A bit of one of my wisdom teeth cracked off a while ago and I went to see my dentist. She said I'd have to go to hospital to have it removed, which was a bit of a shock because I was expecting her to make a crown or something. But no, she was insistent.
I was shitting it.
This went on for a couple of months. I had to have a pre-assessment. They warned me that I might lose all the feeling in my jaw, they made me sign a waiver absolving them of blame if they accidentally drilled right through into my quivering brain. They (quite diplomatically) refused my abject, repeated and teary pleas to "just be knocked the fuck out" and said that they recommended "sedation". When I asked what, exactly, this meant they said that I would be aware and awake whilst they extracted the tooth but just very relaxed about it. I doubted this.
My family were great. My wife cheerily informed me that "you're going to look a right mess after this". And my 3 1/2 year old son loudly exclaimed "you're not even going to be able to eat BREAD!".
In a panic I called the person that every manly man would call in this situation, his mum. My mum, listened, she sympathised and then, glory of glories, she agreed to bring up 120 codeine tablets. Halle-fuckin-luia.
The big day arrived. I picked out a t-shirt that I didn't mind getting covered in blood. I removed all the loose coins from my pockets and i got on to the train with my responsible adult. I was not happy, I wondered if blood in your mouth is arterial, would there be a spurt as they yanked out the offending tooth? I wondered if the doctor would look like Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors. That train journey was horrible.
|Welcome to my nightmares|
Anyway, we arrived at King's and went up to the Oral Surgery department. It was like a scene from the Walking Dead. We saw a man being led out by his mum. He was shambling, there is no other word for it. Dead eyes, shuffleshuffle - I waved at him but there was no response.
They called my name. I left my escort outside and went in. My doctor introduced himself. I asked lots of questions. He said the sedative would feel like being really drunk, aware but unable to do anything. He said I would lose my memory of everything, possibly even that chat. He sat me down and said he was going to start the sedatives. I could hear the Fresh Prince over the radio "I walked up to the house about 7 or 8 and i yelled to the cabbie, yo homie, smell ya later!". I thought I could see everything going hazy, I could feel myself drifting off, I felt good, maybe this was going to be alright.
Nope, he hadn't even found a vein yet.
He apologised and tried again. I could feel him sticking a plaster on to my hand to hold the needle in and so I knew this time he had been successful. He asked me what I did for a living.... I have a vague memory of asking him if that was it and him saying yes. I was apparently loudly proclaiming the merits of benzos to the nurse as she wheeled me out and saying I might fuck up another tooth just to do it again. I kept taking the heart monitor off and repeated everything about 30 times. I have a big hole in my gum and a big tooth in a tissue but I remember nothing else.
When I got home I went to bed and slept for four hours. Yes I might not be able to eat an apple at the moment and I can't sign a legal document until 1pm this afternoon but it was actually almost a pleasant experience.
So.. what I am trying to say to you is that having a wisdom tooth out isn't as bad as all that, and that prescription drugs are the effing bomb. I don't know if some of you out there are like I was yesterday; shaking, sweating and embarrassing yourselves in public - you don't need to be.
It'll all be fine.