Thursday, June 09, 2005

Doped Up and Feeling Fine

I just got back from the oral surgeon's about two hours ago. I went there to have three wisdom teeth removed, and I'm glad to report that everything is fine. As I write this, I am on numbing medication, but it appears I can still work the keyboard and not end up typing things that look like dvmbvhhguhjndjnvjkanv.

The first extraction was taken in the billing office, where they removed $775 from my bank account. After that, I was led to the relatively less painful surgery room. When I sat in the chair (attired in a natty little monogrammed smock shirt I got "free"), I soon realized this was serious business. They started attaching elctrodes to my arms, put some sort of spit-up shroud over my torso, and then put a big needle in my arm full of sedative. Luckily, they didn't try to shave me anywhere, because once I was under the influence of the sedative I would have probably agreed to anything, even a Mohawk.

That sedative is amazing, scary stuff. It keeps you awake during the surgery, but you remember virtually nothing, and the passage of 30 minutes feels like seconds. I was told later the doctor asked me during surgery if I'd be able to relax today, and I supposedly told him I was "a master at that." I have absolutely no recollection of this conversation.

After the surgery, they put me in a big recovery room, where I noticed a large tool box sitting on the counter, the kind mechanics get at Sears. Is this for big emergencies? And there was a painting on the wall of cowboys in the Old West. Why wasn't it a painting of oral surgery in the Old West? -- you know, some guy on a pool table with two or three empty whisky bottles nearby, and five guys holding him down while he wrestles and screams bloody murder.

Gotta go put on my ice packs. Back in 20 minutes.

Okay. As I said, they put me in the recovery room, and hooked some sort of monitor to one of my fingertips which gave them my heartbeat. It would beep periodically, but once when a nurse left the room, the beeps changed into a solid "beeeeeeeeeeep..." I figured if the next person I saw enter the room had wings, something had gone wrong.

Now I'm at home, with my entire mouth numb. My tongue feels like a big beefsteak crammed between my teeth, but it's tolerable. Mrs. Muley is at the pharmacy right now getting my pain medication, so I wanted to write this before I spent the next few days probably sleeping it off.

By the way, in the recovery room, the cheerful nurse said, "Well, you'll have to excuse us, we've gone and taken all of your wisdom. Hope you don't mind." I first thought, how many times a day does she repeat that?, but then I thought, OK, now I have no one to blame but myself for being a smartmouth.

UPDATE Two-and-a-half hours later. I feel as though I've been kicked in the teeth by Seabiscuit, I'm drooling like a baby, and my lips are like some collagen experiment gone hideously wrong. But other than that, I'm okay. Watching "The Life Aquatic" for the first time and eating pudding very slowly.

ANOTHER UPDATE The pain medication the surgeon prescribed has done wonders in keeping away any pain, and my mouth has now been reduced almost to normal size and flexibility. However, the pain meds have produced an unfortunate side effect: It is 6:15 the next morning and I am still wide awake. After tossing and turning for four hours with no luck, I decided to give up and come try to write my post for Chapter 2 of Celebration of Discipline. I'm predicting a huge nap later today...

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