Subject:    The Smell of Pulp
From:       Captain Infinity
Newsgroups: sci.med.dentistry,alt.fan.tom-servo
Message-ID: <359a4058.38351753@news-f.std.com>

I had a root canal done today.

Not too bad an experience, not as bad as the horror reports I heard over
the few weeks prior.  I had him gas me up pretty good because the worst
part of things like these is the needle entering my gums when the novocaine
goes in.  I stood up in a dentist's chairs once, and I've walked out of a
couple of offices before any work had begun, because the anxiety attack
when Dr. Szell comes at me with the hypo is enough to get my heart trying
to punch its way out of my chest.  Oig.

Anyway, like I said, I had the gas which distracted me enough to allow him
to shoot me up.  Three times, dammit, give me MORE!  I WANT THIS JAW DEAD!
I WANT MY *EYEBALLS* NUMB!

So.  Ok.  Done, numb, on we go, no problem.  He puts this rubber bib in my
mouth which covers the whole hole except for the tooth.  (The assistant was
kind enough to show this bib-thing to me while I was numbing up, and
explain that it was to keep *these* from falling down my throat.  "These"
are tiny little rasp files, about the size and length of a straight pin,
that the dentist uses to remove pulp and nerves from my tooth.  Lovely.)

Then he drills into the damn crown which started the damn toothache that
I've had EVERY FREAKING HOUR OF THE DAY FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS.  

But drilling, big deal...been there, done that, let's move on.  Time to
rasp out that nasty old pulp and nerves.  Interesting sensation, what I
could feel of it...more a sense of pressure and movement than any negative
(i.e. pain) reaction.  Again, no big deal.  My jaw was moving, my head was
moving, I knew stuff was going on but had no idea exactly *what*.

Until he started wiping off the rasps.  On the rubber bib.  Where it rested
on my lip.  He was wiping my living tooth pulp off on my lower lip!

<shudder>

But that really wasn't too bad, just some disassociated moistness.  
I managed to ignore it.

Until I *smelled* it.

The smell of the pulp and nerves filled my nose, filled my whole head.
Urgh.  I could not focus on anything else.  My whole world became centered
on the feel of wet tooth pulp on my lip and the smell of it up my nose.

But I got through it, thanked him and the assistant and made an appointment
for the final work, to be done in a week.  Left the office, bought an Egg
McMuffin (I wanted to have something to eat before the novocaine wore off
and the ache set in, and I'm lucky I did...although I think I chewed up a
bit of my numbed cheek thinking it was a hunk of egg) came home, popped two
HUGE tablets of Ibuprofen that I had left over from a knee injury awhile
back, and went back to bed.  (Actually, I watched about 30 minutes of a
taped copy of last week's "Mystery Science Theater 3000" episode
"Hobgoblins", which certainly helped me drop off to sleep.)

Slept for about 5 hours.  (I had an exhausting weekend, this was the
payoff).  Woke up about 5:00 PM.

The Smell of Pulp.  Still fills my head.

The novocaine effect is gone, the ache has settled in for the duration,
I had tomato soup for dinner.  And the smell of pulp fills my head.

So tell me, is this psychosomatic?  Is it at all common?  Will it go away?
If so, how soon?  Any suggestions on how to hasten its departure?

** 
Captain Infinity
 ...the adventure continues


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