"I've started the medicine, so you should be feeling happy soon."
"Sounds good." Fifteen seconds passed. "Whoa, I'm feeling it."
I woke up thirty minutes later with gauze in the side of my mouth and no pain, thankful to have a rotten tooth finally removed from my mouth. It's been giving me problems for six or seven years.
A nurse wheeled me out to my buddy's car and we were on our way to my mom's house. The oral surgeon's office was insistent that someone stay with me for twenty-four hours since I'd had anesthesia.
It seemed like overkill to me, but who was I to argue? I'm pretty sure I asked my buddy the same questions about my aftercare five times before I finally got to my mom's house.
I was still feeling the effects of the anesthesia when I stepped inside her house, but I was happy to have the procedure done with. I'd been dreading it for a couple of days.
You know how doctors or dentists speed through all of things that could go wrong before you undergo a procedure? Yeah, this one did that, too.
"You could experience a dry socket, excessive bleeding, require immediate medical attention, or even death."
I'm exaggerating a bit, but just a bit.
What choice do you have but to place a check mark next to each item that could spell your demise? He who writes the contract wins. So, after signing my life over, I sort of expected the worst, mostly because I usually fall into the supposed small percentage of people who experience problems post-surgery.
I ended up with a blood clot after having my right Achilles tendon surgically repaired. My nose currently has a deviated septum and a hole in the septum as a result of nasal surgery - something that requires plastic surgery if I ever want it to be repaired. And I've had countless other difficulties post-surgery.
I popped a couple of Percocets and hoped for the best.
I didn't feel much pain after that. Maybe it was the Percocet. Or maybe it was all of the Family Feud episodes I watched with my mom afterward. They were a nice distraction.
I know it's a man-thing, but being taken care of when you aren't feeling well is nice. Sure, I could have made my own macaroni cup that I somehow managed to slither down the right side of my mouth. But it probably tasted better because she made it. By the way, when you haven't eaten in fourteen hours, a microwaved macaroni cup tastes like filet mignon at the best steakhouse around. And that cold can of caffeine free Diet Pepsi that chased it down was to die for.
Mom's cat, Clanci (who I affectionately call the Clanc-meister), joined us as we watched TV. She didn't care that I was half zombie. She wanted me to pet her, so I obliged. She flip-flopped in her condo next to my chair as I rubbed her head, neck, and belly. Maybe it was the medicine talking, but I felt about as lucky and blessed as I guy could.
I had a good friend who was willing to take time out from his day off to drive me to my appointment, wait for me while I had the procedure done, and then drive me across town to my mom's house where she was ready to care for me.
When someone cares enough about you to go out of his or her way to tend to your needs, it means something. It means you matter more to that person than their immediate needs or wants. And that's pretty special.
Lee Warren is a freelance writer and editor who has written twelve non-fiction books, one novella and hundreds of articles for various newspapers and magazines as well as edited more than 50 books that currently appear in print. He's a fan of NASCAR, baseball, tennis, books, movies and coffee shops.