Thursday, October 9, 2014

If I Could Change One Thing About Myself

If I could change one thing about myself, I would be fearless in the face of physical pain or medical intervention of any kind. Fearless, I am not. I am the world's biggest wimp and spend far more time in anticipatory agony than is normal or healthy. Of course I know the reason behind my fears - the traumatic experience I had at the age of three, when I received 64 shots in the space of 8 days. Knowing the origin of the fear doesn't help me lessen it. The imprint has been made.

On Wednesday, I had to have a filling removed and refilled. I suppose if I had my druthers, I'd have chosen the laughing gas, the path of least resistance. However, after such anesthesia left Nick Allen (the brother of my good friend Laura's husband) in a horrible physical state (unable to care for himself - a mere shell of his former self), my mother is quite adamant that I choose the shot route.

Alas, the shot route terrifies me. Even though I had a filling refilled just a few years ago, with little pain, I still grow apprehensive and nervous. I worry that the assistant won't get the numbing agent in the right place. I worry that the shot will hurt. I worry that something will happen and I will suddenly feel the drill biting into the inside of my tooth.

Now that it is all over, I can breathe a sigh of relief. The numbing agent worked (although I don't think she put it on the side where the shot was injected) and the shot was relatively painless. I say relatively because it wasn't entirely painless. It was uncomfortable and a bit sharp and I did moan while they did it (Sean prayed last night that I wouldn't scream and so embarrass myself - ha). They waited a good long time to allow the medicine to completely numb half of my face. The drilling was uncomfortable because of the pressure and having to keep my mouth wide open. But, as I said, I survived.

In the aftermath of every medical crisis, I feel embarrassed at my low level of pain resistance, embarrassed at my queasiness in the face of shots, embarrassed at my general childishness in reaction to the necessary intervention. Sadly, I don't think a change will come. I won't wake up tomorrow and be better able to handle such things. Instead, I am vowing to brush my teeth even longer and take care of my teeth and body more aggressively, so as to avoid any further need of medical intervention to keep me whole.

How about you? Do you have a pathological fear of something? What would you change, if you could change one thing about yourself?

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