I had a cavity filled today. I like my new dentist, he is a funny guy and his
staff is friendly -- they remember my name. My dentist was chatting today about when he was a kid, he was always building things. He decided he wanted to be an engineer, but once in school, a fellow engineering-turned-dentistry-student talked to him about becoming a dentist, and he changed his mind. "I like being a dentist, but sometimes I think I should have stuck with engineering." From my stand-point, or chair-point (lounge-point?), I see the fields of dentistry and engineering as pretty similar -- bridges are built in both, right? He seems to think we should write a book together, about something important, I guess -- the topic is still undecided.
I had a lower cavity filled, and my dentist made sure I was good and numb -- actually, my whole tongue was numb and half of my lower jaw, including the right side of my lip. After he injected the medication, he asked me to keep my mouth open for a couple of minutes and to stretch the muscles, and also tilt my head to the right so the anesthetic could gravitate downward to provide better coverage. Once he came back, and I could take the spit-sucker out, close my mouth, and then open it to talk, I shared with him that when a woman receives an epidural a similar anesthetic issue can occur. After epidural placement, a woman is propped on her left side, and if everything is going well, she is left in this position indefinitely. Gravity causes the medication to pool into that lower left side, leaving the right side less-anesthetized. Have you ever heard from a woman, "My epidural only worked on one side"? This could
be why. My dentist agreed this made sense.
There are ways to prevent this, something called "pancake-flipping," where we have the woman lie on her left side for a few contractions, and then we help her move to her right side for a few; next we facilitate a forward/hands and knees position, usually with lots of bunched-up pillows. As mom keeps "flipping," it helps to evenly distribute the medication through her lower body.
I wanted an epidural with my first birth -- I had voiced that request loud and clear for months before I even had a hint of what labor would feel like. In my case, I never received one. In hindsight, I am glad for that, but at the time I was bitter. Regardless, today I felt like my tongue had epidural anesthetic. (I realize, just as there isn't a specific "epidural" drug, it is a cocktail of different medications that can be changed according to an anesthesiologist's preference and a patient's needs, "epidural" refers to the specific spot where the medication is placed -- the epidural space is the sac of fluid that surrounds the spinal column. Obviously this doesn't apply to my tongue.) My dentist requested I move my tongue to the left so he could drill on my tooth a little. I tried to move my tongue, but I was unsure if it was actually going anywhere! "I can't tell ith I am moothing it or not!" I half-mumbled, half-dribbled. I was instantly reminded of being with a past client who had a heavy epidural, during her pushing phase, and the doctor demanding, "Push! You need to push!" To which her confused reponse was, "I can't tell if I am pushing!?"
I do like my dentist, he is gregarious and puts me at ease; I think I will, however, give him six months to ponder over what we could collaborate on -- I am in no hurry to return back to the chair to get an epidural for my tongue.
♥ four young boys and a boy dog (offspring)