So as of this Thursday, I’m down one more notch on the wisdom scale. I was at the dental surgeon’s having a back tooth removed. Give me some nice major surgery any day. At least then they supply you with a cute johnny, great drugs, and then you wake up lighter by one more body part.
With a tooth extraction you’re right there, conscious through the whole thing, and then you’re bustled out the door 10 minutes later with a mouthful of gauze.
To begin with, when I saw who would be doing the work, I almost turned into one of those cranky old ladies. Dr. Whoever bounced into the room, looking for all the world like he was taking a break before he had to rush off to algebra class. I came perilously close to asking him his age, but at the last minute figured that wouldn’t do anyone any good. After all, this young man who had obviously only recently received his driving permit was very soon going to be yanking a tooth out of my head by brute force.
After the three shots of Novocain, which I was sure would be woefully inadequate, I asked why he had only injected me on one side of the tooth. I mean, I didn’t want all those neglected nerve endings on the other side waking up and announcing their presence. He launched into a dissertation on the location of nerves in the jaw that convinced me he must have at least stayed awake in his dentistry anatomy and physiology class, so I decided maybe he knew his stuff even if he was barely older than my 16 year-old grandson.
Then we entered a world reminiscent of something out of Gunsmoke. Suddenly two more people materialized, one for suctioning all the blood that would likely be pouring from my head, and the other who stood behind me with an iron grip on my jaw.
When you think about it, it’s a pretty archaic procedure.
You just get a grip on a tooth and pull.
I half-expected him to plant his foot in my chest for traction, but it finally came out. Apparently I have the distinction of having unusually long wisdom teeth.
Still, we had Chinese take-out that night – nice soft lo mein for me – so it wasn’t a total loss.