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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

From the depths of Vicodin I call to you

Published: October 21, 2005
Section: Opinions

This past Monday I did something only someone drastically concerned about his dental future to the point of dementia would do. On Monday I hired some guy who spent fifteen or so years in school give or take a few decades just so he could tack a bunch of extra letters on to his name (M.D., D.D.S., S.A.D.I.S.T.) to drug me unconscious with some chemical that probably has a street value five times that of top-grade government-grown Afghani heroin, slice into my gums and hack my jaw to the point that I STILL cant feel anything from the right half of my bottom lip all the way down to my chin.

Apparently, I had four more teeth than my mouth could handle, and the offenders had to be forcibly removed. The bad news is that in order to tolerate physical existence without wanting to shoot myself, I have to be constantly drugged with a steady supply of Vicodin. As a result, I havent exactly been in touch with reality for the past few days. Its more like reality has been floating lazily on top of me like a slow overweight guardian angel just out of my reach. I can wave at it drooling with a glazed look on my face every so often, but we never seem to meet. This is fun, but isnt conducive to studying for physics and chemistry, subjects in which I have tests in four days.

The further bad news is that my nerves are mangled to the point that the only way I can possibly know that I have bitten my entire lip off while trying to chew nutrient sludgewhich, by the way, is the only thing I can ingestis by tasting my own blood. That is, if Im not too high to realize what blood is in the first place. I also, by way of mentioning, very closely resemble a newborn walrus about to sprout its very first set of overgrown tusks.

I dont mean to be completely negative. After all, every cloud has an ugly lining. The good news is that this whole thing only cost me several thousand dollars.

The procedure was very simple, from my point of view. I went in to the office, and Jerry Lane M.D. D.D.S. S.A.D.I.S.T. sat me down on a chair and had me look at a bunch of papers detailing all the risks of this particular surgery, including, but not limited to:

1) Pain
2) Numbness of the lip
3) Swelling
4) Tusks
5) Tooth loss
He told me that having this surgery was very important because if I didnt, I would have extra teeth in my mouth that could, possibly (and horribly):
1) Crowd my mouth
2) Get food stuck in my gums
3) Cause me pain

So now, thank God, instead of having food stuck in my gums and it causing me pain, I have food stuck in my blood clots and a bottle of Vicodin. No, Im not bitter. Im just high.

But back to the procedure. After he sat me down and I signed away the nerves in my jaw to some guy Ive never met before, he put a needle in my arm. Then I heard the following words: The room is going to start feeling like its swaying.

I said, OK, and then I woke up on the couch in my living room three hours later bleeding all over myself. Forgive me for being blindingly ecstatic, but the only thing I could think of at that time was, I cant wait to tell everybody that food cant get stuck in my gums and cause me pain anymore. Yet, strangely, despite all the happiness in the air, I couldnt squelch the undying urge to beat the stuffing out of the tooth fairy, disembowel her, and Fedex her body parts to all four corners of the Earth.

Post surgical care is very intricate and difficult. I am not allowed to spit, use a straw, probe the surgical area, rip the stitches out, or even hire a hit man to kill the oral surgeon. I have to gargle salt water three times a day, flood myself with penicillin, and place hot compresses over my newly-sprouting tusks on and off every twenty minutes. I cant open my jaw or chew, so I have to stuff food into my mouth with my finger and suck it until it dissolves and I can swallow, the result being that I digest food so slowly that I burn more calories breathing than I take in eating.

Sure, I mean MATHEMATICALLY speaking, Im slowly starving to death, but at least I dont have food stuck in my gums causing me pain.

Dont get me wrong. As I said before, Im not bitter. Im just high. Reality slowly floats atop me. I wave, smiling, drooling, bleeding and confused. Somebody please pass me the Vicodin. I think one of my tusks just broke through my cheek.