Thursday, October 05, 2006

Tooth Extractions

Well, I think I’m hovering around 28 or 29 teeth now. For a couple of years I’ve been running from the verdict that the dentists have been giving me. (That’s right, I’ve seen more than one dentist.) They’ve been telling me that I need to have wisdom teeth removed. I was reluctant. You can probably imagine why. Cutting into my jawbone is not tops on my list of things I enjoy. Then my back left molars starting giving me problems. So I did what most intelligent men do when you are having teeth problems… I waited. Now some might say that I should have taken care of these problems earlier. (Seems like my wife might have said something along those lines one time or another…) But I waited and waited because I had a plan. The plan involved waiting until those molars get bad along with the wisdom teeth and then all four teeth could be removed at once. You see I’ve always been kind of an overachiever. Two wasn’t good enough for me. It needed to be double. So, this week I made a trip to the oral surgeon. OK, you're going to think that I’m exaggerating here. (In my business we call it ‘pastorally speaking’) But I’m not. While I’m in “The Chair” here are a few of the comments that my oral surgeon made in his slightly middle-eastern accented English... And I quote,

1.“Wow. This is amazing.”
2. “Hey," calling one of his assistants, "you’ve got to see this.”
3. “Oh my.”
4. This one in more whispered tones to his assistant, “Can you believe this?”
5. This one with a hint of laughter or joy almost at the opportunity he has of working on me. You know kinda like when normal people are witness to a great historic moment… 7th game of world series… man on the moon… things like that…“You are a great patient because this is some of the hardest bone I’ve ever cut into!”
6. “On a scale from 0 – 10 difficulty, this is a 15!”
7. “Oh boy you’re going to be sore for a long time.”
8. “Amazing!”
9. “Wow, look at the roots on this one going all different directions!”
And then an assortment of half sentences and words like, “My…” “I’ve got to cut deeper…” “You are not letting go of this are you…” And then lots of teeth clucking and clicking and oohing and ahing.

As this is all going on I’m thinking no way am I not in the middle of an SNL skit. Or no way is this not being taped for something somewhere… You know, some kind of web tv show or something… This is crazy. In fact I almost started laughing at him a couple of different times. And I would have except I was fearful of choking on a hemostatic clamp or something. And speaking of the tools that are in your mouth… Is there anything more fun than having the suction tube grab onto the little thingy that hangs in the back of your throat?

The thought did occur to me as he was yanking my head around that there should probably be some kind of chart for oral surgeons to reference. The chart could identify the kinds of things that the doctor SHOULD NOT say while working on a patient. (It would most likely include everything my surgeon said.) The chart could be up on the wall like an eye test chart or maybe laid out on the patient’s chest for easy access or maybe we could print it on the inside of the welder’s mask that the surgeon wears. In addition the chart could also include code phrases to be used when things weren’t exactly going ‘textbook’. For example when a tooth is not coming out as easily as it should instead of the surgeon saying, “Wow, I’ve never seen anything like this!” He or she could say, “This is coming along nicely.” It could kinda be like an opposite thing… my kids do that from time to time… they will say, “Whatever I answer you with is the opposite of what it should be.” It’s a fun game they play. I should hook my five year old up with this oral surgeon. I think he could teach him a thing or two!

All in all it was a fun time. Now I’m home with my two favorite new friends: Drugs and Ice. So, take it from me when it comes time to have your teeth worked on if you wait long enough there will be more teeth to work on. (or maybe you should just brush better)


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joan said...

Sorry you had to have all that happen. You are our favorite pastor. Gums and all! joan

Ron and Jennie said...

Well......if nothing else......the "dental" experience would make a great "stand up" addition....haha.
I hate going the dentist......of course, I don't think
I met anyone that actually likes it....maybe Summer,
because the tooth fairy may drop in that night....haha.
Talk to you later.
Ron E. / 10-9-06

jonathan foster said...

yeah, as a kid you get money when you lose a tooth. as an adult you pay to have them pull them out! as my son would say, "it's just wrong."