The horror movies were right: It is surprisingly easy to get a molar ripped out of one's face. It really is just a few tweaks of a professional's wrist and the sucker will pop right out. There is a swampy suck. (You will remember the sound from when you were in the prime of your tooth-shedding years).
I'd been having headaches for about a week and knew, just knew, it was my problem tooth. I could just picture that Dorito-hating weak link pinching something that leads to my brain and giving me these electric jolts through the right side of my head. When the dentist told me they were going to wrench it free the following week, I cheered. She looked a little surprised.
"I hate that tooth," I said. "I've been waiting for someone to rip it out for years."
Today was the big day. I was actually a little nervous. Weird choice of emotion, I know. Here I was minutes away from diminished head pain and a souvenir tooth. Eyes on the prize, I told myself.
And then suddenly it was just out. An assistant explained first how to change my gauze, then how to shine up my tooth for optimal display. The dentist complimented my ability to eject a tooth quickly and efficiently from my gums, but not in so many words. I did a fist pump and agreed to come back to the dentist for a regular check up -- the preventative kind -- instead of just going whenever my jaw falls wrong on a piece of sourdough pretzel.
Then, two hours later, the Novocaine wore off. And then it was a different story. A slightly psychotic story that had me spinning in circles, wondering if I'd had enough Naked Juice to coat my stomach enough to take Ibuprofin. Unable to move my face into any semblance of an expression. Frankly, a bit pissy. Not that you could tell by looking at me, what with my face parked permanently in neutral.
I took advantage of this crankiness to be a bitch to a stranger for two wonderful minutes.
The only thing that got me through it was thinking of my Lortab prescription waiting for me at Walgreens. I'm not much of a Lortab person. I don't like how it makes me feel. Tired and nauseated. Foggy. Like I drank one and a half mixed drinks. Enough to know I'm altered, but not enough to get to the festive part of the buzz. I did like the idea of totally not feeling my face for the rest of the night. I was going to make a sacrifice. Embrace the narcotic pain reliever just this once. I was so ready for it. Made a few rookie jokes about Pink Floyd videos, even.
The dentist's office forgot to call in my prescription. I only sounded a little bit like I was crying when I left them a message -- after hours -- on the office's answering machine. Choking on "... call it in for me in the morning?" The song "When I see you Smile" was playing when the guy at Walgreens told me I was out of delicious narcotic pain reliever luck.
Seems like if this was the old west, whoever forgot to call in the prescription would now hand me a free coupon to yank out her molar.