I remember when I got my wisdom teeth removed. Actually, “barely remember” is more accurate. They gave me drugs the night before to help calm my nerves and make me less anxious about the procedure. When I got in there, I was giggly as Goofy. I was nervous about the surgery that entire week. How much is it going to hurt? How many bruises will I get? How long until I can enjoy life again? And now I barely remember what happened…except:
I was itchy. That was the steroids, according to the assistant. The only pain I felt was the IV, but that was temporary. I was knocked out on the happy drugs– the colonoscopy kind. And you wonder why David Sedaris writes about how amazing colonoscopies are!
Somehow I was transported to the next room, which I had the pleasure of seeing before the surgery. In there was a patient who was completely asleep, door open, peanut gallery display. I was going to be like that.
My mom took a picture of me while I was knocked out. For those who know her, this behavior wouldn’t seem like much of a surprise. I had gauzes, two sets– inside my mouth. I thought they were on the outside because I looked like a walrus. I should have sung “I am the Walrus.” It would have seemed more suitable than trying to spell out the word “flute” five million times for my mother and the assistant.
“Usually I’m pretty good at decoding drugged up kids,” the assistant declared, “but not this one.”
And so I am and will forever be, an inexplicable walrus girl with chipmunk cheeks. An avatar. A patient. A geek.