I’m getting my Wisdom Teeth removed tomorrow. As usual, my expert procrastinating results in disaster–I started noticing them three years ago. Make an appointment, get your bone sawed, and take off from your life for “x” amount of days–it doesn’t sound too difficult. In 2009 I tried to find three days when I wouldn’t die if I left society. Turns out there weren’t any. So no appointment.
The problems got worse. Actually, the problems were bad enough already. I would have gotten the thing done last year if I knew my teeth were the culprits. I just didn’t find out my wisdom buddies were partaking in guerrilla warfare until the beginning of the summer.
First, I got pica. Kind of. I didn’t want to eat anything weird. I just wanted to bite. My books were covered in teeth indents. They littered my school folders. Little tooth marks were visible on the wood door, the bed post and probably every other hard surface I could find. “I feel like I want to eat rocks.” That was my brilliant attempt to save face whenever someone noticed. I really did want to eat rocks. I just didn’t want to look like a homeless meth addict, so I never did.
Dr. Mom attributed my new-found pica to iron deficiency. It made sense. I eat like a freak. But I knew a lot of teenage girls with anemia growing up, and not one of them ate their textbooks. Every time my teeth hurt, I yelled at Dr. Mom for not having had them pulled already despite my lack of participation.
Second, I went deaf in one ear. Again, kind of. I tend to catastrophize. And in case you’re feeling really smart right about now, I already know that word doesn’t exist. I didn’t make it up, OCD Camp did. (Note: “OCD Camp” is the term my family uses to describe my trip to intensive outpatient Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder-ed people).
I remember the first time it happened. I hadn’t slept in two days. I lost my phone. And I was going to a concert later that night. All of my friends coming up to see it couldn’t reach me. I didn’t memorize their numbers. And then my right ear popped.
Anyone in their right mind would keep words to a minimum if their voice sounded like a bomb exploding at the next-door neighbor’s. But I’m not in my right mind. I would keep talking if I had a knife sticking out of my voice box. The constant bomb raids made it nearly impossible to hear anyone speak.
My communication skills had completely dissolved within .4 seconds. When I couldn’t fix it by stabbing my ear with q-tips and drowning it in Hydrogen Peroxide, I embraced my inner maturity and dealt with it as best I knew how. I cried. Then I thought I was losing my mind. And then I went to the concert. With my ear still popped. My ear did this everyday for a month, then once or twice a week for the six months following. I yelled at Dr. Mom for that too.
Pema Chodron said, “Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” What did I apparently need to know so badly? Well, I learned how socially taboo it is to bite your door. And your books. And your friend’s books. I figured out that my murderous teeth are likely impacted and trapped in my jaw bone.
I also discovered that these enamel-covered, conniving frenemies spend their time laughing while they invalidate the thousands of dollars my parents spent on braces through a process known as “tooth crowding.” Hearing my impulsive comments at 110 decibels made me realize how many stupid things I say. I decided my tendency to procrastinate may be extreme enough to classify me as a masochist.
What I have not learned is why we call them wisdom teeth. These teeth have not made me wiser. If anything, they pointed out my lack of wisdom.
Thank you for using horribly painful dentin growths to show me I’m a moron. I like to think I would’ve gotten the message if you shot me an email. Something to think about for next time.
- Warning Signs That You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Extracted (topdentists.com)
- Lea Michele: Cory Monteith’s Girlfriend Recovers From Pulled Wisdom Teeth! (celebs.gather.com)