A Tooth Extraction

April 30, 2010

A couple of years ago I was sitting in the chair as the oral surgeon yanked and banged at the second wisdom tooth extraction. And, as I sat there, feeling raw and vulnerable and in pain, I came to a decision. Although the plan had been to extract all three of my remaining wisdom teeth that day, I decided that two would be just fine.

When the oral surgeon completed the second extraction, and finished sucking all the wreckage from my mouth, I spoke up and told him I was done for the day. The surgeon and his assistant were both shocked. I had rocked the boat of “the way it was done.” Nonetheless, I stuck to my decision, told them I thought I would let my mouth recover from the day’s trauma, and said I would call them for another appointment when I was ready to have the third tooth extracted.

For the first time in my history as a patient of medical or dental care, I felt in control. All it took was for me to realize that we don’t always have to accept the treatment plan. And, rather than feeling like the crazy lady who couldn’t handle the treatment, I walked out of that building knowing just how crazy it is to passively accept conventional “wisdom.”

A nice thing… knowing when to say “this isn’t what’s best for me today.”

4 Responses to “A Tooth Extraction”

  1. Indeed. I still have an implant that needs to be finished. Just couldn’t take any more oral surgery for a while. And by “a while,” I meant “about five years.”

  2. laura said

    It is so hard to know our own limits and to stand up for them but it is nice that. Doing so is always available to us!

  3. Dennis Knight said

    It is rare for anyone to express courageous decision making that requires a change of drivers like this. Cheers to you for the acts and three cheers for the beautiful insight.

    p.s. Ha! What a story to coincide with my birthday! A tooth extraction. Perfectly fitting 🙂

  4. Jeff Barber said

    I like seeing someone taking control of what’s happening to them. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that politically too? Truth is, we COULD do it politically except that we’re all so convinced that we can’t.

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