I have just returned from having my five wisdom teeth removed.
As I sit here and type, the lower half of my head is completely numb. I cannot feel my lower lip at all, nor chin, nor can I swallow properly. I have a headache, localized behind my eyes above the no pain zone, so I feel this.
I sit here with a mouthful of tea bags, because I have already gone through two rounds of gauze and blood still flows. The blood is accumulating in my mouth and the Novocain is preventing me from swallowing, nor can I spit properly because my tongue and lips are not obeying my commands. Hold on a sec…
..I had to spill the blood & saliva from my mouth.
The extraction did not hurt..yet. I popped a valium before going to the office and once there they loaded me with nitrous gas so I was happy. All in all, it was not a bad procedure. I watched them put into my mouth a series of instruments, tools and an array of Craftsman Chisels. And although there was no pain, I felt it all.
For each tooth, it started with a metal tool with a very beefy business end. Seconds after it disappeared into my mouth I felt the vibrations as this drill crumbled through the tooth. I could feel and see in my mind’s eye the enamel of the tooth splintering and crumbling and even felt bits and pieces of my shattered tooth sprayed around my mouth bouncing off the inside of my cheeks and landing on the back of my tongue.
Then came the Extractor, as I call it. This was a large tool with a large rounded end that fit around the tooth. Firmly grasping this tool in his white-knuckled fist, the dentist instructed me to bite down hard, asked the assistant to hold my chin and he went to town. I imagined his foot up on the chair and another assistant holding him around his waist for more leverage. Then the back and forth wiggle began. I felt the tooth move back and forth, then I felt the root go back and forth, this unbelievably unnatural sensation moving deeper and deeper down in my lower jaw, back and forth, deeper and deeper until POP. It was out.
With the upper wisdom teeth, there was a slight variation of this theme. As the dentist wiggled the tooth back and forth, instead of the sensation of feeling the root wiggle back and forth, what I felt was my upper jaw cracking. Like watching cracks spider across ice on a frozen lake, or seeing a smashed windshield, I felt these cracks in my upper jaw spread with each wiggle. And not only felt them spread, but heard the pinging crackle of each crack. For as the tooth was forced back and forth, the cracks grow longer and longer the spidered up towards my ears and started to spread across my face. I was sure the side and front of my skull was shattering a bit at a time with each wiggle. Then POP.
And then another surprise. As the left upper was pulled out, the assistant went in with the suction and the blower tool and when she turned the blower into the hole where my tooth had been, I felt the air come out my nose. I motioned and attempted to speak, but the suction thing hung from my lips, I had a bite block in my right side, I was loopy and I could not forms words.
So, I pointed to my nose and said, “ah canfall it n mu nas.”
The assistant pulled back a bit and looked at the dentist and said, “I do not understand.” The block was removed from my mouth and he asked, “What’s the matter?”
I gathered my buzzing thoughts, concentrated and said, “ah canfall it n mu nas.”
“You can feel it in your nose?” He repeated. Dentists understand this garbled language. “Your roots were a bit close to your sinus cavity. It happens. We’ll just seal it up real good.”
And then that was that.
So, the bleeding continues… the Novocain is wearing off and now combined with my headache at the top of my head, my lower jaw is beginning to throb. But, all in all, I can’t complain. I am going to pop a few Percosets, and since the assistant was kind enough to allow me to keep my teeth, maybe I’ll read up on the ancient, mystical art form of Tooth Reading, for the Reading of the Bones just never worked for me.