So I was sitting in traffic one day, biting my nails as was per usual for me back in my first few years of college, when I slipped.
The nail on my left thumb slid down to wick away a goodly portion of the gum tissue attached to one of my lower front teeth.
That hurt. It was also one of the grossest things I've ever been part of, which is saying a lot. My first kiss (a catastrophe among catastrophes - the worst kiss in the history of the species), that first real, fuming diaper courtesy of your otherwise sweet-smelling newborn, that slimy feeling of not having braces on your teeth for the first time in three years - all nasty stuff. But scraping a bit of highly sensitive tissue completely away from one of my teeth with my bare hands topped them all.
After a several-years-long case of denial and an express recommendation from the first dentist that treated me like more than just a heifer in a cattle call, I made an appointment with a periodontist. Thanks to the way our dental insurance works, though, I had to get my name on the calender of a doctor outside of Tulsa's city limits. It's not something I wanted to do - I try to spend my money in places as close to my house as possible - but paying 100 percent of my dental bills out of pocket is not something I generally do for fun.
That I lucked out and got a KRMG listener for a periodontist helped. I told Dr. David Stapleton, DDS, that if he was mean to me I would say even meaner things about him on the radio.
Actually, I didn't tell him that. But I think it was implied.
Also, what's with my luck in finding doctors with names that insinuate their maniacal, caricatured counterparts? I mean, Dr. Kropp is my son's urologist (it's okay, guys, you can say it - yikes!). And Dr. Stapleton, he's my periodontist.
The surgery required to fix what ails me has two parts. The first part is a little procedure called a frenectomy. That sounds dirty, doesn't it? That's because it is. Of course, I'm going to tell you why.
You know that flap of skin between your bottom lip and your gums? It's a totally useless piece of nothing. It's like your appendix or your pinkie toe or your tonsils. It has no place in this world, really, and you could do with out it.
I should know. After my frenectomy this morning, I don't have one anymore. It's so useless that I didn't even ask to keep it as a souvenir. Adios, weird, wing-like flap-o-skin. See you on the other side.
There was some blood. More than I expected to see, actually. And before I took my prescription-strength Ibuprofen (no, you don't get any super happy fun pills with this surgery), it hurt. Plus, I think there's gonna be some swelling. Which will be very exciting for my fellow bloggers to observe and mock tomorrow night at the Tulsa Blogger Meetup, Second Edition.
That's my info sheet on what I can and cannot do today in my post-op condition.
No smoking or drinking, Dr. Stapleton? But what am I supposed to DO all day?
What I meant to say there was, no drinks for me at the Blogger Meetup tomorrow night. Dang it.
You bloggers, feel free to have a round in honor of our friend, my fallen frenulum. Throw in three cheers while you're at it.
Pureed vegetables and mashed bananas? When I'll be at the Blue Dome Diner in very, very close proximity to chicken friend steak?
Honestly, I'm glad that I'm finally getting this taken care of. I'm even more glad that, thanks to Dr. Stapleton, I'm not going to lose a high-profile tooth. Because that could really stunt my career as a Sarah Palin impersonator.
And that'd be a cryin' shame.
Palin photo cred goes to John Stancavage. Read John's latest editorial in the business section of the Tulsa World.