So I did it. I finally got that root canal. Most importantly, I can now finally cross another thing off of my list. Doesn't it feel so good to cross something off a list? Say it with me now. So good.
As I mentioned earlier this week, root canals are life list material for me. I've spent so much of my life feeling terrible about how bad my teeth are, as though I'd done something wrong to have such horrible teeth. I didn't like how they looked (I have small teeth), and most importantly, I didn't like how my dentist looked at me when he told me that I had another cavity. It didn't matter how much I brushed my teeth, or how often I visited the dentist, I always had cavities. When I sit down for a minute and put my reality hat on, I realize that having cavities doesn't make me a bad person. But I haven't always felt that way. As a child I used to cry after visiting the dentist, filled with shame that I had to get more fillings.
Very little has changed as I've grown-up, except that my mum isn't the one scheduling my appointments anymore, which means I can put them off as long as possible. Why would I willingly go sit in the torture Chair of Shame? You say my teeth will only get worse and that it will cause me more pain and cost me more money? Speaking of money, growing into adulthood with very irregular dental insurance added a whole new dimension of shame I felt at the dentist. No longer was it enough to embarrass myself with bad teeth, but now I needed to go two thousand dollars into debt to do it! Nonsense, I say. I will respectfully decline the opportunity to feel shamed in a dentist chair yet again. And that nagging pain? It will be fine. Pass the Tylenol.
But eventually I realize that I'm being ridiculous, I scrape up my courage, and I get the work done. I am always glad when I do, and I always wonder why it took me so long. I have been warned about this root canal for about four years. Four years of dread, four years of intermittent pain, one week of excruciating pain, and I finally did it. I feel a tiny bit more grown-up now, in the good way.
By the way, it didn't hurt too much at all.