Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Like Pulling Teeth

Have you ever heard the phrase "It's like pulling teeth." Most of the time when this is used, it means something is difficult to do. I am going to have to rethink how I use that phrase from now on.

I have always disliked someone sticking me with sharp needles. Dislike is not the right word, I need a word to describe a deep rooted terror of having a stranger inflict pain and I have to stand there and take it. I have no problem drawing a picture, or a bath but when it comes to having to draw blood, I ..well...just...would rather not.

I don't recall a time when I looked forward for this to happen or when the first time it did happen, or why I became so darn scared. In the grand scheme of things, which is my way of saying of all of what happens in one's life, getting stuck with a needle is about as serious as a paper cut. But then again, I am not going anywhere to get a paper cut, they just happen. I don't have to anticipate the sheer terror of the paper slicing my finger. I can watch movies where aliens are attacking, crazed killers on a rampage, but a scene where someone is getting stuck with a needle and I am cringing like a baby.

This leads me to dentist, which is another of those things that I would prefer not doing. The eye doctor is not so bad, but there is one thing I could not stand, and that was having my eyes checked for glaucoma. The doctor would use a device, not like they use now, with the puff of air, but a small thing he would place on my eye..Oh the terror!

What I don't understand is when one goes for a checkup, they do things to make you feel bad, but when you feel bad, then they do things to make you feel better, what is up with that?

So yesterday I went to have a tooth removed, it was not doing right and needed to go, I found out about this two years ago, and it was not bothering me then, so I figure I would not bother it either. A week ago the tooth decided it was time to go, so it let me know. I would have it removed, on the grounds of it not being fun to have around anymore.

I guess if I was not so darn squeamish about going to the doctors, I would like to study how the body works as a whole. That it is more a working machine with a design and not just a random construct which evolved by trial and error.

I was not as frighten as I would have been, I knew it needed to be done and that it was not going to be a problem. When asked if I wanted to be put to sleep, before the nurse completed the word, I replied with a hearthy "Yeah".

Susan and I arrived on time and filled out the paper work, and lucky there were no paper cuts, so things were going good. I had already stocked up on pudding and ice cream, so I was ready.

I have learned to relax, to breath slowly and steady, and just to get over it. To let myself go with the flow. This was working great till the nurse started taking my blood pressure, which I don't like either..squeezing me like that...but as always this is done once and it is over, but alas I hoped too soon. She told me it was gonna be on there for the entire time, taking the pressure every so often during the surgery. Then there was this machine making beeping noises, and I was wondering what about me was making it beat, it would beat a few times and then faster, then stop, then beat a few times and then faster, there was a pattern, I tried to drowned it out..see the relaxing techinque above.

The doctor arrived and told me the ups and downs of the procedure, and that there could be a 1 percent chance of having some permanent numbness in my lip due to the nerves. I was about to asking him how many times he has done this and if any of them had the numbness, cause if he had done this like 99 times without a problem..well then I knew it would be me. I did not ask, as I always say, Ask not, know not.

However I did make it clear that we were all talking about the same tooth..that was something that was crucial..well at least for me. They called it tooth number 32, I called it the bottom back tooth, on the right, next to my finger..see look, this tooth..

He then reached for my arm. The answer to my question was realized, the method of administering the anesthesia. Yes you got it ...a needle to the arm..duh! What no gas? No blunt instument to the back of the head. It had to be a needle....okay I am there, we are all adults. In all seriousness, I did what the doctor told me, make a fist, and don't move. That was the about all I could do, since they did strap my arm move on their part.

What really concerned me was the slight noises the doctor was making as if he was having problems with the needle. Hey Doc!..I am the one that has the problem... He poured ice water on the spot to "numb" the area..look Doc, at this point either stick or get off the arm. It is crunch time, ..GET IT DONE!!! Ya better open that pipeline and let that drug do it's magic..times a wasting.

I think that a big difference between someone that is crazy and someone that is sane, has to so with what one says what is on their mind...out loud.

Well the drugs took effect, and the next thing I knew I was in another room, I saw my wife looking at me and a nurse asking me how I was doing..which I guess she understands mumbling, cause they let me go.

One neat thing that is on the list of things to do after the operation was "the patient SHOULD" get a milkshake....not to shabby.

Over all it has been a good experience. Although I felt fine, a bit numb, a little pain..bout normal for me on a day to day wife stayed home with me, fixing me soup, asking my how I am doing..and just being concerned. That was the nice part of the day..knowing she was there.

So the next time I complain about how difficult something is to do, I will not use the phrase "It's like pulling teeth." but rather "It's like paying the bill for pulling teeth"

1 comment:

Glenn A.Gurley said...

Right on brother, You have arrived to the true world of pain, Just relax and all will be OK?