Farewell to Wisdom

Arrived at the oral surgeon's office bright (too bright, I'd forgotten sunglasses) and early, too early! I'm a night owl! But, did okay until questions were asked. My still asleep brain would not cooperate. I haven't the slightest idea where one of my medical cards is located, for example. I don't know how to explain what is wrong with my wisdom tooth.

Still, the good news is that the procedure only cost a little over $500, a third of which is covered.

I've already had more than my share of illness and surgeries in my life. So when assistants were getting me ready... that means I lie down and let them do thngs to me... I start wanting to have some control over what happens.

"Could you please use a larger cuff for my blood pressure? That one is so painful, and keeps pumping up because it's not getting a reading. I know the larger size will work on one try."

Rolled eyes to the ceiling was the hint of response, but respect for my request was the result. It pays to ask and inform.

"Do you have to put the IV in that arm? It's been through so much and now no one can ever find a vein there. The one on the other side is much better, on the back of my hand is best."

The assistant walks out and brings in the IV-needle-inducer expert who handles my arm roughly and pulls the stretchy band tightly, removing it with a snap, and tries a different location down my "bad" arm.

"Can't you turn your elbow inward further than that?" She is looking for something underneath.

"No, actually I can't. I have bone tumors that prevent that kind of flexibility."

(Note: It's a hereditary benign condition.)

She walks out of the room. In the meantime the other assistant is placing a mask over my nose.

"What is that for?"

"It's so you can breathe in the Nitrous Oxide."

"Um... Nitrous Oxide? Is that also known as Laughing Gas? Are we not going to do the full sedation?"

"Yes, but we would like you to be relaxed by the Nitrous Oxide before we insert the IV."

"I really wish you could put the IV in my good arm."

I'm thinking that I will wake up with bruises all over my "bad" arm where they attempted to dig for a fat vein. "I've had so many surgeries in the past. Those veins are really shot."

The first assistant returns. "Doctor said we can use your other arm. Where would you like to have it done?

The Laughing Gas does not make me laugh, but it does inhibit me from speaking clearly. I point to the first nicely plump vein on the back of my hand beneath my index finger. It's the one that always works. In goes the needle.

Doctor walks in. "Let's begin."

There is a burn as the medicine is going in. I hear a squeak. It's me. Someone says. It's just the Valium. It will stop burning soon. I close my eyes.

Later, someone is saying, "Open your eyes. Come on. Wake up!"

Do I open my eyes? I can't remember. There were several episodes of this. For heaven's sake! They must have really knocked me for a loop. I cannot arouse myself.

Finally Kats is by my side as I wobble to the car, and we leave to come home.  He tells me later, that on the way home he stopped to feel my pulse and see if he could get me to respond. I did, but I don't remember this. At home he helps me to bed and I had a nice long rest.

It's now ten hours later. I can't complain. I have no pain. I'm drinking water, eating jello (which I like) and ready to watch the evening news.

Photo Art by me, Elizabeth Munroz


  1. Anonymous10/18/2011 are you doing today? Glad they knocked you out for that...I have white coat syndrome, my blood pressure sky rockets when I see the doctor and then they get mad at me and accuse me of not taking my blood pressure pills. I haven't had a lot of procedures or surgeries, but have had plenty of experience, mostly negative, dealing with doctors and nurses with my kids, my mom, and friends. Andrew had problems when he was little and I couldn't get the doctors to believe me and when I finally did get one to believe me Andrew was pretty close to death....which is probably why I have White coat syndrome! I think they finally wrote it down in my file at the Dr.'s office that I have that and they also found out that I have a heart murmur, which was causing false readings on those electric monitors they push from room to room. At least that's what the doctor said. I hope your feeling better after you had that tooth pulled out!

  2. I'm grateful I don't have white coat syndrome. That is unfortunate, Pumpkin. I have no pain today from the tooth extraction. My arthritis is what hurts the most. Go figure!


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