Gum Surgery, Not Math Class

I had gum surgery two days ago.  Minor surgery really.  A pinch of skin from the top. Stitch. Stitch. Now it’s on the bottom.  Tooth #30 to be exact.  And how have I fared throughout this ordeal?  Well, let’s see.

When the doctor said I needed two gum grafts back in November?  WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? I’M ONLY THIRTY-ONE YEARS OLD!  IS THIS GOING TO HAPPEN FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE?  MY SOFT PALATE IS GOING TO RUN OUT OF SKIN!

Then I said: Let’s do it all at once. To which my doctor replied: No.

Thank you eight-pound-baby-Jesus and one smart dentist because not only does my mouth hurt but there is a plastic BANDAGE attached to my gum for the next week.  (Also known as a coe-pak – illustrated in white in this lovely picture.) I would have LOVED that in my front lip as well.  The chewing tobacco look is very IN right now.  (Oh don’t remind me that I WILL have that look at some point.  Because it’ll just be the week that I and all photographs of me disappear.)

After my initial freak-out and rescheduling the surgery twice, I totally botched scheduling the surgery.  Normally, I OVER THINK these events.  Well, if I say yes to this, can I still fit that in?  And S is on-call the night before so he’ll be tired and E has school and N has yoga and the moon is in Virgo. Hence, canceling twice.  But the guilt of canceling (since I know what that can do to a doctor’s schedule) must have addled my brain because the time I picked?

Sure Thursday at 2 p.m. will be fine.  I’ll just get home at 4 p.m. and my husband will GO TO WORK the next day while I do my usual eating of the bonbons and playing on the Internet to get that full 24+ hours of rest my body needs and you, my very well-versed dentist, suggest.

Oh wait.  My 10-month-old has not learned how to bring me coffee in bed, and my son is three and a half years old which is also known as CONSTANT VERBAL REDIRECTION years old.

And this surgery is IN MY MOUTH.  And exhaustion IN MY BODY.  The body that carries around my mama-obsessed, still breastfeeding, daughter.

And don’t forget my husband’s track record over the last six weeks: minor surgery on New Year’s Eve, two weeks later his back gives out, two weeks later he sprains his ankle.

So I’m thinking FINALLY!  It’s my turn to have a reason to sit in bed all day and REST and be LEFT ALONE.

expectations + pain + poor planning = crying. And putting myself in time-out.

I wasn’t bad at algebra and trigonometry, but I was clearly too busy learning about sine and cosine and quadratic equations. Where was I for the IMPORTANT EQUATIONS?

Honestly, I’m usually stoic about these sort of things.  I did push out an almost 8 pound baby with no medication after 14 hours of labor including an HOUR of transition and TWO HOURS of pushing.  Then my son didn’t sleep.  And did I cry?  Well, yes.  But not as often as you’d think.

The morning after my gum surgery, I cried twice.  And told my husband that I could care less if the pregnant woman picked him as a pediatrician, he needs to get HOME.

And since the doctor didn’t skin graft my hands, my facebook and twitter friends got invited to the pity party as well.  Until they blocked me.

Can’t wait until round two.  No, wait, I can.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

6 thoughts to “Gum Surgery, Not Math Class”

  1. Yes, focus on what Anita said. I've heard that as well. I HATE teeth (as I've mentioned before) so feel free to call and be silent…I will know what you are thinking. :0 P

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