Lack of Wisdom

dentists-arlington.jpgIt’s been time for a while. Everyone else did it when they were teenagers or college students, but I’ve been holding onto mine as those around me fell to necessity and society’s pressure. Last month, I met the man who would handle it for me and, after brief social banter and a discussion of technicalities, I scheduled a time to abandon the few and become one of the many.

My wisdom teeth were coming out.

They were “erupted” (good) but not “impacted” (bad), so it was determined that only two of my remaining three would be taken and recovery would be brief.

(I was surprised I only had three. I thought I still had four. My dentist never mentioned one was missing and I don’t remember ever having it out, so either it’s still in there (bad), it fell to a particularly raucous bit of my late twenties (bad), or the tooth fairy has become professionally over-aggressive. Well, or I was abducted. Bad and bad.)

I scheduled the operation carefully to fall on a day when R. wouldn’t be traveling, the nanny would be with A., and I could devote a couple days to recovery.

That didn’t so much work out.

I cracked one of the two teeth two weeks ago, the day the nanny left on vacation, and rode out the week on Vicodin and Codeine until the earliest available surgery date, which was, naturally, the day our Labor Day weekend guests arrived from New York. Great start.

Thirty seconds before the anesthesia kicked in, the doctor offered to remove a little salivary cyst on my lip as well. Excellent. Two for one. Turns out complementing stitches top and bottom on the back left of your mouth with a set on the front left of your mouth makes for some serious pain and impediment. You know what else doesn’t help? Slamming the left side of your face into the bathroom doorframe the next day when you swing around too quickly on pain medication that, apparently, affects your ability to judge distances.

I hit the frame so hard that I and everyone in the other room thought I broke my nose. I took a chunk out of my tongue because it was between my teeth fiddling with my lip’s stitches, and I narrowly averted a black eye by icing my face for the next two hours as the bruising pooled below my left eye. Yeah, left side again. My glasses saved me: the upper frame has a slide of white paint an inch long.

The next morning, I careened down the last five steps of the staircase while I was carrying the baby. I slid on something beneath my heel (an hilarious banana peel?) and nearly threw A. into the wall at the bottom of the stairs, but managed to save us both by taking some additional bruises on the arms. You can’t say I don’t have follow-through, right?

I thought I was done, but no.

Yesterday afternoon, I fell on our steep concrete front stairs, also while carrying the baby, this time going up. My knee and shin are blacker for it, my pain quotient continues to climb, but again, the baby remains unscathed.

The nanny is still out, and R. is on the other coast for a few days, so A. and I are muddling through the pain and its killers on our own. It’s been a difficult week, to say the least. I have to say, with all the accidents, I do feel as though my wisdom has been diminished. I wonder how you get that back. I think I need it, or I’m going to end up in the hospital. Or as the lost Marx Brother. One or the other.

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