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02/19/2005 Entry: "Nothing Left To Do But..."

When in doubt, the answer is chicken nuggets.

That's been my secret for all the early morning dentist appointments. If I have a fairly protein-heavy breakfast (and what are my TVP faux-chicken nuggets but little protein bombs?) I'm better able to handle the horrors of the needles. That's what makes it possible for me to brave the Novocain shots in the morning without passing out. Works for blood draws too. I wish it worked at the eye doctor, where I had to put my head between my legs after they used an anesthetic eyedrop. I'm passing out at eyedrops. Sheesh, I hope I never need any serious medical treatment or else Morningstar Farms is going to make some serious money off of me.

So I went back to the dentist for a cleaning on Thursday. And that was all. No extractions, no root canals, no crowns. The dentist, desperate to find some way to abuse my mouth, cut my gums and scraped my teeth painfully with a primitive drill/plant mister combination ("Time for your shower!" she said brightly. I thought she was kidding; then I asked to stop halfway through to mop off my face.) She threatened the bottom row of my teeth ("Someday those are going to need to be crowned, but we'll see how long we can put that off,") suggested that I start bleaching my teeth again, and then told me to have a good day; I was done.. It was cold and rainy out, but I walked to work with a big smile on my face.

I was done. After countless years of neglect (and pain), five extractions, six crowns and a few root canals, I'm at a stage now where I can say that I'm done for a while. My teeth are far from perfect; they're still oddly colored, with a couple large gaps. But maybe now my friend's children won't ask me why my teeth look rotten. Maybe now guys at the Eagle won't say, loud enough for me to hear, "He'd be cute, except for those teeth." Maybe now I can start to unlearn the impulse to keep my mouth closed. Maybe now I can start smiling more in public. Maybe now I can start smiling more in general.

"See you in six months" are the best five words I've heard in a while.

(Well, honestly, those are probably tied in a dead heat with "Your new computer has arrived." But that's a different post.)

Replies: 4 comments

I'm glad your dentist visit went so well, C. Have you actually heard that at the Eagle about you? That's fucked up.

Posted by Jason @ 02/19/2005 09:13 PM PST

I've always (since I was old enough to realize) been embarrased by my dad's teeth. When he was young, he had hillbilly dentists, who seem to have used mild steel to hold broken teeth together. The old man had rusty teeth, and they looked really bad. As I got older, I fixated on them more.

Finally, in my 20s, I asked him why he didnt do anything to "fix" them. His answer was they weren't painful, just not pretty, so since they still worked, why bother changing them?

Well... eventually, as you can imagine, things literally fell apart. A couple summers ago, his front tooth (the most obvious one) broke off. He took that opportunity to get things fixed properly, and now I'm not embarrased for my dad to smile.

Posted by Gigamatt @ 02/22/2005 05:08 AM PST

What charming people at The Eagle. Let me know when you have time in your schedule to host me for a few days whilst we set the bar afire.

Posted by Jhames @ 02/23/2005 12:39 AM PST

Bring the Morningstar chicken nuggets. We can host a veggie BBQ at the same time.

Posted by Jhames @ 02/23/2005 12:39 AM PST

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