Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Do I have a man-voice?

I had my final bloody wisdom tooth extracted today. Goodbye pressure! Goodbye tension! Goodbye over-crowding! (Or, at least, let's hope so.)

I had never been offered laughing gas before today, but I decided to go for the gold. After all, Lord-willing, I will probably never have another tooth pulled; I've also never had a cavity in my 29 years; so I took my chance while I had it. And oooboy, was it fun!

Here's how it went:

The little mini-mask went over my nose and I was told to breath regularly. We (the oral surgeon, his assistant, and me) were all watching the kids sledding on the hill across the creek as my frontal lobe started buzzing: it tickled. I began to melt into a relaxed state, recognizing that I didn't give a crap whether I was about to be poked with a needle or not. What the heck! It's just a needle! I told them that my frontal lobe felt like it was floating, and while I was thinking about it - my vocal cords didn't feel like they were attached to my body either.

"It's the gas," said Dr. Rahimi. I gigglegurgled a bit and then realized, "I feel like I'm talking with a man-voice. Am I talking with a man-voice? I mean seriously - do I have a man-voice?" I asked, barely able to hold back my giggles.

"No - that's the gas too," replied Dr. Rahimi, seeming quite amused. During this interlude, he had numbed me up with two shots of novocaine (saying, "Sorry...sorry..." as he poked me) and was waiting a minute before it took complete effect in my mouth. He then took an instrument that looked a lot like a stainless steel popsicle stick, asked me to tilt my head slightly towards him and said, "You're going to feel a little bit of pressure." He pushed on the tooth; I could feel slight pressure and hear some soft cracking; then he took some kind of dental pliers and POP - out came my tooth, like a snap. I didn't feel a thing.

I asked to look at it, which he allowed; the root was curved, like it grew in with devious secrecy because it knew there wasn't enough room in there. Seeing the tooth brought back a memory that sent me into a fit of giggles again: Dr. Rahimi pulled my first wisdom tooth (impacted lower left...oh was that was a painful SOB) in 2002. After that extraction, I asked him if I could keep the tooth and he very abruptly replied, "No! BioHazard!" It startled me a bit at the time, but I think about it now and it makes me laugh.

Being naturally open and particularly cheerful because of the laughing gas, I happily told him the story with a lot of hysterical laughter in between "and then you said..." and "No! BioHazard!" and then confided, "and you said it so mean!" They (Rahimi and the assistant) both cracked up and we all had a good guffaw together. It was great: getting my tooth pulled has never felt so good.

I have very little pain even now; I haven't taken any kind of pain killer and don't really plan to. It is a lovely, lovely feeling knowing that my jerky tooth is gone and that I'll never have to worry about an over-crowded mouth again. Maybe my teeth will even move back into place again. My FIL seems to think this is the case; I really hope so. Presently, my bite is completely off and I can't even shut my mouth completely because my teeth don't rest together anymore. We'll see. I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile...as The Maestro on Seinfeld says, "Let's celebrate!"

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