Tag Archives: dentist

A Boring Visit At The Dentist (or Getting Ready For A Future Bad Appointment)

This week I had a dentist visit. It wasn’t that long ago that an appointment would be a pretty huge thing for me because I would have a horrible panic attack. I’ve had panic attacks at the dentist pretty much my entire adult life until not too long ago. I still wonder when the panic will come back, but I’m trying to stay optimistic about it.

I was a bit worried this time because I had some weird issues that turned out to be related to hurting my gums randomly. Everything will be fine and back to normal soon. It’s always so reassuring when the hygienist tells me that things are fine because then all the worst case scenarios can finally go away in my head. I still always worry that there is something that is missed and it will come back to haunt me at the next appointment, but I try to not think about that. I don’t want to spend the months between appointments worried. It’s bad enough to be worried the week or two before going in.

I’m still a bit boggled by how my panic issues have gone away. I know that my medications were supposed to make them worse and not better. But I’m such a medical weirdo in so many other ways so I guess it makes sense that I would have the opposite side effect. I try not to think about it too much and just try to stay grateful that I can finally have somewhat normal dentist appointments. For most people, going to the dentist is so routine and not something that they fear. I am trying to get back to that mindset.

I am lucky that the hygienist I see is pretty awesome. She and I chat and gossip during my appointment so that makes it a bit more fun. We are always updating each other on our lives and sharing crazy stories that have happened. She may be doing that just to distract me from everything, but I think she enjoys making my appointment a bit more fun too. She’s so used to seeing the bits of panic that still happen at appointments and she really does so much to try to make everything easier on me. And that includes giving me a heads up on anything she sees right at the beginning of the appointment.

This time, I mentioned to her the issues I was having and she took a look and told me that everything was fine. That’s better than all the horrible things that went through my head and were making me freak out a bit. But while she was doing the first glance at all my teeth, she did notice something that isn’t great. I’ve had a ton of dental work done. I genetically have bad teeth and have had to deal with issues for a long time. I’ve got lots of fillings, a couple of crowns, and some general issues. But all that dental work isn’t a permanent fix.

I haven’t had to have a crown replaced yet (I have had one fall off and need to be re-glued, but that’s different), but I’ve had pretty much all the fillings replaced at least once. Fillings usually last about 10 years and I think I’ve got a few that are older than that. Since I take good care of my teeth and go to the dentist 3 times a year, maybe I make mine last longer. But I know that they aren’t forever and eventually they need to be worked on again. I just had a filling replaced last year and fortunately it wasn’t that bad.

So while the hygienist was taking a look at everything, she noticed another filling of mine was looking darker which could be a sign that it was getting worn down. This isn’t as urgent as the replacement of the filling was last time, so nothing is planned to be done yet. It was just marked down as something to watch and see what happens. And the next time I’m at the dentist, it’s the big appointment where I get my x-rays and see the dentist. So at that appointment, I think the dentist will probably say that it needs to be replaced since he likes to take care of things early to prevent them from getting worse (like making this end up needing to be a crown).

I am grateful that I didn’t get bad news at my appointment this time, but now I’m just trying to forget that I’m probably going to get bad news next time. I’m sure that I will be having the work done after my next appointment and hopefully it goes as easily as it did last year. I know I’m getting better with shots so that does help make things easier on me. And I just have to keep reminding myself that fixing this now with an easy appointment means avoiding a really bad one later. I’ve had too many of those bad appointments and I don’t want to deal with another one.

But for now, I’m focusing on the good of my lack of panicking at the dentist and ignoring the potential for the bad appointment coming up in a few months.

Time For Dental Work (or Maybe My MRIs Prepared Me For This)

When I went to the dentist recently, I found out that one of my fillings needs to be replaced. The filling has been in there for a long time and I knew that fillings (or crowns) aren’t forever and do need to be replaced over a lifetime. I’ve been pretty lucky the past few years. My teeth have always been a bit bad (it’s genetic) but I haven’t needed major work in a while. I’ve had lots of work done, but I’ve had a nice break and I guess that streak is over now.

As soon as I found out I needed work, my panic started. Part of that panic is because this time while they are hoping that this is just going to be a filling replacement there is a chance I will need a crown. It’s one of those situations where they weren’t going to know until they started the work and I had having unknowns in my life. But there was no way to find out what it was going to be until I had my next appointment so I tried to just deal with the sense of panic I had.

Fortunately for me, the panic wasn’t too horrible between my cleaning and the appointment to have the work done. I was panicking the day of my cleaning when I found out that there was work I needed done because that’s not what I was expecting. But I didn’t really feel panic again until the day before my appointment (and then it got pretty bad the day of my appointment). I know how bad things have been for me in the past and I just didn’t want that to happen again.

But I was trying to think about all the changes that have happened in my life since my last appointment for major dental work. I’ve been meditating for over a year now and that has been helping me stay calm in the moment (although it doesn’t seem to help the panic from building up before). That has seemed to help before with my MRIs.

And speaking of MRIs, I’ve had so many MRIs since my last dentist appointment and each of those have involved 2 needles (the blood work and then the IV for the contrast). I have been hoping that with all of those needles over the past few months that maybe my issues with needles has become less of a thing. I know that I’ve still been having blackout moments with needles in my recent blood work and IVs, but it has gotten significantly better. And since my incidents at the dentist were usually less than what I dealt with at the hospital, I was hopeful that this appointment and the needle would go a lot smoother than I feared it would go.

The day of my appointment was pretty tough. My appointment was right after I was done with work and I spent my entire shift in a panic and feeling sick. It was a sense of impending doom that I used to feel before a regular cleaning. I hadn’t had to deal with this feeling for a while, so it threw me off a bit. Fortunately, right now is the slower season for my day job so I didn’t have to help too many customers. I was still able to work, but I know that I wasn’t at my best while worrying about my dental appointment.

Once I got to the dentist, the panic was feeling pretty unbearable. I didn’t take my panic meds since they don’t really work that well when I take my eating disorder medication. And to me, right now it’s more important to manage my eating disorder than it was to stop some temporary panic. And I knew that as soon as the work started, the panic was going to go away and I would be fine.

The staff there tried to keep me distracted and calm while we waited for the dentist. They were asking me about what was happening in my life (I was telling them some of my crazy online dating stories), but I was still just anxious that the shots were coming and I wanted to get it over with. Everything in the dentist office looks so scary even though I know most things there aren’t anything that could hurt me.

Once the dentist came back, we got to the shots quickly. He does numb my cheek up with some gel before the shots so it does help a lot. And with the first shot I didn’t totally black out. But with the second shot (which I couldn’t actually feel because I was already pretty numb), I did black out like I have with my recent IVs. But it’s still a huge improvement over the last time I had to get shots at the dentist.

The last few times I’ve needed shots like this, it was for major dental work. Those appointments last quite a while and you have the option to watch a movie while they work. I should have known this would be easy when I wasn’t given the option to watch a movie but instead just had to wear protective eyewear. And this appointment ended up taking no time at all!

The drilling of the part of the old filling that had to come out took less than 5 minutes. Then they filled it back it and had to use the tools to dry it. Then it was only some checking of my bite and before I knew it I was sitting back up and rinsing my mouth out with mouthwash. The entire procedure (not counting waiting to get numb) was under 10 minutes.

I felt so silly when it was done for freaking out as much as I did. Then again, I had no clue it was going to be this simple since it seems like whenever I have more than just a cleaning it is pretty extreme. And I’m lucky that I have a dentist that is super on top of things since this could have been much worse if we didn’t catch it as soon as we did.

I still think I’m going to always have my panic issues at the dentist, but I’m glad that they are getting better. I’ve proven to myself for a while that I am doing much better with the cleanings. Now I’ve proven to myself that I can do ok with shots and bigger dental work. Hopefully I won’t need more major dental work for a while, but I know that there will be more in the future and I feel more prepared for it after this successful appointment.

Dentist and Disneyland (or Having Fun Things To Look Forward To)

After my past few dentist appointments, I’ve tried to schedule a Disneyland afternoon. This helps me stay calm at the dentist since I’ve got something good to focus on. It’s a nice tradition that I’ve started and I’m glad that it seems to help to keep me calm. So when I found out that I had a dentist appointment this week, my first thought was to call my friend Michelle to see if she wanted to go to Disneyland. And ironically, she had a dentist appointment that day too so we decided to go after we were both done at the dentist.

I didn’t have the best dentist appointment. This was the big appointment where I meet with the dentist and get x-rays. And one of the fillings that was done 14 years ago is now chipped and I will need some work done to fix it. Hopefully that will only be another filling, but there is always the possibility that it will be a crown. This isn’t fun, but I have to do it. Hopefully since I’ve had so many more needles lately I won’t react as badly to the numbing shot. But I won’t know until I have my dental work appointment.

My dentist is a block away from Michelle’s house, so I had parked my car at her house and walked to the dentist. When I was done, I walked back over to her place and we got into her car and headed to Disneyland!

Because I had my big dentist appointment, it was a bit later than I usually have dentist appointments. So we were driving down to Disneyland in the start of rush hour traffic. There are some carpool lanes on the freeways that we take, but it still was a bit of a longer drive than we are used to. But since we were both feeling pretty chill about this Disney adventure, we didn’t mind things taking longer for us. And once we got parked, we were able to get onto a tram to the park really quickly!

The only ride we really wanted to ride was Hyperspace Mountain since that will be closing and the ride will be the normal ride again next week. But we also both needed something to eat (I don’t usually eat much before dentist appointments and I was so hungry). We thought about trying to see if we could get into Blue Bayou, but they weren’t doing any walk ups at that time. They told us we could come back later, but we were both pretty hungry so we headed over to Plaza Inn for some pot roast.

I usually don’t get this to eat, but it was pretty good and filling! And it’s always nice to sit down to eat and not feel too rushed. The park was pretty crowded between people being there after work and people celebrating graduations, so to be away from the crowds was good.

After that, we headed over to California Adventure to wait until our time to ride Hyperspace Mountain. The new Guardians of The Galaxy ride will be opening this weekend and the entire park is going to be doing a summer of heroes event. I don’t think anything has started yet, but the signs were up as we walked into the park.

I know I’ll be in the park at least once before I’m blacked out for the summer, so I’m excited to get to see what offerings will be in the park. They’ve already promoted a fun menu and I think that it will be nice to see what else is happening.

Once we got to California Adventure, we did a bit of window shopping and then headed over to the Animation Academy. My biggest issue with drawing is drawing circles. And of course, the character we were drawing was Mickey Mouse, which is all circles! But I think in the end both of our drawing look pretty decent!

We headed back to Disneyland after that to ride our ride, and I got a moment to admire how much my new key chain matches the park!

We had a good ride on Hyperspace Mountain. Our photo didn’t really come out, so I don’t have a ride photo to share (sorry!). But we were both just taking in the ride and enjoying all the fun things they added for the Hyperspace overlay. I don’t know if this overlay will come back, but I hope it will eventually. But I think I agree with Michelle when she said it will be nice to have the regular ride back. It’s had this overlay for quite some time and I think the normal ride is going to feel special again.

Our last ride that day was Buzz Lightyear since Michelle and I have our year-long competition happening with that ride. I guess I’m really lucky that one time I scored a really high score on that ride, because Michelle is always beating me! And this time was no exception. But in our year-long battle, I’m still ahead!

With the park being as crowded as it was and both Michelle and I tired from our dentist appointments, we were ready to head home. And we realized that the parade was going to start so we wanted to rush out before it started and it became difficult to leave. But even with rushing out of the park, I took a brief moment to get a photo of how pretty Main Street looks at nighttime.

It’s always magical at Disneyland, and at nighttime it seems even more magical. After getting out of the park, we made one more stop at World of Disney in Downtown Disney. There were a few things that I had been debating about getting and I wanted to look in the store to see prices and to think carefully about what I wanted to spend my money on.

I’ve been wanting the Disney ice cube tray since I had seen it months ago, and I finally decided to get it. And right next to it was a really cute votive holder that I couldn’t resist getting. And I’ve been looking casually for a new mug (the ones I have are all chipping and are pretty old) and had never found a Disney mug that I loved. But this time, there was a really cool mug that didn’t scream Disney that I had to get!

It’s a bit of a splurge to get stuff at Disneyland, but I rarely do it. And it wasn’t too expensive even with all 3 items so I figured I could find other places I could cut back this week to make it work with my budget.

Michelle and I were only at Disneyland for about 4 hours and we really didn’t do much, but it was a perfect post-dentist outing. I know I won’t be able to go after my big dental appointment since that is so late in the afternoon, but I’ve already got a Disney day planned for June. And there’s always a chance I’ll have another random Disney day before I’m blacked out for the summer!

Another Dentist Visit (or Panicking About Panicking)

I’ve written a bit about my issues with going to the dentist in the past. It still bugs me that I used to be completely fine with the dentist and now it’s become a huge ordeal for me. I know I need to go 3 times a year and I don’t avoid the appointments because that can lead to more issues than I want to deal with. But it doesn’t make it easier to get through each appointment.

I’ve also written about how taking Vyvanse was supposed to make my panic attacks worse. But for some reason it’s had the opposite effect for the dentist. I’m so grateful that is the case for me, but it doesn’t eliminate all the panic I feel and it’s still a bit of an ordeal for me to go.

I had my cleaning this Monday and I tried my best to be ready for it. I had plenty of teeth nightmares (thinking my teeth are falling out, have massive cavities in them, need them to be pulled out) in the month leading up to the appointment. And when I was brushing my teeth the week before the appointment I seriously thought I saw something that looked like a cavity so I was freaking out. I was dreading the bad news I was expecting to get at the appointment and just tried to get to Monday so I could get it over with.

I had my usual workout in the morning (which was a nice distraction for an hour) and several errands scheduled between the workout and the appointment. But when I was driving over to the dentist I was starting to have a panic attack. But this panic attack wasn’t about being at the dentist. This was about worrying that I would have a panic attack while I was in the middle of the appointment. I literally was panicking about potentially panicking. It wasn’t fun.

As soon as the dental hygienist came to get me, I really felt like I was about to burst into tears. I wasn’t shaking and my breathing was normal, so that was an improvement. And I let her know my concerns so she could try to get me reassured as quickly as possible.

The first thing the hygienist did was check my teeth for any damage. She takes her time doing this because she wants to give me an answer immediately if there are any issues that I should be worried. While she was looking I was pinching my arm as hard as possible to distract me from when felt like impending doom. And once she was done looking she said that everything looked fine (not even something that looks like it could turn into a cavity anytime soon) and got on with the rest of the appointment.

As soon as I got that news, all the fear and panic melted away from my body. I felt completely normal and made it through the rest of the appointment with no issues at all. Even all the stuff I hate (like the scraping stuff) was fine and I felt relaxed.

I keep joking with the hygienist that I’m ready for this panic about the dentist to end. I’m doing significantly better but I’m not back to how I was before the panic attacks started. I feel like the panic attacks are now a fear about potential panic attacks which is a bit better than panicking about the appointment itself. These are baby steps to getting over this issue and while the progress is annoyingly slow for me it’s progress.

Hopefully within the next few years dentist appointments will bring the same lack of panic as any doctor appointment for me (I only panic when I know my blood has to be drawn). Once I can treat these appointments as just a normal part of life, the better.

There is one other thing that may have made this a better appointment than in the past, but that is a story for tomorrow’s post!

Less Panic At The Dentist (or Am I Finally Over This?)

I had to go in for one of my regular cleanings at the dentist on Monday. I’ve talked about my issues with the dentist before and I hate that I’ve had this problem for so many years. I wish I could be someone who doesn’t think twice about going to the dentist and just shows up and gets the cleaning done with.

But instead, I get horrible nightmares relating to my teeth for the week or so leading up to the appointment (usually they are about my teeth falling out or having massive holes in them). And the morning of the appointment my stomach is horribly upset and my heart is racing. I feel sick until after the hygienist (who is awesome and knows how to deal with my panic attacks) tells me that there is nothing that concerns her. Then I just deal with minor stress through the rest of the appointment (she could always change her mind and see something bad with my teeth) and don’t feel stress free until I’m paying the bill (which I think is what most people get stressed about).

This appointment had to be rescheduled from earlier this month and the only time they could fit me in was in the afternoon. I usually like morning appointments so I can get it over with, but it wasn’t going to work that way for me. So I did my best to get through my day (including a morning workout at Orangetheory) and tried to not freak out too much.

Because I’m on Vyvanse (which is a stimulant), my panic medication (which is a depressant) isn’t as effective as it could be. If I was smart that day, I would have used that day as a day off of Vyvanse and just taken my panic meds. But I didn’t think things through. I took both my morning and lunchtime Vyvanse before my appointment and made sure that I was properly panic medication medicated before going to the dentist.

On a random note, I found out that one of the dental assistants at my dentist’s office isn’t there anymore. She was the one who would always call me before an appointment and remind me to take my medication. She saw me before I started taking it and she joked that she never wanted to see that crazy side of me again. I was pretty out of control at one major appointment and I know it isn’t fair for anyone there to have to deal with me when I’m in the middle of a horrible attack. But I’ve always properly medicated myself since then so I saw her reminders as just something funny and a joke between us.

When I got to the office, my heart was racing and I was shaking and sweating. It wasn’t pretty. And I had to wait a bit for my appointment which seemed to make things worse. Thankfully, when I sat in the chair I was able to relax a bit.

It does help that the hygienist changed the order of the cleaning so that it’s easier on me and my panic attacks. It’s all minor stuff she did, but it’s made a major difference for me.

And I’m shocked to report that even with the higher dosage of Vyvanse plus having taken both pill prior to my appointment that this was the easiest appointment I’ve had in years! I don’t know what changed, but I stopped panicking within a few minutes of the cleaning starting. I usually have bruises on my wrists or arms from where I pinch myself to not focus on the cleaning, but I’m bruise-free! And I’ve had appointments where after I’m done my body aches from shaking through the entire appointment. But this time I don’t know if I was shaking at all!

I don’t get why things are easier on me now. It really should be the opposite. And I’m not over my issues with the dentist because my morning was just as bad as it’s ever been. I just was able to feel normal again much sooner than I usually can.

I really hope that this is a new trend for me. If I can get to the point where I’m only panicking before arriving at the appointment, that would be a huge victory for me! I know that if I need major dental work again in the future that the panic attacks may come back stronger than ever (it was a major dental work appointment that started the attacks). And because genetically I have bad teeth it is very unlikely that I won’t need major work in the future.

But for now, I’m thrilled with the progress I’ve made so far and I’m glad that I don’t have to be back at the dentist for 4 months!

Another Year Another Dentist Panic (or One Medications Overriding Another)

I had my big dentist appointment this week. The big appointment is when I not only have a cleaning with the hygienist, but I also have to do x-rays and see the dentist as well. I hate these big appointments because I always think that something is going to be horribly wrong and I’ll be told that if I don’t fix something ASAP my teeth will fall out.

I know it seems crazy to think that, but so many of these appointments have ended in the past with me scheduling more appointments for major dental work. I’ve had more fillings, crowns, and shots than anybody would ever want in their life. And I know that there will eventually be more major dental work in my future because all the work that was done previously won’t last forever. Many things will need to be repaired or replaced one day. I’ve already had to have one crown cemented down again. And while that wasn’t that extreme of an appointment, it was still pretty painful for me.

The panic meds I’ve been taking for years have helped a bit. And even when I had my last cleaning and was dealing with Vyvanse plus my panic meds wasn’t too bad. But the combination of the double appointment plus the Vyvanse was not that great.

The night before the appointment, I couldn’t sleep. I have had tooth nightmares for several nights leading up to the appointment and knew that I would have another nightmare that night as well. I woke up exhausted and tried my best to time out my medications. I took my morning Vyvanse plus a painkiller (I figured that some pain relief couldn’t hurt). I’m lucky that my increased dosage of Vyvanse is split so I only had one dose prior to my dentist appointment. But I still had more panic than before.

Whenever I have these double appointments, I always try to schedule my cleaning first. That way, the hygienist can give me a heads up if something looks suspicious to her. She didn’t see anything so I moved on to the next chair for the x-rays.

X-rays aren’t painful, but they aren’t that fun for me either. I always look at the screen when the x-rays come up and try to see what they might show (I have no clue how to read dental x-rays so looking at them doesn’t do me any good). Once the dentist took a look at my x-rays, he gave me a clean bill of tooth health. Nothing is looking like a cavity (or pre-cavity), all my fillings look good and don’t need to be crowns yet, and all my crowns are secure and aren’t causing me any extra tooth sensitivity.

As soon as I was done paying, I got out of the office. I don’t like being there because I still have memories of bad appointments in the past. Even after I have a good appointment, I start thinking about the next one and get scared that in 4 months I will have something wrong.

I wish I could just outgrow this fear. I’m aware that it’s silly and I haven’t had a bad appointment in a while. But I don’t want to be comfortable either because I know that my panic makes me take better care of my teeth than many people do.

I’m just glad that I survived another dentist appointment and had nothing wrong. And I was able to schedule a couple of things to be right after the dentist appointment so I didn’t have to think about it too long after the appointment ended. I was too busy focusing on everything else (and all the good stuff) happening in my life.

Surviving The Dentist (or Testing My Panic Meds)

Yesterday I had a cleaning at the dentist. For most people, a cleaning isn’t a big deal. But as I’ve said before, I have horrible panic attacks at the dentist due to a bad experience several years ago.

Normally, I take my panic meds and things go as well as they can. I still have issues, even at cleanings. But it’s more manageable and I’m able to move on to my day quickly after leaving the dentist (in the past, I’d need hours to decompress from it and get the stress out of my body). I’ve been taking my panic meds at the dentist for years and it has made such a huge difference.

But now that I’m on Vyvanse, things are very different. Vyvanse is a stimulant and my panic meds are a depressant. Those counterbalance each other out. I’ve been warned to not take any depressant meds while on Vyvanse since it is almost like wasting the Vyvanse for that day. So I’ve been off of my strong painkillers since starting it (since those are depressants). But I could not imagine going to the dentist without my panic meds so I figured that it was in my best interest to take them and hope for the best.

I stood outside of the dentist’s door for minutes while I tried to get my heart rate under control. I have no clue if the racing heart rate was due to the stimulant of Vyvanse of my panic.

Dentist Office

When I finally got inside, I did warn the dental hygienist about the situation. She hasn’t really ever seen how bad it can get because the entire time she’s been my hygienist, I’ve taken my meds before any dental procedures.

It was not an easy cleaning to get through. I was sweating like crazy (thank goodness I was wearing quick-dry workout clothes) and I couldn’t stop shaking. The shaking was so bad that the chair was shaking underneath me. Fortunately, that didn’t affect the cleaning and my hygienist was able to get through things quickly.

She even said that I didn’t seem any worse than I usually do. So that’s reassuring.

There is no question in my mind that the Vyvanse makes my panic meds less effective. I’m sure that the panic meds also make the Vyvanse less effective. But since I don’t think that medication is being that effective to begin with, I didn’t really feel a difference. Knowing that my panic meds are as effective does make me a bit nervous. I’m not as stressed out for known panic situations (like the dentist or flying), but I’m worried how things will be when I have an unexpected and severe panic attack.

I haven’t had a severe panic attack since starting the Vyvanse and I hope that it stays that way. I don’t want to know what it will be like with a severe panic attack. But if one happens, I guess I will just have to get through it.

But at least for now, I know that I can get through the dentist. It isn’t easy, but it’s possible.

Surviving At The Dentist (or When Will I Grow Out Of My Fear)

I had to go to the dentist this week for a regular cleaning. Although, for me, even a regular cleaning feels like a major procedure.

I’ve gotten to the point where I’m sick and tired of having panic attacks over the dentist. I tell myself over and over that things will be fine, but I’m still a mess when I get there.

While I’m happy that I have the timing of my panic pills down to a science so I know exactly when to take them in order to make things not as bad as they could be. But it’s still horrible going in.

This time, there was a combined panic because not only was I going to the dentist but because I was unable to find parking I was sure I was going to be late (I hate to be late and being late makes me feel a bit panicky as well). By the time I was walking up the stairs to the office, I was sweating like crazy and my vision was getting very dark (I’m lucky I never passed out).

I’m basically holding back on having a panic attack for the first few minutes of the appointment. Once the dental hygienist does the counting thing and moves on to the cleaning, I figure that any tragedy with my teeth (like cavities or something worse) would have already been discovered.

While I am grateful that my dental team knows how bad my fear is and is very accommodating for me, I’m ready for this fear to end. I haven’t had it my entire life so I feel like there should be an end date.

I’m not sure what I can do to make the fear go away. I know of hypnotherapy (which I’ve done before and it doesn’t work on me that well) and exposure therapy, but I don’t know if either would really help. And going to the dentist 3 times a year and having no problems is basically exposure therapy.

I’ve got the same frustration with my fear of flying. I’ll be flying in about 7 weeks and on the flight home, I might not be able to take my panic meds (I’ll be wine tasting that morning and you can’t mix alcohol and the medicine). I might skip the wine tasting to take my meds, but I wish there was a way to test myself to see if I really need them without actually flying without my meds.

So I’m reaching out to all of you for suggestions. Have any of you successfully gotten over something that you feared or had panic issues with? How did you do it? And how can you test if the fear/panic issues are really gone?

Failure of a Plan (or Balancing Out The Good And The Bad)

I had yesterday planned out a while ago, and nothing that I planned really ended up happening.

It started a few months back when I scheduled my dentist visit to be on 1/31. At that time, I was expecting to be unemployed, so going to the dentist wouldn’t cut into my work time. Also, but not going to work after the dentist, I wouldn’t have to worry about how low-energy I’d be at work because of my panic meds (my fear of the dentist continues!).

Well, as I’ve mentioned before here, I’m not unemployed now. But I did plan my dentist visit to be the first thing in the morning and I didn’t have to be at work until noon, so I’d have time for the panic meds to wear off.

Then on Wednesday, I get my favorite type of text message in the world: a text from my agents saying I have an audition! Yay! This audition was for a commercial, and the audition was also going to be yesterday afternoon.

I wasn’t worried about having to miss work for the audition (my boss is super understanding). I was worried because I know from past experiences that I do not audition well when I have taken panic meds.

So I had a decision to make. Do I risk going to the dentist without medication or do I risk auditioning with it? I would have rather moved my dentist appointment, but I got the audition text after the dentist was closed and I was not going to cancel 30 minutes prior to my appointment in the morning.

I took the risk and went without panic meds.

It wasn’t too good. I survived without fainting, but this was just a cleaning so there were no needles involved. I did have a small panic attack (nothing like the one I had a few weeks back) but I did have a moment where I couldn’t catch my breath and was crying. Fortunately, the hygienist is one of the nicest people out there and was trying to help me get through the appointment.

I also found out at the dentist that I need more work done. It’s not a crown, but a filling. I’m having it done on Monday, and since it involves needles, I will be medicating (and possibly taking the day off from work).

The positive in all this: I discovered that in an emergency, I can make it through a dental cleaning unmedicated, but won’t do that unless necessary.

And my audition went better than I could have hoped! I’m glad I was able to audition unmedicated and now I get to play the waiting game.

My Current Diet (or I Miss Food)

I’ve been on a weird diet lately. And I don’t mean that I’m on Atkins, the Zone, Paleo, or the HCG diet. I mean the food I’m eating is weird.

I had the start of my dental adventure, and next week, it finally ends. I’ve had one permanent crown repaired and I’ll have my temporary crown replaced with a permanent one next Tuesday. For a while, I could not have any food that needed to be chewed. My meals pretty much all looked like this:


Not too exciting. I can now  have “regular” food, but I can only chew on one side of my mouth until next week. So I’m being safe and only having soft foods. So a lot of overcooked pasta and soup everyday.

This makes me miss food.

It also brings back memories of the times I was on the UCLA RFO Diet. Basically, it’s an all liquid diet. Everyday, I had 6 shakes that were each 100 calories. I was constantly monitored by doctors (appointments every week, blood draws and EKGs twice a month). I also went to therapy classes there. The first time I did the diet, I did it for 9 months without cheating. The second time, 10 months without cheating. I lost 100 pounds both times.

I missed food so much when I was on the RFO program. All the shakes where so sweet and I craved salt. Eventually, I just got a spoonful of Kosher salt once a week and ate it.

The diet worked while I was on it, but obviously, I wasn’t able to maintain the loss. That’s one reason why I’m trying to do it this time in a “normal” way. I can’t keep bouncing back and forth.

Right now, while I’m not really eating, I keep having dreams (or nightmares) that I’m back on the RFO program. I wake up panicked about it.

I’m so glad that by Wednesday next week, I won’t have to miss food anymore.