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

Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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I've had it. I'm done, I'm tired of being lied to and for the time being I am just absolutely through with this bull****.

So I saw this place that mentioned general anesthesia separate from IV sedation on their website. I finally got a call back from them, and no, they only do IV anesthesia in their office. So I called another place, all of this was on Friday by the way, and finally they told me yes, they have both IV anesthesia and inhaled general anesthesia through a mask. And they take my insurance too.

They said they could squeeze me in for a consultation on January 14th, and nothing was ever said about needing a referral. They said call back on Monday to check and make sure I can get the January appointment. So I call back today and they say no, there was never any January appointment. They said I need a referral and that they can't see me until March. Meanwhile my health continues to go downhill, these people continue to lie to me, tell me one thing and then turn around and tell me something else, and after all that I don't even know if I trust them to have the inhaled general anesthetic through a mask. I don't know whether I'm coming or going with these places anymore and I have had it. I've reached my limit and I can't take anymore. I'm done.

And, to make matters worse, I found out that even if you do get the inhaled general anesthetic through a mask, they still want to start an IV in you BEFORE THEY USE THE MASK TO MAKE YOU UNCONSCIOUS. If this is the case, then there's just no way I can ever have this done. I did some research, and supposedly they can start an IV after they've put the mask on to make unconscious, but they prefer not to. So even if I found the right place that does everything I need, I would still have to talk them into using the mask first. Don't know if I could succeed in that. And to be honest I don't want needles in any way shape or form. I'm not even sure I could tolerate it even knowing that I'd be unconscious when it happens. And If I wake up and find an IV in my arm, I will panic and try to pull it out. There's just no way I can deal with that. None whatsoever.

So for now I am just done. I don't even care anymore. I'm not going to make anymore phone calls, not today anyway. My wisdom teeth can just sit there and rot for all of eternity at this point. Maybe I'll get a referral and try to schedule an appointment for this place in March. Maybe, maybe not. I don't feel that I can trust any of them. So for now I'm just done. I've reached my limit and I'm done.

Honestly, whatever happened to the good ole days when they'd just pour some chloroform on a rag and be done with it? They never needed needles or fancy equipment then. I'd gladly do it that way and take the risks if only it was still available. In fact maybe that's what I need is some backwoods dentist with a bottle of chloroform, a rag, a pair of pliers and a pocket knife. Still sounds better than any of the s*** they've been offering me.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Really sorry to hear that they raised your hopes, only to let you down 😢

I had exactly the same question as yourself re. why you can't just use inhalational induction for GA. I ended up asking an anaesthetist, and this was basically the answer (if I understood it correctly): when you use inhalational induction, the person becomes more and more anaesthetised as they breathe in the gases. When this happens, you need a breathing tube just at the right moment - before they're unconscious (because they won't be able to breathe by themselves without a ventilator once they're anaesthetised), but while they're so out of it that they won't notice the breathing tube being inserted (presumably because it's very unpleasant). The problem is that in some people, it might turn out impossible to insert the breathing tube. So it's inherently very dangerous, and I doubt that malpractice insurance would cover an anaesthetist's choice to go against the standard of practice. I suppose they could also end up in prison if it all ended in tears.

IV induction avoids this danger completely. So the usual way forward with a needle phobia these days would be to give oral sedation and/or nitrous oxide and/or hypnosis, followed by IV induction.

Sorry, this is probably not what you wanted to hear 😥 - just trying to shed some light on why they're refusing to it that way.
 
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MountainMama

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I am so sorry to hear about your experience! I hope you can eventually find a place to help you find a way forward that you can handle.
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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You know it's funny, the way things work nowadays. My best friend, the one I've mentioned before whose been supporting me online through all of this... She told me she's had inhaled general anesthesia at least five times, and never once have they used needles BEFORE she was unconscious. That may be due to the fact that she was very young at the time, but she wasn't so young the last time, and she said to the best of her knowledge there were no needles beforehand.

I was also told by another close friend of mine that her granddaughter experienced the same thing, and that she had her wisdom teeth removed with the mask first, no needles beforehand. So it gives me hope that someone out there will do the same for me. It's not as though they've told me already that they won't, because I've never discussed this with any of them yet.

I've heard that people with extreme needle phobia can sometimes die because they wait too long to get treatment. I have been very sick lately, and if that is what happens to me then so be it. I've already been told that their sedatives wouldn't be strong enough. I can't calm down enough to take them anyway, my panic attacks won't let me. Though to be honest, I probably couldn't force myself to do it even if they agreed to wait until I was unconscious. The thought is just too horrifying and I don't think I can get past it.

But there has been a surprise change since my last post. I got a phone call from the place where they were offering a January 14th appointment. The man I spoke with before, who first told me about squeezing me in on that day, surprised me by saying yes, that time slot is still available. He said just bring in your referral when you show up and that's all you need. Because apparently only this guy is willing to squeeze me in. The woman I talked to on Monday was not, so I guess I got lucky when I got this gentleman the first time I called.

So I already got my dentist to write a referral. I'll go pick it up shortly and hope for the best. I'll discuss the possibility of mask induction with them at the consultation. I swear, if I have to get a note from my doctor saying this is medically necessary because the patient can't do the procedure any other way, then I will. My doctor has always been good about writing up things like that that I want. I've heard that they can do it in special cases sometimes, and I probably fall into that category, so that's what I have to try for. It's not like anyone has told me no yet. And if they do it for other people I know, then by rights they should be able to do it for me as well.

If this doesn't work, then I might just quit altogether and deal with the consequences of being sick. Because honestly there isn't much left at this point. I don't have the strength, I'm tired of the struggle, I'm tired of the anxiety and living in fear and I am exhausted. Maybe someone out there can do it the way I need them to, but who knows if I'll ever find them in time?
 
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MountainMama

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I hope this doctor works out for you and they can do it. I had my impacted wisdom teeth out at 18, and all I had anesthesia through a mask that put me out. I remember the surgeon asking me to count backwards and then I was out. I am sure they did an IV but by the time I woke up it was gone so I never knew it.
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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I don't know if I can do that... Even if it's gone by the time I wake up and I'm unconscious when it happens. I'm not really comfortable with that. I don't think my anxiety will let me, it'll probably make me panic as usual. All of it is just so horribly frightening and I worry that they'll only do it that way for teenagers and children, not for adults, because some of the places I've called told me that they won't even use general anesthesia unless the patient is a child. So who knows? They may refuse simple mask induction because I'm an adult.

I don't want to do any of this. And I might just be making things harder for myself by setting up treatment that requires being in a hospital... Just being in a hospital is enough to trigger my anxiety. A couple days ago I had a panic attack and ran from the emergency room in tears after my friend brought me in. I managed a couple steps before just collapsing on the ground and screaming. I couldn't go in there. She had to take me home. So this might be making a very big mistake to be honest.

I'm not at a level where I can even begin to cope with this or know how to maintain my anxiety. You make it sound so simple, and it probably is. But for me the struggle is overwhelming.

I do apologize. I feel like a broken record, going on and on about the same thing all the time. I ask myself if it would really be so bad to just back out now before it's too late. Like a feeling of running for my life in absolute terror...

It just makes me feel so sad and hopeless, terrified and alone, like I'll never be brave enough to go through with this and I don't know what to do.
 
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MountainMama

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I don't know if I can do that... Even if it's gone by the time I wake up and I'm unconscious when it happens. I'm not really comfortable with that. I don't think my anxiety will let me, it'll probably make me panic as usual. All of it is just so horribly frightening and I worry that they'll only do it that way for teenagers and children, not for adults, because some of the places I've called told me that they won't even use general anesthesia unless the patient is a child. So who knows? They may refuse simple mask induction because I'm an adult.

I don't want to do any of this. And I might just be making things harder for myself by setting up treatment that requires being in a hospital... Just being in a hospital is enough to trigger my anxiety. A couple days ago I had a panic attack and ran from the emergency room in tears after my friend brought me in. I managed a couple steps before just collapsing on the ground and screaming. I couldn't go in there. She had to take me home. So this might be making a very big mistake to be honest.

I'm not at a level where I can even begin to cope with this or know how to maintain my anxiety. You make it sound so simple, and it probably is. But for me the struggle is overwhelming.

I do apologize. I feel like a broken record, going on and on about the same thing all the time. I ask myself if it would really be so bad to just back out now before it's too late. Like a feeling of running for my life in absolute terror...

It just makes me feel so sad and hopeless, terrified and alone, like I'll never be brave enough to go through with this and I don't know what to do.

I know anxiety is NOT simple. I have always been surprised at how much I build up a procedure in my head and it feels completely overwhelming and when it is over, I am like “that wasn’t as bad as I imagined”. Yet the anxiety can sometimes be much harder to get past to even get to that point. Don’t worry about feeling like you are saying the same thing over again. You have a legitimate phobia and that is nothing to be ashamed of. It just means you have to work harder to get people to understand what you need, unfortunately. My anxiety is the type where I shut down, not where I flee or have outbursts. It may be easier for others to handle but it also makes dentists/surgeon/doctors feel like everything is great when it isn’t. I can’t scream or run when I have a panic attack, and can’t verbalize when I am in pain. I had to have a signal with my previous dentist to let them know when I was overwhelmed. So don’t feel bad about your panic being external.
So you are not ready to deal with it yet. Maybe you go to the appointment and just let them talk and tell them upfront that you don’t think you are ready yet and ask them how they can help you get through the procedure. Could you write a list of exactly what you need or would that be too much?
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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Thank you for talking to me, for working with me and trying to figure something out. I want to say that first and add that I greatly appreciate you taking the time to do so.

I guess I can go to the appointment and tell them I don't feel like I'm ready. I've made it through three consultations already so I guess I can handle a fourth. Not thrilled with it, though. Not thrilled with being in a hospital setting. But I've survived and only panicked during one consultation, while also crying through two and nearly passing out at one. So two out of three were a mess. But one was sort of okay, I guess. The only problem is that I'm afraid they'll tell me to take sedatives and leave it at that. But I guess it doesn't hurt to just talk and ask. I like talking. Talking makes me feel better.

I can try to make a list of what I need. I made a list before, though I didn't get to discuss it very much because that was the appointment where I had a full blown panic attack and they tossed me out. It was mostly just questions about the procedure. I don't know why I didn't think to write it differently.

Please forgive my ignorance. Lack of sleep, being sick for nearly a month and too much stress has fried my brain so I don't think too clearly anymore. But I assume this would just be a list of what I need to have the procedure done, right? Should I add anything else? Like maybe something that makes me feel better?
 
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MountainMama

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Thank you for talking to me, for working with me and trying to figure something out. I want to say that first and add that I greatly appreciate you taking the time to do so.

I guess I can go to the appointment and tell them I don't feel like I'm ready. I've made it through three consultations already so I guess I can handle a fourth. Not thrilled with it, though. Not thrilled with being in a hospital setting. But I've survived and only panicked during one consultation, while also crying through two and nearly passing out at one. So two out of three were a mess. But one was sort of okay, I guess. The only problem is that I'm afraid they'll tell me to take sedatives and leave it at that. But I guess it doesn't hurt to just talk and ask. I like talking. Talking makes me feel better.

I can try to make a list of what I need. I made a list before, though I didn't get to discuss it very much because that was the appointment where I had a full blown panic attack and they tossed me out. It was mostly just questions about the procedure. I don't know why I didn't think to write it differently.

Please forgive my ignorance. Lack of sleep, being sick for nearly a month and too much stress has fried my brain so I don't think too clearly anymore. But I assume this would just be a list of what I need to have the procedure done, right? Should I add anything else? Like maybe something that makes me feel better?

I would put on the list everything you need to get through the appointment both physically and mentally, so they know and it isn’t a surprise later.
When I had to have a tooth out at my dentist (who doesn’t offer nitrous oxide), I was terrified. I made a list of the things I needed, such as a stop signal in case I panicked, and being allowed to hold on to something to keep me from wringing my hands. I also listed my fears and the dentist went over them with me. You may not want to have them go over that with you if you can’t talk about it without panicking but you can hand it to them and tell them that the things that trigger your anxiety are listed. Tell them you can’t talk about it but want them to be aware of. It gives you a little more control as well. I don’t know if that helps you but it definitely helps me.
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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I can give that a try. Honestly, it might be better for me to make a list in case I start crying and can't really get my words out. Or if I seize up with fright and can't breathe or speak, because that has happened before. Maybe it'll be easier because the less I have to talk about, the less I'll have to process and worry about.

To tell you the truth, I really wish I could bring a blanket and a stuffed animal with me if I actually go through with this and get the treatment that I need. Having a blanket makes me feel safer and more protected, hugging and holding my stuffie is comforting. But actually going into the hospital and having surgery is different from regular appointments, and I'm afraid of my blanket and stuffie getting lost or stolen while I'm out from the anesthesia.

It would be nice if it all went smoothly somehow... Just breathing in and going to sleep without needles, being allowed to have my blanket and toy when they put me out and not having to worry about losing them, waking up with no IV in my arm and my blanket and stuffie are still there to comfort me. It would still be scary as hell. With my anxiety it will never be that simple in my mind. But it would be nice if somehow I could make it work like that and not be so afraid of doing this.
 
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MountainMama

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I can give that a try. Honestly, it might be better for me to make a list in case I start crying and can't really get my words out. Or if I seize up with fright and can't breathe or speak, because that has happened before. Maybe it'll be easier because the less I have to talk about, the less I'll have to process and worry about.

To tell you the truth, I really wish I could bring a blanket and a stuffed animal with me if I actually go through with this and get the treatment that I need. Having a blanket makes me feel safer and more protected, hugging and holding my stuffie is comforting. But actually going into the hospital and having surgery is different from regular appointments, and I'm afraid of my blanket and stuffie getting lost or stolen while I'm out from the anesthesia.

It would be nice if it all went smoothly somehow... Just breathing in and going to sleep without needles, being allowed to have my blanket and toy when they put me out and not having to worry about losing them, waking up with no IV in my arm and my blanket and stuffie are still there to comfort me. It would still be scary as hell. With my anxiety it will never be that simple in my mind. But it would be nice if somehow I could make it work like that and not be so afraid of doing this.

It doesn’t hurt to ask to bring your blanket and a stuffed animal. I have been to two oral surgeons and both have given me a blanket to use during the procedure.
 
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MissM250

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If it helps, I asked and can take in both my weighted blanket and my stuffy. I bring them to every appointment, both with the oral surgeon and the dentist.
 
Catie McBain

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That does sound nice. Not sure if I'd be comfortable with a blanket they give me, though. It might not have that same comforting feel because it wouldn't be mine.

I have been bringing my plush Niffler with me to appointments, and it does make me feel better. I think I'd be embarrassed to bring a blanket. The stuffie I can hide in my oversized purse, but I don't know if I can easily hide a blanket in there. And the driver, and all those people in the waiting room seeing it. Very embarrassing.

I'm just afraid of waking up from the procedure and finding my blanket and toy are gone. My mother always warned me about nurses that steal things in the hospital. I don't even know if I'll be able to have the procedure done, because I can't if they try putting an IV in me while I'm still awake. Believe me, there aren't enough blankets and toys in the western hemisphere of the galaxy that'll fix that. But if I am able to have it done....then I definitely think I'll need a blanket. I just can't bring one of my favorites because it might get stolen.
 
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MountainMama

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That does sound nice. Not sure if I'd be comfortable with a blanket they give me, though. It might not have that same comforting feel because it wouldn't be mine.

I have been bringing my plush Niffler with me to appointments, and it does make me feel better. I think I'd be embarrassed to bring a blanket. The stuffie I can hide in my oversized purse, but I don't know if I can easily hide a blanket in there. And the driver, and all those people in the waiting room seeing it. Very embarrassing.

I'm just afraid of waking up from the procedure and finding my blanket and toy are gone. My mother always warned me about nurses that steal things in the hospital. I don't even know if I'll be able to have the procedure done, because I can't if they try putting an IV in me while I'm still awake. Believe me, there aren't enough blankets and toys in the western hemisphere of the galaxy that'll fix that. But if I am able to have it done....then I definitely think I'll need a blanket. I just can't bring one of my favorites because it might get stolen.

I can’t see why they would have an issue with a small stuffed animal. It is kind of like me wanting something to hold on to to keep my hands occupied when I have work done. It has never bothered any of the places I have been.
I have never heard of nurses stealing things! Both my sister-in-laws are nurses and I know they have talked about going out of their way to make a patient comfortable so that they stay calm. I would guess that if they know why you have it, the nurses would make sure it stays with you at all times.
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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So far the dentists I've seen haven't had a problem with the stuffed animal I bring along. The first one I went to said he thought it was cute. It's just the other people in the building, it's because of them that I hide it while I'm in the waiting room. Because I know what I must look like. Because I've been in similar situations when I was crying and overheard people making rude comments, snickering and saying things like jeez, what's wrong with her, or what's her problem. So if I'm crying in the waiting room and clutching a stuffed animal, eventually someone will probably make a rude comment.

Yes, in my family that's always been a thing, my mother warning me about things getting stolen if you're in a hospital. We've had it happen, we've also known people who've had their belongings taken while they were under anesthesia. That's why my mother always told me that if she's in the hospital, I'm to take her wedding ring so nobody steals it. My mother used to work in convalescent homes too, and it wasn't unusual for the workers - including one of my mother's former friends who eventually got fired for stealing on the job - to take things from the residents. So I consider it a risk to bring anything of value with me.
 
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Cinkat84

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Catie. I know exactly how you feel. Exactly. I too am on a similar boat. I am 36 and need 4 impacted wisdom teeth out. They are all in the bone and causing me significant pain. I they cannot erupt through the gums. I think this flare was cause by some work I did on a root canal.. which still has to get crowned by the way. I have never done any kind of surgery and to top off my dental phobia I also generalized anxiety and I have a condition called Emetophobia which is an extreme phobia of throwing up. Smack all this together and then you gotta extract impacted wisdom teeth had sent me into a complete panic. I’ve lost 10 pounds from not being able to eat. I have to be sedated each night just to stop myself from doing something regrettable. All this and I haven’t even seen a surgeon. I know how hard this burden must be for you. I can only hope by the grace of god that the clouds part ways at some point in your journey
 
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Jay45169

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I know anxiety is NOT simple. I have always been surprised at how much I build up a procedure in my head and it feels completely overwhelming and when it is over, I am like “that wasn’t as bad as I imagined”. Yet the anxiety can sometimes be much harder to get past to even get to that point. Don’t worry about feeling like you are saying the same thing over again. You have a legitimate phobia and that is nothing to be ashamed of. It just means you have to work harder to get people to understand what you need, unfortunately. My anxiety is the type where I shut down, not where I flee or have outbursts. It may be easier for others to handle but it also makes dentists/surgeon/doctors feel like everything is great when it isn’t. I can’t scream or run when I have a panic attack, and can’t verbalize when I am in pain. I had to have a signal with my previous dentist to let them know when I was overwhelmed. So don’t feel bad about your panic being external.
So you are not ready to deal with it yet. Maybe you go to the appointment and just let them talk and tell them upfront that you don’t think you are ready yet and ask them how they can help you get through the procedure. Could you write a list of exactly what you need or would that be too much?
Iam the same with my anxiety.. I just don't really talk don't sleep don't eat ... really overthink ..hadn't been to the dentist in 30 years until December ..I needed to because my teeth are in a bad state and I was sick of the constant pain ...need alot of work , crowns , bridges , a filling and root canal 🤦 oh and I go on Wednesday to get 2 out and a filling 🤦 the anxiety has started now
Had 1 wisdom tooth out on the 16th December , I was in such anxiety over it ... But I was in and out inside 15 minutes couldn't believe it & never felt a thing ... Don't think I'll ever change about the overthinking and anxiety tbh , I just have to push through it and trust my dentist
 
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Cinkat84

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Was your wisdom tooth impacted when your had it out?
 
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Jay45169

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Was your wisdom tooth impacted when your had it out?
Don't think so tbh , tho was at a vbad angle & had a massive cavity , it was actually black the crown broke when he was taking it out ...... Still have a bit of a hole where it was extracted and some dull pain , not serious but just annoying after nearly 4 weeks
 
Catie McBain

Catie McBain

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Thank you, both of you, for your posts. I swear the only place I'm able to find someone who understands is here on this forum. It makes me feel better about my own fears and anxiety. I mean obviously I'm not the only person who has ever felt this way. But unless you have someone to talk to who is experiencing the same thing, you start to feel very much alone.

I'll be honest and say that long about now I've pretty much decided that I'm not going through with this. I can't, I don't want to and I'm not ready for this. I'll still go to the consultation this week, just so I have that in reserve in case I change my mind. But I've reached my limit and I'm not doing this anymore. I'm done.

For the past week or so I've been experimenting with home remedies such as garlic, oil pulling, baking soda and salt water rinses and clove tea. I've managed to eliminate 95% of my pain this way. Any pain I feel now is minimal and doesn't last long, if I feel anything at all. I was able to cure a sinus infection with garlic a couple years ago, so if I keep trying I can hopefully cure the infection in my wisdom teeth.

I mean think about it. Why am I considering having them taken out? Because I'm in pain and they are infected. So if there is no pain or infection, then there is no reason to have them removed. Or at least that's the way I look at it.

The doctors basically told me that they can't give me anymore antibiotics anyway. They told me that last week, saying that I've had too many and they're worried about dangerous side effects if I keep taking them. They said the only way I can have more is if I go to the emergency room and have a CT scan to see if there's an abscess in there. And then they'll give me intravenous antibiotics, but the doctor added, "I don't know that they won't give you pills."

All of this just makes me more determined to do things on my own. Because that's how it is now. I'm pretty much on my own at this point. I can't have intravenous antibiotics, there's no guarantee that they'll give me pills, and I don't even know if my insurance will cover the cost of having a CT scan. So I'm done. I'm done with all of them.

And the doctor that I saw, he was trying to schedule an appointment with my dentist to have my wisdom teeth removed! He told me he would check to see how soon they could get me in for the procedure then immediately left the room. He came back and said they can see me on the 18th, and I'm like no, that is not happening. I explained about my anxiety and panic attacks, and all he did was tell me, over and over, that I have options.

I said no, I don't have options. I was specifically told by an oral surgeon during my second consultation that I need inhaled general anesthetic due to the fact that they can't calm me down for the procedure, because their strongest sedatives aren't enough and they can't even get anywhere near me because I go hysterical. At that point the doctor didn't seem to have anything more to say. He just kind of seemed at a loss for words, handed me a slip of paper and shoved me out the door.

So, as of right now I'm not planning on having the surgery. I'll go to the consultation, then it'll take four to six weeks for my insurance to approve the procedure. At that point, if I'm not near death from chronic infections, then I think I'll just tell them sorry, I've changed my mind, or that I'll have to reschedule or something when they give me an appointment date. Even if I am seriously sick at that point, I still don't think I'll be able to do it.

I have never been so terrified of something in my entire life. I honestly think that the only way I'll be able to do this is if I'm half unconscious on the day of my appointment and someone drags me there against my will and I'm too sick to fight them off.
 
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