Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.


Wisdom tooth woes

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

When many of you read this column, I will be sitting on the couch watching reality TV with four of my teeth missing. Thatís right ó I have my very first oral surgery on Wednesday morning. All four of my wisdom teeth will be removed, and Iíll be taking off most of the week to recover.

As I write this, I am about as nervous as you could be about having a run-of-the-mill outpatient oral surgery. Iíve been mentally preparing myself for this over the past couple of months, telling myself to be strong and power through all the days leading up to Wednesday, June 2.†

Funnily enough, Gideon had all four of his wisdom teeth removed the first year we were together. I remember taking him to the dentist and picking him up a few hours later. He was quite affected by the medicine they gave him. The dentist let him keep his teeth and he was ecstatic. The whole drive home, he pretended his teeth were alive. Each tooth had a distinct personality and voice, of course.

I remember thinking how lucky I was that I didnít have to get my wisdom teeth removed. I thought Iíd be one of the lucky ones who never did, who somehow avoided that unpleasant situation. Well, itís nearly seven years later and I am not feeling so lucky.†

More than anything, I feel as if Iím going to throw up ó my most common reaction to high-stress situations. Isnít it wonderful to live with anxiety?

Thinking back on the last time I was put under, it doesnít seem like that big of a deal. I remember having much more extensive surgery in 2014 when doctors removed a lump in the left side of my neck. The worst part was the IV. I couldnít even look at the needle as it went into my arm. Needles scare me like nothing else even though itís never as bad as I fear.

Thatís what I keep telling myself about this oral surgery ó it canít possibly be as bad as Iím making it out to be. Plus, Iíll have four or five days to sleep nonstop. That would be heavenly if my mouth werenít healing the whole time. Another thing I hate is the taste of blood, so this canít be good for me.†

To prepare for the oral surgery, Iíve purchased enough Go-Gurt and protein shakes to fill the Grand Canyon. Iíve also held off on finishing my Sister Wives binge-watch. Iím only on season six, so Iíve got seven more seasons to enjoy. Iím putting off finishing the Haunting of Hill House, too, just in case I somehow pummel through whatís remaining of Sister Wives before itís time to go back to work.

If all goes well, I should be back at work next Monday. Iíd like to cover a hospital commission meeting on Saturday, but Nurse Gideon says I should play that by ear. I have to listen to him, because heíd be the one to drop me off. In hindsight, I should have hired a chauffeur and a nurse separately.†

When I tell people about the oral surgery, many of them act as if itís no big deal to get your wisdom teeth removed. I get a lot of, ďOh, thatís it?Ē Sometimes I feel like Iím freaking out over something thatís no different than a routine filling, but them I remember that Iíll have to be put under for the duration of the surgery. That makes it a lot different.†

Iíd rather sit through 100 fillings than one oral surgery. It would be nice if some genie would grant me that wish, but itís been a few months and I havenít run across a djinn yet. Cross your fingers for me ó maybe some supernatural occurrence will save me from oral surgery.

Or maybe Iíll go through with it and realize that itís really all going to be OK. No matter how it goes, I am ready, protein shake in one hand and the TV remote in the other. It will be OK, but somebody should definitely check on Gideon the next few days.†

I hear heís got a particularly difficult patient coming in.