Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Huge Wisdom Tooth Extraction...

After putting up with a touchy wisdom tooth for several months, calming it with an occasional Vicodin, I finally went through my Medicare book looking for a dentist. Finding one with a name that I could pronounce, I called and got no answer, twice, but the message on the answering machine gave an emergency number that I dialed. After the phone ringing 3 times, it was answered with a hello! It sounded like the gentleman answering was on about the 5th hole of a Scottsdale golf course. I explained who I was and how I got his number. He replied that they should have answered, me replying, that's what I thought! He said, let me try it and have them call you back and I guarantee that we'll get you in today! I did. About 7 or 8 minutes went by and my phone rang and it was the receptionist at the dentist's office explaining that the storm knocked out their line (coffee break). She scheduled me for 2 PM and told me that she'd email me the fill out information. I explained that I didn't have a printer and she told me to be there at 1:15 in that case. Shit, 45 extra minutes of describing my sore foot from 2007! I hate this part!

I arrive right on time with my sore tooth in tow. The receptionist is cold and unaccommodating and I try to fill out the 1/4 inch think papers of questions that I know don't matter. After a long time, I'm still not finished and the dentist's assistant comes to get me and I hand over my paperwork with her reminding me to sign it eleven times for HIPPA. The dental assistant is determined to use words that are way bigger than she needs to to convince me of her intelligence and I try to keep up using words that I actually make up! She just nods and I smile internally. At some point the receptionist comes in and announces that my insurance only agrees to pay for ex-rays and an initial exam, which pisses me off because my tooth hurts and according to this lady, it's not going to be addressed. I'm wondering why I'm even there, when miss Big Words starts explaining what ex-rays are. With my mouth agape, she shoots away. Miss Big Words assures me that the dentist has petite hands and will be as gentile as humanly possible. 

In comes the dentist, a woman about 22 to 25 wearing a scull cap and scrubs, with a mask and the only thing I can see is this really huge pimple just under her eye and wonder if she can see over that thing. She says nothing, gives me an injection of numbing agent and we wait for this magic drug to take effect. I'm always afraid during an extraction that the Novocaine with not fully work that the dentist will have climb on top of me to hold me down, while I scream, but that's never happened. The following is the dentist's entire dialogue with me: "Open wide." I do and Miss Big Words announces the tooth is out! I feel absolutely nothing! My dentist vacates the room, probably to put hot compresses on that horrid pimple and I never see her again. A little confused, I show Miss Big Words the texting that I've been doing with Brad, my son and Karen, my friend. It says, "here it comes, she's got a pliers in her hand!" Brad replies, "You and your crazy weight loss ideas." I go to the desk, settle up and leave... No pain prescription or instructions besides a piece of paper saying not to smoke or spit tobacco for a week.

I'm only 10 minutes from home with a half frozen face and all I can think of is Kramer on Seinfeld and the episode of him going to the dentist, then trying to drink water and the water dripping all over his chin and chest! I burst out laughing, all alone. When I get home, I sit back in my reclining chair and fall asleep for about an hour and when I awaken the numbing agent has worn off and my face feels like I've just been shot with a 357 Magnum. Holy Shit! I take a Vicodin and thank my lucky stars I have them, then another and assume the stoned position for the rest of the evening, that can be verified my the people I spoke with, but guess what? No more wisdom tooth!