Monday, January 15, 2007

Episode 37 - The Whole Tooth

Tom’s wisdom tooth extraction, a new car, Ema rants about obnoxious up-selling, and a pre-dawn dreamlike visit to a flea market

Click HERE to be transported directly to the episode.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Pain Chronicles - Post-Op Journal, Entry 1

Hi folks – I’m back from the brink. Yes, this tooth you see here is one of four I had pulled. This one, with its hooked roots, was the most difficult to remove. The dentist was surprised when I asked to take one home, as if he'd not been asked that before. He hesitated, but when I said "Doctor, I've lived with these teeth for 25 years*, I'm not sure I'm ready to part this abruptly with them." He relented, and gave me the 'prize' tooth. You'll notice the missing 'tail' on one of the roots. That was stuck in my jaw for ten minutes until he fished it out. All in all, so many fond memories. . .

Suffice to say, I survived. The overall experience was one of the most bizarre 45 minutes I’ve ever had. The first few minutes were the worst. The realization that the doctor had no other pain control plan for me other than Novocain and nitrous oxide. The searing pain as the doctor administered the first shots of what felt like molten copper into my jaw. The sight of the gothic-looking instruments sitting on a tray next to my head. The sounds of the teeth as they were gripped and pulled.

I’m afraid it’s all to soon to recount the detail of this nightmare. Thinking about it makes me nauseated. Plus, it's time for my salt water rinse. Be back with more soon, and for a full account of the wisdom tooth extraction, please tune into our next podcast (# 37) which should be posted in about one week.

- Tom

* Wisdom teeth usually erupt from the gumline in your mid-teens

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Pain Chronicles - Countdown to Tooth Pain, Day 0

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife,
baby, edgy and dull and cut a six-inch
valley through the middle of my soul
At night I wake up with the sheets soaking
wet and a freight train running through
the middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire
I'm on fire

I'm on fire
I'm on fire

"I'm On Fire"
- Bruce Springsteen

I had trouble sleeping last night. So many things left in this life I was hoping to accomplish. With only a few hours left until the extraction, I’m experiencing an overwhelming desire to reach out to my fellow man. Expand my normally inhibited sociological and theological boundaries – shake the hand of my neighbor; embrace the stranger on the street; French kiss a nun.

It’s at moments like this when people, facing the end of their path down life’s broad highway, often seek religion as a comfort. Waiting until the very last minute to find God, though, seems selfish, trite, offensive. That’s why I sought His guidance early last week. Although still new, my relationship with my Creator feels solid. We’ve had several discussions, and I feel fairly comfortable with His plans for my eternity. Unfortunately, as far as the short-term misery of today’s operation, my God can offer no immediate help. Something to do with playing favorites, free will, a few concepts that I couldn’t quite grasp.

Suffice to say, I’m pretty much on my own through the procedure. Let it be known, that at 3:00pm today as I stare into the glaring white dental light, my jaw jacked open, eyes tearing, heart beating like a rabbit, I’ll be thinking of you, and remembering our precious time together. Goodbye.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Pain Chronicles - Countdown to Tooth Pain, Day 1

Yes, and thanks for that comment on the last post, Scott. I've heard tales of perverse sexual advances on unwilling and unconscious dental patients. But here's the question: if you were truly upset by the incident, then why did you schedule four unnecessary root canals for the next month?!?

With 34 hours remaining until I go under the. . . pliers, I have begun taking inventory of my life, and started compiling a List of Things I'd Like to do Before I Die. Unfortunately, with only one day to complete this list, my goals are humble, at best.

TILTDBID #1: Hold a purring kitten
TILTDBID #2: Climb a long flight of stairs
TILTDBID #3: Write letters to all the women I've wronged (I'll start with Ema, of course)

Keep the faith my sisters and brothers. . . I'll be thinking of you as I start my journey toward the Light.

- Tom

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Pain Chronicles - Countdown to Tooth Pain, Day 3

I'm not sure, but I think I might be getting a fever. I'm pretty sure the oral surgeon won't want to pull my teeth if I'm as ill as I think I am. . .I mean, as ill as I'm going to surely be once this virus takes hold.

I talked to someone at work that had her wisdom teeth pulled a few months back. When pulled, one of her bottom teeth snagged the nerve that provides feeling to her lower lip, and one of her upper teeth left a gaping hole in her sinus cavity. So now, every time she sneezes, the 'mist' shoots into her mouth then runs off the tip of her tongue onto her blouse because she can't move her lower lip to stop it.

I really shouldn't solicit advice on this procedure. So far all I'm hearing are horror stories.

Tell ya what - only comment or send an email if you have something POSITIVE to tell me.