Friday, December 12, 2008

Wisdom Extraction

Mid morning I had two wisdom teethe extracted.

There is a whole process around this experience that I'll try to recount here, for I feel like I need to speak of these two wounds that are so peculiar- willed wounds.

It began with a regular check up a few month ago after I had been avoiding the dentist for roughly two years. With having Alenka I see my time, alone, as very precious so two hours with a man or woman scraping my teeth is very low on my list of delicious solitary work.

Through that meeting- (with an enormous machine revolving around my head taking an X-ray, almost sci-fi ish in feeling) I found that the top right wisdom tooth- number 1 or 30 not sure how they number them at the moment- was decaying. I could see through the circular dentist mirror it was starting to turn brown.

After scrapes and an exchange of foreign language exchange between the dentist and the nurse entering this language simultaneously into a computer- I was released with a referral to a extraction surgeon across the street. The dentist visit left me with in a state of fear, like I had to take care of this 'problem' as soon as possible.

I had a preliminary meeting with the surgeon- mostly with the nurses who took that revolving X-ray again, followed by a conversation with the dentist who although not looking directly into my mouth, talked of the procedure to come pointing to the X-ray as he went along. Then he allowed some time for questioning leaving me with the phrase, "you are a ticking time bomb." I think I pushed him too much in the questioning. So I scheduled the surgery right before Thanksgiving two weeks out- all the while a bit nervous that my teeth might..., I was not sure what- explode?

This morning after not eating since the previous night, I arranged for a friend to watch Ali and for Will to drive me there (they wanted someone to remain in the waiting room throughout the episode and then drive me home as I was, and am on a lot of meds.)

I walked in thinking it makes sense to get the top tooth removed with local anesthesia (although the during our conversation the doc was clear that all 4 had to go- not sure now of the reason if there was one. My memory is blurry and with the current drugs he actually may have had a few I just don't remember.)

So I told this to the lady at the desk- that I wanted the decaying tooth removed. She, doing the budget for the procedure was a bit aflutter from this change- (the original 4 tooth removal was to cost us around 600 dollars on top of the 85% that our glorious medical coverage pays- which is one of the higher percentages.) In any case after talking with the nurse I was getting wired up and prepared. When the dentist walked in he said- facing my X-ray again "so we are doing one tooth (the number) under local anesthesia..." I said that would be my preference although I was still open to his input as this was my first experience with extractions and his eighth from just today. We decided on the top right and bottom right, 30 and 1, (a perfectly healthy tooth but who would now loose his grinding partner and might be a 'problem' later on) under general anesthesia (I would sleep throughout so I would not hear the cracks next to my eardrum and so I would not be tense, hence making the task a bit more difficult.)

As they put on this laughing gas and I shed some tears on my upcoming loss of consciousness, I remember thinking and possibly saying, "Please just tell me you are not doing this just for the money,"

I came to the nurse wheeling me out and seeing my husband. No goodbyes from the man who extracted teeth leaving two wounds.

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