A Writer Gets Her Wisdom Teeth Removed


I slid onto the brown, cushioned chair. My heart pounded. Nerves filled my stomach better than the food I hadn’t been allowed to eat for the past six hours.

I shouldn’t be such a wimp about this. After all, I’ve had my characters get stabbed, shot with arrows, and cauterize their own wounds without any sort of pain killer whatsoever. I should be able to handle getting my wisdom teeth removed.

Even worse, I wasn’t worked up about the surgery part. I could handle the aftermath, and I’d be asleep when the surgeon removed the teeth.

No, I was freaking out over the needle for the I.V. That tiny, single prick.

The oral surgeon breezed into the room. The assistant placed the rubber mask for the happy gas over my nose. “Relax and breathe deeply. Try not to talk for the next couple of minutes.”

I sucked a long breath through my nose and stared around the room, at the blank TV, the empty stool in the corner, the x-ray of my teeth on the computer screen. The happy gas didn’t seem to be working. Tension still curled my muscles. The monitor bleep bleeped my heartbeat.

“Hold out your arm.” The oral surgeon pulled out a stool and sat next to me. I draped my arm towards him. He tied a rubber tourniquet around my upper arm.

I bolted upright, nearly knocking the mask off my face. “Wait! You’re putting the I.V. in my right arm? Can’t you do my left?”

The surgeon raised his eyebrows at me. “Anything special about your right arm?”

“No, it’s just…my right arm.” My tongue wasn’t working right. I didn’t have the energy to explain why I was freaking out. I needed my right arm. If it got a bruise from the I.V., I wouldn’t be able to spend Saturday editing like I’d planned.

“Okay, get ready. Just a little pinch now.”

I squeezed my eyes shut. He was right. It was only a slight pinch. He removed the tourniquet.

“So, what do you do in your spare time when you’re not getting your teeth out?”

The oral surgeon was trying to distract me while the I.V. started working. But I might as well go along with it. “I’m a writer. I write books.”

“Oh, what kind of books?”

“Young adult fan…fantasy…Christian fantasy fiction.” Did that sound as slurred to him as it did to me? “I actually have an idea for a book where a guy from the Middle Ages goes to the dentist.” It was an idea I’d had while at the dentist a few weeks’ before, right before I’d learned I needed my wisdom teeth removed.

“Just think how bad something like this would have been back then. No anesthetic.”

“Yeah, though my idea would have him go to a modern dentist. Time travel. He’d freak out.” The things a writer thinks of while getting her teeth cleaned at the dentist. I could just see the guy freak out by the strange torture session.

By this point, the oral surgeon was probably relieved when I passed out.