Sunday, March 15, 2009

Long/Short Weekend

Early last week I dropped by the vet to discuss my Joey situation … I’d rather they come out to the house when its time to put him to sleep, because I don’t relish the thought that the last thing I do with him will be to get him all worked up with a car trip behind enemy lines. But they don’t make house calls to euthanize, and I wonder why not? I’d think it a great investment; wouldn’t most pet-owned much prefer such a non-stressed-filled option for the end? So I’ve been referred elsewhere, and here I am, hoping he just drifts away in his sleep …

Anyway, Joey has now officially been put on the k/d prescription diet … and he loves it. I put out half a can … he devours it in about three seconds (tickle me pink, he’s eating with gusto!) … I top off with the rest of the can … it’s gone by morning. These frigging cans are $38/case … that’s $1.58/can! Sheesh! Wish I had stock.

But that’s not why it’s a long/short weekend. It’s a long/short weekend because I had that tooth pulled Friday. The appointment was for 3pm … I was finally allowed through the waiting room doors into the inner bastion of oral surgery at 4pm … yep, got to cool my heels in the (jam packed full) waiting room an hour. An hour! WTF?! Why is it that doctor’s offices are endlessly complaining about people showing up late to appointments when they continue to insist on over-scheduling? Screw them!

Okay, so I’m led through the doors into the inner sanctum, which is a giant half-circle with surgical stalls radiating out like the spokes of a wheel. We walk to the right, past the receptionist station, the supply room, the doctor’s offices, the break room, the rest rooms, and the records room, to the last of the surgical stalls, then proceed all the way around the giant half-circle back to the 2nd stall in from the door we just entered. I stopped and glared at the nurse, pointed to the door, and asked, “Isn’t that the door to the waiting room?”

She looked at me in confusion, “Yes?” I laughed in her face. She figured me out, though, “We don’t like to walk patients by active surgeries … it can be upsetting, so we walk them around.” She totally had me there, and was kind enough not to add that it was none of my business what was going on in the next stall and for goodness sake they try to give people a little privacy, missy lookiloo. Nice kid.

So in comes my doctor, the same one who removed my wisdom tooth back in April, and he’s not happy I’m going with a local this time. I finally had to shut him up with the old “I have no transportation” excuse. All these concerns that while I won’t feel any pain there will be pressure and am I sure I can handle feeling the pressure and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah? All the while I’m thinking, “Yep, he’s never been to a gynecologist.” Talk about “pressure”!

I get it that he’s probably had far more patients who thought they could handle an extraction under local than who actually could. But I, grand winner (to date) of six teeth with root canals (one that had the root canal performed three times!), seven teeth with crowns, and two cracked teeth that require crowns, can, indeed, handle it. Bring it on!

I’d prefer Septocaine, but they don’t use it, so in goes the Lidocaine. In my experience getting the shot is generally more painful than the actual dentistry. This time was no different. The needles to the outside of my jaw weren’t so bad, but the ones to the roof of my mouth? Whoa, nelly! Ouch!

As an aside, why is it that I flinch when getting a shot in the arm from a physician, but have no trouble at all when a dentist pulls out the big guns (have you seen the size of those needles?!?!)? Those always hurt. Always, always, always, but I don’t remember a “regular” shot ever hurting. Weird, huh?

Anyway, after a few minutes in comes doc with a couple assistants … all lined up to grab yours truly in case of sudden escape plans. He turns my head to the side, sticks something into the tooth (and yes, I could definitely feel the pressure). He had that puppy out in less than five minutes. The nurse plugs a wad of gauze into the hole, gives me a set of instructions and prescriptions for antibiotics and Darvocet, and I’m off. I stopped to fill the prescriptions on my way home, and we are finally at the reason for my long/short weekend.

My mouth hurts. A lot. It feels like the tooth is still there, and someone has it in the grip of pliers and is slowly unscrewing it from my jaw. Backwards. While pouring fire on it. I know it’s just the nerve endings, but sheesh! All three of those teeth have had root canals … there’s not a living bit of tooth up there. All this pain is in/from the gum. I did not expect this. So I’m taking the Darvocet. Which knocks me on my ass. I am a pain-killer lightweight. I take a half-dose and am lights-out within 30 minutes.

So it’s been a long weekend because I’m bored and my mouth hurts, but a short weekend because I keep losing four hour chunks of time. Work will be fun tomorrow. I can’t take the Darvocet until I get home. I’ll either be fine, or stark-raving mad, by the time afternoon rolls around.

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