Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Not So Good Day

I should have taken it for an omen of what was to come when I noticed this rather large bruise on my forearm as I was brushing my teeth this morning... black and blue with a bump even. Hey, had I been in a car accident in my sleep? I have no idea how I got that one.

So today was the big day of the tooth extraction, and I have to say it was a whole lot worse than I thought it was going to be. This was no simple extraction. This was a whole bunch of novocaine shots followed by gum cutting, scraping, drilling, rotor-rootering, digging, excavating... and that was the foreplay to the main event of the extraction. He called it "cleaning out the area." I called it Abu Gharib on Central Park South.

I've had a few teeth pulled over the years, and I know they put this clamp thing around the tooth to separate it from the others. So even though I had about a half-gallon of novocaine in me and was taking (or trying to) deep breaths of nitrous oxide, I was aware of the turning of the screw on the good-bye molar clamp. I hate that feeling. Even now, it makes my stomach flip flop.

Then came the fun part -- the sewing shut with needle and thread. I thought it couldn't be more than a stitch or two but I felt like a damn turkey being trussed up. If you've ever had mouth stitches, the worst part is the feel of the thread running past the corner of your mouth. He did so many stitches that even in my impaired state, I wanted to say, "What are you doing? Embroidering a sampler in there?" I think I have the Lord's Prayer embroidered on my gums.

I have this feeling that my life source is this strong beam of light, and by the time I was finished, my beam was down to a candle flickering in the wind. For some reason (like maybe I feel as if someone is assaulting me), the emotional pain is on par with the physical. At one point, I thought to myself, "I'm on the edge here" and I was on the edge of shoving his hands away from me.

Then there's the cheerleading going on as he works: "You're doing good, Pat" or "Hang in there, Pat" that I know he means well, but I feel as if I am someone's developmentally disabled aunt. I find it patronizing, even though rationally I know he means well. I want to say, "Stop talking to me and just do what you have to do." I was trying to float away on a nitrous trip, and I wanted to get off this planet and onto Planet Nitrous but every time he'd say something it would bring me back to Earth.

So I have that pink stuff they call "bubble gum" (because it looks like bubble gum) along both front and back gum lines. I taste blood and I have to say it's tender, but not painful.

As long as I'm bitching, I'll add that whoever makes the ice packs, make them so you can put it directly on your body. You have to hold it in a cloth or else you could frostbite your skin or something. Everything irritated me, including the warning on the extra ice bag he gave me.

A good thing is that he gave me enough pain pills and antibiotics so that I didn't have to get a prescription filled. I was going to write, "He gave them to me for free..." but that brings me to the greatest pain of all: the bill. For this pleasure, the price tag was $2500 at which point (really) I started pathetically whimpering. I never broke out into a full sob, but that was moments away.

He just has called me to check in, brought up that he heard I was "upset" when I was paying and he told me (and I believe him becausen I do seriously trust him) that he thinks he saved me money and that now because of today, I don't (he thinks) have to replace the bridge which was a big-ticket item -- three crowns worth. And then there's the good news he said that now we "wait and see" for a few months. I can do that. The best thing is that it's over.

In the meantime, I was telling a client/friend about the trip and said, "I get that there are people who went through worse today" and he totally cut me off and said, "that's irrelevant" and I was thinking about that. Although there will always be people worse off than I am, I was thinking that today there were people who won a Sweepstakes, got an inheritance, got proposed to, got a promotion, bought a dreamhouse that they could afford or whatever. There are people who are sunbathing for August in France without a care in the world. So I think of myself as somewhere on the happiness continuum today, and that's it.


Mary Mc said...

I like that comment - I'm going to remember that, because for this moment at least those other situations ARE irrelevant. I had stitches in my mouth and you described it beautifully - then they start to itch. I also think I want the doctor to encourage and reassure me AND to shut up at the same time. Hope all your bruises go away quickly.

Melissa said...

Oh gosh.. I know I shouldn't laugh, but as usual, you can make even the most miserable situation funny with your vivid and outside in descriptions... Hope you heal quickly dear!

Pat said...

Mary's comment made me laugh because I did want to be recognized as quite the little trooper while simultaneously attempting to enjoy my drugs by mentally vacating the premises. The other weird thing is that in honor of my advanced age he plays 1960s music for me so this whole episode was to a Motowns CD. So he's humming "Ain't too proud to beg, sweet darling" as I'm suffering.