*This is dedicated to the hygienist and Dr. Taito, DDS who were worried that I might use this experience in one of my “bits.” I am.
First, some exposition: For over a month I’ve had a wicked pain on the left side of my head. Various doctors have prescribed antibiotics and pain killers to temporary results, but the pain always returned. Then I thought the source of the pain might be an un-erupted wisdom tooth that, by laying low, avoided the fate of the other three which, after they were pulled, I turned into buttons for a rather Gothic cardigan.
That suspicion took me to my wife’s dentist. In a matter of moments he diagnosed the pain that had plagued me for weeks. “Well, I don’t think it’s the wisdom tooth,” he said, “I think the problem is that you have an enormous cavity in that tooth right there.” He pointed to the X-ray and a convex area of black among my mouth’s ghostly white, picket fence. It was tooth #19; the “Robin Yount Tooth.” He knelt down beside the chair. “I think this is going to require a root canal.”
My first cavity ever, and it required a root canal.
Now if you’re anything like me, just the term “root canal” is enough to make you break into a cold sweat. I know it does me, despite the fact that I’ve never had one. I considered asking if for another option like perhaps two .38 slugs to the back of the head, but the doctor assured me that he knew a great Endodontist (root canal specialist).
Two days later and one day before the most celebrated mouth holiday there is, I was to receive a root canal.
Here’s what it would look like if my mouth was a cartoon:
Anyway, on the day of the big procedure, I shaved my body smooth, and anointed it with goat’s milk and Lavender. Then, I kissed my wife goodbye and drove to Dr. Taito’s office singing I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith.
When I arrived at the office, I checked in at reception. I gave them my name and the staff became very furtive, like they were trying to get a look at me without looking like they were looking. I felt a bit like Harry Potter when he first arrived at Hogwarts.
Later, talking to the hygienist, I learned that some of the staff knew my name from WKLH and wondered if I was the same guy. This is actually pretty common when people put a face to a radio voice. (The strangest comment I ever received was: “I thought you would be blond.” How do you sound blond?)
When Dr. Taito came in, he informed me that he had done a Google search on me, and he seemed impressed by my prolific on-line presence. Now, you’d think this would be a good thing, being recognized and all, but I immediately thought: “Crap. Now I can’t be a wuss.”
I mean, who wants to later be a character in the doctor’s story:
“So get this. You know that Dylan guy from WKLH?”
“Total wimp. Cried like a kitten. We ran out of Novocaine; had to borrow more from another office.”
So every time they asked me if I was okay, I tried to wink like John Wayne…despite the fact that it would cause a single tear to roll into my ear.
Anyway, turns out that Dr. Taito and Advanced Dental Specialists are pretty incredible. His chair-side manner was a lot like I imagine Oprah’s Dr. Oz.
So I’m finally on the mend. For the first time in weeks, and on Thanksgiving Eve, I couldn’t be more thankful that I’m now pain-free. Of course that could be because of the meds. But I prefer to think that it’s because I’m spooning a unicorn in a chocolate hammock.
Did you know unicorns could purr? Me neither.