atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3672: I'm home, without my wisdom teeth.

So, the procedure cost a bit more than I had hoped it would, but not a ton more. They had me put down a $350 deposit before they did anything, which I'd been told about in advance and had no trouble with.

Got there early and filled out paperwork, then waited; they got my dental x-ray using a fancy machine that swiveled around my head and didn't require that I stick anything into my mouth. Backscatter? Whatever it was, it was damned slick.

The oral surgeon gave me enough novocaine (or whatever they use now) to numb a moose, and then I asked for nitrous oxide, and got it. "Adults usually don't want it," he said.

"Oh, I'm an inveterate coward," I said. "If I think the procedure is going to be unpleasant, I ask for it."

The one on the right side came out without a hitch. I was tripping balls on nitrous and was scarcely aware he was doing anything, except for the rubber wedge holding my mouth open and the pressure of the tools.

The one on the left side was a bit more complex, and it was further complicated by the fact that the novocaine wasn't quite enough to kill the pain. "We'll give it one more," he said, "and if that doesn't do it, you'll have to come back and go to sleep to do it. That's the problem with these: when they start to hurt, sometimes the local's not enough." (Not his exact words, but an apt paraphrasal. What do you want? I was high as a kite.)

So I sat there happily whiffing nitrous while I waited for that last shot to take effect, and then he came back in and went to work. It still hurt.

He gave me the option to come back tomorrow, and I said, "Well, let's see how it goes," so he went back to work and extracted the tooth.

It did hurt, and I expect that in fact it actually hurt quite a bit...but the pain wasn't really connected to me--it was like it was in a different space-time from where I was--so I was able to stand it. I knew, intellectually, that the pain was in my jaw, but it seemed to be coming from above and to the left of where I was, and I just kept taking really deep pulls on the thing over my nose that supplied the nitrous oxide.

The thing that I like about nitrous oxide is how it does that, so I don't really experience the stuff going on first-hand. When I'm high on that stuff, my consciousness is flipping on and off several times a second, so one moment everything's as sharp as can be, and the next I'm out, and then I'm back again...and although I know what's going on it just doesn't seem to matter all that much.

So even though it hurt, it came out, and I don't have to go back tomorrow for more.

His assistant surprised me by having me get up and walk immediately after the nitrous was taken away. I was woozy but stable; and a few minutes later I was walking out to my truck.

I sat in the truck for a few minutes to let my brain resume normal operation, then drove home without incident. I stopped at the gas station for ice, so I could put ice packs against my cheeks per doctor's orders. I didn't stop to get the new RX for Vicodin filled, as I've got some already and can get by until tomorrow.

They say to eat soft foods tonight, but I can resume eating whatever is comfortable tomorrow, so that's good.

Right now, my jaw is so numb it doesn't feel like it fits quite right, but I can tell that my teeth are nestled together the way they are supposed to, so it's just an artifact of the novocaine.

Anyway--when everything was done, the receptionist told me the total charge was $650, and that they'd bill me for the remaining $300. I wondered if she'd applied the discount, but was too woozy to think of how to ask the question. And on the way home I thought, "Just think of what it would have cost without the discount card!" home and there was a message on the answering machine: she'd forgotten to apply the discount, and in fact I owed them $2, not $300.

So: two wisdom teeth removed for $462, including the discount plan, exam, and X-rays--and it barely took an hour for them to do it.

* * *

As a bonus, when I went shopping today, I got out of the store for just a hair less than $60, even though there were so many items on my list (and a couple of impulse buys to boot).

One of the impulse buys was a frame for my picture of Lemonzen. This frame cost a stunning $1. O noes I must break the bank. *rolleyes*

* * *

If we can figure out how to get at it, there's 300 years' worth of oil under the United States in one deposit alone.

Mankind has used about a trillion barrels of oil in his history thus far.

Under Utah, there are three trillion barrels of oil.

So much for "peak oil".

* * *

As for me, I figure I have about an hour before the local wears off to the point that I need to take a tab of Vicodin. Worse, I'm getting hungry and can't really eat until I can move my lips. *sigh*

Well, that's how things go, I guess.

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