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Going to the Dentist: My Nitrous Nightmare

nitrous nightmare

Let me just start this out by saying, that I’ve always had good luck with my teeth. Experiencing a nitrous nightmare could not have come as more of a shock to me. All through out my childhood, I never dreaded the dentist because they never did anything bad! It was always just cleanings and free toothbrushes. When my canker sores were really bad, I just straight up wouldn’t go… so my dental experiences have always been fairly pleasant. Until now.

There’s not a lot of specific details that I remember from my time in the hospital, being pretty drugged up and whatnot. I do, however, remember when they were telling me what I can expect from my chemotherapy treatments. Fatigue, lowered immune system, hair loss, and teeth issues. I’m sure there was more… but that’s what I remember. They flat out told me that chemotherapy is terrible for your teeth and gums, and that more than likely – I would face problems with it down the road. Well it’s been 7 years since I finished chemo, so I really thought I was in the clear. I mean, I don’t even want to think about all the nights… or mornings for that matter, that I was too sick to get up and brush my teeth. In fact, I would dare say that during my entire time in the hospital, the thought probably didn’t even cross my mind. There was one day, I was feeling a little better and I got up to brush… I can remember thinking… hmm, it seems like I haven’t done this in a while. I look forward to the dentist appointment when I get outta here. Of course, there were so many days I wondered if I’d EVER get out of there, that I didn’t really give it a second thought.

Well I did get out, and went to the dentist as soon as I had my wits about me. And guess what? No cavities. Not even one! I mean… that’s pretty freakin’ lucky, right? Yeah, it was. Until now.

I’ve had some sensitivity in my teeth for some time now, and I’ve brushed it aside for probably way too long. Remembering what the doctors told me, I figured – well they did tell me I would have issues, so that’s probably what this is. Ignored it some more. I haven’t been able to eat cereal since my chemo treatments 7 years ago, and those of you who know me… know how tragic that is.

So I called in and scheduled a cleaning and a check up. Right when I sat down, I told the her, “I think it’s getting pretty bad up there. I probably should have called sooner.” So she starts the examination. I was right. Cavities. Lots of cavities. She seemed so surprised. Then I told her I had gone through chemotherapy treatments. Her look of surprised turned into a knowing sigh. I felt so defeated. Chemo rears its ugly head again… “Ooohhh, yeah – we see this a lot. Are you okay now?” I smiled as I remembered how lucky I am to be in remission, and I acknowledged that this is a small price to pay to be alive. “Yep, 7 years in remission.”

After my cleaning, we scheduled my upcoming appointments to take care of my cavities.

The Nitrous Nightmare

Yesterday, was one of those days. I had already been twice, so I was feeling like a pro. We walked in and got everything ready to go. There I was with headphones on, and breathing deep so the nitrous could take affect. I was lost somewhere in dreamy land, enjoying my nitrous, when I could feel my body heaving… like I was going to throw up. Have you ever experienced the need to throw up while under the effects of nitrous? It was confusing to say the least. It didn’t feel real… like it was part of a dream. As I was coming back to reality, I heard the lady say, “Get that nitrous off of her so you can turn her over. Hurry before she chokes… she’s gonna throw up.” And then before I knew it, I was awake and already in the process of heaving into a trash can. It wasn’t pleasant. In case you were thinking, “Oh that sounds fun…” It wasn’t. I felt so sick..

They asked me if it was the nitrous or because they were working way in the back and it messed with my gag reflex… I honestly had no idea. I wasn’t aware of any of it because I was out in the middle of nitrous land. I was enjoying it there… until my body decided otherwise. Even now as I think about it, I feel queasy. So they tried again, cleared out the nitrous with some oxygen and then started over.

Back in nitrous land, and enjoying the scenery…when sure enough – it started again! I woke up vomiting in a trash can. This happened 3 times, and they finally gave up. We didn’t get to finish the appointment. They only did one cavity, and I was scheduled for 3. I guess that means I have to go back?? They told me that if it happens again, they’ll have to refer me out to an oral surgeon to have it done under sedation. Awesome.

My poor little body just can’t seem to function that well. It’s a frustrating feeling to be betrayed by your body. Everyone else I’ve talked has been fine on nitrous. I’m not sure what the deal is. I called my mom, and she kinda chuckled. “Of COURSE you would get sick. Figures.” Haha, it’s so true. That’s just how I roll, I guess. Maybe next time, I’ll try it with no nitrous. Ugh…next time.

Have you ever had a nitrous nightmare?? Please tell me I’m not the only person who’s ever had a bad reaction.

Leah Sannar Blogger for Crohn's Disease

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