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From Her Fridays: Missing Toofers

July 2, 2010

I had my wisdom teeth removed this week. It was my first “surgery,” IV, experience with a scalpel in general. I have a bit of an irrational fear of needles and have never had anything worse than a tetanus shot {knock on wood}…To be honest, somedays I get a little nervous that my next tetanus shot is less than six years away. Yeah, I know.

I do, however, take pain like a champ, despite my fear of needles.

That being said. I woke up six times during the 40-minute procedure. The first time I pushed the Dr.’s hands away, loopy from gas and under an IV that was supposed to have my sleeping, I just saw masked figures above me, and it was a wittle scary. The second time, I just mumbled, hands in mouth, “I feel everything you’re doing right now,” to which they panicked and stabbed my bottom jaw with another shot of local anesthesia. I mumbled “Ouch” and fell back to sleep, apparently. The rest I don’t remember.

The whole experience reminded me of this story from January of 2009, if you’ll hear it.

I had just transferred schools. Changed states. It was my first birthday in Texas, my 21st. Six months before, I had to pick out a residence hall, to which, they responded, “Most transfer students do not get their first request.” I had never physically been to the campus before. I have lived in garbage dorms before…or so I thought. My first school was where the Chicago Bears have their summer training camp, so we would move back in in fall to the overwhelmingly distinct smell of jock strap.

I picked out a dorm from a photo online, wondering why this quaint little hall with a swimming pool was half the cost of the others. I definitely got my first choice, I’m sure they couldn’t believe that I had asked to live here.

It was my 21st birthday. I had lived in College Inn for over a month, and it was awful. A year and a half later and I have never seen anything but frogs in the pool, by the way. I shared a “Matchbox” room with the sloppiest girl you can imagine. Leftover food rotted in half of the room most of the time. She decided to smack and chomp impromptu salads in the middle of the night {pet peeve}.

I wasn’t having a great time, but I did meet some really great folks while I lived there. There’s a ritual out here called the Fry St. Crawl, where all of the bars on Fry St. will give you a free shot each for your birthday, and two for your 21st birthday. Isaiah got a bunch of our friends together and we hit the crawl.

I was only a couple of beers and two or three shots in when I got this mind-numbing pain in my back. We walked the half mile back to the dorm, and I was stiff, I couldn’t even think to move. Isaiah stayed with me, holding my hand until morning, and I woke up unable to move my neck. After a quick call to the health clinic, they heard stiff-neck and ordered Isaiah to bring me in immediately, fearing a meningitis breakout on campus.

They told me “not to pass go, not to collect $200,” which I’ve always hated outside of the game of Monopoly, and to head to the nearest emergency room. In Illinois, I got in this bad habit of not going to the Dr…ever. I made several emergency room visits for the silliest things that could’ve been prevented, and racked up hundreds of dollars of monthly payments I was still paying off a year later. I was not enthusiastic. My mom and step-dad rushed out, Isaiah met us shortly after.

Lumbar puncture, they told me. I panicked, understandably.

My parents shuddered at the thought before telling me I was “just going to have to tough it out,” and that it was “nothing worth worrying about.” They brought out the lumbar puncture “kit,” and set it next to me for the next hour. I was troubled by the directions on the top of the disposable packaging. Really? Directions? The needle inside was in two parts. TWO!

The doctor came back in and mentioned, since I was obviously not a happy girl, that if I had bacterial meningitis, they would have it as well, and it was probably easier if one of them could come back in 12 hours for the test than to have me do it. My parents, who claimed over and over that it was nothing to be worried about, and that I was being a big baby looked at each other..but no one said anything.

Isaiah stood up and said, “I’ll have it. When should I come back.” I got all teary-eyed recently thinking about that story. Thinking about my “knight” who stood up and offered to have a spinal tap for me, when my family wouldn’t.

The night before my wisdom teeth ordeal, I couldn’t sleep. I had the worst picture of what the surgery would be like in my head. It seems like when you have to go through something kind of scary, everyone has had the worst experience with it, and they want to tell you all about it. Isaiah sat up and said, “If I could have this surgery for you, I would. I don’t want you to be worried.”

It, obviously, ended up being fine.

I do have some exciting news! It’s not “the Surprise!” but exciting none-the-less. I decided to quit smoking when I had the surgery, and it hasn’t been that tough. I was really over it. I do feel like a little less of a bad-ass for some reason, but it’s been two days. {I know, right? two days, who cares.} I figured I would share that story from January, while I’m going through a couple of weird experiences over here at the same time, though, and feeling a little more emotional than usual.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2010 10:45 am

    So funny b/c yesterday I bought my first pack in months…. I know…. the guilt and the shame! I had three last night and woke up with a sinus headache. That’s what I get. p.s. Smokes are now $11 a pack in NY. Crazy. That’s enough reason to quit.

    But two days, good job!

    Ok so 1.) Lumbar puncture. Scary! 2.) I also teared up when you got to the part about Isaiah standing up!!! How stoic, how brave, how sweet! Damn. Teary eyed again. You two… smh* So damn cute, I can’t take it.

    I need a cigarette.

    * I HATE “smh” but it needed to be done.

    • July 2, 2010 3:39 pm

      HAHA! Oh Angie…we have so much in common. I wish I could just smoke occasionally, because, honestly, I really love smoking. But I’m the kind of pack-per-day person that can’t just smoke a couple. Sucks. Haha thanks! Yeah, they’re only $6 here, but in downtown Chi they’re $11…shameful! Can’t even believe they charge that?!

      I hope it works, I at least wanna get to a point where I can only have one every once in a while, but I have a feeling I won’t be like that.

      Hard to explain…but I took out my Monroe piercing, I don’t have any tattoos, I quit smoking, my hair is growing long..I feel so “Kohl’s girl-y” you know? Kind of like smoking was the only Bad-ass thing I had left, you know? Anyway, I’m not gonna cry about it or anything. Just saying.

  2. July 2, 2010 12:05 pm

    I just wanted to say that, although many irrational fears are indeed irrational, a fear of needles isn’t, in my mind. Needles are long, pointy, scary, and intended to puncture skin. Yes, they deliver sweet nectar to our veins, but we only know that in our minds. Our body doesn’t know that.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is: needles are scary.

    • July 2, 2010 3:40 pm

      Haha. Random: I am afraid of needles because when I was 6, I learned how to do that whole, turning your arm around in a complete circle, “windmill” thing…I went in for my shots and did that in the dr.’s office and he stabbed the needle into the other arm so hard it bruised. No more needles for me ever!

  3. July 2, 2010 1:14 pm

    i’m glad your surgery went well (minsu the wake ups!). eat lots of jello! also, congrats on the smoking decision! I bet its really hard. I never smoked becuase I knew I would be a change smoker. I chew my nails, I chew pens. It would have just been the enxt thing in line for me. That story was so sad but I loved your “knight” in it. my favorite thing about Ryan are all those little stories and memories I have. These little moments that make me smile during the day. Love is the best.

    p.s. the monopoly part made me laugh out loud!

    • July 2, 2010 1:34 pm

      i really need a personla spell checker.

      minsu = minus
      change = should be chain

  4. July 2, 2010 1:34 pm



    • July 2, 2010 3:42 pm

      Haha no worries! Thanks so much, and yeah I SHOULD have known. Decision I made when I was 16, never quit. You know? It’s tough. I’m going to eat an arm today.

  5. July 2, 2010 3:13 pm

    I totally started to tear up when you told the story about Isaiah standing up and offering to get tested instead. Absolutely melted my heart. What an amazing man and partner you found!

    Good for you on quitting too!! I quit about 2 years ago – just went cold turkey and managed to do it. tho I will openly admit that there are still nights (usually weddings, camping trips w/ the girls, really obnoxiously drunk evenings…you get the idea) when I want one. And I have one. And then I’m loopy. And the next day feel so much worse (and smell so much worse) than I would have otherwise, but I don’t beat myself up about it. One day at a time!

    • July 2, 2010 3:48 pm

      Definitely. Two years! That’s so great. I was starting to have this feeling that I was always going to be a smoker, because I always wanted to smoke. Such a dependent on them, you know? Thanks for your story, cold turkey is CRAZY awful hard! Good work!

  6. July 2, 2010 4:36 pm

    OH. MY. GAAAHHHHD. What STORIES you have. Lizzie, I have to say, I don’t have a lot of time in the day, certainly not enough, and so I don’t get to read each and every one of my friends’ blogs the way I’d like to. I do my best to read everything I can, because I know I appreciate my friends and my own readers. But I make a POINT to read your blog whenever I possibly can, because I love what you write and the way you write it. You know how to do it, and you do it well. I started tearing up around the point when Isaiah wanted to take the spinal tap. Way to go, Isaiah. (Btw: DIED laughing when you talked about Lizzie wanting to spoon out child eyes. DIED.) Lizzie, I HATE that such crap happened to you. You WOKE UP during mouth surgery?! What? That only happens on those “I Survived” shows. Jeez. I hope you’re recovering well. I couldn’t imagine. xoxo

    • July 2, 2010 5:50 pm

      Thanks, sweet’art! You’re too sweet. I barely ever cry. EVER. But every time I think about how he would’ve done that for me, for real, I tear up. EVERY time, including now, haha.

  7. July 4, 2010 6:08 pm

    Ahh what scary stories. If it makes you feel any better about the wisdom teeth operation…I was awake the whole time. But I don’t remember any of it. Yeah, my brain has blocked out the whole memory. Scary, scary. But lumbar puncture. That sounds crazy. I’m glad you are ok now.

    And I think you are more bad-ass without the cigs. 😉

    • July 4, 2010 7:56 pm

      Oh no!! I would’ve blocked that whole memory too!! Nobody actually had to have a lumbar puncture, thank God. I think either of us would’ve been really scared…but it was just sweet that he was ready and willing, haha.


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