I had a root canal done on a wisdom tooth a long time ago. Turns out, that's usually a bad idea--you should just take the tooth out if it's a bad wisdom tooth. Who knew? Only the good dentists, I guess. The colluding jerks way back then certainly didn't advise this. So I went through a torturous ordeal and paid a bunch of money only to have the shell of this unfortunate tooth crack and introduce problems to its forward neighbor. My nice and good dentist suggested that I have the wisdom tooth extracted, so on Tuesday I did.
I guess I knew at some level that "extracted" means "ripped from one's skull", but the realization didn't strike until I actually heard the noise of a large tree trunk splitting, only in my mouth, just under my right ear. It didn't hurt a bit. The kindly dental surgeon had put a good eight hours worth of Novocain into all surrounding tissue. She said to keep some gauze on the spot until it stopped bleeding. She asked beforehand if I wanted N20. I've only had it at parties and it didn't cost any $85 so I said no. I'm glad I did because I'm telling you that the procedure was nothing. And it cost a LOT less than that damned root canal. I have nothing kind to say to my old dentists, believe me. She offered me a prescription for some painkillers but I said no to that, too. I had a lot of driving and kid-watching to do, and I didn't want to pay for them anyway.
So I trotted back to work, bleeding like mad, and had no problems at all except for the yuckiness involved in exchanging gauze pads. That night, she called me at home to see how I was doing. I was doing just fine and told her so. I hung up the phone. Ten minutes went by. One of those giant pyramid-with-the-top-cut-off weights and 1000 LBS written on the side, the kind you see in Roadrunner cartoons, dropped on my head. Ow. Ow. Ow. I couldn't think of anything but how horrible I felt. The thing kept bleeding, too. I had to go to bed but I couldn't sleep and then getting up and out of the house in the morning was no fun, either. I had to work, though, and I got through the day but I was not particularly cheery about it. That night I was so tired from hurting, I went to bed a good three hours earlier than usual. I just found the new Granta--it came a few days ago but I misplaced it--and the first article was so fascinating (about Benjie "the binman" Pell by Tim Adams) that I plowed through to the end.
Sleep is great! I like it! Today I feel only extreme discomfort, unless I try to smile or talk or open my mouth. Or close my teeth. Plus it feels like all my teeth are in the wrong places. Anyway, I'm definitely on the mend.
I also hope the the pedestrian I saw get hit by a pick-up this morning will be able to say the same. I was driving to work and had just crossed Adelphi when I saw that the truck in front of me would not have time to stop for the guy in the crosswalk. There's no light there, just a crosswalk, and there was at least one other person on the sidewalk at that spot. The truck should have been slowing down, but the pedestrian should have looked, too. The two guys in the truck jumped out to help and one of them was phoning, too, but I also called 911 and by then a bunch of people had come over to help.