I find that most men would rather have their bellies opened for five hundred dollars than have a tooth pulled for five. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
Minor surgery is an operation performed on somebody else.
Nobody (at least me) relishes to have some remodeling done on his or her anatomy, but recently almost within a week’s span I had to submit to medical practitioners to have a tooth yanked out and my pacemaker replaced.
Strangely enough, the tooth pulling business was more traumatic than the cardiac procedure.
I don’t know about you, but the only person authorized to explore the inside of my mouth is ME. Anybody else (including dentists) is not welcome. But with an abscessed tooth tormenting me, I had to make an exception and allow an outsider to sully the sanctity of my mouth.
So I went to my dentist who said categorically that tooth number 14 had to come out. I had no better option, so va bene.
Before proceeding with his ghastly task, he had the charity to numb my gums with a few shots of “curare” that he specially buys (I have been told) from the Macusi Indians of Guyana. I absolutely abhor syringes. They always remind me of Mengele or a mad scientist about to inject a nasty substance into the helpless hero tied to a chair.
My slightly psychotic dentist likes to use a hammer. I don’t know if the American Dental Association condones this practice, but he does it anyway. And when he bangs on your tooth, your head resonates likes a giant bell.
But to my relief, the damn tooth finally came out. I made sure of it by having my tongue inspect a newly found gap on my upper jaw.
The pacemaker replacement was a totally different story. It was a very smooth and painless procedure.
After prepping me and asking me a bunch of very pointed questions, the operating team simply numbed the area below my left clavicle with some cream and went to work.
While feeling no pain, I was totally conscious during the entire procedure and could hear everything that the operating personnel was saying.
Unfortunately I didn’t catch any good financial tip, just some lame joke.
The operation took about thirty minutes and I could stand up and walk immediately after the surgery. Unlike the tooth pulling business, this procedure was totally devoid of trauma.
Next day though, I felt some discomfort in the pacemaker area. I guess that the body has to check and accept that foreign object.
OK, it seems that I am all set for another decade. I certainly hope to far outlast a newly minted carny messiah.