As the dentist is reading off the list of possible side effects - dry socket, pain, numbness, paresthesia* - it occurs to me that all this - the high blood pressure, the panic, the queasiness - could be avoided be just keeping my wisdom teeth, which are perfectly fine anyway.
Five minutes later he's got a vice grip in my mouth. The whole idea of dentistry just seems so medieval to me - it's 2007 and we're using garage tools to pull things out of peoples' mouths? Can't we come up with some kind of tooth vaporizing laser?
Anyway, four days of swelling to follow. Yippee.
I'm standing in the lobby afterwards, and there's a girl standing in the opposite window, just staring at me, gauze in my mouth, and she looks absolutely terrified. Despite the fact that I'm 10 feet away, she just continues to stare - almost like she doesn't realize I can see her. I felt like Frankenstein's monster. Perfect for tomorrow. Not so great today.
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*My friend had a band called Paresthesia when we were in high school. I guess they liked the sound of the word, because Paresthesia is "a sensation of tingling, pricking, or numbness of a person's skin with no apparent long-term physical effect, more generally known as the feeling of pins and needles or of a limb being "asleep" (but not directly related to the phenomenon of sleep)." (wikipedia) Dumb name for a band.