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.
3 days ago