It wasn't my fault.
11/18/2010 - Michele Moore
I squirmed in the dentist's chair as I began to feel the pain. I repeatedly jumped and twitched as if electrocuted when anything, even puffs of air, came in contact with the stump that was once my tooth. I had had a large silver filling from years ago, and unfortunately the filling had cracked and was allowing decay to get into the tooth, and it needed a crown. Previous crowns had covered teeth in which root canals had been performed first. Not so this time. My root and its nerve were soundly in place and very much alive.
The bottom half of my face was fully numb, yet I could feel this pain. It baffled the doctor and his staff. What was intended to be a 30-60 minute session lasted 2 hours, part of which was spent with tears streaming down my cheeks while 2 hands worked inside my mouth. I was embarrassed that I cried. I was apologetic for the pain I experienced. I said I was sorry for being a difficult patient. No amount of placating by the medical folks could make me feel less "responsible" for what I had experienced.
This happened on Tuesday. Today is Thursday, and it wasn't until this morning that I really wondered why I felt I had to apologize for something over which I had no control. It wasn't my fault that the anesthesia I was given did not deaden all sensation; I certainly wish that it had. I was not at fault for any of what happened. So why did I feel the need to grovel? Perhaps I thought this nice dentist (and he is a really nice man who has been my dentist for years) and his pleasant assistants would judge me critically because mine was not an easy case.
I don't know why I feel the need to write about this, except to say that I should not have had a single sensation of guilt about any of this. The dentist was doing his job, for which I and my insurance pay handsomely. His assistants were doing their jobs, for which he pays them quite well. The lab technician who will make my crown will also be duly compensated. And I was responding to physical pain over which I had no control nor choice. I want to learn to feel authentic emotions proportionate to my experiences, NOT guilt and angst over everything for no good reason.
|3 Comments From Other Members
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||Anne Mudd from Wheat Ridge CO wrote:
I think it takes a little time for reason to set in, after the fact is too late though. I'm with you; I'd love to overcome guilt and angust for no good reason, except, I think it's a process we go through as our brain goes from bazaar to rational. Well, that's my excuse anyway. I cried like a baby, with my foot massage, and just kept apologizing. I was told it was a normal reaction to the release of tension but that didn't stay my embarassment. Great topin Michele.
||Janet Glaser from Fremont MI wrote:
I think your reaction to pain is very natural. I am sure the apologies were made because you didn't know how to deal with the situation. Nobody in pain can be rational. I would be saying sorry too, but also very angry the doc couldn't stop it. You are human. Don't beat yourself up for being human.
|| from wrote:
As Janet says, don't beat yourself up. Also, remember your dentist and his assistants will be busy people and quite possibly won't even remember you cried. I'm sure they will totally understand as you won't be the only one who has been in such a situation.
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