I’m currently having extensive dental work done. It’s a big pain—literally. However, yesterday it ended up being a bit more than even I could handle.
Let’s start with a little background information. When it comes to dental work, I’m evidently a bit more of a challenge than your average root canal patient. Putting me under anesthesia or numbing my gums evidently takes the combined professional skill of a dentist, doctor, and engineer. My dentist, Dr. Benhuri, says that in all his years of dentistry, I’m Number One. Now usually being Number One is a good thing, but not this time. Actually, I’m Number One in being sensitive to anything modern medicine uses to help make a dental procedure a little less like medieval torture.
For example, he can give me six shots, and I’m still not numb. One time they had to bring me out early because I’d gone through whatever medicine they had to put me out too quickly.
Yesterday, however, topped any of those experiences because this time I came perilously close to meeting my Maker (or at least I hope that’s who I was headed to see).
It began like most dental procedures. An oral surgeon, not my usual dentist, started to give me a small amount of anesthesia. Evidently, my body didn’t care for it because I quit breathing. Yikes! Of course, I don’t remember any of this, but my husband Paul was fully aware of everything going on, and he’s lucky he didn’t have a heart attack because of it. They’d asked him to step in the waiting room as they started the procedure, and reluctantly he did. Eventually, it dawned on him that too much time had passed so he went to the door of the room I was in which was nervously opened by an attendant.
Immediately, he could see that I was blue with four people frantically working on me. Dr. Benhuri, who I completely trust by the way, gave me a shot to help me come out from the anesthesia. Paul insisted on CPR whether I needed it or not. Hey, better safe than sorry. Dr. Benhuri had 911 called so immediately there were paramedics in route to save me while Dr. Moses, the oral surgeon, gave me mouth to mouth while Dr. Benhuri handled chest compressions. All the while my husband watched and probably felt at times like he could use the same treatment. I’m sure the whole thing looked like an episode of ER only this time it wasn’t George Clooney doing the CPR.
The entire episode probably felt like an eternity to Paul, but I was thankfully oblivious to everything. I began getting some color back just as the paramedics busted in the room. Now I had nine people standing over me. For me, coming back from wherever I was heading was the strangest part of the whole experience. I swear I almost laughed and cried at the same time.
The first thing I saw as I started to regain consciousness was the name badge of one of the EMT guys. It said “Strong.” I asked, “Who is strong?” I remained groggy for a while but finally started coming out of it. Everyone asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital and I said no. I’d had enough. Nearly dying is enough to deal with in one day without having to go through the whole hospital experience.
Physically, I’m not totally over the experience. Evidently, they put something on my ear while I was out and, my ear still hurts from it. In fact, my ear feels like it’s going to fall off. I also have bruises on my body and a sore throat, but hey the bruises will heal and if I can feel pain that means I’m still here, so it’s actually a good thing.
One of the paramedics asked me if I’d had a premonition about this event, and I told him I did. Before I’d gone in, I mentioned to Paul that I had a bad feeling about it. I was concerned that when they took the impression of my teeth some of the material was going to get in my throat and choke me. It’s not uncommon for me to have premonitions like this and be right about whatever I feel will happen whether it’s dread, doom, or delight.
After the paramedics were satisfied that I was stable, they took off in heroic fashion to save other lives. I always admire police, firemen, and EMTs. They truly are a gift to us all.
After they left, the staff gave me some juice to drink. They also brought me a very purple berry looking smoothie. I drank both and sat in the waiting room. That’s when I started to feel sick. I hadn’t eaten since the night before so evidently the combination of the medicine and drama made my body once again rather unhappy and I proceeded to throw it all up on a beautiful (or it used to be) Persian rug. I did this all in front of a guy waiting for his appointment which I’m sure he now regrets making.
I was mortified. Thankfully, Angelina, the receptionist and true angel, assured me that she had kids and she’d take care of the mess.
Paul asked if I wanted to go home and rest, but I said no. I’d come very close to resting permanently so I said I’d rather celebrate. I always believe in moving on from a very bad experience and replacing it with a good one. Changing the energy in a positive way is always a good idea.
We headed next door to a lovely French restaurant where I enjoyed a nice vegetable puree and champagne. It was a wonderful lunch. Sure I’d almost died, but I didn’t, so I wanted to celebrate. Afterwards, Paul and I went home to relax and thank our lucky stars. We watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. I thought that would be a good way to test for brain damage. I did pretty well (better than some of the contestants in fact) so I think I dodged that bullet.
I’ve had other near death experiences. During Hurricane Sandy, scaffolding nearly fell on me from a crane that collapsed. Before that, I was one of many staff members who ran from the White House on September 11 when the plane meant for the White House (but hitting the Pentagon instead) was appearing destined to hit its target.
I’ve turned all those near death experiences into celebrations of life. I believe that’s the way to handle these sorts of events.
My longtime friend, Charlie, probably put yesterday’s experience for me in the right perspective when he posted on my Facebook page: “Grim Reaper probably got all he could handle for one minute and let Paul have you back :).”