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The Hygenist broke me


With a fat lip, no feeling from my cheekbones to my chin, I cried fat tears in the car home. After this mad week of IVF, eggs, bloods and chemo-school, the Hygenist, really the least of my motherfucking challenges this week, broke me.


Even the most positively minded have shit days. And yesterday was one of them. Although in defence I am blaming hormone imbalance, having dropped from injections of madness to nothing.


Injection after injection

I have never been to a fancy dental Hygienist before. My old dentist was a dentist-hygienist combo, and never as thorough as today. It started simply enough. We ran through the medical fun stuff. Reviewed drugs. She took a quick look at my teeth and gums speaking numbers and technical terms back to her nurse: 1, 3, 4, mesial, distal, occlusal.


I needed everything cleaned, and it would be easier if it was numb. She fired 8 injections of anaesthetic into my face. Two of them went into that boney lower gum line below your front teeth, and hurt, a lot. Neither the yoga breathing, or Keith’s pinch-the-hell-out-of-another-body-part way of coping, could mask the discomfort. I got a ‘well-done’ for not making any noise.


I am jealous of fake tan

Once I had almost no feeling in my face she started cleaning my teeth. They’re lovely and sparkly now, I have no issues to worry about during chemo, and I walked away with lots of free samples. It was fine, in truth.


But, as the dental nurse leant over me with her little water hoover, I recognised the biscuity scent of fresh fake tan. Her orangey-brown arm showed the colour corrector was still to be washed off. I assume she was prepping for a Friday or Saturday night out and I got a little jealous.


It already feels so long ago, and I remember that life. Of going out after work, meeting in town, cocktails, wine and loud music. Snacks, Malone’s rolls on the way home.


I am not a clubber. I am asleep by 11pm. But I love bar atmospheres and long inebriated discussions. Dog chat. Plans. Setting the world straight. Sarcasm and banter. Friends. Especially as we round into Autumn and Winter, there is nothing better than being tucked into a cosy window table as the rain pours down outside and the wind throws leaves at your view. Throw in great mates, a bottle of red, a messy candle and dogs on the floor, what a start to the weekend.


Maybe it was this thought as I lay being tortured (I felt nothing, this is over dramatic) that sparked the tears. Maybe it’s just the end of a week full of needles and bruises and annoying pain. Not full-scale I need a lot of painkillers pain, just quietly throbbing in the background pain. Which is probably my least favourite of it all.


As I cried about it in the car to Keith, I realised quite how much work goes into getting ready for treatment. In the past fortnight I’ve had:


  • Two wisdom teeth removed

  • An ECG

  • 38 injections (24 IVF, 14 dental)

  • One pneumonia vaccine

  • One flu vaccine (so 40 jags, if you count these)

  • 8 blood samples taken

  • One cannula placed

  • One sedation

  • One egg harvest

  • Consumed paracetamol, liquid Codine, and a lot of Laxido as a result

  • 7 ultrasounds

  • One panicked appointment with Dr Olly about a Lymph node, which was fine

  • And, a chemotherapy class


Next week, I have an MRI, my final dentist appointment, bloods, I get my eyebrows tattooed on - which I cannot wait for! - And I haven’t started.


Friday was a bad day. But Saturday is wet beach dog walk day and a chance to sit in that pub by the window one more time. It’ll be much better.


- the cover shot for this blog is my heavily filtered (thanks insta) numb-and-just-cried face. Solid bloody look!

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