I had a lot of fear about getting my bottom wisdom teeth out. Despite the necessity for my health, I put the act off for more than a decade. The recent Diane Rehms conversation with Stephen King was a masterpiece. The reason I bring this up is that remembering all the Stephen King stories of my youth convinced me that I should not go under for the procedure. There was too much to chance entering the void, risking a forever tether to the dark side. I did a decent job explaining the whole Stephen King thing to the nurse while I was on laughing gas. I know she understood that I was silly and afraid.
The other thing is, the laughing gas is amazing. I had entered the surgical center with a woman quite advanced in age. Later, I learned the other patient was over 100 years old. Dr. Johnson and his team made sure I was totally comfortable for the extraction, and it was over so fast. In between teeth, I began making noises, and the doctor said, “He wants to speak! Take everything out!”
They got my mouth clear of all the stuff, and I asked, clearly high on laughing gas, “I’m all turned out: did you say that woman was 100 years old or that she had 100 wisdom teeth?!” And because of the laughing gas and the novocaine, I did not even feel the stinging slap of rejection in the stone faces of the team as I slowly stopped giggling, and like a child of wonder slowly arrived at the realization of being totally alone in my amusement. The healing went really well with great instructions and support from my older sister.