he understands my needs. I talked to him about all of this, and he said he will give me the referral, but that he also wants to speak with the oral surgeon on Monday, that way he can get information about how and why I can't do anesthesia with needles to build a case in my favor and include it is his notes so hopefully I can get the inhaled anesthesia that I need. He told me, "Your anxiety needs special care." And I really feel like he's trying his best to help me.

That's where I'm at right now. It's possible that I may have an appointment on the 18th if they get this referral in soon enough and the appointment hasn't been booked by someone else. If that works out, and I go there and they tell me they'll give me the inhaled general anesthesia, then I'll cancel my appointment in January with the other place and just have it done, I guess.

I still don't want to do it, though. I realize that I have a fear of surgery as well, though it might be because I've never had surgery before. It all sounds so awful, the operation, the recovery, everything. I imagine being in such pain afterwards that I won't be able to sleep at night, just lying awake on the couch all night, feeling absolutely miserable.

I have problems with pain medication due to my heart problems. Even the simple stuff like Tylenol and Aleve makes my chest tight and I have trouble breathing after I take it. I'm hesitant to take anything with codeine in it, because people in my family are sensitive to medication. We have to have children's dosages of anything we take, and when my mom took codeine she ended up high as a kite from a low dosage of it, so that's not good. Definitely don't want stronger stuff because I don't want to run the risk of getting addicted to it. So I still have a lot of stuff to work out, I guess. It's all very stressful and I just wish I wasn't in this position in the first place.
 
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