Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Chain

I forgot to mention a rather funny experience I had a few days ago.

The orthodontist scheduled a regular tightening of my tin-grin braces for the day after New Year's. Of course, by now I anticipate the marginal discomfort the procedure causes, but nothing prepared me for what actually happened.

The doctor examined my mouth and then said rather ominously to his assistant, "I think he's ready for 'the chain.'"

Oh good God! Did I hear him right?

My family had recently watched 'Little Shop of Horrors,' where Steve Martin plays a crazed, overly sadistic dentist. In one scene, he delights over the terrified shrieks of a little girl wearing the most jarring, hideous-looking headgear possible. He breaks into song, "I'll be your dentist, and I get off on the pain I inflict." Something like that. Of course, when my orthodontist mentioned 'the chain,' I couldn't help but envision the nightmare scenario from the movie.

The doctor must have sensed my discomfort, because he made a point to show me the chain before installing it in my mouth. He held the tiny device in his latex-covered hand, as if to say, "See? This little thing could never do any harm." It looked innocent enough. It wasn't even metal. The chain was really just a tiny rubber strand with tiny chain-like links.

Seeing the chain made me feel a little better, but my relief didn't last long. As it turns out, the doctor's assistant had to stretch each link over the ties attached to my bottom teeth. The first one or two teeth didn't bother me, but the teeth closest to the ones I had removed felt horrid. With no anesthesia, I thought I might pass out from the pain. And then the assistant kept stopping midway to ask if I felt any discomfort. I wanted to scream, "What does it look like to you?!?" But I didn't say anything at first. She jerked my teeth again, so hard I thought they were going to pull out from their sockets. When I cried out, she paused again to ask if it hurt. I decided honesty would have to work better in this situation. "Yes," I snapped, "It hurts like hell. Will you please just do this quickly and get it over with?" She made a sheepish face and gave one final jerk, pulling the last link into place.

For two days my whole face was sore from the ordeal, but I feel much better now. I'm recovering faster than before. Anyway, I took this picture when I was still under a great deal of discomfort. At the time I thought, "Why should I have to suffer this alone? My readers should get to experience this too." Of course, you can't actually see the chain, unless you look very closely. No matter, my face says it all. :0

1 comment:

Chelle said...

I am not sure if I see the chain. I tried to blow up the picture but it didn't get any bigger. Glad you gave us some updates!


Related Posts with Thumbnails