I am not a good druggie.
Exactly 8 days ago, I underwent surgery to the mouth as my wisdom teeth were not willing to come out with the simple procedure of pliers. I am not complaining; I would much rather be knocked out than be able to hear my teeth cracking into shards as they are yanked back and forth like a pendulum.
Don’t get me wrong: I was scared. I had never taken Penicillin; what if I was allergic and my throat started to close without warning? I had never had an IV or an oxygen tube or experienced anesthaesia; what if it hurt? What if I never woke up at all? I mean, it’s highly unlikely, but headlines are made of those “rare cases.” No one goes into their day expecting to be one of those.
This was an opportunity for me to trust. Trust that God had not brought me this far only to fall victim to dental surgery; trust that the certificates of education on the dentist’s walls actually did mean something; trust that even if something bad did happen, there would be a reason for it and I could always get rich from a malpractice lawsuit. (Kidding. I think.)
I woke up minus 2 teeth plus many secret thoughts flowing through my wounded crevasse of a mouth. I don’t remember much, but I believe my first words were: “Did I do a good job?”
“Yes, sweetie pie, you did a great job.”
Warmth filled me. That’s my mommy’s voice. I must tell her everything. During the 3 hours she spent with me, she heard everything about everything, from the young man I adore to her ugly shoes. And then I promptly threw up into a cracked styrofoam container that happened to be sitting in her car. Empty stomach + medication + blood + Booster Juice + moving vehicle do not a good combo make.
The next 2 days are a blur that I don’t care to recall. I will say that they were filled with rain, drugs, soft food, a fat face, depression, Ingrid Michaelson and Modern Family. My roommates were taking such good care of me and I was hounded by guilt that I wasn’t carrying my own weight. My boss needed to give me more time off work than originally planned and I was hounded by guilt that I wasn’t making money or anything for that matter. I felt like I was possibly drowning in a pool of sadness; I might even venture say it was an Anne of Green Gables-esque depth of despair.
And then Kimberley pulled into my driveway all the way from Victoria and taught me how to play the ukulele. I discovered I could eat pizza again, albeit with a knife and fork. Each one of my roommates and friends assured me (with some passionate yelling) that I wasn’t worthless sack of pus bogging down their existence and challenged me that if it was them in my place, I would be bending over backwards to take care of them. It’s true. Somehow I had gotten tricked into thinking (again) that everyone else deserves more than I do and if I needed help, it was not important.
Christina joined our party, Joanna came home from Vancouver and the sun started to shine again. I think these are the only reasons I survived a 4 1/2 hour shift at work on Saturday. By the time Sunday rolled around, I was ready to enjoy life and do battle for my friends and their hard times once again.
I’m not sure what else to say other than, in the past 8 days, I have learned a LOT. Namely, that drugs are a menace to your system and no one should ever choose them; frozen vegetables make excellent swelling reducers; ukulele is super fun to play; and though I may not need my wisdom teeth, I sure need everything else in my life and have been super blessed. Thanks, everyone. Thanks, God. I think I’ll keep you.