I discovered that I had wisdom teeth at the ripe age of 10. Then promptly put off thinking
about the matter, until I was told I needed to get them removed last summer.
After obtaining this ominous knowledge, I prepared for the procedure as any millennial would: by surfing the web. Upon reading several horror stories, I eventually deduced realistically I wasn’t going to die from the surgery.
So, I turned my attention to YouTube. There I found a series of videos that capture the funny things teens said after extractions, but before their anaesthesia wears off.
This inspired the launch of my new career path; if I managed to say or do something funny enough while under influence of medical drugs, I might be able to quit school and sell the video for millions.
I also mentally prepared for the procedure in the old fashioned way: by talking to people. After hearing several comparisons to the feeling of being punched in the jaw, I realized most people have some form of an epic horror story related to those four anything-but-wise teeth.
I followed all the instructions and arrived to the dentist chair in the proper uniform of sweatpants and loose clothing and things went off without a hitch.
Unfortunately, my mom said that as the anaesthetic was wearing off I just behaved like I was drunk and glazed over for about an hour. So, I still have to go to school and I don’t have an amazing video.
After I got home in one drunk piece, I began a strict diet of ice cream, antibiotic pills and gauze. I happily traded in my pillow for an ice pack and started a 24-hour retreat into being five years old again. I exchanged my teenage responsibilities for kiddie naps, my clothes for pyjamas and my dinner for peanut butter and toast.
I was able to take a few days off from my studies – more due to my vanity about my chipmunk-esque appearance rather than the actual pain.
But a week later, the swelling was gone and my diet included foods on the full crunchiness spectrum. When I returned to the normal world, my friend started speaking slower to me. When I asked her why, she stated she wanted to make sure I could keep up with the conversation, now that I was four teeth less wise. That was simultaneously the corniest, best and worst joke I’ve heard, and it made this whole ordeal worthwhile.
I felt like I passed a somewhat quintessential phase of growing up, as if getting your wisdom teeth out is a right of passage. And I’m now part of the successful side of veterans, who get to relay their experiences to all future wisdom teeth removal patients to come.