Molar Vortex


Molar Vortex

Hi there. I had a tooth pulled today. I’m recovering fine, thank you very much.

It was a weird but not painful experience. I was comfortably numbed, but it’s an odd thing, being held down, in a dentist’s chair, as part of you is extracted by force. Kind of like G-rated torture porn. “The Benny Hills Have Eyes,” or something.

Also weird? Someone playing around IN YOUR SKULL. Which you feel. Once the tooth is pulled. It’s OK, once you get past the point of being freaked out by someone BEING IN YOUR SKULL. And honestly? I wasn’t worried about the bone graft IN MY SKULL in the least, until, hours later, a friend told me it was essentially CADAVER BONE SAND! IN YOUR SKULL!

On the whole, though, things went far better than I was expecting. The worst part of the experience by far was Sirius XM’s “Seventis on 7” station, playing during the procedure. I shall now forever associate the Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You” with tooth extraction. David Cassidy has much to answer for.

There’s another stage coming – I’m getting  tooth implant in a few months, because IT’S THE CLOSEST I SHALL EVER GET TO BECOMING A TRANSFORMER. But for now, there’s recovery.

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Me recovering. Self-medicated selfie.

Anyway, point being, the ribollta I made last night is helping. It’s a delicious Tuscan bean stew that I discovered at Madison’s rather wonderful Osteria Papavero, and it’s become one of my favorite Winter comfort dishes. Most importantly, it’s not only delicious, but it’s soft. Soft is very, very, VERY good, right now.

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Ribollita. It’s a thing. A delicious, delicious thing.

Long story short, though, a full week after a tooth fractured and the pain began, I was finally able to get in to get the damn thing pulled. There were no earlier appointments available, no matter that the pain was  closing in on cartoon cliche tooth-and-string-and-doorknob levels.

But the first bit is done, at last. It cost close to a thousand bucks. And  that’s despite the fact that we have insurance.

Insert “greatest health care system in the world” one-liner here, yes, yes, yes.

But look, here’s the thing: I AM NOT GONNA WHINE ABOUT THIS. It kinda sucks, but my family is fortunate in that a couple of thousand for a this and my upcoming Bionic Tooth won’t be too painful.

Right now, I’m more thinking of the many folks to whom this would be a real, honest-to-goodness major expense – one that would be difficult to bear. At least not without sacrificing something else: a family vacation? School supplies? Food on the table?

The wait, and the expense, to get a tooth pulled seems ridiculous, looking back. But worse is contemplating the folks who can’t afford a necessary procedure, and who’d have to wait an awful lot longer than I did.

I’m suddenly not feeling in a whining mood, anymore.

– John


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