December 7th, 2010

deer winter

Mind over Matter?...

I have a few phobias (ha), and one of them is visiting the dentist. In fact, the last time I had to visit the dentist (Feb of 2009), I had a major panic attack. I didn't sleep at all the night before my visit, and I was convinced I'd learn I had cancer or something (yes, sadly, this is true). I didn't -- that time, I simply had a crooked tooth which I was grinding during the night. That caused the pain. They told me to wear my night guard (duh).

Two weeks ago, when I first noticed the cavity in my tooth, I freaked out -- for a couple hours. Then I tried some Tolle thoughts. I reminded myself that 1) I wasn't at the dentist yet; 2) worry wouldn't change anything that happened once I got there (it would simply make the hours beforehand less pleasant); 3) I had experienced pain before and lived through it -- not only that, but this pain, tooth pain, might hurt badly for an hour or so, but migraines can last (for me) up to 48 hours, and I'd survived that.

Although I had to keep reminding myself of those things, it worked. I didn't have a panic attack. I was able to sleep. And when I got to the office yesterday, I was a little nervous, but nothing like I'd been during the previous visit. The dentist (who was my childhood dentist -- and yes, he is getting older) reassured me that they have new anesthetics these days, ones which do not wear off after ten minutes (which happened only four years ago, when I went to my husband's dentist for cavities). Not only that, my dentist is incredibly gentle. Yeah, there was tugging and the whine of a drill, but I felt no pain -- not even a hint of it.

So knowing that I managed to live my life without excess fear beforehand -- and then seeing that there was no pain -- I feel stronger today. Silly as it may sound, it was a good lesson for me. And hopefully, I can put it into practice again in February, when I have to return and get another (very tiny) cavity filled.

Oh, and for all you moms out there, these pregnancy cavities (years after being pregnant) are so much fun, aren't they? I'd never had anything resembling a cavity before...*shrugs* At least now I know that they can be handled without major trauma :)

Happy Tuesday!