Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The joys of Novocaine

This morning I woke at 5:15. Impressive, no? I said Selichos soon after, and had my Tefillin on just a few minutes after the permissible time had arrived. I was done Davening by 6:55, and then it was off to the oral-surgeon. When we arrived I had to fill out a bunch of forms that basically stated, "If you die, it's not our fault," with a bunch of smaller caveats too, like, "If anything goes wrong it's not our fault." After this reassuring interlude I was taken to get a panoramic x-ray. I'd never had one done before, and it was pretty cool. You bite on this plastic-covered rod, hold on tight, and then the machine does a full 360 around your head. Next it was into the waiting room, and I got connected to a blood-pressure arm-squeezing thing, another heart device on my finger, and two calipers on my arm, whose purpose I did not bother to ascertain.
After a couple minute's wait my physician came in, wearing scrubs, and he told me what he going to do. I then had an IV tube stuck into my arm, and an oxygen mask placed over my face, which smelled faintly of strawberries, I know not why. Within minutes I was out. While I was under the influence the good doctor also loaded my mouth up with a powerful dose of Novocaine, which is still in affect 13 or 14 hours later. On the one hand, I can't feel the pain; on the other, I can't taste anything. I think it's a fair trade-off.
The nurses told me, before I went to sleep, that when I woke up I'd be pretty dazed, not remembering where I was and why my mouth was all numb, with two big gauze pads stuffed in to staunch the heavy flow of blood. My first memories are a bit hazy, but I do seem to recall the nurses asking one another if they were planning on going to tonight's Twins game. I have a vague feeling that I told them not to, as the Twins were bound to lose, but I sure hope I said no such thing, as the Twins in fact came through in the clutch with a must-win 9-3 pounding of the Chicago White Sox.
I was then lead, a little unsteadily, to a bed in a little nook, where I napped for a bit. Truth is, I could've napped for an hour, I really don't recall. One of the nurses brought me my four teeth, which I had requested, and now I'm trying to decide what to do with them. Perhaps I should put them up for sale on eBay? A little while later was got home, which was pretty cool, because I was seeing most things in double. Also, at this point I still couldn't talk very well, which was of course quite the painful experience. Even more painful than anything I've experienced so far. Fortunately, after exchanging my gauze pads the bleeding stopped, I took a bit of a nap, and I was able to talk again, though I still can't really fully open my mouth. Then I ate. But that's for a different paragraph.
One of the great things about this whole business is that you can eat as much as pudding as you want. Unfortunately, it's hard to truly savor the flavor, since as I mentioned earlier, my taste-buds were away without leave. Anyway, first I had some apple-sauce, then a spicy vegetable soup, then some vanilla pudding, then some couscous, and then some mashed potatoes. Yes friends, it was quite exciting.
I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the pain-killers I took. After some consultation with Rabbi Manis Friedman, I put a post-it note that said, "Arnica 200c" in my pocket during the operation, and later took the drug every other hour, alternating it with another homeopathic remedy, though this one didn't require written confirmation. I've also been taking ibuprofen every six hours, and just a little while ago took some Vicodin. All this, combined with extensive icing to ensure minimal-swelling, meant that I was quite busy the whole afternoon popping pills and looking at all the things (meat) in the freezer that I couldn't eat.
The thing about remedies is that you have to believe in order for them to be effective. Now, I'm not sure how much I believe in homeopathy per say, but I sure as heck believe in Rabbi Friedman, which is pretty much the same thing. Anyway, I've been pretty pain-free throughout the day, so whatever it was, it worked.
And that, friends, is a full and basically true account of my time under the scalpel.

In other news, I've come to the decision that once I'm in Motown I'm going to cut down and only post once or twice a week. This a good move, I think, because it'll allow me to concentrate on my studying and not have to worry about thinking up something for you to people to ruminate over. Obviously, if I find that I have gobs of time, then I might just blog daily, but I'm not really expecting that to happen. No, for one year at least, I aim to buckle down and really apply myself. After that, of course, I'll be taking a 'round the world cruise courtesy of Merkos, and...Just kidding, they're only sponsoring half.


Nemo said...

It hurts more tomorrow, though I don't recall it being as painful as they warn you about. The big nuisance is all the blood filling your mouth and spilling out all over your shirt.

I didn't get to do the whole sleeping gas thing when I did mine ... but I still have two wisdom teeth left, so maybe my day will come (BLIA"H)

Cheerio said...

what did they do to you?????
sounds like h e double hockey sticks to me. i don't remember my wisdom teeth removal being that traumatizing. the worst part was not being able to speak when i woke up.
as you can well imagine, being deprived of my ability to speak was, well, h e .... you get the point.
refuah shleimah?
hope you get to eat meat again soon! after all, there's shabbos and then rosh hashanah... you're basically going to starve if you can't eat meat.
and dude! you're cutting back? i don't know whether to commend you or to pull out my supply of metaphorical rotten tomatoes.

Nemo said...


Anonymous said...

a. Is it really necessary to tell us that it took you 47 minutes? Sounds like יוהרה to me.

b. I was once working atop a warehouse with a trusty post-it-note with the words "i believe i can fly" written on it tucked away safely in my pocket. Needless to say after all was tried and failed, i couldn't walk for three months.

Three months in which, whenever my vigilant consumption of prescription pain killing drugs lapsed [despite a post-it-note with 2,000,000c written on it in my pocket] i was in excruciating pain.

Just thought i'd share.

Just like a guy said...

Nemo: Yeah, now that the novocaine has worn off, it is a bit more painful, but nothing too bad.
Where is this blood from, and why do I not have any discoloring my clothing?

Cheerio: I exaggerated any of the pain and shtuff-really, it hasn't been too bad at all, BH.
As for meat...I normally only eat it on the weekends anyway, so I'm not too scared. By tomorrow I should be eating solids, and by Shabbos I should be able to indulge in my carnivorous habits.

SZB: A. What took me 47 minutes?
B. You obviously didn't flap your wings hard enough.

Anonymous said...

oops. Shachris.