Getting rid of some useless body parts
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
“It’s no big deal. … I’ll still love you even without them,” I assured Husband-Head last week before we headed to the surgeon’s office.
Husband-Head looked doubtful.
“But what if something goes wrong and I can’t function normally anymore?” he agonized. “What if people point and stare at me? What if …”
“Shush,” I interrupted, trying to quiet him down before he worked himself into a lather. “You’ve never functioned normally anyway, so that’s really not a concern. And this is a pretty routine operation. Given the location of the surgery, I don’t think it’s going to be all that complicated.”
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Nevertheless, Husband-Head was still nervous about having his wisdom teeth removed.
“You know, most of us had this done by the age of 24, not 44,” I said on our drive down to the oral surgeon’s office. “We should be going to have ear wax removed or your dentures cleaned. …” Husband-Head was making the one-hour drive to the appointment with the understanding that I would drive home, since he would be recuperating from the anesthesia.
When we arrived, we were a few minutes early, so I got up from our chairs in the waiting room to use the restroom. When I came back three minutes later, Husband-Head was gone.
“He’s already out from the IV anesthesia,” the nice lady at the front desk informed me when I asked what the hell they’d done with my husband. “It’ll be about an hour, and then we’ll give him back to you. In the meantime, you can go get a cup of coffee or a shot of Jägermeister or something. …”
But I had one more question.
“Ummm … what are you going to do with the four wisdom teeth after you extract them?” I asked curiously.
The nice lady didn’t flinch at the question.
“We’re going to put them on display in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.,” she said with a sweet smile and a straight face. “Why?”
Because I was thinking they’d make kind of a cool pair of earrings. …
Sure enough, about an hour later, Husband-Head was done. His mouth was packed with gauze, which, for once, gave me the edge because I could talk and he couldn’t answer.
He later told me that it wasn’t because of the gauze that he didn’t respond, it was because he was terrified beyond belief by my driving on the way home. … A few days later, Husband-Head was on the mend and recuperating from his oral surgery.
“Does it feel like you have more room in your mouth?” I asked curiously.
“Yeah, now it’s bigger so I can yell at you more,” he informed me.
“I think your mouth is going to be smaller, because your face is going to shrink around the places where the teeth used to be,” I said knowingly.
“You mean, like, I’m going to have a shrunken head?” Husband-Head said with a look of disdain.
Husband-Head never really understood why he had to have his wisdom teeth removed in the first place.
“It’s like your tonsils, your appendix or your gall bladder,” I said as if explaining it to a first-grader. “Some body parts just aren’t that necessary, and they have to go.”
“What the hell is a ‘tonsil’ and why do I have body parts that I don’t need?” Husband-Head demanded to know.
“Tonsils are located in the back of your throat and are supposed to catch infections,” I said. “A gall bladder is a little pear-shaped thing that stores bile, and the appendix is a worm-shaped organ that hangs off your large intestine and no one has any clue as to what it’s supposed to do.”
Husband-Head didn’t like any of these explanations.
“I have a worm-shaped thing in my body for no reason?” he protested. “That’s disgusting! And I thought an appendix was something at the end of a book. …”
I informed him that I asked the dental people to save his teeth so I could make earrings out of them.
“That’s gross!” he disagreed. “If anything, we could have used them to make a necklace for Skully!”
God knows what we’ll do if Husband-Head loses a gall bladder or an appendix. …
Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Her new book, “Skully Says SHUT IT!” is available through the Post Independent or at her website at http://www.heidirice.com.
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