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thought i was a donut, ya tried to glaze me

2.19.2008

Wisdom

So much has happened since I last really posted. For one, I figured out why I had a persistent, painful open sore on the inside of my left cheek--and no, it was not a symptom of AIDs or Herpes like I had originally thought. It turns out my upper wisdom teeth--oh remember that, Dr. Unnamed Dentist, the wisdom teeth you told me I 'didn't have' and 'wouldn't get'??--had been cutting the inside of my mouth. They were also creating a shelf in the top of my mouth that acted as a trap for food, something I'd noticed about 8 months ago and mentioned to my dentist. His response? "Oh, it's common for food to get caught in your teeth."

My oral surgeon explained all of this to me after I was referred to him by the aforementioned dentist. He also showed me a video that dramatized the whole Wisdom Teeth removal process, which was meant to make me more comfortable in the surgery but really just made me more scared. I could have guessed that 'death' was a rare, yet present side effect of the invasive surgery--you're messing with anesthesia, maybe even a drill--but seeing it on the shiny flat screen (most likely paid for by the removal of many a wisdom tooth) was unsettling. It's like life. You'd be a fool to not recognize that at any moment, at the beginning of every day, there is a possibility of you dying. But how would you feel if at the start of every day some actor popped out from behind your breakfast table and said "Hey, just thought I'd remind you. You might not make it through the day today. Later."

The morning of the surgery I was a mess. My sister had a terrible experience with her wisdom teeth removal and kindly reminded me of this fact by recounting to me just how painful it was. I remembered her yelling from the living room for my dad to hurry up with the Codeine, and I didn't need her refreshing that for me. My surgery was at noon, and like a true adult I hid in my bed until right before I had to leave. I even tried to pull that thing little kids pull by holding on to my headboard and throwing some sort of tantrum when my mom came to get me up. It didnt' work that well because I'm so much larger than my bed, but still, the point was there--I was pwetty scwared. Wah.

once I finally left my house, I was seated almost immediately in the surgery room. I was given laughing gas soon after that, and the nurses' description-- "You're gonna feel a little drunk"--was spot on. Holy shit was I feeling good. I didn't know I was 'drunk' until I started talking really intensely with the nurse about Buffalo wings, which is usually a sure sign that I'm twisted. While I droned on about Atomic Wings I was given the anesthesia, which was supposed to knock me out but I just kept talking. My Doctor came in, tan and joking like most Doctors are. He slowly pried my mouth open and in what seemed like a few seconds, my right wisdom tooth was out. A few seconds later, the left one was gone, and my teeth were handed to me in a surgical envelope, still bloody.

"That it?" I asked.

"Unless you know something you don't know!" the surgeon said. I was escorted to the patients waiting area, were I sat down with an ice pack but quickly got bored. I walked out into the waiting room where my parents were. I picked up Conde Nast Traveler and you would have thought I just didn't have invasive, insanely expensive surgery.

The only real side effect I had, besides the slight bleeding the day of and the inability to eat solid foods, was jaw pain. But that's a common problem most any Monday morning after a weekend of work. Oh snap! I just dissed myself!

Lesson learned: Sometimes the things you're most scared of turn out to be not all that scary. I still don't know if this applies to sharks and grizzly bears, but I'm willing to give it a shot.

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I wonder if my writing has even improved?