I had two dental appointments in two weeks. Woe is me and all that, but it gets worse real quick. I’m having four wisdom teeth surgically removed on July 11. When I tell people this, half of the time I hear stories like this:
"Oh, you’ll be fine. I had my wisdom teeth removed and it wasn’t a big deal. Yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah, you’re making too big a deal out of this."
Which is invariably true. If I’m talking, then I’m making too big a deal out of something. It is in the nature of my people, the Exaggerator Tribe.
The other half of the time, I hear stories like this:
"Oh my gosh! When I had my wisdom teeth removed I thought I was going to die. I was in severe pain for a week. I lost 20 pounds because I couldn’t stop throwing up. I had these holes in my mouth that would fill with blood and food and I had to clean them out. Also, my cat died that same week."
You can see that the second story has a lot more detail, because I tend to remember horror stories more vividly.
Before being told I would be having my first-ever surgery, here were my biggest fears:
Falling down some stairs and knocking out teeth
What my brother referred to last weekend as "wolf" spiders
Anything bad happening to anyone I know ever
Now my biggest fears are:
Injury to the TMJ
Long-term pain due to damage to the "nerve that lives down here," said the surgeon while showing me an x-ray of my own teeth and pointing to the area beneath my bottom wisdom teeth.
But I’m not a pessimist. Really, I’m not. I’m just a realist.