Tag Archives: panic attack

Well that was hellish. (Claudia’s Dental Saga: Episode 6)

So more dental work today. Today was supposed to just be cavities – not a root canal – so I figured it would be an easier time than the two previous dental visits, right?


I get there and I’m like “k cool let’s do this shit, I’m down with dental nonsense” and they give me two shots of novocaine – one to numb the upper left side of my mouth and one to numb the lower left side of my mouth. My dentist said she was going to do as many cavity fillings as she could in the time we had booked for my appointment, so I guess she wanted both the top and bottom ready (I have cavities in like every single one of my teeth because, as we’ve discussed, I’m an idiot).

So that all goes okay. HGTV is on the TV on the ceiling, so I’m just chilling and watching that while the meds kick in.

Then the dental assistant comes in and says she needs to put in a rubber dam. No big deal; I had that for both root canals.

So she goes to anchor it in my mouth (specifically, on my back upper tooth on the left side) and it HURT LIKE HELL.

Worse than anything involving the root canals ever hurt.
So I kinda freaked out and she took it out.

The dentist gave me another shot of novocaine for the top back row of teeth and they tried it again.

By this time I was really freaking out because I didn’t know why it was so painful this time (I felt absolutely nothing the previous two times), so I got another shot of novocaine and both the dentist and dental assistant left for a bit because they could see that I was starting to panic and wanted to give me a second to calm down.

So did I calm down?

By the time they came back I was in a full-blown panic attack. I was hyperventilating, my fingers were all tingly, I was super light-headed and I was just overall losing my mind.

Luckily, my dentist is awesome. She got a few of those heavy x-ray vests and put them on my chest to try to calm me down. She got the dental assistant to get some cold towels and put them behind my neck and head, then tilted the chair back to help with the light-headedness.

Eventually I stopped freaking out and said I was okay with them trying the whole rubber dam thing again. FIVE MORE SHOTS OF NOVOCAINE LATER (we’re up to nine shots total now), I was still feeling the pain of the clamp on that tooth when they tried to put it on. So they were finally like, “screw it, we’ll just work on the bottom teeth today” and they put the dam on the lower teeth (I didn’t feel it at all) and did four cavity fillings before my appointment time was finally up.

So yeah, super fun.

Oh, also? Calgary got put under a tornado watch as I was walking home and I got caught in a serious rain/hail storm that soaked through my shoes, socks, pants, shirt, and backpack.

Freaking party time.

Edit: I didn’t know how these rubber dam things were actually anchored in the mouth until I looked it up a few days later. It must have been that clamp thingy that hurt so badly.


There are few things quite like the sweet, sweet pain of losing all feeling in your toes, fingers, lips, and nose while you’re out walking for four hours in weather that’s way too cold. But hey, -15 feels tropical compared to that -30s nonsense we’ve had for the past few days, so I took leave of whatever modicum of common sense I have this morning and braved the cold for an outside walk.

It hurt. It hurt good.

(Except for those 10 minutes I spent shivering uncontrollably in the bathroom by the side of the path which subsequently and unexpectedly turned into a panic attack? That wasn’t very fun. But when I was done with that nonsense, the sun had come out, so the rest of the walk was fine.)

Edit: ha, my Garmin picked up the panic attack. Heart rate spike around 1 hour 40 minutes or so.