Odd memories, part 24

A lot of people have stories of this nature, and there’s a good chance you’re tired of hearing them, so I’ll try not to make it too long (yeah, this is me, so good luck with that,) but this is also distinctly me, and may give you an insight into the depths of my mind. Which you may regret. Seriously, best to just skip to the next post, or another website entirely.

About 24 years ago or so, I was scheduled to have my wisdom teeth removed, since three of them were doing that serious impacted bullshit, and this was going to be dental surgery for which they would have to knock me clean out. Mind you, this is the only time in my life I’ve ever been anesthetized other than a local, and my experience with local anesthetics previously was that they seemed to have less effect on me. So on the day of the surgery, lying back in the chair with the IV drip in, I realized that I was remaining perfectly lucid (or as lucid as I ever am, which is perhaps arguably less than perfect, but nominal, anyway.) This state remained as various people prepped, and I was about to bring it up to someone when the surgeon entered the room and introduced himself. As he went around behind my chair, he adjusted something back there with a faint rattle, and suddenly I felt a chill in the arm with the IV line. Ah! They’d only had a saline drip going until the surgeon opened the anesthesia valve. Okay then.

It was only a minute before my vision began to blur a bit, but more noticeably, the ceiling tiles (no I wasn’t counting them,) started to shimmy, sliding upwards a little before jerking back suddenly, over and over. I recall asking the surgeon if he knew why there was only a vertical component to the hallucination and not a horizontal one. He admitted that he did not know, but I was alert enough to recognize the amusement in his voice. That’s the last memory I have of consciousness.

Except for one bit. I knew wisdom teeth can be a pain in the ass, and often have to be fragmented to be removed, and I recall my head jerking sharply as they hammered on the chisel to break one of them up. There was no pain or discomfort involved, no distress at all, just the awareness of the action, and I thoughtfully put one hand up under my jaw on that side to help brace it. It was the same kind of thing where you wake enough to realize that your arm is asleep and shift to correct this before dozing off again. How much this move assisted them, I cannot say, but there was no reflection of this on the bill.

After the surgery, they encouraged me to just take it easy as the anesthetic wore off, and I was determined to speed this along, so I got out of the chair while no one was in the room and began walking around to burn it out of my system – such a thing likely doesn’t work, but it seemed like it should. There was music playing, and as a favored song came on, I’m reasonably certain I was dancing to it. Now, I don’t dance. Not ever, even when fully coherent. It probably wasn’t pretty.

I considered myself quite alert at the time, but looking back on it the following day, there are large portions of the post-surgery period that are simply blank, including whether I actually paid for the meds at the pharmacist on my way home (no I wasn’t driving – they insisted on that, for some reason.) I certainly must have paid, since I’m sure they never hand over the drugs until the payment is made and I did have them, but damn, someone on the ball could have probably bilked me into emptying my account.

Makes me wonder how hard it is to target e-mail towards people recovering from oral surgery…

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