Saturday, February 14, 2009

The losing of wisdom

I had my wisdom teeth out today. Having your wisdom teeth out is a strange experience in which the dentist romps joyously around in your mouth with a succession of space-age metal implements that make disturbing whirring, buzzing, grinding, crunching, slicing, dicing, cracking, and pulverising noises, while murmuring "you may feel some discomfort" or "you may hear a slight cracking noise, don't worry, it's just a tooth coming loose, nothing to worry about", or, "you may feel uncomfortable, but you won't be in any pain" (dentists, as I have learned from a previous visit, have hundreds of words to describe slight gradations of sensation, from discomfort through to pure, excruciating, Vlad-the-Impaler-sanctioned torture). You, meanwhile, with your mouth numbed with anaesthetic and jammed open with a cork of wood, half of your mouth sliced open, and the other frozen, do your best to murmur responses back at the dentist: a histrionic "Mmmm!", or a spasmodic twitching of the right foot...

Oddly enough, it wasn't any of the probing or gouging or slicing or chopping (etc) that reduced me to a nervous wreck. Halfway through the operation, with the dentist happily rending tooth from bone, I realised that I really, really, REALLY wanted to pick my nose. But how could I, with all these people that I didn't really know, watching on?

Life just isn't fair.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you've been having such a rotten day. I'm especially sorry to hear that you were subjected to the final indignity of being unable to pick your nose. That must have provoked quite an existential crisis.

When I had my wisdom teeth out, I had to go into hospital because they needed to cut into the jaw as well. I would much rather have had your (still dreadful) experience, as I am quite afraid of general anaesthetic, which I had never had before. I passed out of consciousness absolutely petrified, with various people pulling up the hospital gown and sticking sticky things all over my chest whilst discretely averting their eyes. I woke from my surgery with a nurse screaming "Are you awake?" in my ear. I tried to answer, but couldn't, prompting her to shout back "What?" repeatedly. Then I started to cry because I couldn't ask her to stop shouting. She later became very agitated when she asked me to drink some lemonade from a can and I missed my mouth completely, comparing me most unfavourably with a teenage boy down the corridor.

In short, indignities seem to be part and parcel of wisdom teeth removal. Hope you're surviving the swelling and at least feeling a bit better, thanks to nose picking and other consolations.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Queen Victoria gave birth under the influence of ether just four years after etherisation had been invented. And I have some sort of point there. About anaesthetophobia.

Meanwhile, purée for all, not just the rich.

Anonymous said...

Puree is parfait, I say. Anyone like a sludge smoothie? I'm on my umpteenth.

Thanks for the best wishes!

(A particularly horrifying story, Forlorn, and in my current swollen state I can certainly sympathise.)

Anonymous said...

No, No, all the sympathy is for you! That was more than five years ago (gosh, maybe ten!). It was intended to amuse.

Maybe this will amuse you in a cheering way: last time I was at the dentist (which was quite recently), getting fillings for the first time (damn it!), feeling most uncomfortable but not at all in any gradation of pain, "Memories" came on the radio and I thought to myself "Oh well, some people have it much worse, like T.S. Eliot for instance". And then I had to concentrate very hard so I wouldn't laugh and swallow the dentist's sundry gadgets.

Huzzah for smoothies!

Mish said...

Oh my. I hope you were sufficiently drugged. I had to sneeze while they were taking out my wisdom teeth... pray that this never happens to you!

Caz said...

Yes, my greatest fear in the dentist's chair is a sudden need to sneeze or cough. Nose picking has never been an issue, at least not until now.

I've recently had thick shake cravings, vanilla, as it happens. I can heartily recommend the delights of the old fashioned milkshake for your current circumstance. Some hearty soups would be nice too.

Less expensive to have major work done by a normal dentist, but for those who have the cash, being knocked out is definitely the way to go. Most dental surgery is not done under general anesthetic, it's only "part" anesthetic, hence why it doesn't need to be done in hospital, but still undertaken by a dental surgeon. You're still unconscious, but fully capable of holding a conversation with the anesthetist and the dentist, which could be quite embarrassing, as you have no idea what you're telling them. I'm sure they entertain themselves no end at the expense of their patients.

At least the mouth tends to heal quickly, lots of blood flow in the mouth.

Get well soon!

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Yes! Get well soon! That's wot I meant by "puree for all", just in case you weren't familiar with the idiom. GET WELL SOOOOOON, and sympathy and yummy smoodgy-to-eat things til you do.

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