Nitrous Oxide

Been pretty depressed of late, despite new meds my shrinkologist put me on, counseling, a fun job, and healthy family. Well, a wife that’s puking because she’s pregnant, and a daughter who is coughing at night, but pretty healthy. Then one of my crowns fell out, and I had to go to the dentist, and found out the bill might exceed $1500 to get a new one if I so needed. (I didn’t opt for dental insurance — my bad.)

Well, I went today, and man, if that laughing gas doesn’t just change my whole outlook on life. WHEW! Good stuff.

I had to ask them to gas me, which seems wimpy, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

I tried to think how I would describe the experience while I was going through it — it was a little familiar, as I’d done it before, but it was SO GREAT. It was like a reminder that there is such a thing as happiness in the world. (Poor Rebecca — she was sad to hear that it took a drug high to give that to me, but I’m still just seeing the bright side of this experience. Not to mention looking forward to two more visits before my crown is totally finished. Yay!)

The tingling started in my feet, then in my hands — then, when I tried to talk to answer the question “Are you feeling it yet,” I found that, yes, in fact, I sure was. Whoo-boy.

They started prodding around in there, and it was like I was in a different world. No, it was like I was at the controls of a giant Robotech robot, peering out at the technicians through the windshield, but feeling no more pain than the driver of a car might when getting the oil changed.

I was enjoying it, and ENJOYING enjoying it. I flashed back to getting my wisdom teeth removed, when I thought that if I inhaled any more gas I’d actually die — that’s how separated I felt from my body, so I started breathing through my mouth — and, though I seriously doubt I could get overdosed on N20 while under the direct attention of two trained professionals, I still thought it might be possible.

And man, if the road to the Spirit World felt like that — that good, I mean — then sorry, family! I love you, but I gotta go towards the light, a’ight?

I’m not proud of that, but I’m just saying it’s how I felt.

I was getting loopier and loopier, and didn’t want to come down at all — but I did worry I’d lose the ability to spit when they said spit and open when they said open. (That later became moot when they actually snapped some thingy on my lip that held the rest of the mouth out of the way while working on the tooth.) I was having trouble keeping my eyes open, and when I did, everything was out of focus. Well, not everything. Just the fire sprinkler in the ceiling. I exerted myself to look left and right, and those seemed focused enough — enough, but not great — but that sprinkler was just impossible to get a bead on. What did I care. I was high as a kite and loving it.

So, the assistant said she needed my help to take an X-ray. DAMN! Like the phone ringing when you’re almost asleep. (And though she said that, and I could hear it, it was like I was doing all my thinking through a brain filled with peanut butter.) She wanted me to hold the film in place with my right hand.

Mr. Hand wasn’t very cooperative. “Are you okay?” she asked (or something like that). I sadly confessed. “Gas might be too high,” I said, disheartened that I needed to come down some.

“Should I turn it down some?” she asked. She was making this hard on me.

“Prob’ly,” I slurred. “Your call.”

She turned it down some, and I was able to get Mr. Hand to hold the film in place for the X-ray.

As I came down, I also noticed why I had trouble seeing the sprinkler. The gas mask over my nose was obstructing the view! Duh.

Maybe I’m an addict in the making. But I’d get a cleaning every month if they’d gas me for it.

Anyway, just tasting happiness helped me to be happier when I came down — I just needed proof that my math was wrong, that there WAS in fact joy in the world, even if, in this case, that joy was chemically induced.