Much better, thank you

Friday September 29, 2006

Today was the second and last tooth extraction day. I felt no pain.

There must be something wrong here. The last three dental extractions have been painless. Prior to that they were events best forgot. It could be something to do with the fact that the present and previous dentists were both women. I suspect that women are far more aware of pain thresholds than men, and do everything they can to work within them. Another distinction is that their professional advice on the best courses of treatment seems to be based more squarely on the patient’s needs, and pocket, and far less on maximising fee income than their male counterparts.

Whatever, I smiled best I could, gave my heartfelt thanks and compliments around the great wad of pressure pad jammed into the operation site, and wandered back to the car, well pleased. I have to return next Friday to have a couple of stitches removed, and to be scaled and polished, and then, in four weeks, toddle along to have the impression made for my partial upper denture.

Meantime, I have a gap the size of Bournemouth in my front teeth and shall have to keep my smile a modest affair, with my upper lip and moustache postioned suitably to avoid frightening people. Practising in the bathroom mirror, though, I can presently make a horror face that I could use to alarm any miscreant I come across. With no effort at all I can look like a heavy-weight rugby player of the old school who’s lost his teeth in a particularly violent scrummage. Very butch, if you like that sort of thing.

Needless to say, the rest of the day was spent in recovery mode. The bleeding stopped almost immediately and was gone altogether after two hours, when the anaesthetic started to wear off. I sipped my way through a bowl of not-too-hot tomato soup with very small pieces of soft buttered bread and took myself off to bed after sluicing gently with Gengigel.

I slept for a good long time and woke to find there’d been almost no bleeding and that apart from a residual minor soreness all was in pretty good shape, with the healing process well under way. I managed to sip a mug of coffee which, while necessarily lukewarm, was a blessed relief. By the end of the day I was fit enough to polish off a small platter of cottage pie with soft-baked beans, and to drink another mug of coffee, this time reasonably hot. Not the scalding hot brew I really enjoy but nearly there.

And, you know what? It might be entirely psychosomatic but I’m already feeling the benefit of parting company with the pesky teeth that’ve been troubling me all this time. I have a suspicion that once I’m over the operation and its after-effects I’m going to experience a bit of rejuvenation in the energy and joy of life department. I do sometimes wonder if the systemic effects of being obliged to keep teeth way, way beyond their pull-by date is fully understood and appreciated.

So, with minimum apologies, today has been a Me, Me Me! day.

“No need to apologise for that, chicken,” Graham said when we spoke last thing. “You’ve been a brave soldier and you deserve it.”

“I can’t honestly claim to have been brave. When I walked into the consulting room it was more a case of being anxious to get the job done than bravery. I was positively looking forward to it and had no fear at all, just determination.”

“Most people would call that bravery.”

“Well, alright, but not bravery of the heroic kind.”

“You’re quibbling just like your old self. You really are feeling better, aren’t you.”

“Oh, yes. Much better, thank you.”



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