Thank you, God, for the good gift of DRUGS.
I'm speaking many hours later, after my 8 am appointment with dental destiny.
Amazing, what they can do nowadays. I admit to being a little bit afraid this morning, because I wasn't going to be knocked out for my procedure; the last time I had oral surgery, as I blogged earlier, I was so wacked out on Demerol and Versed that the only thing I remember of the whole thing was Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on the radio. Now, when I confirmed my appointment, the nurse had assured me that this extraction would be quick and painless, and I'd be able to drive myself to and from, but...I wasn't looking forward to this day.
The medical office had a nice saltwater aquarium -- clownfish and striking little neon blue fish and a big, friendly fish that actually seemed to be watching the action outside the glass. For some reason, in my life the nicer the waiting-room aquariums the worse the experience I've had in the medical office, so this pleasant underwater scene did not comfort me. A young woman came in; I figured a student from the university down the street; she had the look of someone in pain, someone also not particularly thrilled to be sitting in this office at ten minutes to 8:00.
Finally I was ushered by a nurse into the exam room. I got settled, and the doctor -- a kindly, avuncular older man -- gave me a hefty dose of numbzit. I sat alone for 15 minutes, doing the Jesus Prayer; then the doctor returned, tapped my tingling chin, started doing stuff inside my mouth while the nurse handed him things I couldn't see because I had my eyes closed. In what I think was a clever bit of parlor magic translated into dental work, he started counting; he stopped at two, started again and stopped at two again, then asked me an innocuous question that of course I couldn't answer; while I was trying to figure out how to respond the doctor suddenly announced, "It's out!" And that was it. And it turned out that a root canal wouldn't have been doable in my situation anyway, which also helped allay my fear that I hadn't chosen the best alternative.
So far I've been able to handle a late lunch of yogurt, baby food (strained bananas and plums rock...no wonder I was such a fat little kid) and lukewarm tea. Tonight I'm attempting chicken soup, from a big batch I made last night.
I wouldn't say that this would be my preferred way to spend a day off from work, but it wasn't quite as awful as I had imagined. RIP, old molar. Welcome back, strained fruit.