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 United States?!   What’s mail  ointment?”


“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.


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