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The tooth extraction has basically turned out to be nothing worth talking about, honestly, which isn’t going to stop me from devoting an entire blog post to it. The most complicated part was convincing the … nurse? not-the-dentist-but-not-clearly-a-hygienist? Dental assistant? I dunno, the lady who wasn’t the dentist– that while I appreciated the offer of sunglasses and would happily wear them during the procedure, the idea that the television in the room should be tuned to my needs (“Christ, no, not the news, anything but that”) or that the in-room bluetooth should be playing my own personal pullin’-teeth playlist was utterly unnecessary. The TV doesn’t even have to be on, and if it’s going to be on my only condition is that it be either not turned to a channel that’s going to provoke rage or muted. I really don’t need music.
She really had trouble with this idea. Apparently it’s rare that patients for extractions don’t have media demands while going through the procedure. Personally, I don’t get it.
Anyway, the nurse smeared my tongue and the area of the tooth with some sort of numbing gel and left me alone for a few minutes and then the dentist came in. We talked about Hamilton for a few minutes and then he did … something inside my mouth for maybe a minute and said “Okay, all done!” and left.
I was surprised to learn that a tooth extraction takes less than a minute; I hadn’t felt a damned thing. I expressed my surprise (“Holy shit, that’s it?”) and then discovered that, no, he hadn’t even touched the tooth, I’d just received three numbing shots to complement the numbing gel; the various non-dentists in the room were vastly entertained by my theory that the dentist declaring “all done” meant that “all” was “done” and that I could go home.
It was not, and I could not.
That said, the actual extraction took maybe five minutes. He warned me beforehand that he suspected he might have to break the tooth to get it all out; as it was maybe 97% of it came right out and then he had to do a touch more fiddling around to get a tiny piece of root that stayed behind. There was no pain whatsoever. There wasn’t even any real sense of pressure or discomfort or even tugging. If he hadn’t shown me the tooth I don’t know that I’d have believed he removed it, since I couldn’t feel anything inside my mouth– it was hours before I could actually feel the hole the tooth left behind with my tongue. My appointment was at 10:00 and I was texting my wife that I was finished at 10:30.
Several hours of lazing about the house and occasionally switching out my gauze ensued; as of this moment the extraction was ten and a half hours ago and while it’s been a bit obnoxious I still can’t say that I’ve felt any actual pain at any point. I ate ice cream and applesauce and had macaroni and cheese for dinner. I’m going to take some painkillers before bed strictly as prophylaxis but I’m not sure I really need them.
So, yeah. Kinda feel like an idiot that that had me more nervous than my gallbladder surgery did ten years ago. I mean, shit still has time to go south if I lose the blood clot or something, but so far this has been cake.
Gonna go get a tooth torn out of my head tomorrow. I’m not looking forward to any part of it, for obvious reasons, to the point where I’m actually kind of embarrassed at how much it’s weighing on me. It’s a wisdom tooth. Those shits get pulled all the time. It’ll be fine, and I’ve got an excuse to spend the rest of the day in bed. How often do I get to do that nowadays? This is a good thing.
Stupidest thought of the last several days: that since I mostly chew on the right (which may not even be true) I’ll have to relearn how to eat. I don’t think so. I’m pretty certain that people who have single molars taken out aren’t generally in need of physical therapy afterwards. I’m just being ridiculous. I am also certain that once the swelling goes down, if indeed there’s enough swelling to be worth worrying about, that my face will neither be a different shape nor noticeably lopsided-looking. They’re not removing my jaw.
Keeping with the “it annoys me that this annoys me” theme…
I dropped below 10,000 Twitter followers this week, for the first time in probably two years. In itself, this isn’t a huge deal; followings ebb and flow and I don’t think I’ve ever had more than 10,300 or so, so it’s not a big drop at all. It’s mildly annoying, because I like that five-figure following, but ultimately it’s a nothingburger.
Now, that said: I worked at getting that 10K following, and I had several strategies that I used that worked. It took under a year to go from a few hundred followers to 10K. And once I hit 10K every single one of those strategies stopped working, and nothing I’ve been able to do since then has been able to push me above that 10.3K number I referenced earlier. Anybody reading this big into Twitter, and have any suggestions that don’t involve actually buying followers (never) or premium access to one of the various Twitter helper programs like Crowdfire? I don’t want to spend any money on this, but time I have.
Anybody out there know more than me and want to share?
Had a woman come into the store today looking for occasional tables, and in talking to her about what she was looking for she volunteered that she recently bought a 1600 square foot house, filled it with new furniture, then sold it “on a whim” six months later to buy a 4400 square foot house.
Which she now needs to fill with more new furniture.
Is it wrong that I don’t know this woman at all and I still feel like her taxes probably ought to be doubled or tripled?
I got a text from my mother just now, while I was eating dinner, that my second grade teacher had passed away, at the admirably ripe old age of 92. Mrs. Gates is one of the several teachers that my book Searching for Malumba is dedicated to, one of only two from my elementary/primary school years.
I had found myself wondering about her many times over the years. My second-grade recollection of her was that she was one of my older teachers, but that could have meant she was 40; kids are terrible at pegging how old adults are, right? As it turns out, she was nearly 60 when I had her, so she was probably nearing retirement at the time. I remember her as being probably the best example I ever had of the “strict but fair” teacher, which was something I always tried to emulate in my own career.
The funny thing is that when I try to unearth specific memories of what she was like as a teacher, I can only come up with one or two of them, and the clearest memory probably counts as educational malpractice, to the point where I almost feel disrespectful for talking about it. Mrs. Gates was always big on cleanliness– keeping the room clean, and in particular, keeping our desks clean. She’d actually inspect them from time to time– I have no idea how frequently; this could have been a daily or weekly thing for all I remember, or it could have been more frequently than that.
I am still in touch with literally no one who was in my second grade class, but I can think of perhaps four or five kids who are no more than a quick Facebook search away. And I guarantee each of them remembers the day Mrs. Gates got tired of Jonathan W. (I remember his full name, but why let him Google this?) having a sloppy desk for like the nine hundredth time in a row and in a fit of frustration dumped it out on the classroom floor in front of everyone. Objectively, with thirty-some-odd years of hindsight, this was probably a terribly humiliating thing for Jonathan and was not the proper way for her to have handled the situation. I certainly can’t imagine dumping a kid’s desk out on the floor in front of the whole class. And yet, I think for most of us, it made us more fond of her– and make no mistake, strict as she was, the kids in that class loved Mrs. Gates. Because this lady wasn’t taking any shit, and chances are most of our moms would have done the same damn thing in similar circumstances. I stayed friends with Jonathan until he moved away, I think in middle school sometime, and that story was still getting told at slumber parties years later.
For whatever it’s worth, I suspect he’d probably still laugh at the story. I dunno; maybe I shouldn’t have told it.
Rest in peace, Mrs. Gates. I hope wherever you are, all the desks are pristine.