I’m a pansy

dental drills1 Im a pansy

I'm afraid, very afraid

So my day of reckoning has come–I am getting a root canal. Seriously, this is about as frightened as I get. I think I’m fairly tough with most things, really I do. I have a pretty high pain tolerance, even. But this, this nightmare procedure, shakes me to my core.

It all started with a crown last week. I got to use nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for that one. Gotta say, that almost made it enjoyable. But every day since the crown, the pain in my tooth has gotten worse. Apparently it’s not uncommon for a crown to be the proverbial straw for your tooth, leading to the root canal. Honestly, one part of me is looking forward to getting rid of the pain, if only I didn’t have to go through an hour of drilling to get there.

I was hoping to get another dose of my beloved nitrous for the root canal, but apparently endodontists don’t go for that (I guess they want your nose free for something silly, like breathing). So instead I’ll be taking Valium to relax me.

Like any psychotic runner, I asked if any of this would affect runs before or after the procedure, and made sure I’d be able to get in my 10 miler in the early a.m. The good news is that the root canal will not impact any of my planned runs. A girl has to have her priorities in order, right?

Who’s been through this before? Anyone else fear a root canal like I do? 

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  1. Oh yes I fear them. I’ve had a few (about 4 at different times) when I was younger and had 2 surgery’s too (last one about 3 years ago). I’m afraid of the dentist because of all the things that have been done so far in my mouth.

    Good luck, I’ll be thinking of you.
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  2. you know my story and you KNOW ILL BE THINKING OF YOU TODAY!!!!

    Miz recently posted..Exercise is not my passion.My Profile

  3. Lots of luck to you! I hate dental work too so I feel your pain. Would it be annoying to say It will be over before you know it? ;)

  4. eeeeek. Hope it goes by super quick!!! No one loves the dentist!
    Kristy (@KrisRunTri) recently posted..Going Herbal On My InjuryMy Profile

  5. Oof! Good luck with that. Never had a root canal….yet.
    Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb recently posted..Running Isn’t Fun – Let’s Get Back To BasicsMy Profile

  6. I had to have a root canal on the same tooth every three months to clear everything out……don’t worry – ask for NOX gas before the freezing :) you’ll be so relaxed you’ll love it :D

  7. Ugh, Good Luck today! Never had one, but I break into a sweat whenever I go to get a cleaning. And oddly enough, I always seem to have a bit of plaque on my lower teeth, dentist said it’s because I’m a runner and do so much breathing with my mouth open!
    Molly recently posted..Running With Spatulas Virtual RunMy Profile

  8. Hope it goes well. I’ve never had to have any dental work like that done but it does not sound fun and I’d probably be a pretty big baby about having to get one done!
    abbi recently posted..HAT Run 50KMy Profile

  9. Wish I had words of wisdom for you.. I have never had one :/ I know someone who did and they gave her happy pills to take before she got there!
    Mamarunsbarefoot recently posted..Two FirstsMy Profile

  10. I’ve had one. I to am scared to death of Dentist in general. Mine went very well. I just told the Dentist up front the way I was feeling about the root canal. Told him I some times have panic attacks, so when I tap your had you need to get that crap out of my mouth so I can swallow and take a breath. I get so tense in those chairs. That always seems to help me if I just let them know how I get when I go to any Dentist. Good Luck today. It really isnt as bad as it sounds. I know you will do great.

  11. I have to completely disconnect from reality.. kind of like Sybil ( multiple personality disorder)..I turn into HELGA a big Russian Momma who must have her teeth removed to feed her children and feels no pain…Hoorah for my crazy imagination… HAHA .. sending <3 2U.xo
    LisaM@RunWiki recently posted..Five Bean Salad with Greek FetaMy Profile

  12. If that’s your first RC, your lucky. I had terrible teeth as a kid and teen. I’ve had almost as many root canals as I have cavities. I’ve also suffered through a dental implant. Pray you don’t have to go through that one.
    Other than one root canal I remember, they really aren’t too bad, or maybe, (unfortunately) I’m used the them.
    Have a good 10 miler.
    Joanne recently posted..FOFF Taco SaladMy Profile

  13. I’ve never had a root canal, but I think I’d be terrified. I’m actually a horrific person after having anesthesia (like yelling at people and just nasty in general), so I think I fear that more than the pain.
    kari @ Running Ricig recently posted..you can put your elbows on the stageMy Profile

  14. Never had a root canal. But they sound like a miserable experience. Sucks you have to go through it. Good luck!
    Vieve recently posted..Pump ItMy Profile

  15. I have rotten teeth so yes, I’ve endured root canals. Actually, they were a relief as the teeth were hurting so stinking bad! I don’t go for laughing gas–ever. My dad was an anesthetist and said, “do you know how much anesthesia training dentists have?” So I’ve always bucked up. I had hand surgery with an arm block only–no valium, no nothing. First time for the orthopod and for the anesthetist but they went along with it. I always figure that I’ll feel so much better sooner without all the extra crap and I trick myself into it. Once I let the dentist talk me into taking codeine to “nip the pain at the bud” and would have gone back and punched him if I’d been able to see fewer than 5 of everything! You’ll do great. Just think of all the runs that won’t be affected!

  16. Yup I have had several root canals. Not so bad. I hate drilling cavities more. Good luck. Hope it goes well and you are pain-free.
    Darlene recently posted..My New Lunch RoutineMy Profile

  17. Oh I wish I could give you some words of encouragement. Don’t be afraid to keep asking for more pain meds! I’m not afarid to be a wimp at the dentist.
    Jessica Karazsia (@irun 26at8) recently posted..Boston Training: Week 12 SummaryMy Profile

  18. I’ve never had one before but I love that you asked about your run! Priorities:) I asked that same thing last time I was at the doc:)
    Hikermom recently posted..Great Run and Path EtiquetteMy Profile

  19. Endodontists specialize in these things and I bet you will be just fine.. thinking about it is so much worse than going through it, honestly! Mine took hours with lots of stops for more xrays… but it was worth it to know I was getting rid of the toxins and poisins that were building up in that tooth.

    Good Girl!
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  20. i never had a root canal (thank god) but i hate the dentist! getting a cleaning twice a year is brutal and nerve-wracking for me!!!! you are NOT a pansy!!!
    Kristy recently posted..Boston Week 12 RecapMy Profile

  21. I can’t even function now that you have me thinking about that kind of stuff..pure terror!
    Christy@My Dirt Road Anthem recently posted..Random Marathon Training Thoughts, would love any input!My Profile

  22. Good luck! Hated my root canal and crown procedures, so I’m thinking of you!
    Chicken recently posted..Dogs, Rum, and CokeMy Profile

  23. I am a pansy too! (At least as far as the dentist goes!) HATE IT!
    Good luck my friend! Hang tough.
    Erin Henderson recently posted..StrengthMy Profile

  24. Just the picture of that drill gave me the shivers.

    I had two root canals a few years ago when I knocked my four front teeth out at a bar on New Year’s Eve (and I wasn’t even that tipsy, sadly, more clumsy). Getting the Novocaine shot right up front was the worst of it. After that, I didn’t feel much. Good luck!

  25. My root canal story is horrible. Essentially no novicane or anything since my body somehow refused it when he gave it to me. Felt everything. Sucked big time haha.

    But now NO MORE PAIN :) :) :)

  26. eeks. the older I get, the more scared of the dentist I am. :(
    katie recently posted..three million things thursdayMy Profile

  27. I am seriously not being overdramatic when I say that this is one of my biggest fears. I have a CLEANING today at the dentist and I am already fearful of it.
    Dentists and clowns…..terrifying to me.
    Laura recently posted..Around the Bay Race Report – when you do everything right but it feels so wrongMy Profile

  28. oh good luck! I have put off a crown for about a month. Had I known I was empting fate with a possible root canal I would have already gotten it done… good to know!
    Karen W recently posted..a few kind words…My Profile

  29. I hate dental work. I just do. I had a bad filling put in once and I still remember the feeling in my jaw. I don’t think they gave me enough pain meds. I was white knuckling that chair till the end. I cried too. The doctor was mean. It was just a bad day. :(

    I”m sure they’ll make you comfortable! It’s a big deal!
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  30. Hope it goes well! Good luck…
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  31. Good luck! Those things totally freak me out too!
    MCM Mama recently posted..Running like a motherMy Profile

  32. Eeeek! I will be thinking of you. I remember when I was getting my wisdom teeth pulled at a university (to save $) and I heard one of the students ask, “Have you ever done this before?” before going under! I did have a great experience despite the initial comment, no side effects!

    You’ll be in good hands I’m sure!
    Jess @ Blonde Ponytail recently posted..Hunger Games Workout: Get Ready TributesMy Profile

  33. I got a root canal 2 days ago and haven’t run since that. My mouth was numb until 10 pm, so I would say it’s a good idea to get your run in before. Yesterday I decided to not run because I haven’t eaten and drunk enough the day before (because of the root canal) and it was very hot. And today the pain is back, so I went to the dentist again. I hope it will be better tomorrow, so I can run again.

    Don’t worry about the root canal. I didn’t think it hurt much, and the pain I had before is
    Nina recently posted..Running-HomeMy Profile

  34. There’s nothing that freaks me out more than the mere thought of dental work! I’ll be thinking of you!!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Shaking up my trainingMy Profile

  35. It sounds miserable… good luck!
    Stephanie Anne recently posted..Three Things ThursdayMy Profile

  36. Ewwww. I have never had a root canal, but I hate all things dentist. Good luck!
    Kyria recently posted..Then and Now: MarchMy Profile

  37. I know more about Root Canals than than should be humanly possible. Let me know if you have any questions. Seriously, I train Docs how to do them.
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Ironman Mont-Tremblant Training Week #1My Profile

  38. I’m shacking in my (wait I’m not wearing shoes) as I read this.

    I am a pansy too…..loathe the Dentist.
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  39. Abbie Anderson says:

    Good luck that is so miserable. Just get the gas and enjoy it!! I love love your site. I’m putting together a huge giveaway in conjunction with a novel about a runner. We’ve received some amazing sponsors for our giveaway and hoping you will be a part of it. Our idea is to promote our book and the products as well as your blog. Hopefully a win win for everyone involved. I sent you an email with more details. If you didn’t receive it please email me at bubcoats@hotmail.com.

  40. I’d think a run beforehand would be a great idea to help steady the nerves. And valium can get rid of the nerves that the run didn’t.

    I really love my dentist – she’s an athlete too. But loving her and loving what she does isn’t the same thing. I totally understand your fear and think it’s rational.
    Char recently posted..Today’s RunMy Profile

  41. Seriously i’m shaking in my boots just thinking about the future possibility of every having to have a root canal done. But you are so brave! And much more pain-tolerant than me, friend, so you’ll do great! They let you take vallium before painful dentist appointments? That’s good news. Because I’m honestly going to consider asking for some next time I have to go get something serious done, ’cause I’m just as terrified about those things as you.
    Erin recently posted..Wind-up dollMy Profile

  42. I’ve had root canal once, and strangely I found it less bad than getting a crown.
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  43. I have the first of many appts. next week on my way to an implant. I plan to ask about running too. And swimming!

  44. huge pansy here but dont tell my kids
    I hate the dentist
    I am well known at my Dr for chronic re-scheduling
    Caroline recently posted..The OneMy Profile

  45. I’m glad to hear you have your priorities straight! I had a filling crack and wouldn’t be able to get it fixed until the day before a race. So, I had to put it off another 3 weeks so it wouldn’t impact the race!! I like my dentist, she’s awesome! Fast, gets it done right and rarely have the residual pain from other dentists (yeah, I have a bunch of cavities…)
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  46. The sound of that drills makes me shiver! UGH. Hope it all went well!
    Jill recently posted..The 50k That Wasn’t RRMy Profile

  47. Oh yikes. Sorry. By the time you read this hopefully it will be a thing of the past.
    Fueled by Spite recently posted..Voodoo DocMy Profile

  48. Good Luck, Hoping everything will be back in place.
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  49. It will be alright. Good luck to you. its just a little pain.
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  50. Dentist’s scare me period. I haven’t been to the dentist in many of years. I’ve avoided it on purposes. I finally broke down and made an appointment the other day to go in for a cleaning and make sure I have no cavaties. I’m scared.
    Ara recently posted..Longest Run To DateMy Profile

  51. The very same thing happened to me. Back when I was a teenager, I had vaneers put on my two front teeth for cosmetic purposes. When those started to chip, I had them replaced with crowns, after which I had to have a root canal on one of the teeth. :( But, you know what? It wasn’t NEARLY as horrific as I had imagined! But, really, your guy won’t give you the gas? Mine did. Weird. :\
    Pam recently posted..A Belated Race Report: Yuengling Shamrock Half MarathonMy Profile

  52. I totally and completely fear the dentist. Have since I was a kid. A couple of years ago I had to have a tooth *gasp* pulled and I was in tears before the doctor even came into the room. Awful stuff.

    That said, though, root canals are not like they were in the old days. if you have a good dentist it should be relatively pain free. Good luck!
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