337: Numbing sensation

First things first – it’s April 1st today!  I’ve never subscribed to doing April Fool’s pranks, and I guess this must be the reason I don’t usually get “punked” on this day.  Today’s Spring anomaly could well be Mother Nature’s April Fool’s for New Englanders.  I didn’t mind though.  We didn’t get the foot or so that was initially expected, and wet snow on branches always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Winter Wonderland in April

Which brings me to another kind of feeling  I had today – the numbing one.  I just got back from my dentist appointment and had a tiny cavity filled.  The last time I’ve done the procedure was about five years ago.  I have quite a good tolerance for pain and would only get the topical anesthesia for fillings.  This time around though, the dental assistant just started applying the topical anesthesia, shoving the big cotton bud into my mouth without even asking if I wanted to get the Novocain or not.  They were so efficient that the dentist was already injecting the local anesthesia before I could even protest.  And so began my surreal dentist chair moment.  My recollection of a filling procedure was quite different from what I experienced.  Because my left lip and palate were numb, the whirring of the dental tools got disconnected from the tingling sensations I remember from my last procedure.  I knew the DMD stuck a big wad of cotton between my lip and gums and I didn’t even notice it was there.  I didn’t even notice he took it out.  It was disorienting.  An hour after the whole thing and I still couldn’t feel my upper left lip.  I had a nagging urge of punching that part of my face to hasten the “feeling” process, but I knew it wouldn’t really work and I would just feel more pain afterwards when the novocain wears off.

My brain is just wired in a simple way, I guess.  Action should be associated with a certain sensation.  I knew I should have felt something after all the grinding and pushing and poking, but it all became a blur to me – did that really just happen?  Now that I’m nursing the numb left upper lip back to its full sensing potential, I can’t help but notice how weird it is to feel like your lip is swollen when it actually is not; to have your right upper lip move to the right spot when you smile or grimace, while the left upper lip struggles to go to its spot.  It also felt really funny applying lip balm on the numb left upper lip.  I really hope this numbing sensation wears off soon.

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