...No, no, no. That's not what happened. I will start out by saying it really wasn't that big a deal, so don't worry too much (and if you were worried, thank you!). In fact, while I was freaking out about it, I said a prayer then opened up my Bible to a scripture in Isaiah that...well, the first one that caught my eye was something like, "And you will go down to hell," so that wasn't so encouraging, but when I looked at the context, it was where it talks about how everyone will see Satan and be like, "This is the guy that caused so much terror?" So right there, I kind of knew I was blowing everything out of proportion, but anyway here's the story.
Some of you may remember that about a year ago, I had to get a root canal done, and the endodontist said something about how there was a chance I might lose the feeling in my lower jaw. I didn't, and I'm very grateful, but ever since then, I've been unreasonably afraid of what could happen to my teeth, and consequently to the nerves in my face, etc. I think I was just starting to get over it when I went to have my braces adjusted and the dental assistant said something about how the gums around my lower canines had receded and if I didn't step up my hygiene some seriously bad stuff was going to happen. (I still like to think that the low gumline around those teeth is caused by their former position and the way they've moved, but I'm afraid to ask anyone who knows for confirmation.)
My imagination ran wild with thoughts of the potential consequences of not keeping my teeth absolutely spotless, and I would have phases of being scared to eat anything for fear of making my mouth too dirty. As a result, Athena and I, who barely got enough to eat before all this, have been eating even less, which is great for losing fat around our hips (age and slow metabolism...), but not so great for, like, functioning properly. Needless to say, I've been waiting impatiently for my braces to come off, so I'd have some hope of being able to keep my teeth sufficiently cleaned, and in the meantime, I've been doing my best to clean them after every eating (which of course led to eating even less, to avoid the hassle).
On Tuesday, I went in for a cleaning and had a checkup with x-rays and stuff. And I had a cavity. It was nice that it wasn't some dire news about the gums around my canines, but it was still pretty upsetting, because I felt like I'd been doing the very best I could to keep my teeth clean, and if it wasn't working, there was no hope. Not only that, but this wasn't just any cavity. It was below the gumline, which meant they needed to call in a specialist to cut into my gums so they could put a crown on my teeth. So crown plus specialist means this is going to be doubly more expensive than just getting a filling. By the way, I forgot to mention that even when I did manage to convince myself that I was going to see the dentist regularly so they would be able to prevent anything too serious, my fear would come back in full force when I thought about how much we'd have to pay for it? We're still paying off the dental bills from last year, and it is rather tiresome. We want to use that money to go to Japan, darnit!
So the point is, having a cavity despite all my efforts, on top of having to get not just a filling but a crown and have a specialist come in all added up to a whole lot of despair. Hence the nervous breakdown.
Fortunately(?), the specialist happened to be scheduled to come in the next day. Of course, that added to my apprehension on Tuesday, because I had the anticipation of deciding whether or not to have the procedure done. On the bright side, I did realize that I had been neglecting to properly brush the area where the cavity was, so I could see something that I could actually do to prevent further damage.
Anyway, we went to the dentist so I could have a consultation, and the specialist was very nice, and the first thing she said was, "It's a very minor procedure and should only take about half an hour." For some reason, I was sold. I think part of it is that I feel like with regular dentists, it seems like the smallest cavity has them get Very Serious, and they act like if you don't do anything about it, there will be Very Serious consequences. On Tuesday, I kept hearing the phrase, "You could lose the tooth." And the way they said it made it sound very scary, but when you think about it, losing teeth is not really the worst thing that could happen. I mean, even losing a finger would be way worse. But then the specialist comes along and her attitude was like it was no big deal. So then I wasn't quite so scared anymore, and since it wasn't going to take much time, I figured why not just get it over with.
Of course, it took longer than half an hour, because the general practitioner (who was actually a different dentist than I'd seen the day before, and was also somehow more comforting) had to take the braces band off the tooth and prep it for the crown, and there was a lot of waiting for things.
But it didn't take too too long, and then we went shopping at Target while we waited for my mouth to stop being numb, because we also wanted to get some Joe's Italian Ice. And all of that turned out to be quite lovely as well, except that my mouth was still pretty numb when we got the ice. So it was a pretty good day overall, and the best part is that the total cost of getting this cavity fixed is three hundred dollars less than they first told me. And then Pizza Hut started having 50% off today, so we're going to get plenty to eat tonight.
I should also say that we are really enjoying this volume of Nekogahara, but boy howdy is it giving us trouble. So I didn't want it to sound like we don't like the series; I was really only complaining about difficulty level at the beginning of this post.
Today I'm thankful for dentists who help me not feel like it's the end of the world when there's a cavity, 50% off at Pizza Hut, peachy kiwi Italian ice, getting to watch more new anime last night, and procedures costing a little less than I thought.