When folks talk about gratitude etc, I suppose they think of the big things in life: good health, good job, good grades, good education, good house to live in etc.
I don’t suppose people have the wisdom to thank their teeth for not hurting. They should. For all of the pesky pains, a toothache takes the biscuit! I started with a minor toothache about 10 days ago. Like one of these classical sonatas, the tempo and intensity increased gradually at first and by the end of it all, I was positively galloping to the dentists’ office.
The saga started with the revelation that I had wisdom teeth left. I thought that all that was gone a few years ago. But after a half dozen x-rays taken in increasingly awkward positions with my jaw propped open, my dentist (who has the bedside manner of a goose denied its supper) said I needed surgery – for the wisdom (teeth) was hard to get to.
By means of an answer, she took what felt like a hot knitting needle and plunged it into my gums. When I leapt out of the chair, she looked proud of her deductive skills and told me that it was as she suspected: I have a toothache and needed surgery.
So, it was that I found myself on a chair, and going under. I suppose these anesthesiologists have a way of confirming that one has really transcended the realm of our daily living. I don’t know what technique was used. But like one of those Disney princesses in fairy tales, I was woken up a few hours later and I got to ask the surgeon and nurses “Oh! Where am I?” – only I don’t think any sounds came out.
I was whipped to a nearby wheelchair and wheeled to the car where the husband looked suitably sympathetic, though I could see he was waiting to laugh once I did. But I suppose common courtesy kept him from starting the hilarities. I appreciated it.
When finally, I managed to get a glimpse of myself, I did let out a hollow laugh. He turned and after ascertaining that I was amused let out a nice, generous laugh. The left side of my face looked like it was the storage shelf for a mini water melon.
The eye drooped, the cheek bulged, the nostril flared, the chin braced, the ear held on, the eyelids closed, the eyelashes stuck together, the lips and tongue all looked and felt as one, and the whole head felt like a lemon that has just been through a squeezer and a bloater at the same time. In time, I was assured that all this would unstick and unravel and un-bilge and un-bulge, but for now, I had to adorn the stiff upper lip (only the lip and t were…)
It was what I call an interesting week. Sleep eluded me at nights inspite of the painkillers, and I found myself looking out the window often. I didn’t know our old home was a such an interesting hangout. One night I saw a raccoon family jump over the fence. First , the mother came along and she must’ve given her kits the signal and soon, a nice, large family trooped across the lawn looking inquisitive, happy and content. This mother was obviously doing a good job for all the kits listened to her directions and seemed to have camaraderie amongst themselves.
Another night, I heard the unmistakable hoots of owls, and though I scoured the trees nearby, could not spot them.
In any case, the old face has straightened itself out again and the pain has subsided somewhat, and so I shall leave the creatures of the night to their own devices.
Bon Nuit! Wisdom reigns again.