part 2 of 2
[When we last left our dentally vain anti-hero, he had just arrived humble, shaky, and terrified at the Endodontist for his first root canal procedure.]
Once we arrived at the medical complex, my wife got out and went to Suite 302 while I sat catatonic in the car. As if watching a movie, I saw her go in and then come back out with a perplexed look on her face. She came back to the car and said,
“Are you coming?”
“Do I have to?”
“Eventually, yes. Or would you prefer to be in pain until your courage returns?”
She had a way with words. Of course she was right. I had Marathon Man running through my mind and wondered, “was it safe?”
“Okay, okay. I’m getting out,” I said. I wanted to crumble into a ball and hide, but a tiny shred of errant pride prevented that.
Once inside, the endo-assistant asked me how I was feeling and gave me a cute little anti-anxiety pill she said would take half an hour to kick in. Would I like to relax in the waiting room? I read boring People magazines and waited nervously, all the while contemplating how it might affect my marriage to quietly exit the office and never return. Later, the endo-assistant reappeared and asked how I was feeling. I must have still looked stressed because she returned with a second dose. An indeterminate amount of time later, I must have looked less anxious, because the next thing I knew I was getting strapped down into the chair.
If we just left this story entirely to my memory, that would be just about it. However, my wife, who was kind enough to stay and read People magazines the entire time, was able to fill in a few missing hours from my tale.
The last thing I recall is that other than the initial needle, I never felt a thing! Apparently, there have been some amazing advances in anti-anxiety drugs. My little “happy pill,” was called Xanax. Apparently you can become so blissed out on it that just about anything is possible. I’m still trying to find dentists who will give it to me during a standard teeth cleaning.
One person told me she practiced meditation whilst having her root canal done and it really helped. In her visualization she went to a quiet, happy place by a river and read a book in her mind while all of the drilling and scraping took place. I didn’t say it out loud, but I thought, “Happy Place?! I don’t have no stinkin’ happy place! I can’t go off to some river in my head and pretend there’s no drilling going on my spectacular mouth. I’m not spiritually evolved enough for that.”
When I shared this with my wife, she calmly asked, “So what do you do to relax?”
“I’m a guy, sweetie. I take a nap.”
And that, apparently, is just what I did.
With my mouth propped and wired wide open, I had a nice little nap in Dr. Endo’s chair while she drilled and scraped away merrily. Way off in the distance, like someone working in their yard a few houses away, I heard this far off sawing sound and eventually identified it as snoring. Mine, not hers.
After what seemed like 45 minutes, I was done. She said I was in the chair for 2.5 hours and that everything had gone well. Evidently, I had suggested she go ahead and remove my appendix and do some liposuction while she was there. She had declined.
They unstrapped me from the chair and I wafted into the waiting room to see my wife. She looked so magnificent and lovely and there was a ring of light around her face. I told her she was an angel and knelt in front of her asking forgiveness.
I wasn’t simply in love with her, I was in love with everybody.
I wanted to buy shares of Lehman Bros. and invest the rest of our life savings with Bernie Madoff, but I was not allowed to do anything financial. After hugging her many times, I asked Dr. Endo if she would give me some more of this happy drug in case I woke up stressed, but she said I would be happy for a while.
That was the only time I got sad.
Then I forgot that I was sad and my beautiful wife with the halo drove me home where yet another blissful nap awaited me.
When I awoke, I continued to feel a groggy kind of love for many things, but was particularly enamored by the fact I could now drink cold and hot liquids without shooting pain. Life had changed. I wasn’t so grumpy and tense. Even Sarah Palin didn’t bug me as much as she used to. I became more humble and quit bragging about my perfect teeth. And even after the meds finally wore off, I still had a crush on Dr. Endo… and her little happy pill.