By the time I showed up to the endodontist’s office the next day, the entire left side of my face ached like I’d had a fight with a baseball bat. Relief. I needed it soon, I needed it to last. During the night I dreamed about Novocaine like he was my dealer, I his junkie. Give me all you’ve got. I’ll pay anything. I considered asking the hygienist if she could slip me something strong as she led me to the chair but I figured it best to remain quiet.
I adjusted and readjusted myself and tried to get comfortable while I waited. My eyes darted about the room–my legs were covered with goosebumps already. My last and only root canal wasn’t fun, but neither was it as bad as people warned (sort of like my colonoscopy that I WON’T be blogging about…ever). I’d simply never choose to do this all over again, and yet, here I was doing just that.
First off, I was offered some headphones and the option to pick any playlist on Pandora I wanted. I took my time deciding on my music choice as the doc was in the other room drilling on someone who was shackled and blindfolded. (Okay, maybe not.) But my playlist had to be good–there was a chance I’d never be able to listen to these songs depending on how the root canal went. I imagined that just as my favorite singer hit the high note, the dentist would crash a nerve–zzziiitttt–and I’d never enjoy Pavarotti again. It had to drone out the drill and inspire me to the core. 80s classic rock.
Soon the endodontist stopped in, introduced himself, and explained the procedure as he pointed to my x-rays. He was too young to have been doing this for long, and while I thought about asking for his credentials, I couldn’t speak. Realizing my pain level was near red, and seeing what could have been a tear in my left eye, he stopped.
He pulled a shot from the tray and without hesitation, stated the mantra they all learn in dental school. “This is gonna pinch. Here we go and one, two…”
Just give me the freakin’ shot already, I thought, but all that came out was, “Ahhhhhhhhh.” Y’all, I would have resorted to drastic measures if needed, but the relief was instantaneous. (Shout out to whoever invented this medication.)
As soon as I was no longer prone to violent outbursts, I asked why and how this happened. I mean, how does a root canal just fail? He said the x-ray showed a hairline crack in my molar and over time bacteria seeped in and became infected. No worries though, he could fix me.
Wait. Did you say a crack?
Oh, sweet Jesus, this was all my fault–I’d exacerbated the crack with my obsession to those hard candies, the infamous everlasting Gobstoppers, THAT I LOVE. Sweet round candies I roll around my mouth until they’re soft then chomp*chomp*chomp. Had I known a crack was growing I would’ve given my tooth some attention sooner. But the crack was small. Lurking. Hiding. Doing damage without me knowing. How was I supposed to take care of something I didn’t know existed?
The endodontist left and promised he’d be back soon but I didn’t care. If he stayed away long enough, I could catch more zzzzzz’s than I had in the last four days. Just then the dental assistant put something in my mouth that felt like my jaw was being propped open by a large cardboard box but it didn’t matter–I couldn’t feel a thing! I cranked the music up as Van Halen and Phil Collins serenaded me while I looked out the window on this beautiful spring day in the sunny state of Idaho.
In another 20 minutes, Dr. Wonderful returned and got to work. Three more shots and the entire left side of my body was asleep. Then the drills. Zzzzzzzzing, zzzzzzzzing, schschschschlurrrrr, schschschschlurrrrr, faintly in my ear. I did my best to focus on the music instead of whether or not he was about to hit a nerve. When you breathe I want to be the air for you. I’ll be there for you, I’d live and I’d die for you… Thank you, Bon Jovi.
At one point it felt like the endodontist was planting a row of carrots and digging them up with a jack hammer. Push, pull, scrape scrape scrape. Suck out the spit, suck out the spit, grind grind grind–yet no pain. Pressure, yes, but whatever else he was doing in that tiny little cavity didn’t effect me. I almost drifted to sleep when Open Arms came on, totally and fully relaxed.
In about an hour he was done. Just like that, after endless days and hours of excruciating pain, he smiled and said, “How do you feel?”
“I don’t really know, I can’t feel anything. Ya sure you got it all?”
“Trust me. I got it. You’re gonna feel better than you have in a long time. Maybe not tonight, but in a couple days, you’ll feel like a different person.”
I hopped out of the chair, got into my car, and painlessly headed home (after a quick stop at CFA of course).
At last I’d found my remedy!
In the end, and if I was honest with you, I’d known something was off with the tooth for years. How? ‘Cause I felt something every now and then–a pain, a sensation–where there was supposed to be no feeling whatsoever. I could’ve popped pills for the next six months in hopes it would heal on its own. Anything to put off dealing with the infection, the literal root of the issue. Why? Because I know first hand that infection is ugly, (physically, mentally, spiritually) hurts like hell, and requires action on my part. OUCH.
We’re living in a time when pain is all around. Do you hear it? The earth, all creation, every race and nation groaning as in childbirth. So desperate for relief, we look to ourselves for answers, politicians for a plan, social media for esteem, “good vibes from the universe” for sustenance, and to doctors for a cure.
Here’s the good news. There’s one Cure. One Way. One Remedy. And He has exactly what you need.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”
remedy [ rem-i-dee ]
noun, plural rem·e·dies.
something that cures or relieves a disease or bodily disorder; a healing medicine, application, or treatment. something that corrects or removes an evil of any kind.