Ah, dental anxiety. Four years ago, I wrote a post called The Bravest Twenty-Two Year Old At The Dentist. I had to get my first ever filling. Most people have had at least one by the time their an adult – it’s just life. However, I guess I was lucky up until that point (or brushed my teeth super well?) because now I have to get another one (or two). And I’m scared. Again.
The last few months have been filled with medical…things. I did my endoscopy at the beginning of March, I have had three appointments with my doctor since then (including a physical as well as the first round of the chickenpox vaccine – I never had it as a kid, and apparently getting it as an adult is horrible), a dentist appointment…and now my first of two filling appointments for some very small cavities (that are, unfortunately, large enough to need fillings!)
Even though I have had fillings before – as you can see from my four-years-ago post, I am still scared. I have somewhat gotten over my fear of needles since then; I’ve probably had blood work done about 10 times since that post was done, not to mention my tetanus booster as well as my recent chickenpox vaccine. Repetition does seem to help.
However, I am still SUPER DUPER afraid of having allergic reactions – so much so that I refused anesthesia during my endoscopy (Yes, it’s true. That was definitely a fun experience).
EVEN THOUGH I’ve clearly had local anesthesia before with zero reaction last time I got fillings done, my brain keeps going to “Well, maybe you’ve developed an allergy since then! That was four years ago, you know.”
Yes brain, I know.
So now, I am awaiting my 8am appointment. With slightly less fear than I had last time.
Last time I sat in that dental chair for a filling, I was not even married yet. I hadn’t lived through the worst depression of my life yet. Or had to experience my absolute worst fear for the first time in 14 years.
I hadn’t braved nearly 10 blood tests. I hadn’t got my booster shots, or my chicken pox shot. I hadn’t moved four times in three years.
I hadn’t graduated from university yet. I hadn’t worked a ‘real’ job yet, with real responsibilities that didn’t involve folding clothes. I hadn’t done an endoscopy completely and fully awake.
I was growing, but I wasn’t brave enough to even make my blog public yet.
But now, I hope that I truly will be the bravest 26-year-old at the dentist. A 26-year-old who has gone through a lot in four years, and made it out better than before.
Getting a filling probably seems like absolutely zero deal to most people – it is one of the most routine dental procedures you can get. My younger brother had multiple fillings before he was 10 – and he never once cared, at all, ever.
But this is a big step for me – all of the things I have done since March, since last year, since four years ago have all been big things.
So hopefully, if you’re having a rough day, you can look at me now and look at me from four years ago (that’s one of the cool things about having this blog for so long!) and see that change, even tiny, microscopic change, is possible.