Friday, June 18, 2010

the loss of wisdom

Author's Note: Just so you are not under any illusions from the title, this post is not speaking profoundly about wisdom. That post may come another day, but for now, here's a little insight into my extraction experience...

I had an encounter with the dentist this week. Well, to be precise, the dentist, his lovely chair, his big long needle & lots of his anaesthetic and his pliers.

Having already seen the needle that he inserted into my gums, when I caught sight of the shiny metal of his pliers that were big enough to cut a grown man's big toe off, I decided that was enough. I shut my eyes and decided I would not open them again until the extraction of my wisdom tooth was over.

This was not a fun experience and I would not recommend it. That's the simple truth.

So, my little outing to the elevating chair went from being a relatively normal experience, to entering into the realm of the surreal when I found myself with my legs up in the air, elevated above the height of my head, in order to prevent my iminent descent into unconsciousness. Yep, my body didn't really like having a needle stuck in it, and quite frankly, I agree with the response my body chose. I think unconsciousness would have been a far happier state to be in.

That was not to be, and so, as I lay there, listening to the sounds in my ears that I likened to hearing the bright surgical lights talking to me, my mind kicked into overdrive as it dealt with the minute by minute mini-trauma it was facing.

I found myself thinking of old hymns, trying to bring a sense of calm to my incredibly tense body that felt like it was somewhere in between shivering as it would on a very cold day, and the nerves you feel when you take your driving test - the kind that take over your whole being - making you shake. I thought about the motion being induced on my head, and in trying to relax, imagined I was in an exercise class, warming up my neck muscles. I thought about how thankful I was that I was fortunate enough to be able to undergo this procedure with anaesthetic and knew that I simply couldn't imagine how much more painful it would be to go without.

Ultimately, no matter how hard I tried to engage in this method of self-preservation, I could not get past the fact that I was pretty sure, sooner or later, my whole jaw might just detach itself from the rest of my head from the pressure being applied to it, and that there was a man and his pliers inside my mouth, trying to pull a tooth which he had said he just might not be able to get out on this occasion.

And so as he announced that he was going to give it one more minute's worth of pulling, I prayed.

I'd like to say I was thankful when it popped out, but I have to say that I did not feel particularly thankful for the whole experience.

After shedding a few tears, I left the dentist's in a slight state of delirium and wandered the streets of St Paul's, trying to figure out an action plan for getting home, as I was not permitted to cycle. One man whose brain seemed to be slightly more addled than mine at that point in time told me that I had a bomb in my hand and that there were dogs after me. Thankfully, although I was not fully with it, I was of a good enough state of mind to know that this was not true.

My wonderful fiance says that the remedy to stress is sleep. Having been rescued by a friend and her car, I went home and slept the afternoon away. John is absolutely right, sleep is a good remedy.

1 comment:

Ben said...

I think you have had enough teeth pulled to justify a 'teeth' label! sounds horrific, hope all my wisdom stays in my head, and never makes the venture to my jaw... assuming I have wisdom that is.