Drilling, drowning, jaw dropping, agony! Yep that’s me in the
chair. My greatest dread turned out better than my worst nightmare because this time, instead of suffering in silence, I spoke up and, surprisingly, my torturers became my teammates. I salivate like crazy so I asked if I could hold a suction in my mouth while being worked on so I wouldn’t feel like I was drowning. The dental assistant acknowledged this is a problem and she would be suctioning my mouth throughout the procedure and, if that wasn’t enough, I could give her a wave of my hand and I could spit in the sink. Ok, not what my first plan was but it turned out she did a great job and I was fine that way. My second hardest thing about dental work is I have to practically unhinge my jaw and hold that position FOREVER! I have TMJ and that is so painful for my jaw. When I mentioned my jaw pain they produced a bite block I could rest my teeth on while the dentist got both hands in my mouth. Much better.
So often we get the idea that a complainer is a bad patient. As a nurse, however, I feel a patient that shares their difficulties and fears is allowing me to be a good nurse. I can’t meet needs until I know what they are. This turn at the dentist’s office I took my own advise and the outcome, though not wonderful, was much less agonizing. Lesson for the day: A word in season may save from a heap of pain!