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Contest Update – First failure
For the last 7 years or so, my wisdom teeth have been coming in.
When I was young, my dentist did x-rays and told me that I would not need them removed. He
wasn’t sure, but he felt good about my chances. I was relieved.
I went to a new dentist in college, when my wisdom teeth had started to breach, and he raised
his eyebrows as he recommended immediate surgery. I asked if it was necessary to remove
them, and he said with a laugh that it would hurt like hell if I didn’t. He seemed knowledgeable
and polite, but I chose to think he was a pathological liar. My reasoning was simple. Believing
him would have meant action needed to be taken. So instead I decided to believe my childhood
dentist and his far smaller range of evidence.
And boy does that belief hurt. Every few months, the teeth creep up a bit. Severe pain shoots
through the jaw, down to the throat and up to the ear, talking and breathing and swallowing all
feel like chewing glass. It’s the type of pain that could send a man to church.
And eating food, that’s a nightmare whether it’s one of those wisdom-pain months or not. Food
sticks in the tiny crevices between half-breached tooth and half-torn gum. I’m convinced I
brush my teeth more than any other human being. I’m also convinced my breath smells terrible
almost all the time. Little bits of roast beef, cheese, bread, rice, carnitas, pulled chickenâ€¦ all
stewing underneath a calcium-infested gum near the back of my mouth. No amount of feverish
brushing and flossing can save me — those are just cover-ups.
But at least I’ve been spared the pain of 3 hours of dental work (for which I would not be
conscious). Not to mention the agony of actually setting an appointment with an oral surgeon.
Talk about hell.
So here I am now in the great city of New York and my back right molar decides it needs to
move up a few millimeters. The pain is one thing, I can deal with that. Chloraseptic, a little
amphetamine, tons of ibuprofen. Chew with the left side of the mouth. Brush a little more
But these few millimeters seem to be a bit more critical than the last. My right ear has started
to plug. At first I thought water was in there. Then I decided to let it sit for a few days, which
was a great idea. I woke up today completely deaf in my right ear. Action needs to be taken.
Use a Q-Tip. Wow, lots of wax in there. How do I hear at all? I remove what must be three
grams of disgusting ear wax. Still, no change in ear-pressure. Still, no change in volume
I peruse CVS for more drastic solutions. Unfortunately, there are very few. Apparently, this is
not a common problem.
I buy an ear syringe (‘for babies’). $7.99 later, I am at home and following directions. Fill it up
with lukewarm water. Pull the earlobe down, insert syringe, gently flush water in. Let all liquid
and buildup run out of the ear on its own.
Uh, nothing came out.
I’m literally injecting my ear with water that traps itself inside.
This has to be good.
So now everyone has to talk a bit louder to tell me mundane things (“WHY DON’T YOU JUST
GET YOUR STUPID WISDOM TEETH PULLED?”). I miss the obvious (“DUDE THERE IS
NO POINT IN LEAVING THEM IN”). I feel like my father and his failing hearing (“SON, DID
YOU SAY YOU WANT TO EAT YOUR WISDOM MEAT?”). I’m underwater and people have to
shout down to me (“WHAT ARE YOU DOING ALL THE WAY DOWN THERE?”). It’s frustrating
for everyone (I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING DOWN HERE BUT I DON’T THINK I’M
COMING UP). When I talk, my words are sweet but tainted with the smell of day old meat (HEY
WHY DON’T YOU GUYS JUST COME DOWN INSTEAD, IT’S FUN — AND IT’D BE EASIER
FOR ME.). Everything hurts, all the time (I pray one day it will stop). All this because I’m too
stubborn and I irrationally believe I know better (I WAS TOLD THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO COME
OUT, SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO COME OUT). Stupid fucking wisdom teeth — who the hell
named them that, anyway?