Lindsey tries: Delaying the inevitable (or, acknowledging her wisdom teeth exist)

By Lindsey Rothering —

“Lindsey Tries” documents the misadventures of a 22-year-old who is a total hypochondriac and big ol’ baby when it comes to pain.

I’ve been having some sporadic and short-lived jaw/teeth/gum pain for about a year now. The past week, however, it’s been an everyday occurrence, and on Tuesday, after I was just about ready to pull my molars out with a wrench, I called my dentist. (Full disclosure: I don’t have a wrench, so this was pretty much my only option to begin with.)

When I lived in Illinois, my dentist would ask me if I wanted to schedule my wisdom teeth removal, and I would brush it off, saying “Oh, I’ll get it done over spring break.” When spring break came, it was “Oh, I’ll get it done over winter break.” I kind of knew that eventually, they would have to get removed, but I just didn’t want to deal with it all. I mean, every story I’ve heard about wisdom teeth removal is awful. It hurts really bad, you have chipmunk cheeks for days, you can’t eat anything hot or you can’t use a straw. The list goes on.

I was mostly hoping that all of my x-rays were wrong and I never actually grew wisdom teeth (a friend of mine doesn’t have any), or that I would fall into a vat of toxic waste, a making-of-a-superhero style, that would rid me of my wisdom teeth. Problem is, neither of those happened. My X-rays were most definitely correct, and I still don’t know where to find a vat of toxic waste, nevertheless one that would only hurt my wisdom teeth without hurting the important parts of me.

So on Tuesday afternoon, my years of hopeful denial and procrastination had me by the jaw. I had wisdom teeth that needed to be removed. At that point, I didn’t even care about scary anesthesia or not being able to use a straw. I wanted my teeth out ASAP.

I now have five weeks until my wisdom teeth are removed, giving me plenty of time to consider the upsides to the surgery. After trying to make a list, though, it  seemed like even my upsides had downsides.

Upside: Hilarious coming-off-of-anesthesia video. Downside: Will likely be super embarrassing. Upside: 3 days of nothing but Netflix. Downside: Will probably run out of things to watch on day 2. Upside: Unlimited mashed potatoes! Downside: They have to be room temperature. Upside: Might get to keep them. Downside: Do I even want to keep them?

The biggest upside, though, remains: No more pain!

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