In honor of Josephine Angelini, who had her wisdom teeth out yesterday, I thought I’d share my own wisdom teeth story, in hopes that I’d get some stories back from you. (I’m in bed with a cold, so am in sore need of entertainment. We’ll do a trade: I try to entertain you if you entertain me back.)
I was 15 and in high school in Birmingham, Alabama. All 4 of my wisdom teeth were impacted (hadn’t broken through the skin), so they couldn’t just be pulled. They had to be dug out. (I know…EWWWW!) Which meant I had to be put under.
When I was told I would be given an IV with drugs, I freaked. I had a needle phobia that was so exaggerated that I used to pass out if I even saw a shot coming toward me. So I convinced the dentist to give me laughing gas before he inserted the IV into my hand.
Things were going fine until I was just about to go under, when all of a sudden I had this kind of waking nightmare that was so clear and realistic that I was in a state of horror as I went unconscious. I “dreamed” that the dentist couldn’t figure out which tooth to pull, so he pulled ALL OF THEM. I could even feel it. My mouth was empty except for one tooth, and the dentist was yanking it out.
I woke up in a little room with my mom sitting next to me, saying, “Honey, I think we can talk about that later.” Whatever drug I had been given was acting on me like a truth serum, and I had been telling my mom all of my secrets: for example the R-rated movie I had gone to with a boy on a car date. (It was “Cheech and Chong” with Bo Kirkpatrick, and I had claimed he was taking me to “Chariots of Fire”.)
After that, for some reason, I decided I needed to get out of there and began trying to trick my mother to leave the room and get me water so that I could try to escape. Twice.
Flash forward to three days later. Something gross had happened to my teeth (a condition called “dry sockets”, which, by the way, I think would be the perfect name for a death metal band, as long as you write it in lightening letters and use an umlaut above the “o”), which caused me considerable pain. My mother, a sensitive soul, couldn’t stand to see her baby hurting and, along with the antibiotics, kept me completely stoned on pain pills for the entire week.
During that time, my friend William, who I was completely in love with even he was obviously gay, got his driver’s license and came to take me for a ride in his new convertible. We drove around Birmingham with our friend Alison behind me, pinning me by the shoulders to the passenger seat because I was convinced that I was going to fly out of the car and up into the air.
So that is my wisdom teeth story. Now I want to hear yours.