Yesterday – Tuesday – after four days of waiting in a good bit of discomfort, I was finally able to have my disintegrating molar extracted. For anyone keeping score, my broken tooth was apparently #30 on the universal tooth chart. I never knew about this tooth chart until yesterday, but now I do. It’s like a dental map of the world.
The tooth had broken the previous Friday evening, but I wasn’t able to get in to see my dentist until Monday morning. While it had taken me days to get the tooth inspected, once I did, it took the dentist all of about fifteen minutes to survey the damage, x-ray my mouth, write me a prescription for an antibiotic that I was to begin taking inmediately, and inform me that I’d be having the tooth removed at noon the next day.
My dentist referred me to the same oral surgeon who removed J’s wisdom teeth last year, and yesterday on my lunch hour, I drove myself to his office to have the tooth removed. Both my dentist and the oral surgeon’s receptionist told me that the procedure would be done under local anesthesia and shouldn’t take too long. They explained that I would have some pain and swelling afterward, but that it wouldn’t be anywhere near as bad as, say, having a wisdom tooth extracted, and that I should be able to drive myself to and from the appointment. So that was my plan.
Despite being assured that having a tooth taken out was really no biggie, I was feeling pretty wimpy and anxious about the whole thing. When I told the oral surgeon that I was kind of freaked out about the procedure he was about to do, he suggested that I have nitrous oxide (AKA: laughing gas) along with the local numbing agent to help calm me down. I’d actually never had nitrous oxide for any reason, and had only seen it used in cartoons, so I didn’t really know what to expect from it. He explained that it’s very safe and helps many people relax when they have dental procedures, so I was all for it.
A few minutes later the nurse set me up in a comfy reclining chair with a nice, warm blanket and a little mask to go over my nose through which the laughing gas would be administered. She said that I should just lean back and relax, and breathe in slowly, and that I’d be feeling more relaxed and less anxious in no time. So that’s what I did.
WOWZA did that stuff kick right in. Within just a minute or two, when she asked me if I was feeling ready for them to begin the tooth extraction, I was somewhere else and happy with the idea of surgery. The laughing gas allayed my fears so completely that somewhat disturbingly, I think I would have been just fine with the nice doctor drilling straight into my forehead, if that’s what he told me he needed to do. Additionally, while the dentist was definitely a nice looking guy, with the laughing gas being blown up my nose, he suddenly appeared to me to be a superhot cross between Colin Firth and Paul Rudd. I’m pretty sure I was batting my eyelashes at him – maybe even winking lasciviously in his direction – as he began shooting my gums and mouth full of novocaine. I was totally falling in love with him. Or at least I thought I was, to the extent I could think at all.
After my mouth was all numbed up, he and his nurse left me and my laughing gas for a minute or two to go get some of the tools they needed, and during that time, while I don’t recall doing it, I apparently sent several texts to people (see slideshow below). I also took my own photo – all of this possible because I had kept my iPhone in my pocket when I settled into the dental chair.
After the dentist and his nurse came back, they went to work on me, and after only a few minutes, the dentist explained that my jaw was infected, and there was no way they would be able to get the tooth out without putting me completely under via general anesthesia. I smiled and nodded happily as the laughing gas continued to waft around my face from my mask. And that’s really the last thing I remember until I realized that my sister Betsy was walking me out to her car. The oral surgeon’s receptionist had called Jon while I was knocked out and explained that they had had to use a general anesthetic, so someone would need to come pick me up after they were done with me. Jon was an hour away, so he asked Betsy to retrieve me, which she did.
She drove me home and put me into my bed, and I fell back asleep for the rest of the afternoon. When I woke up, I was still pretty groggy, and my jaw hurt like the dickens. Unfortunately, there was no more laughing gas available to take the edge off. But Jon was home, and he took very good care of me. At some point after I became more clear headed, I decided to text Betsy to thank her for bringing me home. And that’s when I discovered all the texts I sent while I was under the influence of laughing gas, as well as immediately after I woke up from the anesthesia. I don’t recall sending ANY Of these.
But here they are, for your amusement: texts from my dental surgery. Let me having made a complete ass of myself in these texts provide a good reminder to all of you that we should all hand over our smartphones before getting any sort of heavy duty medication.
Just click the arrows to scroll thru to the next mortifying text in my gallery of mobile shame.
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