(or, Wisdom Teeth and the Lack Thereof)

I know that the experience of getting wisdom teeth removed, by various methods, has been noded many times here on E2, so I won't focus so much on the teeth. As I went into the oral surgeon's office, I decided to try to remember as much as possible of the process of being knocked out specifically so I could node it. This was, in fact, the first time I have had induced unconsciousness.

They started by placing me in an absolutely horrid dentist's chair. The chair was lopsided, with one arm way higher than the other (this I could understand, because they put the IV in on that side), and the other arm at an odd angle so it jutted into my side. It was impossible to get entirely comfortable in that chair. I have no idea why they have a chair like this. Maybe the physical discomfort helps to prod people back into reality.

They attached a heart monitor to my finger, stuck an IV needle into my arm, started injecting something which they said would dry out my mouth, and then left to get the surgeon. For a bit I wondered if that was the knock-out drug as well and they just hadn't mentioned it, but I stayed fully conscious. I amused myself slightly by listening to the heart monitor beep and trying to slow down my heart rate as much as possible. Because of the conditions, I wasn't extremely successful.

beep... beep... beep... beep... beep...

The doctor and a nurse arrived, and the nurse flipped another switch. I heard the sound of rushing gas and I knew this was the sodium somethingite (okay, so chemical names don't stick in my memory well), the knock-out drug. I got rather tense wondering what this would feel like. The heart monitor beeped more furiously.

beep beep beep beep beep beep beep

So, they're injecting the stuff... hmm. Isn't something supposed to be happening? I don't feel anything. Ooh... everything's fuzzy...

They hadn't given me enough Novocaine. When you're asleep, you can somewhat sense that time is passing; that happened here too. Except I was aware of both time and pain. A dull, non-localized pain, but pain nonetheless. I suppose I didn't actually feel it while unconscious, but when just returning to the waking world.

Different parts of me seemed to measure time differently. Thinking back to the heart monitor, it seemed continuous, except instead of emitting sound afterward it was emitting pain.

beep beep beep beep FUZZ beep pain pain pain pain

Everything's fuzzy... time... what happened? Where am I going? Why is the pain following me?

I remember the sensation of motion as they led me from the room where they had done the procedure to the recovery room, and nothing else. I achieved real consciousness as they were laying me down on the bed, and soon came to the conclusion that consciousness wasn't worth it. I must have slipped back briefly. When I came around the second time, my mother was there. I tried to talk to her, but couldn't remember how, and besides, my mouth hurt too much to make it worth the attempt.

I write this now in the midst of altering my consciousness in a different way; I am at my peak of alertness (and of the general dull pain and queasiness that accompany it) right now, half an hour before I get to return to the simple pleasure of codeine.

After taking the codeine, I'm dead tired, but I feel good about it. Time to get back into bed and float...

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