As a child I developed a paralyzing fear of dentists. The reason for this is that once, as a little girl (I was six) my Mother too me to the dentist in Lusaka. I was scared and I had to have a filling. I was performing and crying as scared six-year-olds are prone to do and instead of dealing with it in a sensible fashion, the dentist slapped me across the face and told me to pull myself together. For real. Needless to say I’ve seen three other dentists since this incident and they’ve all been awesome.
In the middle of this summer I was finally convinced that after about 10 years without any kind of dental visit, I needed to go. I went to Paul’s wonderful family dentist. Dr. Moss in Richmond. She and her staff were wonderful and very comforting and assured me that despite my audacious neglect my teeth were in good shape…except for one crazy wisdom tooth. Out of all my happy little teeth, my lower right wisdom tooth had come in totally sideways. (I’ve been pretty fond of my little screw-up tooth, like a bad child, who you love anyway.) I was referred to an oral surgeon. Again, another awesome experience, this time with Dr. Nelson – who informed me that the bad tooth would have to go, and that we might as well take out his wise brothers at the same time. So I scheduled to have all four of them removed on the 17th of August.
Now I am sitting in a Best Western Hotel in Richmond, wishing it was 6:30 so I could take more Vicodin and be guilt-free about it. I have all kinds of weird paranoias about medical dependency and taking pills when I don’t really need them. I like to leave it until I can really feel how much pain my body is in, otherwise how will I know if I’m getting better? That’s where I am right now, it sucks. My lower jaw hurts, my upper jaw hurts, I have a headache and I’m hungry. I’m hungry because I’ve hit 66 hours without solid food. This is hardest part.
You would think that chowing down on ice cream, pudding, mashed potato and sorbet would be pretty swell for a few days – and yes, it was a novelty at first – today I want proper food so badly. I’m one of those people who associates food with comfort. When I’m feeling down on myself I eat – not chocolate or ice cream, I eat full meals. I mostly eat burrito bols. What I wouldn’t give for a burrito bol right now.
Certainly, I’ve had worse experiences, and I plan on rewarding this whole operation with an awesome purchase (a hat!) but still that leaves me, right now, desperately craving Chipotle, achey, and feeling decidedly less wise.