Maybe I was naïve, but I honestly thought I could go through life without even knowing I had any wisdom in the form of teeth.
That illusion, however, cracked about a week ago when all that wisdom became too painful to bear. I signed up for a consultation, told the dentist I would like to stay awake for the procedure, and after having politely turned down the prescription painkillers, I walked out of the dentist’s office with an icepack on my cheek.
“Hah! That was easy. I just had a tooth pulled, no biggie” were my thoughts as I strolled down the frying hot Manhattan streets. I started wondering who came up with idea of giving patients a full anesthesia for something as little and insignificant as this. I also pondered over all those YouTube-videos of loopy teenagers believing they’re unicorns after being drugged down to handle the pain of teeth-pulling. My conclusion was that the whole “putting under” practice was merely a business trick used to keep the dental care prices high.
Granted, I did cling onto that ice pack until it became the same temperature as my skin, so make no mistake, it wasn’t exactly comfortable. But I told myself I’d probably just channeled the pain-tolerance of my inner athlete, so I carried on.
The next day was spent walking and shooting in Central Park until it got too dark for our camera. Again, no biggie.
Then. Good lord.
I was scheduled to come back to have another one of these evil molars removed two days later. I walked into the dentist’s office with confidence bigger than the clinic itself, and asked to stay awake for the procedure this time as well. A few raised eyebrows later and a scalpel had started digging its way into my gums.
This is the turning point in the story.
Apparently, this so-called “surgery” was just that; it took two hours, three doctors and so much pain I saw my life flashing before my eyes before they managed to get the thing out. That is, before they managed to get PARTS of it out. The amount of force they used made me question whether or not I would get permanent neck-damage from having someone pull my head that hard. But then, the chief-dentist stepped in to retrieve the last pieces by removing some om my jaw bone and stitched me up.
Once it was done, my face had already ballooned into the shape of a chipmunk’s, and my body had started coping with the trauma by making me so annoyed with everyone and everything that PMS would fade in comparison.
Here are some examples:
– I wanted to yell at the lady at McDonald’s who had given me a fork instead of a spoon for the prescribed post-op ice cream that was now melting in the 90°f (32°c weather).
– I wanted to sue the City of New York for making the roads my taxi was driving on so freaking bumpy, and Toyota for not making the springs in their cars soft enough to cushion those pumps.
– I wanted to punch the pharmacy lady for not understanding what I was saying and making me repeat my date of birth five times (it probably sounded muffled because of the gauze in my mouth, but still).
– I wanted to hit our landlord because living on the fourth floor with no elevator SUCKS when you can feel how every step you make fuels the chipmunk face. Lower the rent, pleeeaaaseee!
Then I went to my room and cried until I felt less annoyed and started feeling sorry for everything I thought about general anesthesia, the poor loopy souls in the YouTube videos and the innocent people who just tried to do their job.
Thankfully I’m able to laugh about it now 🙂