There are many things that make me nervous. Being on a ladder more than six feet above the ground makes me nervous (this is why I'm no longer a lighting technician). Irons and sewing machines make me nervous (they're out to get me, I just know it). Electric saws make me nervous. Needles make me nervous. Drilling apparatus make me nervous (getting a filling at the dentist is a stressful event for me).
However, I didn't realize I had an outright phobia until five minutes ago.
Let me tell you a little story about Carol in her youth. In high school, junior year, I had an accident and got whiplash. My doctor and chiropractor both informed my parents that it would behoove them to not allow me to play sports in school for the next few months to ensure proper healing.
I didn't properly heal until after college anyway, when I went to another chiropractor who gave me exercises to correct my spinal curvature. But that's a different story.
The one thing I wanted to play during that period was softball. I actually didn't care much for the game itself, but I had loyalty to my coach at the time, so when he asked if I would play, I said yes. The car accident changed everything, but one day after school, he said I could shag (fetch) the softballs that went helter-skelter. During the course of practice, one girl tossed a softball to me to help in my collection. It hit a tuft of grass and smacked me right in the face, snapping a front tooth in half.
Did I mention I had braces?
Yes, I had braces, so that little piece of tooth could flip around on the wire and gross out the girls, and all the guys thought it was so cool. :)
Point being, the root was exposed.
My dentist was flabbergasted when she found out I wasn't in excruciating pain. For a whole weekend. "Oh, it's a little temperature sensitive," I said.
My dentist insisted I get a root canal ASAP. My parents agreed. But wait. There was a hitch. "I'm on vacation," my dentist said. "Go to the dentist on call."
Sounded easy enough.
Until this joyous event, I'd never been exposed to Novocaine. I had only had one cavity, which was so shallow, they drilled and filled it while I sat happily under the influence of Nitrous Oxide.
Now, little Carol had a potentially fatal heart disease until she was ten, and apparently, there was a component of Novocaine that could possibly maybe trigger it to come back, so my mom asked the on-call dentist to remove that element. He said, "Sure."
Worst. Request. Ever.
Root canals are very nasty. They require drilling through the hard outer shell of the tooth, into the soft sensitive innards of the tooth, all the way to the root, AN ACTUAL NERVE. And then it requires them REMOVING THE NERVE.
Very ouchy business, that.
Now, what we didn't know at the time was that Novocaine without the element that could potentially maybe trigger my heart disease again lasts a much shorter time than normal. Regular Novocaine, in my experience, takes about ten to twenty minutes to fully numb, can affect the entire lower half of my face, depending on injection site, and last for up to half a day.
This lasted freaking thirty minutes.
And the bastard didn't believe me when I said I could FEEL HIM DRILLING.
Mom attests that she could hear my crying and pleading all the way out in the lobby, and when she tried to get in to tell him I was telling the truth, he ignored her.
Needless to say, I remember the incident up to a certain point, and then remember waking up in the car. I firmly believe I passed out from the pain.
This is my phobia. This is what terrorizes me at the mere thought. The idea that I might potentially possibly have a cavity so bad that I need a root canal makes me sob uncontrollably.
Cus you know what? I just might have that cavity. Right now.