Thursday, May 31, 2012


This was not my first rodeo.  I had sat in a such a chair for a similar procedure twice before in my life so I was comfortable and relaxed.   I was getting a tooth pulled, no biggie.

My dentist, Dr. Rodney, is an adorable young man who recently has started specializing in treating Medicaid children though he has held on to his older original patients like me. 

Seems most of the dentists in town didn't want to work with that group as the pay from Medicaid was poor which put a lot of young children without care and at risk. Being a young father himself, Rodney became the dentist of  poor children and a some old crones like me.

I admired his caring for the young though it seemed his waiting room in the past year or so had developed all  the charm of a preschool petri dish with all the runny noses and sneezes.  I once brought home a doozy of a cold from his office.  But I am loyal if nothing else.

I was properly numb and drooling as he said, "You will feel some pressure. Let me know if you feel anything else."

Then he attached the tool to my upper molar and went to work.  My previous extractions were quite easy and were over before I knew it.  No fuss, no muss.  This time my studly, muscular Doc struggled. LOTS of pressure and pushing in different directions.

That tooth had lived there for about 65 years and was in no mood to be evicted. Just when I was thinking he might have to resort to dynamite, the tooth lost the battle and it was over. 

He poked around for a bit with a tool, shoved a large wad of gauze in my mouth, then straightened up.  "You did good. You really did good." he said in a congratulatory, sing song voice, patting my head as if I were a six year old or a well behaved puppy.

I had been given his very best children's approach at 72 years of age.  That is when I started to laugh.   Now I was gauzed up like Marlon Brando in the Godfather so much to my surprise, no sound came out. Just shoulder and belly shaking.  Who knew one could do that.    

How many times would I have loved to accomplish  quiet giggles when they have hit  at inappropriate times. Maybe I need to carry gauze in my purse for future lapses of social graces in places like hospitals or funeral homes.

I am quite flawed in that respect. The more serious the occasion, the weirder my funny bone gets. Please tell me I am not alone with "funeral home laughter syndrome".  If you share my affliction, remember gauze is a great muffler.

Update. It has been a month since the extraction and  after this past week on antibiotics, I am now 99% good. Sure glad it wasn't something I was just going to have to learn to live with. Life is good.


  1. Teeth problems can really take it out of you! A MONTH!!!! Good Lordy! Well, I'm glad it is 99% better, my dear...
    I never heard of that "silent" laughter thing before---That could be a real God-Send at strange times. (lol)

  2. That is good news, Patti. I am so sorry you have had to go through this, but it made for a good story, now that you are almost well. Head pats? He didn't mistake you for a seven-year-old patient, did he? :-)

  3. Glad you're feeling better finally.

    The more I try to muffle my inappropriately timed laughter, the louder it gets. Perhaps carrying gauze in my purse might be a good idea.

  4. Kids misbehaving in church make me giggle, and sometimes we sit with adults who make audible whispers to us or others we which we may hear, that make me giggle. My husband forbids me to sit by one lady, a former Texan from my neck of that woods, because we misbehave. He tells us to BEHAVE.

    Funerals seemed to have changed in some respects over the years, as attendees are sometimes allowed to tell stories, usually humourous, about the deceased. I have that written into my wishes--hope that doesn't run too long--. My wishes are mostly music and reading of the obituary.

    I find "making the deceased a saint" is simply a farce, when the attendees, usually already know the truth.

    But that's my opinion, for what it is worth -- which is zero.

    Maybe I'll stuff gauze among my emergency medical bag I carry everywhere including church.

    My best friend and I have a tendency to find something that really tickles our funny bone; we start giggling and laughing and can't quit, until we both enter an asthma attack. It is somehow not fair to not be able to have a good laugh without punishment.

  5. A good dentist is hard to find- actually a good doctor is too!
    Glad you are feeling better!

  6. What's wrong with laughter at a funeral? At our last one for David's sister, members of the congregation stood up and told funny anecdotes about the deceased. We all had a rollicking good time and laughed and laughed. It was the best funeral we had ever attended!!!

  7. I am so happy that you are better. It is terrible when our mouths get infected. Did you change toothbrushes? I suggested that to my oral surgeons office as a recommendation after I got infected after my surgery; they hadn't thought about that. I also decided that if I had to have another surgery that I would always use a fresh water bottle for drinking and not continue to reuse my old one.

    I get the giggles when I'm not supposed to either, but I had to laugh at how you described things ... it reminded me of Santa's "bowl full of jelly" laugh!

    Kathy M.

  8. It's good to know that I am not alone in the inappropriate laughter behavior. That pat on the head from the dentist would have had me roaring as well! Glad to hear that you are healing just fine. That's great news.

    This story just reminded me of the first time a dentist gave me nitrous oxide, when I was 15. That stuff relaxed all of my normal self-controls and I let out a mouthful of expletives at him when I thought he said something inappropriate. Hah. I guess I'm either laughing or cursing!

  9. it seemed his waiting room in the past year or so had developed all the charm of a preschool petri dish with all the runny noses and sneezes.

    That is really funny--that characterization.

    I am glad to hear that your mouth is better.

  10. Sympathy from me. I went through this about two years ago. Ended up with a cyst in my jaw that Doc removed via surgery. I didn't feel a thing after that.

    Are you sure he didn't give you laughing gas??? Dianne

    PS. My daughter and her four girls were on Medicaid for many years. One of her daughters had braces (orthodonture) thanks to Medicaid.

    Connie has remarried in the interim, and now has insurance provided by her husband's small company.

    She says she had BETTER medical care with Medicaid. Many of her old Docs will not take her current insurance. She pays out of pocket to see her old dentist. Something is wrong somewhere, don't you think?

  11. Glad you are on the mend. I still can remember hearing two of mine loosing their hold 15-years ago.

  12. Love the laughing part! And my hat's off to the dentist doing the right thing by his profession and those less fortunate than he.

  13. Yeah, so glad it is finally better and hopefully no more problems will exist; at least in that area....and good for your dentist!

  14. When my aunt and I viewed my mother at the funeral home, we were struck by how unlike mother her corpse looked. My aunt gasped, "Who IS that?" Suddenly, we were laughing and hanging onto each other. It apparently looked like we were sobbing, as we hid our faces so no one would realize we were actually laughing. It was the shock, of course. Mother had had a long, devastating battle with cancer and only her hands were recognizable. I always seem to get the giggles at the wrong time.

  15. Hi Patti, My funny bone goes crazy also at weird times. I used to get in so much trouble in church when I was young --because in the middle of the solemn times, I would start giggling until the tears ran down my cheeks. Mama would get so mad at me....

    Glad you are doing better now.

  16. A brilliantly written post .... so thankful you are nearly 100% ...but not sure it helped with my phobia of dentists. xx

  17. OOLOH,
    Thanks Naomi. I know there are times that would have come in handy for me.

    Ha ha, think he missed a zero there. That is what I felt he was doing. He was just so used to working on kids.

    RV Vagabonds,
    THanks. It does seem to swell up till we are miserable when we try to contain it:))

    Yikes, laughing till you are sick is no laughing matter but here I am laughing "with" you. Just no cure.

    Thanks, good ones are easier to find than caring ones. Find both in one doc and you have hit the jackpot.

    I also sharing humorous stories at funerals. It is just when no one else is laughing that it is awkward.

    Oregon gifts,
    Thanks Kathy. The infection was in my sinuses which caused pressure on the socket. Thankfully that is behind me. I do change my toothbrush every month. Excellent idea.

    Thanks. Ha ha, I was saying just the other day that I never had laughing gas and how I would like to try it. Well maybe not. Not sure I would behave any better.

    Thanks and glad you liked it. It is way too true. Germs adore kids.

    I guess if you can find a doc or dentist who will take Medicare, you know you have a caring man for he isn't it it for the money. Sorry it worked out that way for her.

    Gosh, yours must have been rough ones to remember them after so many years.

    Linda Myers,
    I agree that he is a special man. As far as I know, no other doctor takes medicaid dental patients in that town. Greedy buggers.

    Thanks and he is high on my list.

    Thank you, I love hearing I am not alone. Nice cover you had. I'll have to try that next time.

    Thanks so much. Hope you haven't out grown your sense of humor though you probably control it better now. It sure is hard to stop when you start.

    Thanks so much. Maybe if you went to a children's dentist,it would be easier. They are used to dealing with fearful patients.

  18. Oh I can't believe we have another thing in common. Yes I do have the funeral home laughter syndrome.
    Actually I can't believe I am admitting this to you in public. lol
    So glad your tooth extraction healed well. Just reading about it gives me chills.
    No one can tell a story like you my friend.
    Love ya

  19. So glad you are not having to settle for living with pain. I got a chuckle out of Dr. Studly's conversing with you as if you were one of his petri dish patients. You are so inspiring in your extraction of humor from pain. I apologize. Couldn't resist the dental allusion. Your humorous approach to trying situations really does set a high bar for the rest of us.

  20. Oh my yes, I have a sister-in-law that suffers badly from funeral home giggles. I think it's fairly common actually.

  21. oh Patti, I know it was painful but I was laughing so much with this post. First because when you first described the "chair", I envisioned the ones they have at the proctologist's office. Second, because of the drooling. BUT I am glad you feeling 99% better and recovering.

  22. Cannot believe that tooth is still giving you fits! Mine is healed over quite nicely, bit I'm hoping I haven't stressed a tooth on the other side of my mouth because I'm trying to avoid the "hole" when I chew. One thing always seems to lead to another....

  23. Oh Patti, you reminded me of the time my whole family ended up laughing during the viewing for my grandfather--my Mom's father. The doctor's wife came to the funeral parlor and my mother mistook her for a relative she hadn't seen in many years. "Oh Aunt Grace!" She grabbed the poor woman in an embrace, "Thank you so much for coming!" and then the poor woman went down the line, with each family member following my mother's lead and embracing and exclaiming over the long-lost auntie. The poor woman didn't know how to correct us and left shortly after being released by the last of which time my uncle said he never would have recognized Aunt Grace if my mother hadn't said something...and my aunt said she had actually thought the woman was the doctor's wife...and the mix-up became apparent to all of us. We stood there laughing till we cried, with my grandfather in the casket behind us, and the funeral directors closing the hallway doors in an attempt to contain us... And the story still makes us laugh!

  24. Geez...It's great to know that I'm not alone in the "inappropriate" laughter thing! I've done it more times than is appropriate to mention...
    Good to hear your healing up from the toothfairy debauchle.

  25. Oh, I do indeed share your mis-placed laughter. As a kid I got a spanking almost every Sunday for laughing out loud in church. Glad the tooth is finally healing.

  26. Holy cow - a month?! Glad to know you are on the mend.

  27. I'm due to have a tooth removed too. Now I'm not so sure I want it done.

    I'm glad you are feeling better now. So are you having an implant or just leaving a gap?

  28. Grandma Yellow Hair,
    Don't ya love blogging. Toss out a dark secret and you find there are so many who do the same thing.
    Love it.

    Oh my, thank you so much but I have so much to learn from you. Your posts are so humorous about a subject that most would not find funny at all. You are all ready high on the bar.

    Blogging does make us realize we are far more normal that we thought. Love it.

    Introverted Art,
    So glad I gave you a chuckle. That was my goal. And thanks, I am now 100%-- yipee.

    It was my darn sinuses that gave me all the trouble. Today I am chomping on both sides and it feels great. I decided not to go with an implant.

    Patricia K Lichen,
    That was just a hilarious story. Thank you for telling me. Now I feel totally normal.

    So glad you are too. I think we can start a club now. More members than I would have thought.

    NCMountain Woman,
    I do believe we might be in the majority. How cool is that?

    I have had much better months but I am so happy it is all over now. Normal is cool. Thanks.

    LLCool Joe,
    Ah, don't fear Joey. Mine was unusual, most go just great. I am not getting an implant for I am too old. Your age?? Go for it.

  29. What a sweet dentist you have - but I do understand about not wanting a cold from the kidlets. And I am so glad you are feeling 99% better. sandie

  30. I am thrilled to hear that you have a dentist who will accept pt's with Medicaid. I think the greed of most Doctors is one of the big contributors to the mess that we are in right now as it refers to medical care.

  31. What a great experience and I loved the silent laugh. I don't think I'd like a dentist that specializes in children due to all the germs they carry; I try to avoid getting ill at all costs. Glad you are all healed up now.

  32. Been thre don that. Maybe I was hallucinating but I recall maybe three people lined up and all pulling at the same time... seriously.

  33. Oh, Patti, do I know all about laughing at the wrong times!! I used to get into so much trouble giggling at church or some solemn occasion when I was young. And now at an advanced age, I still have trouble controlling that inner child that wants to giggle at the fly that landed on the back of a bald head in the pew in front of me, or when someone at a funeral service occasionally blows their nose and sounds like a fog horn, etc. And I really get in trouble when I'm around my son, because he is just like me and while he doesn't "giggle" he has trouble holding in the laughter. So, all we have to do is look at each other when something funny happens and we're both fighting to keep a straight face!
    Glad you're doing well now with the tooth pulling. Enjoy your Sunday!

  34. Was there an infection? Dry socket? Gauze that muffles hahaha

  35. Chatty Crone,
    Ha, maybe I need to wear a mask like my dentist does. He never gets sick. I've asked.

    I agree. I do understand how much time and money they have invested to become our doctors and some have staggering debt from college. Still, there has to be a better way.

    Linda Starr,
    Well I don't really but I had all ready been with him for 6 years before he started taking the Medicaid children.

    Yikes, you must have good roots also. It is those darn upper molars that hang on so well. Hope yours is only a memory now. Mine is.

    Ha ha, yes you are a true charter member and have raised another. It is so much harder when you have a co-conspiritor.

    The infection was in my sinuses which caused pressure on the socket. I have had dry socket when I was a child. That is nasty.

  36. A month is a long time, Patti! Your dentist sounds like a really nice man.

  37. Sooo glad u are ok! Loved the allusion to Marlon Brando. You rock. Yes, I have wanted to guffaw in public at times and end up coughing or chortling. Gauze is useful if it stays in place ;-) hope u had a good memorial day weekend.

    Take care !!! :-))

  38. You are made of sterner stuff than I! Just reading about this extraction gave me the shivers. I'm glad you are feeling better.

    The head pats were a bit much. I would have been upset by that. I'd have wanted a good medal for enduring what you did.

  39. Dear Arkansas Patti, I'm glad all is well because mouth/tooth infections can really travel throughout the body. So it's good to know that you are 99% on the way to health.

    Just hearing about the extraction made me so glad--glad, glad, glad--that I haven't had to do that for many years. And I'll remember your fortitude if the dentist ever wants to pull one of my teeth! Thanks for being a model for me.


  40. I am getting a bunch of dental work done and am on antibiotics also. I love my dentist, he is a little older and really funny. He makes me laugh every time I see him.

    I've got the same issue with laughter at inappropriate times and I have a friend who just loves trying to crack me up at just such times...


  41. Well I don't have gauze in my mouth and the laughing is out loud. My favorite line...."patting my head as if I were a six year old or a well behaved puppy"...Nice Post!

  42. Do you remember the classic Mary Tyler Moore Show when Mr. Peanut died? I laughed so hard at that show that my kids bought it for me.

    Congratulations for your bravery at the dentist. I do fine there now, but when I was a child, the dentist Mother to had fat fingers and one of those old, slow drills. I'm sure he drilled holes in my brain and just didn't tell anyone.

    I'm glad you have it behind you. Didn't get a lollipop?

  43. REader Wil,
    I was beginning to think for a while that I was just going to have to live with it. It was a long month. Thanks.

    Know what you mean. When laughter wants out it is really hard to hold it in:))

    Retired English Teacher,
    I just thought it funny and was sorry I didn't at least get a balloon.

    Hope you get to keep all of yours.
    I am 100% now and glad of it. Thanks.

    Now that is extra hard when you have someone trying to break you up. Glad you have a fun dentist. They make it not so bad. Hope you are all better now.

    Aw thanks GQ, He did slip into his little ones chair side manner quite unconsciously. Wish I had one like him when I was a wee one.

    Isn't that just a classic!! I do remember that and maybe thinking of that makes it hard not to crack up at the wrong times. Neat of your kids to get you that one.

  44. I get the giggles in church! That's the worst time, for me. Never did at a funeral though. That's a new one!

  45. mare ball,
    Join the club. Somehow it is not as exclusive as I thought which is a relief. Hope you pass on the funeral one. The breaved don't seem to appreciate the humor.