August 09, 2010
Set-Back Subsiding? An Update
It's ironic because I was just talking to my T about getting back to weekly therapy appointments so that we can work on the "Annual Fall Freak-out" issues. I was hoping--with a lot of work--that I'd get by relatively unscathed this year, starting when the kids go back to school. This dentist freak-out incident doesn't leave me feeling too confident about that anymore.
But, back to what happened at the dentist's office. The long and short of the matter is that this dentist started in on a procedure, but didn't warn me of what he was going to do. This was after getting up my nerve again to get into his office after about three years. We've been trying to figure out what was causing so much pain for me. I was feeling like a hypochondriac while we were trying to solve this dental mystery. I knew that I had cracks in my teeth (from clenching them) and I've been wearing a night guard for three years to help with that. But, I didn't know what was causing such extreme pain in this one location.
Well, come to find out, I have a deep crack in one of my teeth that goes completely across the entire tooth. We don't know for sure how deep it is. The dentist decided to fill this tooth, even though this particular tooth has never had a cavity. Instead of telling me this, he just goes in and starts causing pain in my gums.
I was like, "Uh, hello?! What is it exactly that you are doing right now?" He basically laughs off my question. He didn't throw is head back with a belly laugh, but he kinda scoffed and said something like, "Oh, that couldn't possibly have hurt much!" I wanted to slap the uncaring bastard across the face! He added, "I was just giving you a local anesthetic so that this shot of Novocain I'm about to give you won't hurt as much."
I said, "Listen! Not only do I have extreme dental fear and childhood trauma, I also have dental trauma. I have PTSD and a dissociative disorder. If you tell me what you are going to do before you do it, that will help a lot."
I should be proud of myself that I was assertive like that (although I was pissed that it became necessary for me to repeat my trauma story for like the millionth time with this thoughtless person who forgets and doesn't care, when I told my story and made my requirements abundantly clear before I ever allowed these people to touch me three years ago!) But, you know what? It was too late. The next thing I knew I was in a dissociative stupor. It was like I had fallen down a deep, black hole and I couldn't crawl back out.
It was a miracle I got myself back home. My son noticed how tranced out I was and asked, "Wow, Mom! What did they give you at the dentist's office? Some heavy drugs or something?" I said, "No. I'm just extremely dissociated." Then, I just crawled into bed and vegged out.
I want to tell this jerkoid dentist that he owes me at least three days of my damn life back!
I don't know what I'm going to do now. He says I need to put a crown over that cracked tooth or I could have an abscess or have to have a root canal...or I don't know what else he was rambling on about in a very put-fear-into-the-patient's-soul, very poor bedside manner sort of way. By then, I was already too far gone dissociatively speaking. I was basically a zombie by that time. All I really remember is repeating in my head over and over, "Just get the hell out of here and then you're never coming back!"
The real pisser about this whole situation is that this is the second dentist I've had trouble with in the last six years and both of them were specifically recommended to me by people in the field as dentists who had special training for trauma survivors and folks with extreme dental fear. I'd like to know how the sadistic jerks who don't have the appropriate training act and treat their patients! No. Never mind. I don't want to know.
but i'm sorry you had to be.
maybe if you go to try to find another dentist, you can go through an interviewing process to find the right dentist for you. can you do that? ask to have an appt just to meet the dentist to talk with them before an actual appointment, then see if they are right for you? that way they will know upfront what's going on and what you need, and you will too be more assured of who you are dealing with, so won't be surprised, before you're laying there vulnerable in that chair.
is that an option?
sending love and safe hugs~~~
I don't know what its like to dissociate but I do know what its like to feel extreme fear in similar situations, and its so very painful and for me feels like it rips at my very being.
But it seems like you and I are alike in more ways than I had previously realized. We wont let that stuff define us! We will not be beaten by our past experiences. We find ways to get through.
I know it can be bitter sweet when people say you're doing great, but I have been reading and caring about you for years now,YEARS! Can you believe that? And you truly are doing great. You're growing, and taking back power every time you face these types of obstacles.
Sending you peaceful energy and lots of love my friend.
I'm wondering you said he was recommended by "people in the field"...so were these people actually patients of Dr. Clueless/Heartless???
If I were you, I would not see that jerk again. I would ask my friends who they see that is really nice and gentle...not necessarily a dentist who has studied trauma, but a dentist with a HEART. There are some out there.
Sorry again that you had that experience!
Jade: Thanks for that peaceful energy, love and hugs...and the pep talk! I appreciate your faith in me. It is amazing that we've been following each others' blogs as long as we have, huh? *hugs, deary*
Adam: Yes, I actually am starting to see this whole experience as a sort of barometer of my progress. I guess it can be a good thing, too.
Thanks for your comment.
Grace: I so appreciate your support on these last couple of posts. Thanks! And I'm glad you have a caring dentist. You deserve that.
Von: Things are improving now, thanks. And thanks for your support.
Blessings and (((((Marj)))))
This experience put you in high stress. I feel that you coped fairly well and this shows your progress, like Adam said.
Congrats in being such a WINNER
I have to go back four more times, and I'm not sure how I'm going to do that and keep working.
I'm really interested that others with PTSD also have these dentist issues. I really thought I was alone with this one.
Anyway, hope you are on the mend at this point, as I am. Seems like you do need a different dentist.
It sounds as if you handled the situation wonderfully. You inspire me!!!!
You need to find someone else, Marj. Really. Hugs.
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