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[[groovy musics: ]]

10:11 a.m. // 17 May 2005

Wisdom tooth removal yesterday, not all that bad. I'm not really in pain now -- I'm trying to not take the hydrocodone, because the Tylenol is cutting it well enough. If my cabin fever gets bad enough I'll have to trudge over to work or something.

I don't remember anything unpleasant about the experience. The doctor did his consultation and recommended that we remove only two of the three wisdom teeth, as the third rests directly on top of a nerve and isn't bothering me. He (red hair, red mustache, red face) says: "If you were my sister, or my wife, or anyone in my family, I'd tell you the same thing." [Beat.] "But not my ex-wife. If you were ex-wife, I'd tell you to take it out." [Pause.] "Just kidding." [Longer pause.] "No, not really.]

That tooth also happened to be the one that insurance refused to pay for, so: Good. Then he talks for a while about his cruise to the Mediterranean and how overpriced everything is on the ship (nasal spray, getting a simple antibiotic from the on-ship doctor) but the food is worth it, and that he left a size 32 and came back a size 32 thanks to the onboard fitness center. And that he used to weigh a lot more and be a size 40, but then he decided to get really into fitness, and if you're going to get addicted to something, why not get addicted to that?

The chair got lifted up and tilted back and then I wondered out loud, "Am I going to have to pay when I'm all doped up?" And then the the chair came down abruptly and people were sent for and credit cards scanned. It was like I interrupted the order of our scripted ritual with the mention of money.

When an assistant put the gas mask on, she said, "It's only oxygen." I believed her for a few minutes even as I started to smell the faint berry odor. Then I noticed my hands feeling funny and I remembered Trimble joking about primitive Arkansas dentistry and his dentist's exceedingly slow drill, and that made the high-pitched whirr of the drill a few offices down seem to be very, very funny indeed. Then I realized that it wasn't actually that funny, so I knew I must be on the gas. When the doctor and assistant came back in, I had to warn him about my slight TMJ, and my voice was slow and faraway. I thought, "Feeling like this is why I don't really drink!" and I thought it'd be a funny thing to say to the doctor, but I couldn't really manage it. It's certainly the highest I've ever been in my life -- and I thought how for a good number of people, that is the highest they'll get. I felt as though I was observing things around me using my drug-addled brain, and then my normal brain was observing my drug-addled brain.

Things seemed to slow down, even my heart rate monitor seemed to pause every now and then. I thought that the doctor was trying to trip me up, make fun of me in my gassed state -- to answer a question, he threw back his head and said, "Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...." for too long of a time, then immediately: "ohsecondthoughtno." I laughed a little and it seemed there was someone behind my head laughing in unison.

It took a long time for me to get sedated, at least I think. I was trying to nod off, but I felt like I had insomnia for a while. In my mind, I thought I wasn't really sedated; I thought the staff was doing things behind me, getting things ready for the longest time while they were waiting for me to go out. I guess they fed me more sedation drugs, because they said I took a longer time than usual to wake up. When they woke me up, I was thinking, "But they haven't even started on me yet!"

Dwayne says I grabbed his arm while I was conked out in the chair; I don't remember it. He and one woman walked me out and I remember her telling him, "Talk to her to keep her alert while you're going up the stairs." At the drive-through pharmacy, I punched him. When we got to our building, I was still mostly unconscious; I started charging up the stairs because I wanted to do them all in one burst, then collapse into someplace soft and sleep.

 

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