Dentist Visit

DENTIST VISIT VENTING TIME!!!!

Triggers!!!


Dentist office visit today... Major work way in the way back of my mouth. This turned out to be TWO AND A HALF HOURS OF WORK BACK THERE!!! I took Xanax before I went in. They have dropped Nitrous Oxide due to the time and cost of changed cleaning requirements due to Covid and no disposable pieces due to prices of the tubing then landfill trash. (Next time more Xanax!). I took my wife, we joke that she is my "Support Animal" !

I don't have a usually foul mouth, but ... SHIT, CRAP, DAMN, FUCK!!!!!!!! (Sorry, Mom!)

I reminded each member of my team that I have PTSD. They all are understanding and gentle with me. But you all know that isn't always enough! I know all the calming tricks, tools and techniques. But you all know that isn't always enough! My wife KNOWS me and knows what to do to try and help, but if I'm too far gone...

Brief history... There was one adult family member and six adult friends of that family member who sexually abused me off and on my ENTIRE childhood and teenage years.

Laying in that dentist chair today was the 8 year old me. Jeff (family friend) had taken photos of me, and of us. He teased me, abused me, made me do things, anally raped me...

The bright dentist work lights...they were there to record me, to take THOSE pictures!
All the dentist tools and multiple hands in my mouth... What all did Jeff put/shove in my mouth (and other openings)? I saw and felt a lot of them today!!
The assistant sprayed water to clean the work area and my throat literally closed up and I was choking... What was that liquid Jeff forced down my throat to calm me down that made me choke while he made me lay down? What else did that man physically make me choke and gag on!!!!!!
The dentist, assistant and my wife at different times..."Breath, TJ. Relax. Are you doing ok? Do you want to slow down? Do you need a break or a moment? We are almost done.".... I think Jeff said all those things at one point or another.

There were times when they could tell I was having difficulty and they stopped and stepped back till I said ok. My wife told me later that at one point she was pushing me to take break and the staff was asking too. I don't remember saying, no, I'm fine.

My wife and I have already made changes to our safety plan for my next visit. I slept for HOURS after we got home.

TODAY WAS SO VERY PAINFUL, physically and emotionally! Lots of quiet and discreet tears.

Ok, deep breaths. Today's events are over and I AM SAFE AND OK!!!!!

TeeJayUU
 

Wharf_Rat

Registrant
What an awful experience. I hope no future dentist visits are bad like that. I'm glad, too, that you had your wife for moral support. (I've been putting off seeing the dentist for a few years now myself.)
 

MO-Survivor

Registrant
My last dentist visit was right after a session with my T. And my hygienist was slow and very, very thorough. Sitting in that chair, trapped, I felt like I did during the incidents of CSA. And I managed the dental visit like I handled the CSA incidents as a kid: I sat there, gritted my teeth (figuratively), and just endured until it was over. Lesson learned - don't go to the dentist right after a T session, where that frozen kid gets stirred up and awakened.

Sounds like your experience was much more traumatic due to what you went through as a boy (reading what you went through, how many people abused you, how long it went on made me just want to cry for you). I am very sorry - even though that feels empty to say. Take good care of yourself!
 

manipulated

Moderator
Staff member
Oh NO!!!! You may be braver than I to let them finish. Glad we are here to hear you and understand. May tomorrow be a calmer day.
 
the dentist story reminds me of a funny story my neighbor told me recently. As a kid he had to get a filling and hated going to the dentist. After the dentist finished drilling he jumped out of the chair and ran out the door. He hid in the church bell tower across the street until night came, then he went home. He went back the next week to get the filling put in. The dentist told him he shouldn't have run because he was done with drilling which is the hard part. I should mention my neighbor has a serious fear of needles etc.
 
I just got back from the dentist today. first time since COVID, and really the first time since dealing with my repressed trafficking memories and learning that I actually had PTSD/cPTSD.

I also had a PT appointment just before. I am not sure if that added to triggers. The guy was attractive but I didn't feel any triggers at the time, he actually seemed very safe to me, but perhaps all the physical touch was subconsciously triggering.

my Dentist and the Dental Assistant/Hygienist were both female and seemed very safe. I was originally only there to replace a implant crown that had fallen out previously. The first part of the visit went ok. It got to the point where my mouth was filling up with saliva and I needed to swallow, I was able to gesture to get them to pause for a bit, so I could could swallow - I was actually hoping they would give me a separate suction hook and put it on that side, but I could not communicate that effectively.

They then discovered the tooth next to the re-implanted crown had a missing filling. I was fine with doing it on the same day since I had the time and the money, and didn't think much about it. However the experience was ten times worse than the previous part. By that time, I was so triggered, my default mentality kicked in. I was not able to communicate, just like during the abuse, I convinced myself that the only way to stay safe -- to stay alive -- was to be absolutely quiet until they were finished with me.

I had to continually remind myself to breathe - through my nose - as hard as I could, though it was difficult. My mouth/throat closes off and I am not able to swallow, so the saliva piles up in my mouth, making the choking sensation worse. After it was over, I was SPENT!! I could barely get out of my chair. When I went to the check out area up front, they started processing things and I had to take a seat for a minute while they processed - I was that exhausted.

When I got home, I was able to reach out to my mentor/life coach from one of my other support groups. He helped me debrief the event.

I know now I need to inform certain clinicians of my PTSD so they can adjust their methods accordingly. ADMITTING to the PTSD was and is VERY difficult. Part of me does not want to disclose since it makes me feel weak.

I ended up sending an email to their customer service explaining the issue. I got a nicely worded reply saying they would inform the staff appropriately.

**************

I have never had such a triggering experience at the dentist before. Perhaps I have healed to the point where I no longer Dissociate during dental appointments so I can face the discomfort and allow the pain, fear and other emotions to surface instead of shoving them down. I suppose this is healthy and a sign of progress.

Getting the guts to actually SEND the email took MAJOR GUTS!
 

MO-Survivor

Registrant
I just got back from the dentist today. first time since COVID, and really the first time since dealing with my repressed trafficking memories and learning that I actually had PTSD/cPTSD.

I also had a PT appointment just before. I am not sure if that added to triggers. The guy was attractive but I didn't feel any triggers at the time, he actually seemed very safe to me, but perhaps all the physical touch was subconsciously triggering.

my Dentist and the Dental Assistant/Hygienist were both female and seemed very safe. I was originally only there to replace a implant crown that had fallen out previously. The first part of the visit went ok. It got to the point where my mouth was filling up with saliva and I needed to swallow, I was able to gesture to get them to pause for a bit, so I could could swallow - I was actually hoping they would give me a separate suction hook and put it on that side, but I could not communicate that effectively.

They then discovered the tooth next to the re-implanted crown had a missing filling. I was fine with doing it on the same day since I had the time and the money, and didn't think much about it. However the experience was ten times worse than the previous part. By that time, I was so triggered, my default mentality kicked in. I was not able to communicate, just like during the abuse, I convinced myself that the only way to stay safe -- to stay alive -- was to be absolutely quiet until they were finished with me.

I had to continually remind myself to breathe - through my nose - as hard as I could, though it was difficult. My mouth/throat closes off and I am not able to swallow, so the saliva piles up in my mouth, making the choking sensation worse. After it was over, I was SPENT!! I could barely get out of my chair. When I went to the check out area up front, they started processing things and I had to take a seat for a minute while they processed - I was that exhausted.

When I got home, I was able to reach out to my mentor/life coach from one of my other support groups. He helped me debrief the event.

I know now I need to inform certain clinicians of my PTSD so they can adjust their methods accordingly. ADMITTING to the PTSD was and is VERY difficult. Part of me does not want to disclose since it makes me feel weak.

I ended up sending an email to their customer service explaining the issue. I got a nicely worded reply saying they would inform the staff appropriately.

**************

I have never had such a triggering experience at the dentist before. Perhaps I have healed to the point where I no longer Dissociate during dental appointments so I can face the discomfort and allow the pain, fear and other emotions to surface instead of shoving them down. I suppose this is healthy and a sign of progress.

Getting the guts to actually SEND the email took MAJOR GUTS!
Wow Kal - thanks for sharing that, and yes - I think you are right on multiple counts: 1) it is a sign you are healing, if you can stay present in the moment - no matter how unpleasant it is, and 2) everything you wrote that you did took amazing courage!

I think on point #1 - that is somewhat of a weird, paradoxical part of healing. That is, as we heal, the harder some things can seem. But that's only because we adapted and dissociated, or stuffed and walled off our emotions, or whatever (dysfunctional) method of coping we had to do to survive as kids that we carried into adulthood. So as adults, it seems like everything is harder. And in a way it is. But it is healthier - because we are feeling now, we are living more in those moments. And like my T says all the time, "You don't get to pick and choose your emotions. You can't pick just the good ones. If you want to feel the good emotions, you have to also open yourself up to feel the bad ones."

But it isn't pleasant, and I know that's why some drop therapy at some point - it just becomes too overwhelming. I've found myself wanting to step away at times, and revert to old adaptive behaviors to cope. And there is something to be said for taking things in small bites, and / or informing others to deal with us a bit differently when needed (like you did). Nothing wrong with either of those things.
 
Hey Kal
I know now I need to inform certain clinicians of my PTSD so they can adjust their methods accordingly. ADMITTING to the PTSD was and is VERY difficult. Part of me does not want to disclose since it makes me feel weak.
This is a worst-case scenario with what you went through. Not being able to say that you suffer from PTSD sort of sets you up for these types of incidents. I'm glad you wrote them.

I have a similar problem in that I cannot have people working in my mouth. I also have trouble telling someone that I have a problem with PTSD. So if I have to have work done then I have to be anesthetized. Last summer I had to have a tooth pulled and I requested from the dentist I should be anesthetized but he talked me into using gas. He assured me that it would be OK. I was nervous but I said OK. What happened is that one of his assistants went behind me and put the mask over my nose and held it to my face and held my head to the headrest. I started freaking out but I couldn't say anything because the gas had taken effect but it was her hand around my face holding the mask was too much. It went quickly but I was totally messed up. I walked out of the place like a drunk. I had to go back a week later for a checkup. It took me all of that time to get up the guts to tell them that I suffer from PTSD. When I got there the next week I asked them that it should be put down in my records that I must be anesthetized before any work is done.

I guess the problem we had was telling them that we suffer from PTSD and then we agreed to how they wanted to do things. I got the same response you did in that everyone was kind and yes they would make a note that anesthesia has to be used. I'm sure that if I would have told them that I suffered from PTSD in the beginning they would have anesthetized me without any mention of using gas. I also never thought that she would go behind me and grab my face and pin it down.
 
Just shows how simple things like going to the dentist can become so triggering. It took over a week for me to calm down. This isn't the first instance where I heard or experienced someone going to a doctor and something in that office sets them off. I thought that the gas would be OK until that assistant went in the back of the chair and held the mask over my nose and my head from moving. It was good that the gas was fast-acting because I'm sure I would have fought to get out of that situation. I hear too many stories where guys just don't go to doctors because of fear of getting triggered.
 
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