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11/09/2005 Entry: "The Wisdom Teeth (Almost) Fiasco"
For about 15 years, my dentist has been telling me to have my wisdom teeth out. They weren't bothering me really, but it was affecting my gums a little, and when they did a cleaning, it really hurt when the cleaned back there. Well, since medical bills this year have been pretty low, there was enough left in the cafeteria plan for me to have them out. I went to Dr. Gee and got his thoughts. He said it was six of one, 1/2 dozen of another. I did have this other tooth, though...
It's what I call my $2000 tooth. Back when I was at Wal-Mart, friend Mary made me some fried chicken for my birthday one year. I cracked a tooth on it. I had a crown put in. $800. The gum under the tooth got infected, so I needed a root canal. Another $800. That didn't take care of the problem. So they did some gum surgery, trying to clean out the infection from below. $200. That didn't work. They wanted to do another root canal. I could've bought a good used car for what I had invested in this tooth. No way. For $250, I could have the stupid thing pulled.
So when I left Dr. Gee's office a few months back, I decided to have the 2k tooth removed, and leave the wisdom teeth. After thinking about it awhile, though, I decided to have them out. I had the money, why not get it over with. So I called the office back, and told them I changed my mind. They said it was fine, rescheduled me, and sent me new paperwork--which I didn't really read...
Last Thursday they called to confirm. "Remember," they said, "you have to fast after midnight the day before." No prob.
So I got up Tuesday morning, made Julia lunch, made coffee for Susan, the regular stuff. So I was thinking about some coffee too. They told me I had to fast. I figured no solid food, right? Coffee must be ok.
I had 1/2 cup.
I got the doctors a few minutes early. The receptionist said "Do you have a ride home?" (I was going under for the removal of these five teeth. I didn't want to be awake, watching him haul and yarn.) "Yes I do. She's coming in an hour and a half. And I have a short sleeved shirt on, and I haven't eaten since before midnight."
"And you haven't drunk anything either, right?"
"Well, I did have a cup of coffee. Actually, it was only 1/2 a cup."
No good. Apparently, when they put you under, you have no gag reflex. So if you vomit, you don't really spit it out. You just pull a Hendrix. So they wouldn't put me out. They had me go speak to the doctor.
"I can't put you out," said Dr. Gee. "It's just too dangerous. Let's reschedule."
"Doc, I took vacation from work this week. Isn't there any way I could get them out?"
"Well, we could do local anesthesia. That means you'd get lots of shots of novicaine."
"That doesn't bother me," I said. "I just don't like the idea of me seeing you, foot braced against the chair, yanking for all you're worth, plonking teeth out of my head."
"Well, I could give you a little something to relax. You wouldn't be out all the way, but you wouldn't mind what I was doing to you."
"Great. Let's do it."
So he gave me some laughing gas first. That didn't seem to do much, really. Then he gave me a shot of something. He said "This will make you feel funny." It was almost instantaneous! I said "Woah! This works fast!"
Suddenly, someone's pulling a red tapestry over my head. (Not really, but that's what it looked like to me.) Next thing I now, I'm looking at the nurse, and she says "He's got three out already." Where was I?
So, to wrap up, I'm now five teeth lighter, including the $2000 tooth. (They don't let you keep teeth, but I insisted I get the gold crown back. Surpisingly, they let me keep the whole thing.) I haven't had a lot of pain, just soreness. I took one Vicodin yesterday, but haven't--and won't--take any today. In reality, I could be at work today. My sister said I looked good. She stopped by with some chocolate ice cream (thanks Leese!). So in reality, it wasn't so bad.
And to think, it almost didn't happen due to a lousy 1/2 cup of coffee!
Replies: 1 person has rocked the mic!
This reads like one of your crazy dreams
Posted by jp @ 11/10/2005 09:02 PM EST