"You have really nice veins," the surgeon said.
I didn't want to be there. I had just put up with a month or so of this kind of thing, and while that enough should've been sufficient to disuade me from getting further surgery in my mouth, there was also the matter of the release form which was floating in front of my eyes for most of the night:
General anaesthesia may be fatal
Do not eat or drink anything, even water, for six hours before your surgery, as this may also prove fatal
Cute enough to keep me awake despite being exhausted from yesterday's cross-continental flight. Cute enough to keep me tossing in bed aching, yearning for just one. sip. of. cool. cool. water.
At four in the morning I cheat and take a sip of cranberry juice. This is not out of rebellion: this is out of cowardice.
In preparation for my coming days of incapacitation, I have secured for myself: 10 cans of fruit (in fruit-ish sauce), 20 boxes of Jell-O, a couple gallons of cranberry juice, a few jars of applesauce, the last half of Cowboy Bebop on DVD, a copy of The Long Halloween (which I end up reading instead of thinking about the impending demise that surely awaits me), the Woody Allen spy classic What's Up, Tiger Lily?, the predominantly unheard of Peter Sellers film The Millionairess, and a strange RTS named Sacrifice.
When the time to leave my apartment rolls around, I wake up my ride (a friend who crashed on my couch for the night... god bless selfless people who will give you a lift to your deathbed) and prepare myself for the sobering shock of a chilly Massachusetts morn.
We arrive at the dentist, I with my paranoia and he with his old pocket book copy of Don Delillo's Americana. I finish signing some forms, write out a cheque covering the surgery, and then am led into a white room. I get the feeling they're going to play relaxing images from days of yore on a screen in front of me, then process me into Soylent Green after they off me, but instead they hook me up to an EKG and take my blood pressure (117/80, if I remember correctly). The doctor comes in and mysteriously complements me on the size of my veins. "They're enormous," he says. "You're a medical student's wet dream." Did he actually say wet dream? No. That has to be influenced by the gas.
Oh, the gas. Ah, yes. As they turn it on, I stop panicing and instead focus on the machine that goes ping in the corner of the room. Before I go under, I am thinking that I want a large nurse to move so I can see exactly what my heartrate is (an average of 72, better than I thought).
I wake up in a world made of rubber. There's an annoying elasticity to the ground beneath me, and my head refuses to stay upright. My vision curves around the edges. As my friend is handing me my jacket, I start wondering how they woke me up. Smelling salts? How do they do that?
There are blank spots. I don't remember the ride home. I don't remember walking upstairs to my apartment. I do remember removing my gauze after a while. I do remember my pal telling me that he has to leave. I think I remember thanking him, but who knows if it was at all coherent.
After falling asleep again, I wake up to an empty house. It is two in the afternoon. The general anaesthetic is still in effect, but I feel a dull pain in my left cheek. I look in the mirror:
( - |
Professional artist's rendition of my reflection. Not to scale. Void in Tennessee.
My left top wisdom tooth, the severely impacted one, must've been a bitch to pry out, because that's what's giving me the most trouble. My right side is relatively painless.
So here I am and, despite a very pleasant visit from the illustrious ms. ansate, I'm bored. I want a lollypop. I want my drugs (Percodan, not fun fun Vicodin, though I have a couple of those left over) to kick in sooner. I want to be numb around the edges. I want the world to be nitrous fuzzy.
I think that's it. That's all I want. Blurry days and candy on sticks.