All my life, I've been lucky to have really good teeth. The dentists say I have 'calciferous saliva' which I guess is good? I've never had a cavity or anything really wrong with my teeth.
Very sternly, my dentist said all four of my wisdom teeth were impacting the rest of my back teeth. I was surprised because my teeth didn't hurt at all.
"Get them out before they start hurting!" he commanded in his stern Eastern European accent.
So I did a very Grown Up thing and found an oral surgeon to schedule an appointment. As the day drew nearer, I grew more and more anxious. How much would it hurt? What would being put under anesthesia be like? Would I wake up and try to fight the nurses?
How much would it cost?
When I went to the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Center, I was a nervous wreck. I signed in, sat in the waiting room for a while and tried to ignore a woman holding hands with her adult daughter the whole time. Why are they dressed like they're going to church? I don't know their life, why am I judging? How long am I going to wait? Did I buy enough pudding? When would I be able to eat again?
After what was probably a moderate amount of time, I was led to a room where I was told to lie back in the chair. The nurses were very kind as they hooked me up to an IV and put an oxygen tube under my nose. They even laughed at my weak jokes. God bless nurses.
But then they left and I waited. I waited as the X-ray of my own face leered down at me. Between it and the pleasant sunny day outside the window, it was an unsettling juxtaposition. A symbol of bright green life and black-and-white death. The cold oxygen being forced into my nose was indicative of our feeble human attempts to prolong our lives and...
Was my husband finding any good Pokemon to catch out in the waiting room?
Eventually, a nurse came in and announced she would start the anesthetic IV now. I chattered away about how it's not like in the movies.
I expected to have to count down. I expected to get sleepy.
I did not expect to do a goddamn Time Warp because suddenly I was in a curtained room and my husband was looking down at me.
"Hi sweetie," I said. "You gotta get out of here. I'm gonna have surgery soon."
"It's already over."
My lips did feel pretty puffy. But my mouth didn't feel like it was full of gauze.
Time to investigate.
"Sweetie, get your hands out of your mouth," my husband said. "Now you're covered in blood. Here, let me clean you up."
He dutifully wiped off my extraordinarily-bloody hand. He turned to talk to the nurse about the healing process and what to expect. Then he turned back to me.
"Oh my God, keep your hands out of your mouth!" He laughed and cleaned me up again.
"Someone just coming out of anesthesia will forget what you told them three seconds after you told them," the nurse said.
I found no gauze. We went home. I took a nap and woke up to an aching jaw and a very real hunger for Doritos. Salty, pointy, sharp things. I don't even like Doritos. I was just surly and wanted what I most definitely should not have. I defied the gods of surgery recovery later the next day, just yearning for something solid to eat.
It's a wonder I'm still alive.