295. Get My Wisdom Teeth Out

So wisdom teeth.

I guess at 22 3/4 its about time.

I mean I would have avoided it all together except my teeth are crowding.

Just a little.  In the front.

And I’m vain.

I show up at the dental office at 8:42 am.  And I’m nervous–to be honest.  I mean, partially its my own fault.  I shouldn’t have spent so much time watching youtube videos of poor drugged souls talking about unicorns and begging for Diet Coke last night.

But I did.

And then there’s my sister.

I wasn’t there after she got hers out, but I hear that it was quite the thing.

My mom still laughs about it.

So I had a lot of really bizarre ideas of what to expect.  Some people are relatively normal and sloth-like on drugs.  And then their are others who’re wild.  They gurgle-scream, talk nonsense, and propose to their nurses.  I really hoped I wasn’t the latter.  Because my oral surgeon is attractive.  Like really attractive.  And because I knew I’d be all grossy and incoherent.  And because probably a lot of girls have proposed to him from the dentist chair.  Because they can’t help themselves.

So needless to say, I was not looking forward to the whole ordeal.

Because I hate looking like an idiot.  And I’m not too fond of pain.

Also, I really like food.

And you need teeth to be happy in this life.

But really.

A person’s soul withers and dies if they can’t eat food.

So here’s what happened:

I arrived at the dental office at exactly 8:42 AM, walked in the door, and after a brief word with the secretary, sat down.  To let the tension build.  The next four minutes ticked by at a snail’s pace.  I mean thinking back I’m sure I could have done a week’s worth of homework and taken a few finals in the amount of time that transpired in those few minutes.

The door opened.

“Marie?”

“Yah, that’s me.”

And that’s how it began.

She motions me toward the second dentist cubical.  And tells me to have a seat in an elongated, blue green, torture chair.  I oblige.  Defeated.  She fitted one of those clippy bibs around my collar.  And asks me to take off my jacket.  

I guess I should have seen that coming.

I, too forcefully, tug at my left sleeve.  Then clumsily with my right, and sorta fling it over the arm of the chair toward the dental hygienist. 

She gently sets it in a chair in the corner of the room, and then returns to me with a clipboard.  I begin reading through the pages and pages of information and waivers stating that I will not, and can not sue them for anything that they may or may not do while i was in my gas-induced state.  Because whether or not I want it, I may need to have someone reset my jaw and drill into all of my remaining teeth.

And then the hygienist started asking questions.  

“Have you ever smoked?”

“HUH?”  I could hear her talking.  But I had no idea what she’d just said.

“Have you ever smoked?”

“Oh.  No.  Never.”

I try to find my place on my paperwork.  Why would they need to drill into my teeth?  It’s just an extraction?

“Have you had any surgeries within the last year?”

“No.”

Re-finding my place . . .

“Are you allergic to any medications?”

“No.”

After that I abandoned the paperwork.  Clearly I’m not going to get anywhere until she’d asked her questions.

I can’t normally focus on more than one thing at a time.  And my building sense of paranoia isn’t exactly helping.  And then there’s that ridiculously attractive dentist man.  In the corner.  I have no idea what he’s doing.  But I’m pretty sure there are a hundred other places he could be doing it.

I hand the paperwork back to my hygienist.  And then the dentist turned to me, “Have you ever been on the gas?”

“Um, no,” I say nervously.

All of a sudden, he’s pulling down this World-War-II-gas-mask contraption.  And fitting it to my face.  I am definitely panicking now.

“Breathe in and out through your nose.”

I take in a breath.

And then push one out.

Nothing too weird.

“We’re gonna get your IV started.  Here, pump on this a few times.”

The air’s getting heavier.

I take a breath in through my mouth.

I pump my fist a few times–and breathe–again through my mouth.

The air’s too heavy.

I gulp in one more.

My head spins.

“Just breathe through your nose.”

Are you nuts?  I can feel myself dying.  This is definitely going to kill me.  Everything in me tells me not to.

I force myself to breathe through my nose once more.

And then, next to my head I hear a muffled noise.  My dentist is telling me something.  But I can’t understand.  To be safe I pump my fist a few more times.

Another muffle.

And there’s the needle.

Everything’s slowing down.  I can’t understand anything anymore.  I just want this to stop.  They’ve got me hooked up to heart monitors.  Any minute here they’re gonna pull the plug because my heart rate has rocketed through the ceiling.

But they don’t.

They just keep on.  Like I’m not even here.

I close my eyes.

Maybe if I close my eyes I’ll wake up from this horrible nightmare.  Where my hands don’t work and breathing makes me die.

Next thing I know, the hygienist is talking to my dad.  She’s saying something about a follow-up appointment.

I quit listening.

I just wanna go home.

My father directs me out the door and toward the car.  I sit down in the front seat and buckle myself in.  My dad puts my purse down on the floor and starts the engine.

I need a milk shake.

That’s what they told Phila when she got hers done.

“Dad.  I need a milk shake.  And where are my drugs?”

He gestures toward he back seat.

I lunge.

Not because I’m in an extraordinary amount of pain or anything.  I feel pretty much the same.  Well, minus the cotton in my mouth.

I pull out like 45 pages of information on the pills.  Toss it in the back and move on to the pill bottles themselves.  I glance over the bottles and pull out three pills.

They sit there in my hand.  Staring up at me.

My dad is not driving fast enough.

I need a milkshake NOW.  Or I’ll spend the next two days banging my head against the wall.  And throwing myself on the floor.

I impatiently tap my toes.

I don’t know what I’ll do when the pain starts to kick in.  But I will not let it happen.

When we get home, I rush into the house, set my bags down and ask for a glass of water.  My father obliges.

I pop the first pill into my mouth and then slowly tip some water into my mouth.  I swallow.

Water splashes down my front.

The pill is still there.  Grossly dissolving on my tongue.

I grab my apron.  Pull it over my neck and try again.

More water.  down my front.

And then touching my face for the first time, and realizing how huge and foreign it was to me:

“Dad.  This is not going to work.”

Sensing my desperation, my dad decided that it would be best to let me drink my medicine.  He crushed it up and stirred it into a glass of water.  And, taking much smaller sips this time, I drank.

Then I proceeded to tell my father about my experience–Freak out because I couldn’t remember putting on my coat.  And then calm down when I realized it was on my body–And then resume my story.

He thought that he was being really crafty.  

Recording me.  

With his iPhone.

Truth is, I just didn’t care anymore.

And that’s when I got really tired.  And decided to crash on the couch.

In the meantime, here’s a list of things I’m avoiding:
1. Smiling
2. Yawning
3. Swallowing
   (as any of these actions may tear out all of my sutures)
4. Producing Saliva (as I am avoiding swallowing and I am afraid of drowning in it)

And things I’ve learned:
1. It is somewhat possible to digest food without swallowing.  Though hugely disgusting.
2. Teeth are an integral part in all aspects of human happiness.
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One thought on “295. Get My Wisdom Teeth Out

  1. I love your blog. Didn’t know you had one until today. To late to tell you in person how terrific it is. Loved this dentist story. Love your writing.

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