March 6th, I called my usual dentist. I had been going there for a couple years. It was convenient, it was clean, and efficient. I got my appointment for March 11th and informed them that I had a wisdom tooth that came in on an angle which was now causing me some irritation; scratching the inside of my cheek, biting my tongue and trapping food (because the tooth was pushing up against another tooth). I wanted an extraction.
On March 11th I showed up for my appointment and I was shown to a chair. I didn’t wait very long, that was nice. They did a panorama xray, which needed to be done more than once because the hygienist couldn’t figure out the machine; the first one came out wet??? The doctor came in and said, the tooth was in an unusual position and he identified it as, “The second worst type of extraction that can be done.” But he was going to “freeze” me up, crack the tooth and remove it piece by piece. Okay, I thought to myself sounds like it could be bad but isn’t that bad.
He forgot to tell me about the pain. Not the pain after, he didn’t mention anything about the pain during. I went back over it in my mind. He told me it was the second worst kind. He told me it there would be freezing so I wouldn’t “feel a thing.” He told me I would feel a lot of “pushing and pulling” and some “pressure”. He also told me that I’d hear the cracking. HE DID NOT MENTION THE PAIN.
It stated out much like he said, I was going to hear some cracking, there was some pressure, and there was some pushing. This went on for about 15 minutes and then I felt something. I thought maybe I got poked by a tooth shard or something. Then it happened again. I made a noise, “Mmph”. Once more the same feeling, then I felt it. I remembered it. Pain.
I had been sitting in the chair with my legs crossed and my hands folded across my abdomen. I wondered, when did my hands move to bracing the arm rests? He stopped. My hands needed to be flexed and my jaw had that throb I remembered (from my thumb being injured). Doctor said he needed to get another panorama to see where he was at. Once that was done, he came back and said something that was a bit surprising. “Well, remember when I told you that this was the second worst kind of extraction? I’m going to have to upgrade it to the worst kind.” He talked about the angle of the tooth and some other stuff about the approach. I told him at that point that the anesthesia must have worn off because I was starting to feel it. “You got something else? Are you going to give me some more.” He told me that he would apply some more, he did, came back about 3 minutes later and got started again.
I looked at the table prior to him getting started and expected to see some plyers. Is that a misnomer to think they pull teeth with plyers? All I saw was the drill, two ice pick looking tools and a scalpel. Where were his plyers?
Once he got started, it didn’t take long for that memory to surface again. It hadn’t even been 5 minutes and I was consciously gripping the chair again; body tense, sweat beading and breathing deeply. It almost felt like Basic Training all over again. “No pain, no gain. Remember Private, pain is weakness leaving the body!” It was a fight to endure, I wanted to hold on. I couldn’t. I started to uncontrollably make noise again, “Mmph”. He adjusted his angle, seconds later, “Mmph!” It was louder than before. That’s because it was more painful than before. These sounds were surprsing even me.
What was once a memory has now become my present condition. PAIN. “Mmmmph!” My eyes widened that was definitely not a memory. It was raw pain. It went into my jaw and shot through my body. I struggled to stay still (he did have a large pick in my mouth) by gripping the arm rests all the more. I’m not sure how long it was for round 2, but I found myself saying to the doctor, “Stop. Stop!” Now there was sweat running down my brow. He told me, “We’ll take a break. We’re almost finished. Let’s get another xray, I was almost there but you stopped me. I don’t have much more to go.”
My question to him was, “Is it too late for you to put me to sleep? I don’t think the anesthisa is working.”
I wasn’t please with his response when he said, “Yes. It’s too late.”