By Barry Burleson
Ive neglected the past few years has been my teeth.
Last week, I paid the price, in more ways than one.
I had an appointment with an oral surgeon to remove three
wisdom teeth, a molar that had been giving me some
trouble and another tooth that was broken beyond repair.
Im not toothless now but Im closer
than I was Tuesday of last week.
I had sort
of dreaded the surgery, my first. I had never been
put to sleep before, at least by modern
medicine. I was knocked cold once in a high school
basketball game. I successfully took a charge, but the
end result was a hard tumble to the floor with my head
hitting the court very hard.
thing about that injury was that Im sure I had a
slight concussion but still drove home from the game that
night. That was crazy, but I was too young to know any
goodness I had my wife Pam to drive me this time around.
the doctor and a couple of nurses talking to me as they
started the drugs. We were having some good conversation.
Come to find out, the doctor and I knew some of the same
folks. Its always a small world.
One second I
was laughing and cutting up. The next second I was out.
The next thing I remember is waking up and suddenly being
escorted to our van, parked out back. After the short
walk, I became very sick. I will just leave it at that.
drove me home, with gauze pads on both sides of my mouth
to help absorb the blood. We stopped to pick up an
antibiotic and pain killer.
I was still
somewhat dizzy as she escorted me downstairs to the
family room where I collapsed on the couch for several
hours. I recall watching a bit of TV and then it was
sleep, sleep and more sleep.
joked, This might be the only way to get you to
take a vacation.
was not my idea of a vacation.
quipped, You will lose some weight.
the person meant I could stand to lose some. Actually,
Pam and I have been on a diet. No doubt, this would only
boost that effort.
afternoon Pam fixed me some warm broth, and later she
brought me a chocolate milkshake. Ive heard of
folks going on a milkshake diet. Now thats my idea
of a diet.
decided to take the next day off work. Actually, it was
doctors orders. That morning I felt pretty good,
took a shower and felt better, and then thought about
going into The South Reporter office.
way, Pam said.
I learned a
long time ago to listen to my wife some of the
time anyway. So I settled back on the downstairs couch
for a day of relaxation with remote control in hand.
Daytime TV isnt my favorite, other than The
Price Is Right, so I slept some more.
At lunch, I
graduated to some vegetables and also some soft hamburger
steak. I was so hungry. I had to remember to eat slowly
and only chew using the teeth closer to the front. It was
a bit painful, but it was worth it.
I made it to
work on Friday, but I was about 60 percent, I think. I
was weak and had a headache. Someone at the office
remarked that I wasnt my usual happy self. It
wasnt the best of days.
continues Monday (at the time of this writing). Im
still sticking to the softer foods, and Im using up
the antibiotic. I ditched the pain killer on the second
day. The stitches are bugging me.
to be a lesson or two in all of this. Mainly, keep
regular appointments with your dentist and take care of
I still have
some repair work left, but hopefully the worst part is
behind me. For now I am just looking forward to putting a
piece of juicy steak in my mouth, which is on my diet
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