October 1997 Sincerely Sire Newsletter
Wimp Or Warrior?
On September 11, 1997, at 11:30 a.m. at the dentally old age of 47, I very bravely, indeed, had an impacted wisdom tooth completely ripped out of my lower right jaw. There was blood everywhere: on the chair, on the doctor’s plastic glasses and all over my teeth and face and in my hair.
The nurses were amazed at how truly cool and courageous I was through it all. Even the doctor was shocked at the pain I was enduring with such magnificent and truly warrior-like calm. “It’s almost as if he’s sleeping,” he said - - - Which, of course, I was.
I wanted to have my wisdom tooth extracted without any Novocain or anything at all because I am extremely tough, but they told me it would go faster if I were knocked out. And since I am such a busy man, I agreed to the timesaving method.
As a matter fact, it was over in a split second.
Now, I really don’t know, for sure, if there was blood everywhere, or not, but I am sure it was very gory and I was extremely brave. I could tell because when I woke up everyone looked at me with great sympathy, as if I were very gallant and strong - - - everyone except my wife, of course. Old bright eyes looked at me and exclaimed, “You look great. Let’s hit it.”
“Hit what,” I mumbled, throwing my arm up in front of my jaw like a drunken sailor. “Where am I?”
“At the oral surgeon’s office. Come on. Get up. I’ve got a nail appointment.”
“The General Surgeon of the
“Oh, forget it,” she said as she yanked me up and balanced me in a standing position. The nurse saw me teetering and kindly offered me a wheel chair, but just as I was about to accept, Roe (my wife), asked her if she were kidding.
“You’re a wimp,” Roe said as she stuffed me into the car.
“What does Heidi Fleis have to do with this?” I replied. “I am not a pimp.”
I was in great pain for the next five days. I took prescription painkillers every 4 hours with Tylenol in-between. All the while she’s calling me a wimp and snickering at me when I tell her how much it hurts. And my 21-year-old daughter, Scarlett, was quick to join in the fun. (She, a few weeks earlier, had had all four of her wisdom teeth pulled and was out partying a few days later.) “Yeah, Dad,” she said giggling, “you’re a wimp.”
“Maybe I’ve got a dry socket,” I said. (That’s where you have no blot clot and your bone and nerves are just kind of hanging out, a blowin’ in the wind.)
“You don’t have a dry socket,” Roe said. “You’re just a wimp.”
So - - - I can’t stand it anymore and I go back to the General Surgeon, I mean the Oral Surgeon. He takes the stitches out and tells me to take these other pills for five days. I take the pills. I put heat on my jaw. I freeze my jaw. I take more painkillers. Nothing works. My jaw is killing me.
“It hurts!” I tell Roe.
“Wimp,” she replies.
“Yeah Daddy, you’re a wimp” Scarlett says like a parrot.
For two more days I twitch my feet and roll around on the couch like a heroin addict going cold turkey. Something’s got to be wrong. I go back to the doctor. “Hum,” he says. “Shouldn’t still be hurting after seven days. You aren’t by any chance a wimp are you?” He pokes around in my mouth. “I think you’ve got a dry socket. Only about 2% get a dry socket, but I think you’ve got one.”
He stuffs some clove-tasting packing in my wound, and almost instantly the pain is gone. “Well,” I say to the nurses as I walk tall from the office “did you hear that? Dry socket!”
Roe is in the kitchen talking with the parrot when I get home. “What are you smiling about?” Roe asks me.
I take a deep breath as I hitch up my pants and prepare to lay it on ‘em - - -“Dry Socket baby. Dry Socket. I haven’t been a Wimp at all. I’ve been a Warrior! A Warrior you hear me!”
“Yeah, Daddy,” Scarlett chirps in. “You’re a Worrier. You’re a Worrier!”
“That too,” Roe says.
I give up and gulp down the rest of my painkillers.