6.20.2008

Wisdom Teeth God Damn





No doubt my surgeon thinks I'm a drug seeker.  I lost the prescription she wrote for Percocet several weeks ago after completing the x-rays and consultation to have my four wisdom teeth yanked.  I lost the prescription and then, faced with the sterile, silver tray of torture instruments that she had neatly displayed next to the dental chair I'm sitting in, I find myself explaining that the last several times I've had Percocet, it didn't work for me anyhow.

"Well, what was it prescribed for?" she asks.  

I am not sure how to answer that, and my pause implies that whatever I'm dreaming up is untrue.  I can read that much in her eyes and hesitate before stumbling through a bad answer.  "Um, hell, I don't remember."

The truth is that my regular doctor, an old ER resident formerly of east coast domicile, sends me away with bottles of "worst case scenario" narcotics every time I travel.  In case I break my leg, lose an eye, land in a third-world operating room with appendicitis --the list goes on.  I'd love to tell my surgeon about my doctor but don't think she'd be as receptive to his story as I was.  The stories he's shared about working as a deck-hand on smuggling boats that moved hashish from north Africa into Italy and France are a little un-doctorly.  Somewhere before his decision to go to med school, the good doctor had another life.  He's never shared the full details with me and I'm sure the medical board knows even less, but his traveling days sound like something from a movie.  And every time I've left the country, he's lit up with stories from a life he left behind 30 years ago, the romance of travel, the adventure inherent to anything where you don't know what comes next.  

The last time I took one of the doctor's Percocets I was stateside, wandering around a college town with a couple of friends when some kids from a fraternity started throwing snowballs at us as we passed on the street below.  Two of us had the sense to keep walking.  The third, one of my closest and most life-by-his-own-rules kind of friends, took the snowball a little harsh and stopped to pick up a handful of rocks from the garden in front of the frat house.  Then, like an eager outfielder, he plunked them one at a time back at the snowballers.  

All I can say is that if this were a choose-your-own-adventure book, that choice is the one that lands you in the wide world of Percocet.  Trying to break up my buddy with the rocks from the spillage of white ball caps and popped collars that poured out the front door of the frat house like an Abercrombie & Fitch-filled flood of testosterone cost me the ability to chew food for a week.  Percocet didn't touch the pain.

In the end the frat kids didn't get to take any of my teeth, though they gave it a pretty good shot.  Seven years passed before my surgeon-so-gentle, the good Dr. Lesnick, finished their work and took a few for herself.

2 comments:

John Henry said...

holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit man i feel so bad for you right now, matt. talk to you in a few days when you wake up from all the pills. oh and the pics are stellar

Lexie said...

perplexed
as to how teeth on gauze
can be so wonderful
especially coming from your mouth
x