December 4, 2004

Denta-van

I writing from my mom-in-law's comp as I sit in the house my husband grew up in...I am still mightily impressed that it is possible to access/update my site from any computer. WHO KNEW?

I have brought a copy of the ARC back here and am driving around town making my old high school English teacher and my favorite theatre director look at it.. I am UN. EN. DUR. A. BLE. But I have big, merciful plans to get over myself. I am just having a LEEETLE trouble recovering from the ARC. The grace and mystic beauty of the ARC. It is like paper heroin. I sniff at it and my brain floods with love-endorphins.

I will STOP sniffing it as soon as I am home, in the interest of getting actual work done. I can stop sniffing it any time. REALLY. I just...CHOOSE not to. BUT I COULD QUIT. IF I WANTED. *Looks vaguely feral and clutches ARC to bosom.*

A big HUFF of ARC is my new drug of choice, replacing Ativan. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? Let's talk about Ativan for a second. On further reflection, it is possible that ATIVAN could ween me off the ARC sniffing. I wonder if my doctor would think that was a good reason to write me a scrip? Probly not, huh.

Do you know Ativan? I met it because of my ongoing hate-hate relationship with modern dentisty. Let me say here, YOU KNOW I hate dentalness in general, but I LOVE my particular dentist and this one hygienist he has named pretty-red-haired-girl (not her real name). They are the tag-team of soothing hand-holders who get me through most of my procedures without me having a psychotic break. My dentist's eyes over his mask are large and sorrowful and kind. Also, he gives me Valium. SO. We like him. Not as much as we WOULD like him if he gave us ATIVAN, but hey, no one is perfect.

Don't get me wrong -- Valium is fine. It helps. It gets me in the CHAIR, okay, and if they give me a nice nose-scoop of NITROUS OXIDE to go with it, I will even open my mouth and allow them to put HORRIBLE WHINING DRILLS AND TORTUROUS INSTRUMENTS OF VILE POKING in there. I can STAND it if I have the Valium and the gas. But I don't really ENJOY valium. It's just a drug that does a job. Like Benadryl or Vitamin C. If I do not have a dental visit, the Valium will sit in the cabinet til it goes bad, and then I'll throw it out and my dentist gives me more.

BUT. When I was veryveryvery pregnant with Maisy, I had to have a cavity filled, and I was scared to take the Valium because what if it made her grow flippers and an extra head? So. I went to my huge factory of tag-team OBGYNs, and by sheer bad luck drew Dr. ImpersonalJerk (also not his real name....but it SHOULD be). Dr. IJ hummed around COMPLETELY NOT LISTENING to me as I expressed my valium/fetus fears and then said HERE TAKE THIS and handed me a prescription for ONE PILL.

That pill, Oh my lovely ducklings? Was Ativan. Beautiful, beautiful, golden-haired, delightful Princess Atavan. It is about 9 ZILLION TIMES more effective (AND um, toxic) than Valium EVER thought about being. I had no idea. I just assumed it was a milder, non-flipper causing form of valium and gobbled it down like a good illiterate moron who couldn't read the SHEET of warnings the pharmacist handed me along with my rattling single-pill-in-bottle.

ABout an hour after I ate the pill, I was curled up cozy as a cat in the car, watching as my entire town changed into the IT'S A SMALL WORLD ride at Disneyland. Little fat imaginary toddlers lined the roads, twirling and singing, and the SUNLIGHT was a KIND-HEARTED, LIVING GOLD haze that was almost TACTILE, running through my hair like liquid fingers. Scott? My husband? My LORD he was BREATHTAKINGLY LOVELY. He looked like the living incarnation of the Sun-God, RA, and every time he spoke his voice sounded like this BOOMING and CHEERFUL Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

HONEY! sang Ra, ARE! YOU! OKAAAAAAAAAY?? LA LA LA.

And I bobbled my head up and down and the air around me turned to maple syrup, slowing my nod and making breathing a slow, thick, sticky-sweet experience. "Breathing is fun," I whispered, and RA sang, LA LA LA HONEY? HONEY? HONEY????

I drifted into my dentist's office and plopped in the chair and this huge needle came at my mouth and I was all, like, HELLO NEEDLE! YOU ARE SO SHINY! AND SILVER! LET US BE DEAR FRIENDS! AND I SHALL CALL YOU FELIX! AND LOVE YOU! WOW! YOU ARE POKING ME IN THE MOUTH AND IT IS SORT OF EXCRUTIATING! HOW INTERESTING! PAIN IS INTERESTING! AND NICE! HEY! PAIN! LET'S MAKE OUT!

Then there was drilling in three part harmony and my dentist floated beside me as we drifted through a black velvet galaxy with MULTIPLE Elvises painted on it like sequined constelations and my dentist's eyes were FULL! OF! STARS! If bad things happened? I remember none of them.

The next thing I knew I was HOME. Trying on all my lingerie... even though I was big-as-a-whale pregnant. My whole head was pleasantly numb from novacain and my mouth glistened with interesting drool. YOU ARE PRETTY! I said to me, and I did a sort of prance-like flolloping manuever that landed me on the bed. And then I think I passed out.

When I woke up four days later, pleasantly surpised NOT to find myself facedown in a pool of my own vomit in a back alley in Tijuana, I looked up Ativan on WEB MD. It said in thirty foot high letters, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT TAKE THIS WHILE PREGNANT IT ABSOLUTELY WILL CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS AND PS IT KILLS MOST OF YOUR BRAIN CELLS AND CAUSES CANCER IN MICE AND CAN BE USED AS A CHEMICAL WEAPON! The sheet the pharmacist gave me with my usual Valium just said, "Maybe you shouldn't take A LOT of this while pregnant. We're not totally sure. Doubt one will hurt you, but don't go gulping down bucketfuls."

Luckily Maisy came out flipper free and 'scutiating smart, and luckily Dr IJ only gave me the ONE Ativan. Because I don't think I want it in the house. It was SUCH a nice place to visit, but man, oh man, I wouldn't want to live there.


Posted by joshilyn at December 4, 2004 9:22 AM
Comments

ok -I probably shouldn't tell you this, but. I happen to know, from an inside source (namely, me) That women who have breast cancer and undergo chemo are prescribed Ativan BY THE BUCKET LOAD! really. just PX after PX and no one ever asks any questions! Now, there are some other rather unlovely side effects such as the lopping off of the breasts, the baldness, the nausea, yeast infections, bowel problems, mouth sores, joint aches.

but there is Ativan--and really all the other stuff just pales in comparison.

Posted by: Dana at December 4, 2004 10:49 AM

Scott, I am so looking forward to reading your memoir: 'Life With Joshilyn of ARC'

Joshilyn, while it might not be the all encompassing rapturous gooeyness of Ativan, ARC huffing is probably no more harmful than sniffing printer's ink fumes, though it might still prove habit forming (we hope). You will let us know, won't you, if each successive MS's ARC imparts its own exclusive effects? Wouldbe ARC sniffers and dentists alike are dying to know.

Posted by: David at December 4, 2004 11:24 AM

ROFLOL!!!!!!!! Oh. My. Goodness.

Yoru dentist gives you valium? Can I have your dentist? I cried in the dentist's office last week and the hygenist had to wipe my tears b/c I was flat on my back, strung out on gas and couldn't feel my face.

Posted by: Heather at December 4, 2004 2:00 PM

PS when I got a poem into Chicken Soup I went back to my old high school and tracked down my old teachers.

Posted by: Heather at December 4, 2004 2:00 PM