With an elaborate imagination.
Because of this - I avoid doctors and dentists at all costs.
And expect Advil to cure everything.
You would think that I would be just the opposite. A worrier that heads to the doctor immediately. But then my problems would be solved in a second. And my worries put at ease. And there would be no use for all of the drama that I like to perform surrounding an ailment.
Which is why I have been putting off getting my wisdom teeth removed for TEN years.
I didn't get them until my late twenties. They just appeared in an x-ray one day. With faces full of mischief and a faint cackle coming from under my gums. I should have known they would be trouble.
But I shrugged them off. Told the dentist that there was no reason for me to have them removed. They weren't bothering me. And that was the end of that.
And then just to make my mind up even more - I began to hear horror stories about wisdom teeth removal.
"My cousin's best friend's sister had them removed and her eye ball popped out from all the pain"
"My uncle's neighbor's best friend's goat went in for a simple wisdom teeth removal and came out with NO teeth and a letter pinned to it's chest that said " Sorry, we got confused"
I just wasn't going to do it. I'm tough. I can live with the pain. They weren't bothering any one.
But then they started to grow in. And even though Kev could deal with the drooling and the temper tantrums and the slight fevers - he had to draw the line when I couldn't stop chewing on stuff and ended up ruining the corners of his entertainment center.
He begged me to get them out. And I would roll my eyes and declare (to myself) that I would never again tell him the pain I was in. I would act like every thing was fine and he would forget about it.
NOT. Because my dentist felt the need to continue to give Kev lectures on how my wisdom teeth HAD To come out or things would get worse.
"If she waits any later in life... all her hair will fall out when the teeth get pulled"
"At her age - she will walk with a permanent limp from the trauma of pulling her teeth"
"You should just go ahead and put her in a home. She is too old for her teeth to be pulled AND she is starting to smell"
Our dentist is not afraid to speak his mind. Which made me even more afraid. Not to mention that he was a little creepy. I asked that Kev be able to sit beside me while it was being done so he could prevent any funny business.
The dentist said "no" because "funny business" was his middle name. And then he winked at me.
Three days before my scheduled procedure. The dentist retired. Randomly - with no explanation. I'd like to think my "weirdo" senses were right. But I didn't put too much thought in to it because I was off the hook again.
This time I wasn't going to ever mention it again. In hopes that Kev would definitely forget. He is getting older - you know. And his mind isn't going to hold up forever.
But then everything fell apart in March. I was in SO much pain. My mouth was swollen. My jaw only opened half way. I couldn't sleep. And I reached my breaking point. I decided I would do whatever it took to get these horrible teeth out of my head. I finally understood what Tom Hanks was going through in Castaway - when he knocked his own tooth out. I was ready to do the same.
And then - as I do in every situation- I thought about Laura Ingalls. What did she do to get rid of wisdom teeth? She was so brave and fearless. And survived without ADVIL. She is my hero.... who I could never live up to. It is just fun to think about.
I made an emergency dentist appointment - she referred me to an oral surgeon. It seems that one tooth was completely grown in. Perfect. Just hanging out having a good time. And then there was Tom. Evil Tom Tooth. Who was stuck halfway in /halfway out. And caught up under the bone. He was going to be troublesome. And may cause 6 months of numbness due to the fact that he was entangled in a nerve.
I was ready to show Tom who was boss.
And the boss was Kev. Cause I'm a wienie.
It was finally scheduled. I took four days off of work. I had my list of do's and don'ts.
And then I ate my last meal. Of spaghetti. Then the clock struck midnight which meant I wasn't allowed to eat or drink again until after the procedure.
Do you even realize what a punishment that is for a food lover like myself. Every thing that I looked at seemed to be in the shape of food. My couch was a bowl of chocolate pudding. My shampoo bottle was a squirt can of cool whip. Kev's head was a ham. A talking ham.
Oh. And my special mud tea. Forgetaboutit. No caffeine for me. My urine hasn't been that clear in years.
Did I really just write that?
Anyway, unlike other medical events in my life. I was so cool, calm, and collected. I was just ready for it to be over. I didn't care the outcome. I just wanted to be pain free.
The nurse came for me right on time.
I was hooked up to a machine with electrodes to monitor my heart rate. They had told me to wear short sleeves - but had said nothing about having to put them on my legs - so when she started pulling up my jeans - I froze at the thought that I hadn't shaved. But quickly remembered that new year's resolution #14 was to shave every day in case of the unexpected.
And then she put me on laughing gas.
Laughing gas! What a treat! It was very relaxing and euphoric and awesome. And I made Kev swear to buy me a machine that makes it - IF it comes in to the pawn shop.
And as I was sitting in the tiny room all by myself.... Thinking about Laura Ingalls and how she definitely missed out on the whole laughing gas experience.... "Like a Virgin" by Madonna came on the radio. Um. Only one of my favorite songs. A song that I actually performed in a recording studio. At Opryland in Nashville, TN. I still have the tape. And since I've hidden it forever - you will have to just trust me that I was awesome. And sounded just like her.
And so..... I took that song from Madonna as a sign that every thing would be all right.
Then the doctor came in...
At least that is how I remember him. And the next thing I knew... the nurse asked me if I wanted to take home my teeth.
It was over so fast. With no recollection or pain. And my only pain now is that I feel like I have a bruised jaw. Which may or may not have happened after the surgery - as a payback from Kev for snoring too loudly.
And just because I know you always want plenty of pictures no matter how disgusting. Here are my teeth.....
The EVIL TOM TOOTH is on the left. See how he was curved on the bottom. That is where it was caught under the bone. The Sweet and Innocent Sally Sue is on the right. I think I will make her in to a necklace. And pretend it is an ancient artifact. Or I could tie her on the end of a spear and make her a weapon. ( It is no secret that I have LARGE teeth that can be used for things other than chewing)
And now to make this story even longer than it already is.....
While I was sleeping the day away... Our next door neighbor stopped by. Now let me explain that where I live - next door neighbors don't stop by unless they are challenging you to a duel. Which is why Kev ran off to grab his choice of weapon before he answered the door.
She was persistent, though. And came around to the back looking for him. With these.....
She had brought me some flowers to plant. ( Clearly she has no idea that Kev is the mastermind behind our yard - and I merely lay out and eat cubes of cheese) The flowers are a little wilted in this picture because it was taken the next day. But I have no doubt that Kev will have them back to life in no time.
So, after us living there for over two years - a neighbor stops by with flowers. Doesn't introduce herself. And tells Kev that I am welcome to dig up flowers in her yard any time and plant them in mine.
A random act of kindness in Gaston. Someone should add that to the town's "reasons to live in Gaston brochure". It has been blank ever since the welcome center ( boiled peanut stand on the side of the road) opened up in 2006.
And as for my suddenly sweet neighbor.... I think I will have to forgive her for housing that horrible wretch she calls a rooster. The rooster with the broken clock.
It is officially two days after my surgery. And other than feeling super tired ( probably due to pain meds)... I'm feeling great. And wish I had done this a long time ago.
And don't worry... I will get back to my recap of the wedding festivities as soon as possible... Believe me. There is still so much to tell.