Monday, March 18, 2013

Let’s talk Ph-Ph-Phobia... Eek!

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you probably heard about my dental ordeal last week. I’ve known since November I needed to have a root canal, but I kept putting it off. Even though I suspected the “bad” tooth was causing the excessive headaches and the occasional ear ache, I still refused to call and schedule the appointment. In my defense, I did have it scheduled for January 10th, but that was the only day my son could have his wisdom teeth removed, and being the loving, giving parent that I am, I sacrificed my appointment for the sake of his. :-D

What surprised me was how many of my friends also have a fear of going to the dentist.

According to, a phobia is “a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.”

I’m not sure I have an actual phobia of the dentist. I don’t have an irrational fear, I have a very specific reason that I’m afraid to go. As a child, I spent a lot of time in the dentist’s chair. He always gave me the “goofy gas” (nitrous), so it wasn’t usually too bad. But one time, he had a rubber dam in my mouth and refused to take it out or believe me when I told him I was going to get sick.

I clearly remember him saying, “Oh, no you’re not.”

I also clearly remember starting to throw up, but with a rubber dam in my mouth it had no where to go except stuck in my throat... which was nasty, but also resulted in me choking.

Since then, I’ve been terrified to go. The lady at the endodontist put it into words that finally made sense for me. She said, “You trusted them to take care of you. When they didn’t, you know no longer have a trust for him, or anyone in that profession.”

That’s very true and the reason I didn’t go for years... which is how this tooth ended up getting into the condition it did. I knew I needed a filling, but I didn’t go. I let it go for so long, that when they did try to fill it, the tooth cracked. Then I needed a crown. The crown loosened and started coming off (which we didn’t know), which allowed bacteria to get down into the tooth, which caused the infection in the gum, which made it need a root canal.

Now, let me say, my current dentist is wonderful. He also had a phobia of the dentist, which is why he went into the profession. He wanted to help people like us. He’s a sweet, gentle man, who always goes out of his way to be as kind and gentle as he can. So that fear and distrust has eased over the years, but I also have a very strong aversion to pain. :-D

My teeth are sensitive, so even cleanings are uncomfortable for me. But again, I have an amazing hygienist that is cautious and goes slow, especially around the sensitive gum areas, and I’m usually able to get through a cleaning without squealing even once. LOL

The reason for this long dissertation was to defend my position and show that I’ve ruled my fear of the dentist out as a phobia. I’m afraid, but I have good reason. However, I do have several other phobias, which are true irrational fears that can leave me nearly paralyzed when confronted with them.

Heights is one of them. I know a lot of other people share this same fear. In fact, my step-dad is also afraid of heights, something I find extremely amusing... I guess as a fighter pilot, he just never looked down?! :D

I’m also afraid of tight spaces. When I was little, my mom used to make me crawl under my bed to vacuum. I remember being terrified that the bed was going to fall on me and I would be crushed; I couldn’t breathe and my arms and fingers would get numb and tingly. I would vacuum like crazy to get it done so I could get out from under there and grab a good, deep breath.

That phobia isn’t quite as bad now, but I still don’t like tight spaces – like small bathroom stalls, and even elevators. If they’re rickety and I’m riding for a long time, I find myself sweating and having to force myself to breathe normally.

So what about you? Do you have any phobias... or any fears that aren’t phobias, because you have a reasonable explanation for avoiding them like your life depended on it? The rafflecopter is extended through next week, but you can still keep adding chances to win by commenting here and Tweeting/Facebooking to encourage others to come over and check out my blog. I love making new friends!

Have a beautiful week everyone!
Peace and Love,

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Angela Love said...

About my life.... I'm a mom of 3 Two girls Brittny 22 and Cheyenne 15 and my Baby Boy Ryder 11 and I have my precious Granddaughter Addison one more grandbaby on the way come august...I'm a Wife to my Best friend Dale though we can be enemies too... I love reading and have LOTS of Phobias.... Heights, Flying, Spiders, and The dentist!!! but I have to say thanks for this chance to win I have all the books in the heat waves series but would LOVE to have a signed copy of anything Alannah Lynne has out!!!

Carin said...

My phobia of dentists came from a childhood experience as well but mine involved some inappropriate touching so it took me years and having our neighbor be a dentist before I could go, I don't fear heights so much as falling and crowds send me into a panic attack. So fear not (tee hee) you are not alone in your phobia's

Angie Ellis said...

My phobia is a weird one. :) I know ur thinking ANGIE WIERD ...NEVER LOL. But every since I was a little girl I have been scared of......................*cue scary music*.........SCARECROWS ........yes there I said it....I had a traumatic incident of one turning its head towards me as if to try to grab me and eat me I was only four or five at the time BUT I swear too this day I saw what I saw sooooo I stay as far away from a scare crow as possible.

Alannah Lynne said...

Angela - You're so sweet to me!! Thank you! My youngest shares the fear of spiders. He had a terrible allergic reaction to wasps, and went through 5 years of injections to keep him from having another reaction. I would think if he was going to be afraid of anything, it would be wasps. But nope, spiders make him squall like a little girl and send him running. It's actually really funny to see, and I try not to laugh, but I'm not very successful at that! :-D Thanks for commenting and for sharing on FB!! {{hugs}}

Alannah Lynne said...

Carin - That's horrible!!!! I'm so sorry that happened to you. I'm glad you had someone who could help get past it, at least to the point where you could go and have your teeth taken care of.

You know, I'm wondering if my fear of heights is actually a fear of falling, too. I hadn't really thought of it that way, but as long as I don't look down, and think about falling, I'm okay. Hmmm....

I guess skydiving is off the table for you, too?! :-D

Thanks for visiting with me and for sharing your phobias with me!!!

Alannah Lynne said...

Okay, Angie, I have to apologize right up front for laughing. But only because the way you presented it was so funny.

Was there adults with you? I bet one of them thought it would be funny to turn the head like that (totally something my husband would do), not thinking about the lingering traumatic effects.

Fortunately, I'm guessing you don't have to encounter a lot of scarecrows, though, right?

Becki Wyer said...

I have a horrible fear of clowns, masks and dolls. I can lay the cause for this at Stephen King's feet. "It" scared the crap out of me.

Alannah Lynne said...

Becki - my oldest also has a fear of clowns. He has his entire life. My step-mom collects clowns, so whenever we visited them, she would have to cover the display case and in the bedroom, we would have to take down all the pictures on the walls. Now that he's older (26), she doesn't have to cover the display case anymore, but the bedroom pictures still have to go! :D

Trish Bowers said...

I'm right there with you on the dentist. I had to be about 8 or 10 when the old crabby dentist scared me. He was always mean and crabby but when he shoved a needle in my gums without warning me that was it. I yelled cause well it hurt and I didn't know he what he was doing. He took me to the waiting room and yelled at me in front of everyone and my mom. Mom made him finish what he was going to do. Which turns out he was going to pull a tooth. Took me back in the room, leaned in real close and said "You see that window? The next time you make a sound I will throw you through it" Ever since when I go to the dentist I have like a panic attack. I know it sounds dumb, but I can't help it.

Sue G. said...

I hate bees. Don't know why. I have been stung and it is not the end of the world, but I just don't like them. Problem is that I LOVE flowers. I have to plant my flowers with headphones in, MP3 player very loud and a can of bee spray next to me. I'm sure my neighbors get a kick out of it!

Don't include me in the give-a-way...I already have all 3 books! Currently reading #3!

Angie Ellis said...

Um noooo no one was around I was riding my tricycle down to my granny's which was literally a yard away. I just seen the darn thing turn its head and smile.....I helped stuff that sob....seriously I was crying hysterical of course no ones believes me even hate all the scarecrow's around at fall all over the stores and such....AHHHHHHHH they creep me out.......soooo I'm thinking this store is prob wort a signed book :) ya know to help ease my traumatic mind :).

Alannah Lynne said...

OMG, Trish!!! That's horrifying! I can't believe he would be like with a patient... with anyone! But especially with a child. What a cranky bastard.

No, it doesn't sound dumb at all. It sounds perfectly understandable that you wouldn't want to go to the dentist after that. No one would!

Alannah Lynne said...

Sue - No, it's not the end of the world, but bee stings HURT!! I used to go the city pool when I was younger - I'd actually spend all day every day there (cheap babysitting. :D ). I remember that all the grassy area around it was planted with mostly clover. All of my friends would run across the field to the pool, and I'd be tip-toeing and skip hopping through it, trying not to step on any bees. :-D I don't mind the sound of them, but I don't want to get stung!

Alannah Lynne said...

Angie - you're too funny!! I wish someone had a video camera set up somewhere so we could go back in time and see exactly what happened.

I hadn't thought about all the scarecrows they sell at stores and craft stores, etc. in the fall. Not one, not two, but a hundred scary scarecrows! :-D