Do accept my apologies for having buggered off again, and not coming back to post when I said I would. However, I do have a rather good excuse this time.
The last thing my Glaswegian dentist said to me before I left for the US five years ago was “Don’t let those bloody Americans whip out your wisdom teeth”. Apparently, Americans are all about “preventative” medicine. Everybody here gets their wisdom teeth taken out as a teenager whether they need to or not. It’s baffling to me because we don’t tend to have this done in the UK, and yet I only know one person who ever had trouble with her wisdom teeth, and had to get them pulled.
They do the same thing to tonsils over here, too! Midwestern Man had his tonsils removed just “in case” they got infected. We’re a wee bit more hardcore in Scotland, I think. My mother had so many episodes of tonsilitis as a child that her tonsils actually rotted away! Clearly, she should have had them removed but, ach, her father was a shepherd and, well, you just didn’t get taken to hospital back in the 50’s and 60’s farming community unless you were at death’s door. My poor mother, though. She said the pain was excruciating.
It just goes to show what a big fucking scam the whole American medical industry is. Imagine encouraging the whole fucking population to undergo an operation (and general anaesthetic!) “just in case” something gets infected down the line.
But, anyway, back to wisdom teeth…
Given that I’m obviously not a particularly wise person, my wisdom teeth didn’t start to come in until my late twenties, and even then only one poked its wee head through the gum. Just last year (at the grand old age of thirty) a second one started to appear. Of course, my American dentist kept on telling me to get them removed, but I didn’t see any point unless they were giving me trouble. The bottom one did worry me a wee bit (as it was more than half-way in, and was hard to clean) and I wouldn’t have minded getting it whipped out, but all medical/dental procedures over here are so expensive so I thought “Ach, to hell with that”.
On Wednesday, though, my luck ran out, as the wee fucker got infected. The gum surrounding it had been inflamed and tender before, but this time around the whole left side of my cheek was swollen, giving me the look of a chipmunk:
I know that my Scottish friend went through several infections like this before she finally relented to her dentist’s pleas to get her wisdom teeth removed, but there is no way in hell that I will put up with looking like a chipmunk again. Ooh, no no no. My vanity forbids it.
And so it is that I am scheduled to get my wisdom teeth removed on Wednesday morning at 8:45 a.m. The whole procedure will cost $1100, which is horribly depressing given that I am broke enough as it is. Indeed, so broke am I that I am sitting here wearing an ancient pair of jeans with no fucking zip on it (it fell off) because I cannae afford to buy a new pair. To avoid exposing my pubes to the unsuspecting word, I hold up my jeans with a safety pin (the same one that held together my nappy when I came from the hospital as a wee baby. No kidding! This thing is like an heirloom…you’ve no idea the many items of clothing it has held together).
The only consolation is that, for some reason, I only have three wisdom teeth instead of the usual four (thanks DNA!) so I will save a wee bit of money there.
Surprisingly, I am not really in much pain at all with this infection. I am, however, feeling incredibly run down and tired. It’s only 7:00 p.m. and yet I could quite happily go to bed and sleep. I don’t know whether this is because of the infection or the antibiotics I was given. Perhaps a bit of both. This entire year I haven’t felt like myself at all, to be honest. I wonder whether this is why my tooth is now infected – perhaps the infection took hold this time around because my immune system was weaker than normal. I’ve just been so stressed about money and worried about life. Sigh.