Thursday, 11 October 2012
Today has not been one of the best. I won't subject you with all the details other than to say I had a panic attack at the dentist surgery. I used to suffer with panic attacks quite a lot due to bad experiences at various dental surgeries. I have had six dental appointments in as many weeks recently. I have learnt to take deep breaths and try to relax during treatment but today it was as though all my 'training' unravelled and exposed my 'controlled self' as a fraud.
Even now I could cry if someone as much as poked me in the arm. I am feeling weak, stupid, vulnerable, highly strung and still traumatised even though my appointment was more than 5 hours ago. I have another appointment in 3 weeks time. I think I will be otherwise engaged.
I just want to add that I don't have an irrational fear of the dentist. My fear is based on a catalogue of negative experiences. I have had a lot of trauma at the dentists over the past decade. I have had part of an instrument break off into my gum, endless root canal treatments one of which took over 4 hours, a surgical procedure where the dentist couldn't stop my gum from bleeding, a large filling that was undertaken without numbing me up and hitting a nerve. I have had treatment in excess of 7 different surgeries and at a dental hospital. I can no longer find an NHS dentist as I am told that the treatments I require are not done on the NHS. I have attended a dental surgery every year since I was a child and yet I am constantly having to have work done.
My recent trip to the dentist was for a check up. I was told that I had gum disease and would require deep cleaning of the 4 quadrants at £30.00 a time. I was then told that I needed an extraction at £50.00. On Monday I was relieved that I had my last teeth cleaning appointment when the dentist informed me that I had a large hole in my filling that required fixing. Today I went to have this amalgam filling at £60.00 and she told me that as it was so large and full of decay she might get close to hitting a nerve. She then said that root canal treatment may be necessary. The last time I had this done it cost £500.00 albeit at a different surgery. As my tongue and mouth was numb and hearing what she was saying caused me to freak out thinking I was going to swallow my tongue as she encased my tooth with a collar to fill it.
To cut a very long story short, she gave me a temporary filling (where the collar was not required) and told me to return in 3 weeks time to have the temporary filling removed and a permanent one put in. She said this would cost a further £25.00. I hope this background information helps to explain my panic attack.