Wednesday, October 19, 2011

strawberry fields forever

United Healthcare declined to cover the cost of anesthesia during the extraction of my #15 molar. As a result, I was offered nitrous oxide as an alternative. I asked questions. Will I still feel pain? No, we will also use Novocaine. The nitrous oxide will relax you. Will I remember? Yes. Do people have allergic reactions? No. Okay, let's do it.

Back went the chair. On went the mask. Breathe deeply through your nose. Try not to talk because it will take longer for it to take effect. Okay. When did you last eat? This morning. What time? 9 a.m. What did you eat? Peanut butter toast and coffee. I thought I wasn't supposed to be talking? Okay, breathe deeply through your nose.

I don't feel anything. I like that radio station. How are you feeling? Fine. Ohhh, what is that? My arms feel really heavy. I can feel my breathing. My heart is racing! Calm down. Strawberry fields forever. How appropriate. In. Out. Whoaaaaaaaaaaa. I want to jump out of the chair and run out of the room. Calm down. They will never know you are feeling whacko if you don't say anything. Is this normal? Should I feel this way? Or am I going insane and just think I'm okay? Are you doing okay? (Nod.) Open. Open wide. Wider. Good. Again. Wider. Annnnnnnnd. There we go.

Is it over? Wow, that was easy. Hmmm. In. Out. Big breath. Strawberry fields forever. How long have I been here? Each song only lasts three minutes. That's the same song, isn't it? I love the Beatles. John Lennon. I feel psychedelic. Giggle. Did I just giggle out loud? Opening one eye: Who is that sitting there? Oh, she's monitoring me to make sure I don't die. That means it isn't over. Oh, you fool, that was just them giving you the Novocaine. They haven't even started yet. Giggle. Did I just giggle again? She must think I am high. At the church. I'm bringing a covered dish. I have to have it ready for the 6 p.m. What? Ohhh, what is that? I can feel my hair growing. Why do they keep talking? Do they know how talking sounds & feels to someone on nitrous oxide? They should shut up. No talking, except about the procedure. I just got off the phone from xcrs7yt (unintelligible). She asked me p9sx63#nw (unintelligible). Can you believe it? (Everyone laughs.) Why are they talking about other patients in front of me? That is unprofessional. And it freaks me out a little. What will they say about me after I leave? Am I a good patient? I wish they would shut up. SHUT THE F UP. Did I just yell that? No, I just imagined it. This is taking FOREVER!!!!

How are you doing? Are you feeling a little funny? Oh, yeah. It's the 60's over here. (Everyone laughs.) Okay, let's see what we've got here. Open. Open wide. Open. Okay. Little pressure. Good. Suction. This is weird. How many people are in the room? Am I still in the little room where I started? What if I stopped breathing right now? Would they save me? Can I trust these people to save me? They laughed at that other patient. Daddy is out in the waiting room. What would he do if they told him that I stopped breathing? He might have a heart attack. 

Open. Wider. Lot of pressure now. Okay. Good. Wow. Look at that root. Let me ... let's put this chair back a bit more. Can you see that? Yes. That is something. I have long roots. I think I remember hearing that before. Got it. Good. Wow. Strawberry fields forever. I need to work on my presentation for Phoenix. Do NOT start thinking about work right now. No matter what you're doing, you're always thinking about work. Whoa. I feel floaty. Floaty. Floaty. Floaty. Did they pull the tooth? Was that the tooth being pulled? I think the tooth is gone. Good. Oh, I like that song too.

Okay, let's get this laser fired up. No. That's it. Okay, open, let's put a little gauze there to protect your teeth. Bite down. There you go. Good. Gag. What is that smell? That is the smell of my flesh burning. Gross. Annnnd ... all done. You'll feel a little hole in your lip. It'll fill in. We'll send that off for a biopsy, but I expect it will be just fine. I can stick my whole tongue in the hole in my lip. I hope it doesn't look weird. Nothing could look more weird than that thing that was on my lip. I hope it isn't cancerous. What if it is? What if I've been working all of these years so I can have a happy retirement and then I get lip cancer and die? Can you die from lip cancer? Probably. Especially if you wait for almost two years to get something checked out!!! Stop it. Do not yell at yourself.

Now we'll just give you straight oxygen and you should feel a little more normal soon. I can not imagine feeling normal. Okay, you did real good. Laurie is going to go over your aftercare and we'll see you back here next week. Whoa, I feel really funny. I'm standing, but I feel like I floated into this standing position. Should I be up already?

I'll walk you out to the reception area. Loooooooooonnnnnnnng hallway. It's like that scene from Willie Wonka or Alice in Wonderland. I still feel pretty loopy. Do you want to sit in recovery for a while? No, I'm good. Teenagers tell us they like it. Okay, here you are. Susan can check you out. That will be $100 for the nitrous oxide and we'll send the rest to your insurance company. Let me just get your prescription for Vicodin. Look at all the colors on the file labels. The room is small, but laid out just right for the number of people in it. How long have I been standing here? Here you go and you can go right through that door there.

There's Daddy! Are you done? (Nod.) Can you talk? Yes. Ready to go? Yes. How was it? Weird. I feel floaty. Let's go home. Okay. Thank you for bringing me Daddy. You're welcome, my dear.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh,holy HELL, I do NOT want an experience like that. I would not do well with 'laughing gas' as someone slipped LSD into my drink when I was 19 and it was the most horrific experience ever. I get MASSIVE anxiety with hallucinations.

Thanks for sharing!