Post Op Post-Mortem

Last Friday, I got my wisdom teeth extracted.  It was an overhyped experience.  The last thing I remember is the doctor sticking a needle in my arm, asking me if I felt anything yet.  The pictures on the walls went blurry, and then…

“OK, you’re done.”

Nita took me home, where I became acquainted with Vicodin.  I also became acquainted with what Vicodin does to one on a liquid diet, which is to make one violently ill for five to ten minutes every couple of hours.  Honestly, I was only a little sore.  I was on Advil by the end of the day.

Sorry, the Bahama Mama test will have to wait until we grill out.  There was no way I was drinking that much rum while taking a narcotic.  Yes, I’d make a lousy recreational drug user.  Disappointed?

A brisk walk around the block was good for circulation, but not good for recovery.  I was pretty much confined to the recliner all weekend reading, working on writing and on school work, and watching NASCAR and Family Guy.  I’ll get around to being bummed about that later.

I suppose I’m not quite the wimp most people are at the dentist.  It’s not that I don’t worry about it.  After all, your mouth and tongue are numb when you first get out, even for simple fillings.  A strange person is sticking sharp objects in your mouth and sometimes pulling out pieces of bone.  This is not a relaxing experience.  I am aware of this.

But since I am, I’ve learned to relax in the dentist’s chair.  It helps to have a sense of humor.  My oral surgeon needs one.  When Nita and I kidded about my possible death in the chair, the doc got very upset.

Which doesn’t sit well with me.  Maybe because my regular dentist has a better sense of humor.  He has to.  He spends his days sticking sharp objects in people’s mouths.

Now, if they could just do something about the sound of the damned drill…

“Oh, the pain. The pain.”

Because I do everything later in life than most people, today I will be getting my wisdom teeth pulled less than three weeks before my 43rd birthday.

This weekend, I will get to test this little nugget of wisdom from comedian Bill Engvall:

“Half a vicodin and a Bahama mama make for a wonderful morning.”

And my wife knows how to make Bahama mamas.

See you Monday, shorter of teeth, and one day closer to death.

UPDATE:  Never take the vike on an empty stomach.  My dentist overhyped the post op effects.  Thanks to some bitter pills (literally), I’ve had no swelling,  and I controlled the pain with Advil.  (The two vicodin doses were needed, but not the nausea and cold sweats it brought on later.)  The doc got snotty with my wife about a life insurance joke she made, then with me for jokingly saying, “See you on the other side.”  Hey, doc, when the joke’s on me, STFU.  I’m the one in pain.  I’ll tell you what’s funny.

I’d Rather Have A Root Canal Than… Oh, That WAS A Root Canal

I went to the dentist yesterday for my first ever root canal.  Actually, this was prep work for recapping a front tooth I broke when I was ten.  My team lead at BigHugeCo is younger than the current cap.  I seldom show my teeth when I smile because then I have to plead, “No, really!  I’m not English!  I have a dental plan!”

The current cap is a buildup of vinyl bonding material held in place by a small pin.  The reason the original dentist didn’t use a porcelain cap was because I was 10.  I’d have had to have a new one every year or so, and 1.) we was poor and 2.) I ain’t letting anyone stick a drill in my mouth every year on the same date.  I probably should have had it redone after high school, but, well…  There you go.

So before we can replace this long-neglected front tooth, I needed a root canal.  To do that, they had to drill from behind the tooth to get at all the dead gunk inside it.  Originally, this was proposed to me in 1993.  Why didn’t I do it then?

Well, my dentist back then was this guy in Fairfax.  He had a nice office, lots of expensive laser equipment, and a pretty receptionist whose chest still had that new breast smell.  I went to this guy to get a quick extraction.  After the extraction, he wanted a follow up.  I went.  He sat me down, looked me straight in the eye and said, “I’m going to be frank with you.  There’s a lot of damage to your mouth.  It’s serious.  What I need for you to do is to forgo buying a home, drive a beater for a while, and take out a $7000 loan so we can get started immediately.”

I got up, walked out without a word.  Outside, I noticed not one, not two, but three Porsches parked in front of his building.  Now, I’m not saying anything happened, but one of those Porsches had a nasty scratch down the side when I left that day.

Appropo of nothing, I used to be rather clumsy with my car keys.

I’m just saying those two facts coincided.  Nothing to see here, folks.  Move along.  Move along.

My current dentist I’ve been seeing for about three years now.  Good guy, my dentist is.  How good?  I fell asleep during my root canal.

Yeah.  Bet that’s the last time you hear someone say that when gas isn’t used.

Here’s the strange thing.  That $7000 figure?  That’s in 1993 dollars.  My dentist’s estimate before insurance kicks in?

Less than $4000 for a partial, three extractions (one a bone fragment), a new cap, pulling my wisdom teeth, and redoing my fillings.

In 2008 dollars.

Oh, and Fairfax PD?  I was…  um…  with my wife, Morgan Fairchild, when that Porsche got keyed last night.  I was nowhere near that dentist in your fair town.

Maybe if your doc didn’t force patients to take out home equity loans to pay for his cars…   Mine doesn’t.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.