Wisdom teeth. The very mention of them makes my head start to throb as if it’s filled with a thousand angry porcupines hell-bent on dancing the tango along my jaw line — which is understandable, considering that I just had mine ripped out by a doctor who admittedly looked far more sinister holding a scalpel than he did on his webpage.
Don’t get me wrong, the surgery itself went off without a hitch; the entire procedure took a mere half hour. The recovery, however, was a very different story.
Though I don’t remember it, I apparently tried to convince the nurse to roll my wheelchair down four flights of stairs because “it worked in ‘Scrubs.’” Not exactly a sign of a sound mind.
The hilarious effects of the anesthetic continued for a short time after, in which I sang to scared bystanders who huddled their children closer in fear of the swollen bearded man who was attempting an incoherent rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”
After three escape attempts, a couple bouts of inexplicable song and a curious incident involving a seatbelt, some gauze and a now-traumatized neighborhood cat, I finally made it home to my own bed.
I woke up a few hours later with an extremely swollen face and no recollection of the past four hours, which is probably best, considering my medicated antics at the doctor’s office.
Though I have no memory of what I had accomplished in my drugged state, I did notice the twenty outgoing calls on my cell. I can only imagine my poor contacts, many of which I hadn’t spoken to in years, trying to understand my slurred and incoherent messages on their answering machine.
(Author’s Note: For any readers that received slightly alarming message from me, I assure you it was the anesthetic and not a psychotic break. You should be safe to stop filling out the restraining orders and forget this ever happened.)
Given that I hadn’t been allowed to eat in what felt like a few millennia (which in real time was probably closer to 12 hours), I decided to try to find some way to sustain myself. The problem was that I was unable to open my jaw or chew without crying like a five-year-old girl watching “Up.”
In an effort to circumvent this issue I tried to use a funnel to feed myself some lukewarm chicken broth. The result was something like a monstrous beer bong for soup which resulted in approximately half of my clothes and the entirety of my kitchen covered in chicken.
Thoroughly disheartened I decided to throw on a movie after taking my pain medication, which was a wonderful idea until the medication actually took effect. I’ll save the funnier details for another time, but let’s just say that I spent a good twenty minutes convinced I was Iron Man.
After yet another nap, which at this point I had become quite adept at taking every fifteen minutes, I was awakened by a knock at my front door. It was just my luck that the local Jehovah’s Witness missionaries had chosen today to stop by to spread their good news.
It took a good half hour before I was finally able to convince the group that it might not be the best time to attempt to convert me, considering that I was only vaguely hanging on to consciousness. In my defense, I’d like to see you try to have a theological discussion without opening your jaw.
The next morning I awoke to the horrible realization that my face had swollen to the size of a small aircraft carrier and had taken on a shape not unlike some sort of alien sports ball.
While my brother laughed mercilessly from the living room, I tried to ask my mother as articulately as possible where I had stored the pain medication. The result, I’m told, was something between a vicious elephant attack and the sound of two hippos mating.
My mother, dying with laughter, stopped shaking just long enough to point to the medicine cabinet where my pills had been sitting throughout the entirety of the encounter.
It was at this point that my family took a vote and decided unanimously that I was to spend the next couple days medicated and wrapped securely in a blanket before I could do any more damage to the house or my reputation.
I could easily go on to describe the humorous recovery, but they say a picture is worth a thousand, incomprehensible, swollen words. So here, enjoy in my misery.