Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Evil Tooth Fairy

Yeah, so the evil tooth fairy took my tooth yesterday and when I felt under my pillow this morning, nothing. All he left me with is a swollen face (again) and an insatiable hunger. I'm allowed nothing but pudding or yoghurt today and woo hoo, tomorrow I get to have warm soft food like a bowl of noodles or oatmeal. Wait, I see I'm allowed a can of fruit cocktail. Huh? When were these instructions written, in 1950?

However, the evil tooth fairy's agent --my oral surgeon -- did give me a prescription for Codeine so that tells you what kind of pain was involved. Now here's something you would have thought I'd have learned by now: Never read the paperwork that comes with your prescription or you will make yourself nuts...or, in my case, even more nuts.

"Codeine can cause drowsiness or hyperactivity".

Okay. Which is it, then? Even in my worst (and much younger) partying days, I only indulged in things of a hyperactive nature for a brief time. A few episodes of my heart skipping a beat and imagined trips to the emergency room where I'd be instantly arrested was enough for me.

Now those drowsy drugs...mmm...but I suffer from insomnia and natural hyperactivity so that's why they used to appeal to me but these days a glass of good wine with dinner is all I really need.

Oh god...dinner.

Sorry. I'm really, really hungry. And I just had to drink a cup of cold coffee because as I said, I'm not allowed anything warm until tomorrow and I'm not willing to have the headache from hell because of no caffeine.

Note to self: Break the coffee addiction once and for all when this is over. Go back to tea. Tea is the new coffee, anyway. I know this is true because In Style Magazine told me so in the oral surgeon's office yesterday.

And what a character my oral surgeon was -- first time I'd ever met him and initially I thought he was kind of scary and then my imagination really took over because what kind of person picks that as his/her career? Day after day of blood and spit flying and people screaming in agony, or, in my case, having a full-fledged panic attack while in the chair.


As I sat there trying to absorb all of the information he was throwing me about the tooth, what to expect and having me sign all of those dreaded release papers about jaw deformities and strokes, I had a brief moment of clarity and said to myself "Well, an oral surgeon is nowhere near as bad as a person who decides to be a proctologist" and I calmed myself down.

And then I saw the velcro arm restraints on either side of my chair and frankly, I started to lose it because the surgeon told me he didn't feel it was necessary to put me under, he could probably do it in fifteen minutes with a local...but it would take that long because he fully expected the tooth to break.


And then he started to sing.

"Oh here comes a little pinch in the cheek la la la and open wide la la la another little one and now a big one LA LA LA on the roof of the mouth doobie doobie doo..."

Okay, like, I never received that much novacaine in my life and then he walked out of the room with the dreaded Terminator line "I'll be back".

One second alone and I realized I couldn't swallow. I was so numb I couldn't feel my tongue or back of my throat and I started gasping for air.

"The stroke...the jaw deformity...Rob...get a grip...deep aren't going to choke to death in this dentist's chair anymore than you were going to choke from peanut butter asphyxiation in your Neil Gaiman dream."

So I somehow forced my brain back into a happy place thinking of that (ha) and in walked the singing dentist again, this time wheeling in an evil cart of sharp instruments.


"Gurgle gurgle," I replied and damn it, this really was like my dream of the other night except it was real and what, now I think I'm psychic? Oy.

To be honest, I couldn't feel any pain but then he starts with the singing again "La la la I'm pulling out your tooth bibbity bop bop bop" and I swear, he lifted me three inches off the chair as he yanked.

That's when I had the panic attack.

"Stopppppp..gurgle gurgle...can't...gurgle gurgle...want to be put no no."

Well, I tried, but I was speaking in tongue and he kept on singing and pulling and then out came the tooth and he showed it to me in all its gory glory. Oh my god. Eww!

"Ice on your face as soon as you get home, Advil, Codeine, nothing but pudding/yoghurt for 36 hours blah blah blah..."

Got home, did as he said, but as soon as that novacaine wore off, I started howling.

I took the damn Codeine even though it was 50-50 I'd have the preferred reaction.

You know I'm not that lucky.

Midnight I was still up with my heart pounding in my ears and now I was really screwed because I couldn't have a glass of wine because it said in huge letters on my prescription bottle DO NOT TAKE WITH ALCOHOL.

Now. I suppose I could have gone by my initial reaction while in dire pain, which was "Oh, this means you need to swallow it with water, not wine, but you can have wine in a few minutes" but I am not a complete idiot so I sat here all night alone with an icebag on my face surfing the net. Half of my family wasn't home and the other half was upstairs snoring but after a while I passed out and this is how they found me this morning:

Yeah, so now we know who really cares about me in this family.

Just kidding. Eric was awesome. Because he was the only one in the family available yesterday, he was the one stuck accompanying me to the great tooth extraction of 2006 and he did a great job of calming me down the whole way home in the cab where I was convinced that underneath the gauze I was chomping on, I was probably hemoraging to death.

Anyway, I have more music and writing news but I seriously need to find something soft and cool to eat so... (Ha ha - I know what you are all thinking -- wash out your brains with soap right now!)



Susan Henderson said...

I'm so glad it's out, and you lived through it.

As we say in the Henderson household, "It's all character-building."

Love and soft and cool things to you.

Richard said...

Someone told me the cherries in fruit cocktail are really grapes dyed red. Mmmm good. Happy healing!

Myfanwy Collins said...

Robin, we are twins! Novacaine makes me CRAZY (and yes, the can't breathe, panic thing!) and so does coedine and so does anyone sticking an instrument of torture into my mouth.

So very glad you are on the mend. Soon you will be right back to normal and happy and healthy and eating delicious things.

xoxoxo and love,

Ellen said...

Ugh. The sickest I ever got in my life was on codeine. I literally thought I was dying, and actually accepted it. I won't go into details here, but oh God. Never again!

If you're still in pain, maybe you can ask for Dilaudid (sp?). Do they still prescribe that? It's some crazy opiate, I think, and wowza. It WILL kill the pain and get you pretty stoned. (Made me weepy, though.)

Anyway, the worst is behind you. Hope you're feeling better and better.


RobinSlick said...

Sue, if stuff like that really built character, I'd be Mother Theresa with my family's history but okay, as always I love your spin on things and YAY YAY YAY Everyone visit Sue's blog because Pasha is back! I want to be Pasha's friend, too, damn it...I need to write him a fan letter because I literally have read everything he's ever written and I can't believe he's not even thirty years old.

Yeah, Richard, like I'd ever eat fruit cocktail anyway. Even growing up all those years ago, my mother still fed us fresh fruit - we never had canned anything and she was terrified of stuff like Red Dye #2.

Myf, we are twins -- actually -- me, you, Ellen, and Sue -- we're quadruplets I think. I'm dying to sneak a piece of cheese right is that any different from yoghurt if I let it sit out for a half hour? Ack. I'd better not. Every time I disobey a doctor, look what happens.

Ellen, offline you must tell me your codeine story and I love your line about being so whacked you accepted inevitable death...I laughed because that very thought ran through my head last night when at one point I thought I was having a coronary.
And you think a former hippie doesn't know about Dilaudid? That was Lenny Bruce's drug of choice. Oh god. Remind me to tell you my Lenny Bruce story. Well, not mine per se...I think I was like 3 when he died, but it's a good one. Damn. I wish you were coming to NYC on Friday to have lunch with Jordan and me! But I know, I know. Everyone sing along. "School's Out For The Summer!"


Susan Henderson said...

It's my stock phrase, and probably a sign that I've come from a long line of stoics. It's funny (um, kind of) because there was this day the neighbor's 5-year-old was over. And he was pouting behind a tree. And I asked my son what happened. And he said, "He's upset because no one's playing with him. But I went over there and said, 'Don't worry - you're building character.'"

But pretend I said sweet and sympathetic things like Myf and Ellen. You know, because we're quadruplets!

Susan Henderson said...

Hey, Robin, I'm leaving town on Monday. Any chance your next post can be something I can use as a bookmark? Maybe something that will keep me all chipper while I'm away?

RobinSlick said...

Oh, I see.

You want something from my private Neil Gaiman collection, do you? Ha!

Okay. I'll see what I can do. I'll probably update tomorrow. I'm still in tooth hell, but it's nowhere near as bad. Now I just have a low grade fever which is going to prevent me from going to NYC tomorrow, damn it. I'm supposed to see my boy Robin Trower play at the TLA (very cool Philly venue) Saturday night and I'm gonna throw a fit if I still have to stay in bed.

Did you see my kids and Adrian Belew are playing in Amagansett, NY on August 9? Is that anywhere near you? If not, BB Kings in NYC on August 8. I'll see that you and Mr. Henderson have tickets at the venue of your choice. And if Amagansett, NY is near you, that means it's near Ms. Meister, too, and of course the ticket offer applies to Ellen and Mike as well.

Susan Henderson said...

Amagansett's way easier for me. And we'd both love to go!