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Stuck Inside Of Laconia With The Dental Blues Again

2002-09-15 - 5:35 p.m.

Wow. What a fucking fucktardingly awful last few days. And Tuesday offered such promise! Oh Tuesday - so long ago. Ok, well, let's be honest. Tuesday wasn't all roses. We all remember the pain and the pain mixed with the heaping doses of pain and the admission to copious amounts of nefarious Laconia crimes and the monkey took the glasses off my head! Ahhhh. . . monkey. Oh Tuesday – You came and you gave without taking – And I baked you a brownie - Oh Tuesday. Whatever, I don’t remember exactly how the fucking song goes.

But Tuesday wasn’t actually all that bad. No no. After class I came back to 1018 and decided to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. And I loved every minute of it. So I sat here in my natty loafers of laziness and pink curlers of contentment and drank in the televised goodness. Here are three reasons why I declare Tuesday to be one of the best afternoons in the history of afternoons. 1. From noon to 1pm (on Bravo): Hill Street Blues 2. From 1 to 2 (also on Bravo): St. Elsewhere 3. On A&E from 2 to 3 back-to-back episodes of NewsRadio. Ahhhhhh, just thinking about makes me misty. NewsRadio was the one where Janeane Garofalo plays Dave’s ex-girlfriend Nancy and the other one was Joe trying to find the gelato thief (who ends up being Bill paying Milos to steal the gelato). I was very happy. And then came Wednesday. Wednesday, you didn’t even hold a coconut scented candle to Tuesday. . .

Have you heard? My teeth have been hurting. Did you hear about that? That my whole head felt like it was filled with concrete and earwig jambalaya. Yeah, that’s the word on the street. So, oddly, I decided that the concrete and earwigs were not the life for me and I went to Health Services about a half hour before French class Wednesday morning. It was 9:30. I left Health Services and it was almost 1. Yeah. That sucks. So I go in to Health Services and I have to get my blood pressure taken and temperature and blah blah blah blah blech. Then I see Dr. Collins. Which is weird. Because, I mean, I know there’s not a TON of doctors at Health Services, but there’s several, and I’ve seen Dr. Collins EVERYTIME I’ve gone there. From the dancing over the couch incident (no thanks to Fred and Marshall and U2) to the toe slicing episode I’ve always gotten Dr. Collins. Well, he couldn’t figure out WHAT the fuck was wrong with me. He made me take all these neurological exams (i.e. – the “Webber Test”) and he had an intern with him too, so everything that he did she had to repeat. But she was pretty hot for a blonde so I didn’t mind. So then, after examining me forever he decided to check my back teeth. And that’s when he almost died of fright. He let the intern see it and she said, “Oh my . . . wow. Did you . . . Can you . . . wow.” They told me it looked like I was “chewing wrong” so my tooth got ground down. Chewing wrong. Chewing wrong?! Sigh. So then Dr. Collins wasn’t sure if it was only my mutant tooth that was causing the problems and then sent me down the rabbit hole for a variety of tests and probings. Sweet - Because I love tests and probing. So first I had to go to Radiology. And get X-rays. Cause that’s what one does in Radiology. But I was too tall for the fucking machine so I had to sit on a stool with my lead apron and stretch and contort in mysterious ways so to enable the X-Ray machine to properly infiltrate my brain with its low-level radiation. Bzzzzz. Ding Ding. Stupid X-Rays. So after that I went up to get blood work. And yes, it was just as fun as it sounds. This woman with about as much charm as a dead skunk started wildly wielding needles in front of me and asked which arm I “preferred” to be needled in. “Preferred.” So I chose the left. And she poked me (as I looked away and hummed) and she complained to me that my “veins weren’t very pronounced”. Oh, so fucking sorry. And then, after about what seemed like 39 minutes of her poke poke poking me she says, “We’ll have to do it again,” (Ugh) and then adds accusingly, “You have slow blood.” Um . . . ok. So she pokes a different spot on my left arm and then again removes the needle, and blaming my slow flowing blood, claims we’ll have to do it again! So I say, “Well, the good thing is, ya know, since I’m a slow bleeder, if I . . . if I get shot, ya know, it won’t be so bad . . . because I’m a slow bleeder. Ya know? I bleed slow.” She just stared at me. “Do you plan on getting shot anytime in the near future sir?” And I was just like, “Um . . . no. I just . . . no. No, I don’t. Nevermind.” So then she gets to my right arm, and after wrapping the rubber bandy thing (some call it a “touniquet”) around my upper arm and having me make a fist she jams the needle into my vein. AND IT DOESN’T WORK. You’ll never guess why. Ok, maybe you will – Slow bleeder. So she then tells me that if she can’t get enough blood out on the fourth try she can’t do any more as it is unhealthy. No, unhealthy is that no one has given me any doughnuts or cookies to keep my sugar levels up. Stupid blood taking lady. So before she goes to take my blood a FOURTH TIME I tell her, “Well, the silver lining is that now I’ll be symmetrical.” And she just stares at me. Fuck her. So the fourth one works, thank god and she tells me to take a hike and go back downstairs. I had to wait for my medication that Dr. Collins had prescribed. He wrote me slips for a new inhaler, an antibiotic (Amoxicillin), and a painkiller (Vicodin). Mmmm. . . vicodin (at least that’s what I thought then). I had to meet with Dr. Collins one more time before I left, and when I did finally leave (after forgetting to get my audiogram done) it was 12:45. Super weak. So all of Wednesday was pretty much a wash as far as school was concerned.

I worked Wednesday night with Marianne and was none too surprised that tales of my “wrist slap / tongue lash” had already made it around the mall. I shared my tales of dental woe with Marianne and told her my side (and partially Kate’s) of the malodorous meeting mish-mash. She seemed to believe me. I don’t know. Wednesday was windier than a witch’s teat! Wait. . . that doesn’t make sense. But it was windy. And yes, her eyes most certainly flashed at the sound of lies. If you want to catch Kate’s take on the meeting shenanigans, feel free. You’ll see that, out of fear of her GHS compatriots finding out she was in cahoots with an LHS refugee, she only refers to me as one of the “hungover kids”. Feh to her I say. Feh. Wednesday night I took my first Vicodin before I went to bed. Well, it definitely dulled the pain that’s for sure. And I claim that it made me finish off the cookies n’ cream ice cream, but I think that was just because I like cookies n’ cream ice cream.

But apparently I didn’t hold too much of a grudge (I know, weird) since I was willing to help out Kate Thursday when she needed to switch shifts with me. Although, she did manage to get on my good side by joining me at Chinese Food Buffet in Durham before I left for work. When I did get to work it was just Andrea and I until 3 and then Kate and I from 3 to close since Michael took a BREAK from 1:30 to 5:30. Stupid Michael. Thursday night the pain is starting to get really bad and I’m trying hard not to take the vicodin at work, but I finally can’t take it anymore and finally pop one. I thought it wouldn’t be too bad. Except it kinda was. I got relegated to wrapping presents and even that was a chore as I kept thinking the tape dispenser was too heavy and continued to drop it. I talked to Coty before we closed and he was passing through Toledo, OH and on towards to South Bend, IL. I felt for him. God speed sweet Armenian, God speed! So I went home and watched Mark Greene die all over again. And I’ll stick to what I said back in May the first time I saw it: Abby is HOT when she’s in mourning! Plus, there was a subplot about Rachel stealing Mark’s vicodin. A subplot I though ludicrous at the time, but appreciate that much more now.

And then came Friday. And then came Friday. Man alive did Friday suck. Originally, when I was going to write this entry on Friday night, the title was going to be “Fuckday the Fuckteenth!” I thought it really went far in describing how my day went. But I was so beat that I put it off. So what happened? Ok – here we go. So my day was supposed to go something like this: Meet Dad for breakfast at 8, have classes from 10 to 2, work from 3 to 9:30. Not one of these things happened. Well, not true. I *did* meet my dad. Before we were about to leave for breakfast I suggested that we needed to make a dentist appointment for me soon to get this mutant tooth checked out. He agreed and decided to call Dr. Finn right then and there to schedule one. They said they could take me. If I got there in less than two hours. Yeah. So the next thing I knew we were on our way to Laconia. We made good time and we’re at Finn’s office by 9:30. They had me fill out form after form since I hadn’t been there in a while. Then my mom came in. This confused me as I wasn’t expecting to see her at all and had forgotten that I had called her on the way to Laconia to explain the situation. Damn vicodin. I went in to sit in “the chair” while my father waited in the lobby and my mother INSISTED on coming with me. God, you’d think I was getting bypass surgery. The assistant rooted around my mouth and made “harrumph” noised here and “pharoomph” noises there. Then Dr. Finn came in and was nice, as usual, and continued to be the only person I’ve met on this planet that calls my mother “Sand”. He took some X-rays and looked around my mouth and said that all my wisdom teeth would need to come out. I told him that he told me years ago when I had teeth pulled before that I probably wouldn’t need to get my wisdom teeth pulled. He said, “Oh . . . well, I’m changing my mind.” But, my roots are so “curvey” that he didn’t feel comfortable being the one to do the extraction. So he suggested Dr. Ricciardiello (pronounced: “Rick-a-dello”) be the one that performs the extraction. So they handed me the X-rays they took and called Ricciardiello’s office and had me scheduled for a 12:45 appointment. At this point I was mixing up colors and names and my parents said I was “mixed-up” and should have something to eat. They blamed the vicodin. Stupid vicodin. A guy mixes up Yellow and Orange a few times and Laconia and Dover and he must be a druggie. So my Dad and I went to Paugus Diner and I got the corn beef hash and it was goooood and my drink tasted that much better from the Paugus Bay Diner tall red plastic cups. Mmmmm. . . We went back to my Dad’s in Meredith for a short time while we waited for my appointment. I was getting awfully surly. I was missing too much god damned school and at this point there was no way I was going to make it to work that night and Saturday morning was questionable. I spent the little time at my Dad’s on the computer. I told Hannah and Kelly of my misery and had just enough time to e-mail Becca on her most unlucky of birthday dates.

Dr. R’s office is next to the hospital. (If you think I’m gonna keep typing Ricciardiello than you’re crazy) I have had many friends that have had to go to him but had yet to meet the mysterious Italian doctor myself. I got to fill out more forms when I got there and they told me that Finn’s office gave me the wrong x-rays (they accidentally gave me some old ones from 97!) and that they’d, you guessed it, have to give me MORE X-rays. Argh. My brain must look like the inside of the work microwave after I cooked tinfoil in it. So then Dr. R came into see me. And told me that I (that’s right, ME) was “a worst case scenario.” “Is that bad?” I asked. So to try to save some space in this already tediously long entry I will show you a picture of what my dental situation looks like. . . kind of. “Kind of”, because there is NO PICTURE anywhere online that I could find that illustrated what MY problem looked like. So here we are:

Ok, this picture is almost what’s going on in my gross mouth. That back wisdom tooth in the picture hasn’t actually broken through the gums yet due to being entangled in that little, let’s call it a “rope” for now. Well, in MY mouth the back left bottom tooth is just as high as the other teeth yet, due to the ENORMOUSLY long AND curvy roots the tooth is entangled in the “rope” as well. Uh-huh. Now, that “rope”? Some of you might have already guessed that the human body doesn’t actually CONTAIN any ropes. So see, that rope is actually a NERVE. A nerve. And that is why the pain is spreading from my skull all the way down and around my head, because that NERVE just so happens to connect my BRAIN to my cheek, jaw, chin, mouth, etc. So, you know, it’s not TOO IMPORTANT. So Dr. R then explained a few things to me. Here they are: He couldn’t operate on me that day because my cheek and gums were still so inflamed. While he needed to get that troublesome tooth out soon, the other three would need to come out by January. Normal people, in the procedure he will use on me, have a 5-7% chance of temporary numbness in their chin, lower lip and side of tongue. Temporary = 3 MONTHS. And a less than 1% chance of Permanent Numbness. Permanent = FOREVER. BUT, I not a “normal” person he tells me, so MY chances are 10% for temporary numbness and 2% for permanent. Sweet. Sweet Sweet Sweet. Also, novacain isn’t going to “work” in my “situation” so I will have to be hooked up with an IV and strapped down. Sweet. I can’t eat the whole day of my surgery. Very sweet. After the surgery I will be “out of commission” for 6-7 days. Oh grand. Fucking super. Because I NEED TO MISS MORE WORK AND SCHOOL. Also, because of the depth of my tooth roots, he cannot just extract the tooth. He will need to (this is my favorite part) “cut the gums open and slice away pieces of bone.” Oh my God is that incredibly fucking sweet.

So you know, I have that goin’ for me. After Dr. Ricciardiello gave me my death sentence I went to Brook’s next to the high school (which I loved, by the way, being next to the high school at 2:08 p.m. when the Punksville Express gets out). I got my PERCOCET prescription filled (which is actually Roxicet, which is apparently the same thing) since apparently the Vicodin wasn’t doing ENOUGH fucking damage. Then it was back to Dover. I didn’t work Friday night as I was far to looey for marionettes and airport sets. I did work Saturday morning though. Mmmmm, nothing says drug-addled head-ache stupor like getting up at 6:30 a.m. Work sucked and was super slow and I was so tired and I went as long as I could without taking a vicodin (7 o’clock) and I actually fell asleep in the back room at one point only to awake in my own drool. Blast from the Past All-Star even swung by, but it was to see the dumb Manatee from G.I.W. and not me. Sad. But not really. At all. After work, Ron, Maura and I met Ben over at Phil and Andrea’s and we had a BBQ (the extra “B” was on vacation – though I made up for that by reading the “B” Book later that night) and it was fun fun fun, even if it did end up getting cold, cold, cold. I was fine in my pants and long sleeve shirt, but Ben had to wrap himself up in swaddling sweatshirt. Ron and I spouted on and on about The Hulk movie and other such things whilst he and Ben spouted on and on about Engineering and Bridges, whilst Andrea and Maura spouted on and on about Barbies and boys and whilst Phil and Tikki spouted on and on about acorns and acrobats. It was fun.

Today, I finally got to sleep in for the first time since BEFORE the trip. I was pleased. Even though the reason I woke up was the searing pain in my jaw and not because I felt naturally refreshed. I have a TON of homework I need to do in order to even BEGIN catching up on all the shit I’ve been missing over the last week. Neil joined Ben and I in watching the Patriots CRUSH the Jets. Underdog my fucking ass. Now it is unseasonably muggy and I have to go shower, take my drugs, and do my homework (oh and clean, but I doubt that one will happen). Oh, and a sneak preview to see how my mouth will look different after the surgery?

*******Sanrio = Special Smiles*******

It’s been real,

Horatio Alger

ps - to those that understand the connection of the title of this entry and my sign off name, well, then I salute you. (And since Ben doesn't read this, and Jimbo reads it only once and a while, then yes Tim Curtis, I mean you.)

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