We're all afraid of something, whether it's heights, spiders, or even drains (strangely, my cousin has that last phobia). I personally don't like elevators and have a fear of getting my eyes poked out in my sleep, but today, I had to deal with a different fear that plagues many of us: needles.
Let me backtrack. After dealing with an untraceable pain in my mouth for the past 3 days which I originally attributed to TMJ, I finally realized where the pain was coming from: my top left molar. Unfortunately, it's hard to see an actual dentist on the weekend, especially when it's 12AM Sunday morning, so after a restless night of research and utter pain, I decided the only option was to go to the emergency room.
There I sat in the waiting room, unsure of what they'd be able to do. When it was finally my turn what seemed like hours later, they took me back to a room, poked around my mouth and told me it was probably an infected cavity, and that all they could do on a Sunday was help with the pain.
When the doctor suggested an injection, I freaked out a little (ok, a lot) inside, but told him to do whatever it took to ease the pain. When he came back in with the large, silver colored needle, I couldn't help but tear up.
Ever since I was a little kid, I've had a phobia of needles. I don't really remember doing it, but my mom claims I used to run around the exam room trying to get away from the doctor. Even as a young adult, I'd rarely go to the doctor alone. Though my mom held my hand through most of the worst needles of my childhood, I once dragged my college roommate with me to the student health center- how embarrassing!
But today, 23-years-old and an "adult," I was alone. To be quite honest, it wasn't that bad. With no one's hand to squeeze, I simply focused on the fact that no injection could feel worse than the pain I'd endured the night before. They sent me home with a prescription for penicillin and some heavy pain killers, and instructed me to go to the emergency dental clinic tomorrow to have the cavity filled.
Of course I'm scared, they'll be working on an already infected tooth and I know that's not going to be fun, but I made it past the first hurdle all by myself. Sure, I'm still in pain, but I'm proud of myself, as silly as that sounds. I took care of business and am on the road to recovery.
Wish me luck tomorrow, I'm sure there are more Novocain injections in my future.
So tell me- what's your biggest fear, and how have you overcome it?
PS- if anyone can recommend a good Boston dentist, let me know, as I still don't have one yet.