I had an infected, painful wisdom tooth. I’ve had it being painful for many years. But, it got worse, so I decided I had to get it taken out.
The x-rays showed the wisdom tooth was embedded in the bone, it was only partially erupted and was infected.
I was pretty nervous when it came to the dental surgeon taking it out. Just the thought of feeling trapped in the chair, with people leaning over me, is a trigger. I am a severe abuse survivor and feeling trapped, is not easy to deal with.
Pain, is also a trigger. Having severe PTSD and Complex PTSD, means I can and do have many triggers, leading to visual, emotional and somatic flashbacks.
I decided I would utilise every PTSD, anxiety strategy I could, to help me manage this situation. Including breathing and mindfulness skills.
And I prayed for strength and the capacity to deal with this.
The extraction procedure was not pleasant. Just hearing the saw I knew she was using to cut the bone, was horrible.
But, I remained absolutely calm throughout. I was breathing….. in for 4…… and out for 4. And praying I would not feel pain. I shut my eyes the whole time, because I didn’t want to see them leaning over me. That helped with not feeling so trapped.
The dentist knew I was nervous because I told her I was nervous. She also said it could take 45 mins as I would need regular breaks and to raise my hand at anytime for a break. I didn’t raise my hand once for a break. And she said I was remarkably calm throughout. She even told my husband how calm I was and how well I did. It was not 45 minutes, because I didn’t need breaks.
She made a pretty big deal about how well I handled the whole procedure.
What she didn’t know, was I also have severe PTSD. If she knew that, she would have been even more impressed.
So, I’m pretty pleased with myself, for handling it all well. I even surprised myself.
The strategies that I have spent a lot of time learning, practising and perfecting, really came in very handy today.
Now, I just have to face getting a PAP smear done. This is about 8 years overdue. And will be far more of a trigger to manage. Hopefully, it will go as well as this procedure went.
For strategies to help manage PTSD, anxiety etc….. see my Website @ http://www.healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.com/ under Coping Strategies.
~ Lilly Hope Lucario
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