As some of you may know, I was scheduled to have all four wisdom teeth pulled today. Being the type of person that I am, the last few weeks have been dedicated to preparing for and completely stressing over this day. Like most people, I’m not a big fan of medical procedures. I’ve interviewed every person I know who’s had this done to see what their experience was before, during, and after(*) so I would know what to expect. I bought all the magic bags, freezer packs, and drug store remedies I could think of to help with the pain I anticipated on having. I filled the fridge with 100 different kinds of soup, I pre-made fruit and vegetable juices, I pureed potatoes and yams, basically anything found under the google search “how to prepare for having your wisdom teeth removed” was complete. Work was booked off months in advance and my computer has two unwatched seasons of my current show plus a list of Netflix movies I’ve been meaning to watch all ready to go. You get the point…
Fast forward to this morning. I wake up after a night full of dreams on how I somehow screwed this whole thing up and manage to make it to the appointment 10 minutes early (only slightly shaking). I haven’t had my consultation with the surgeon yet, so we have 15 minutes scheduled to talk the procedure over before we begin. The X-Ray of my mouth is up on the screen and the first thing the Doctor says is “tell me why you’re here”. I stare blankly at him for a good 20 seconds before he asks the second question, “which teeth are bothering you?” I’m still confused why he is asking me questions and not walking me through how to drink without using a straw for the next four days. I tell him none of my teeth are bothering me and then he explains that he would be more than happy to remove my wisdom teeth but it would only be a preventative procedure and isn’t necessary. He lets me know that my chances of developing a problem with these teeth in the future is only 30% and it’s up to me to make the decision, right here and now. This is when panic strikes. I had prepared myself to have my wisdom teeth taken out, but I had not prepared myself to be faced with the decision of whether or not I want to have my wisdom teeth taken out. Within seconds, tears of both relief and worry for my 30% chance-of-future-tooth-problems start to stream down my face as I leave the room with a $100.00 bill for the 5 minute talk we just had. Tip #1: schedule your consultation before the date of your operation to avoid this situation.
Now I’ve got a long weekend with no plans and enough liquids in my fridge to quench the thirst of a small army. I guess I can thank the large seagull that dumped a handful of white poo on the top of my head earlier this week. Seriously, it was running down both sides of my hair and all anyone could say was: “apparently it’s good luck!” Anyways, the moral of my incredibly long and drawn out story is what my Dad has been trying to tell me all along: there’s no point in stressing about things you can’t control. Of course I will forget this advice by the end of the weekend when I find something new to stress about, but for today it feels good. Although I feel silly for wasting all that time and energy over something that didn’t even end up happening, it was a good reminder that stressing about a situation will not change it (unless a seagull poos in your hair). It reminded me of this photo…stressed is dessert spelled backwards. What does this mean? Nothing other than always order dessert, take a few deep breathes, and trust that everything will turn out alright in the end. Thanks for listening, if you actually made it this far.
What are your tricks for dealing with stressful situations? Has a bird ever pood on the top of your head? Do you still have your wisdom teeth? Tell me your stories, I’d love to hear!
(*)The experiences I collected ranged dramatically. From someone eating pork chops for dinner that same night and going back to work the next day to someone getting multiple infections, missing three months of work, and losing 20 pounds due to a purely liquid diet. We all react differently I guess (and hopefully both of these people were lying to me!). Tip #2: don’t base your experience off the experience of someone else. If you’re planning on getting your wisdom teeth taken out and want someone to talk to about it, I’ve done a lot of reading on the topic and I’ve got a few ice packs you can borrow.
[Image via Pinterest]