It’s what makes this country great(er than countries that do not have these things). And I will miss them when our elected government has taken them all away, the irony.
Yay, today I finally say goodbye to a tooth that has been giving me gyp for half my life! I am so effing excited! Which is part of the reason I decided to opt for the local, otherwise I would miss the exciting part! … Which I am now mostly regretting, hence much of the excitement.
Only first, I have work, for I have to go prep Hellday. And then afterwards, I have to go back to work! Eek! Woo! For I am not allowed sick-leave, and also, otherwise we would only have one person in the office, and apparently that is Not Right (or I would get to go to the Perth Show in July). So, if it’s not sick-leave, just annual leave, I have to show up this time too, right? To her credit, the boss seemed less convinced – although it took about four milliseconds for her to be okay with it – but this is the law as laid down. By her. And I am trying to stay out of the bad books.
(I myself am not convinced it is totally kosher for the Powers That Be to tell me I am not allowed any sick-time till August Or It’s Disciplinary Time, seeing as it was too much work that made me sick last August(and I have a doctor’s note saying so). Seeing as the workload is currently back up past that level and still going, this is a point that is somewhat on my mind.)
But first: the tooth. Or rather, but first, hanging around the empty waiting room for an hour. And there was no light in the loo, which made things extra special interesting.
Now, all I was told about this op was: 1. it will take an hour, 2. since my teeth are so close to the nerve, there is a chance of damage to the nerve, which means altered feeling in my face, possibly till the end of my life; 3. bring painkillers. To all of which I said, Fine, get the damn tooth out already, (and not only brought painkillers but gauze and mouthwash and packets of salt and those e-cigarette things); but I do have to wonder if chronic pins and needles forever will prove to be more of a chore than having a face that regularly swells up, hurts like hell, gets infected, looks demented and occasionally bleeds everywhere. [Given that pins and needles is not potential life-threatening; no. – Ed].
Things I was not told about the op: it will not be taking place in a Room, as I merrily assumed, but in some sort of ops Hall, with people wandering in and out and a whole bunch of other ops behind the curtains next door! Including people having meltdowns! (The reason for the delay, apparently). Although I do get swathed from hair to boot-tips in a sort of reverse hairdressing robe, presumably to keep the blood off my suit (how thoughtful!) Also, there is none of this using a jack to keep my mouth open for a whole hour, as I assumed; I have to do this myself.
In addition; my, that is the largest hypodermic I have seen in my entire life!
To keep the terror at bay and prevent the sort of meltdown I could hear behind the curtain, I decided to pretend it was battlefield surgery, and screw that I am too old for that sort of nonsense, it’s not like anybody is going to find out! Oh wait.
Turns out the dentist who will be performing the operation knows Drs Hurricane and Anonymous, because she works with them. We both really pointedly refrained from saying anything negative at all, hee.
That was a bit awkward, but not as awkward as when the syringe hit something really painful in the back of my mouth and I made a pain noise and my plan to cover this up by turning it into ‘humming an unconcerned merry tune’ backfired because doing that with some stranger’s hands halfway down your throat is weird.
The anaesthetic was fab, however. This is how fab it was; I had to lie there with my mouth wide open while a scalpel came wandering into it. I felt something like someone prodding my gum with a pencil. Then I had to lie with my mouth wide open while something else came in and the dentist made vigorous trowelling motions, like someone laying mortar against a time limit. That would be my gum getting split open and shoved out of the way then!
And then it was pliers time. This was actually quite hilarious, and if it hadn’t been happening at the back of my mouth I would have yelled for someone to send a larger dentist, for the battle was pretty even, but then I became alarmed that she was actually going to put her thumb through the floor of my mouth. But she eventually won, and it was all over. Yay!
Apart from… the stitches. But how bad could that be, since I’ve just had traumatic experiences with scalpels and pliers and the wrenching and the slicing and the bashing and the bleeding, and felt nothing?
I thought stitches meant, ‘little needle and thread goes into mouth, stuff you can’t feel happens, needle goes away, the end’. I was wrong. Yards and yards of thread go into mouth, flop appallingly onto tongue, far end is secured to back of mouth, spool of thread which is tied to the back of my mouth is waved around the room while dentist faffs with scissors. No no no no no! Will be sick! Only I was scared to say, Could you hurry up before I freak out and spew on your shoes, in case the yards of thread stuck to my tongue and went down my throat, wrapped around my uvula and the dentist joined me in panic and made panicky pecking movements in my throat with the scissors while I thrashed around.
Okay, I’m not sure how likely most of that was, but it seemed scarily plausible at the time. So I had a dentist phobia experience after all, woo!
Sadly, I was not allowed to take the tooth home, ‘because it’s a body part’ (one I came in with, hello, and I was going to have that set in jewellery, thankyou*) but I did get to look at it. It was far smaller than I had been led to believe, and a strange shape, like a squid in mid-propulsion, so I suppose I don’t want jewellery made of mutant teeth, even if they are mine. It was also hook-shaped.
Oh look at that, we totally must’ve clipped the nerve after all! said the dentist cheerily, waving me goodbye. Um, what?
* (For some reason, everyone thinks this is insane, but it is not just me. The Lady of Lovely Hats is also contemplating making (resin) jewellery with her teeth in. I was hoping to go the electroplating route with these guys. However! I still have my top wisdom teeth somewhere, and with a bit of silver foil over em, I reckon she might have something there!)
Well at least I looked all human in the lift mirror. No bruising, and while half me face was still paralysed, at least nobody could tell unless I tried to smile at them. Unfortunately, I was in a really great mood after rocking that ordeal. However, I was also rather paranoid that I was drooling everywhere but couldn’t tell, so I zipped back to the office with my head down, to be greeted by my Colleague of Skull Scarves with the words, ‘check out the monster bruising on your face!’
I must find out where those lift mirrors came from, they are obviously magic.
The novelty of being back at work soon wore off, despite the painkillers. Sixteen missed calls over the last two hours. Since I could not speak, I ignored them for now and went up the clinic to retrieve the day’s files.
(There are many proverbs along the lines of ‘never waiting for Destiny to drop your desires in your lap; you must go and search for them yourself’. Since the guy who carts files around the hospital is actually called Destiny, for reasons I have not dared enquire about, this amuses me.)
All the nurses wailed in horror when they saw me and there were cries of, What are you doing here, and, There is blood all over your mouth, so I had to move the conversation swiftly out of the waiting room because the patients were starting to get restive. I assured everyone that everything was fine, which did not reassure anyone because I could barely speak, and I was told off for ‘Coming into a hospital with an open wound, that is just asking for trouble’. I did not laugh hysterically, which was very difficult.
The afternoon thus passed with sod-all work being done, mostly because every time I started any, I had to stop and explain to everyone in the vicinity that I was okay, really.
I did go for a lie-down when I got home, but then I had to get up again because I had forgotten to vote. Bah. But there it is; I live in a democracy, and while it is true that it is the fairest form of government – if you vote for crap, you get crap – I kinda see my voting as a responsibility. Yes it’s another thing on the to-do list (and one that never seems to take place near any of the other things on the list) and yes all the parties promise exactly the same thing and then by curious coincidence they all do exactly the same opposite of what they promised, too, but sod it. I can at least get my arse down there and put an x next to the closest thing to ‘anyone except all of the above’, thus proving I cared enough to do so. The only real difference it makes is that when some disaster gets elected, I get to complain without being a hypocrite. Woo!
Yes, it’s only a fecking local election. The principal is the same. Prediction: Lib Dems get buried after that stunt teaming up with the Tories, where Clegg suddenly reneged on everything he promised.
Following which, someone else will be in power instead and do all the same things anyway.
Despite my misgivings about the whole shebang, it was an astonishingly lovely evening, one of those balmy, golden spring evenings you forget are lurking up there above the drizzle, and when you suddenly realise that the buds on the trees have become leaves and there’s bright fresh green everywhere and the pink cherry blossom is at its peak and you have done missed tadpole season again, dammit; right, 2013 for sure.
So I went on up to the Allittlement, as I was supposed to be doing anyway, and watered all the plants in the greenhouse. This is why I would have preferred the greenhouse to live in the back garden – I am now tied to a schedule of getting my arse up there every second day to let loose with a watering can, even in the pouring rain, the irony, but ho hum. (And only one casualty so far, and I have many more courgette seeds. Far too many. Once word gets out that you have an allotment, it is really heart-warming the barrage of seed packets that follows you everywhere).
So despite the op, that was seven miles on foot and nearly a full day’s ‘work’ and my democratic rights performed and I called my Chestnut-haired Old Mother (once the anaesthetic wore off) and I reckon I was pretty damn heroic really, considering. For a non-hero, I mean.