… And somebody jumped on the rail this evening.
A couple of weeks ago, I heard a crack in my head. Well, I felt the crack and then the toothache came. It came and went, and it came BACK and it went. A little toothache turned into an abscess.
We had to find the money for me to be able to get to see a dentist. The dentist is NOT covered, unless you are on welfare, and we are not that destitute. But an extra hundred dollars doesn’t fall from the money tree very often.
I knew there was a dentist at the old clinic space, she is there for a bit longer, but I learned today that they are cutting her loose soon, so I better get while the getting is good, she said.
MEMORY … Have YOU ever seen Bill Cosby Live, it’s an old show from ages ago, a stand up routine that he talks about his kids, and chocolate cake, and then he tells a story about going to the dentist!
I did not have a small problem to take care of, NO it went much farther than that. After my disastrous event of getting my wisdom teeth taken out some 14 or so years ago, I swore I’d never go to the dentist again. They did not pull 4 teeth, they had to pull 8 ! The wisdom tooth and the tooth in front of it. Uppers and lowers.
That was a sedation operation, on both visits. It was not pretty. That’s the only time that I consented and really needed high powered pain killers afterwards.
It took major pain to get me to rescind my ban on dentistry.
Last week I called the NEW clinic to get the special number for the dentist at the OLD clinic. Two days of phone tag later, I got an appointment for this morning.
It rained all day. Not a good omen.
I arrived on time, and not a minute before, because my nerves were shot.
I really like Dr. Fletcher. She is a stout British woman with wonderful chair side manner. Before any work was done I needed a supermax head shot.
Let me tell you that the BIG dental clinic on the third floor of The General, is, well, looks very much like a Morgue. They took me into this cinder block room, with dental chairs set in these rudimentary cinder block cattle stalls, a veritable, Little Shop of Horrors, kind of place.
There was that supermax photo machine in one area by itself. Take off your glasses and your jewelry, they put a condom on this bite bar, caped me in a radioactive smock, then this thing spun round my head and took a picture.
Oh, did I mention that only 1 of two elevators were working serving that side of the hospital. Bad Omen Number Two. People were not happy using the stairs. Especially people with canes and walkers.
I went back upstairs with my photos and got into the chair. We played a game of twenty questions, triage of sorts, then we discussed what I needed done, and what was possible on that visit. (Read: I need A LOT of work)…
The tooth had to come out, there was no doubt about it. She also wanted to do a cleaning, but looking at the photos, more important things took precedence.
I was leery, and a little afraid. I am not a very good dental patient. At ALL.
We decided on the extraction.
Along side the chair was a table of veritable torture items of a dental nature. And she did her best at not letting me study what was on that table. Especially the 6 inch needle ready and waiting for me.
I looked up and she grabbed my face and said “No Peeking!”
She had doused my gums with numbing agent and then she took that needle and started shooting my tooth on the outer side. it did not take very long to start feeling my face falling off my skull.
CUE BILL COSBY … “My Face, My Lip is falling into my lap, My Lip, My Face…”
So forth and so on. She looked at me funny, it was obvious she never saw that stand up routine.
She attempted to clean and did some mild scraping which I found to be disconcerting. She abandoned that track and instead decided to numb the rest of my mouth instead. She then shot the other side of the tooth. Half my face was numb, half my nose and the right side of my face.
Being happy with the freezing process, she began with the torture tools, first a small one, tugging and pulling, and she says
“YOU’RE GONNA FEEL SOME PRESSURE!”
I mumbled …
When she got to the big pair of pliers, I knew I was in for it. After several minutes of tugging and pulling the tooth came out, lock, stock and barrel. It was a HUGE tooth on the right hand side. She commented that I had Good Bones, and that it would probably be a Big Job. And it was.
She then had to stitch up the hole with thread, and I could see the thread she was using, tying, pulling and knotting over and over. The pain of the tooth being taken out, in the end, was worse than when the tooth was in my mouth.
I could feel a tightness in my head. Where she had stitched the hole.
We set a date for round two in a couple of weeks. And I dropped off my script for antibiotics at the pharmacy, did some shopping and came home.
The numbing agent started wearing off a little while later. And she said it might get messy. I had a handful of gauze packets in case I needed them, which I did.
I learned this when I got my piercing, especially where mine is located, that when the numbing agent wears off, THERE WILL BE BLOOD !
My head was throbbing. I needed a nap, a spit bowl and some pain killers.
I didn’t get pain killers. So Advil it was. And Advil usually takes upwards of twenty minutes to start working. I went down for a nap and slept until it was time to go.
It was blissful when the pain went away, finally!!
I cranked out set up, which was easy, because chairs and tables were already down, and we had an abbreviated group, due to the jumper causing a major line shut down. So nobody was going anywhere.
We talked about Step 12.
Everybody is happy. It was a quaint meeting with a few people. It is the last time one of my guys will chair because he leaves for camp soon, and after camp he is leaving the country for the U.S. and his PHD.
I will miss him.
That was a snap shot of my day in all its gory detail.
Hope you enjoyed. More to come, stay tuned …