Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Extraction: An Inside Scoop

You all know I work at a dental office. My dads, actually, so I have been going to said dental office since I was a little girl. All my co-workers knew me as a patient and as their boss's daughter before my first day.

A prime example of how interesting it is to be a lifetime patient at your workplace, was today, when I had my wisdom teeth taken out. The beginning of this saga, was long ago in May, and it goes like this;

Kate (other receptionist): Elena, Deana's patient is a no show, go have your teeth cleaned.
(Later, after my cleaning)
Deana: Hey Elena, can you make a pre-d for my patient? Also, you should have your wisdom teeth out.
Me: (to patient) I just need you to sign here, (to Deana) WHAT? MY TEETH?
Deana: Yeah, yours. Go talk to your dad about it.
(Much later that day, when I finally catch up with my dad)
Me: Hey Dad, I need to have my wisdom teeth out.
Dad: Ok, do you wanna do sedation?
Me: Like I'm going to be knocked out and let some guy with sharp instruments tinker in my mouth? Please.
Dad: Ok, I'll do it. Schedule yourself an appointment. Do it at the end of the week so you can recover all weekend.

I book it for the beginning of June.
Kate: No, not there, the new people are starting then.
I book it for the end of June.
Carrie: No you can't put it there, Pam's away that week.
I book the first week of July.
Carrie: I'm away that week, do it the next week.
So, my extraction's today.

The day before, all my co-workers are looking at the schedule and saying; "Ooh, we're taking out your wisdom teeth tomorrow. Are you excited? You'll be fine, you'll be fine." Either that or; "Take some vitamin C! Have you taken 300 mg of vitamin C? Why aren't you taking more vitamin C? Leslie wishes me luck with the surgery as she heads out the door at the end of the day.

The next morning, the vitamin C argument continues and suddenly, a very interesting question comes up: who will be the lucky one to pull out my wisdom teeth. Carrie, the other receptionist is practically bouncing out of her seat wanting to do it. As a joke.....I think. And when Taryn gets to do the extraction for the kid before me, Pam wins for assisting.

Lately we've had a lot of people come into the office to have their wisdom teeth extracted. The first part, where they walk into the office, terrified usually goes something like this;

Reception: Come in, come in. How are you feeling? It'll be just fine.
Assistants: Are you nervous? Don't worry we'll freeze you so you don't feel a thing.
Any hygenists wandering by: Oh hi, I hear you're having you're wisdom teeth out. You'll do great, then you can just take it easy this weekend.

This is what I got;

Reception: Better go for lunch now Elena, it'll be your last meal. Haha! Can I please do it?
Assistants: I get to torture you! I get to torture you!
Hygenist: You'll have a puffy face! Haha!

The time of my surgery is drawing near, and I'm still up front sorting through insurance claims. My dad comes up and says he'll freeze me now. So I go back, seat myself and let him freeze me. While I'm waiting for it to kick in, I go finish the insurance claims, print day sheets for Monday and pull files for next week. I do not however, answer the phone.

As I do all this, Taryn keeps looking at my stiff face and grinning. Then finally Pam comes up, and since I'm done, tells me to go back and be a patient. My Dad comes in, I remind him to wear a lab coat, and we get to work.

Now here is the best part. I am having my wisdom teeth out. Everyone says it is so painful, and so hard. The entire time I'm completely fine. I'm more then fine, I'm joking with them, and following along with procedure I have memorized so I can explain it to patients up front. When they really need me to shut up, I'm in a kind of half doze, and I'm not even under sedation.

That's because, I'm in the chair with my Daddy, and Pam Schmam: two people I know and trust. I am totally 100% fine through the entire bloody procedure.

On the way out, everyone's telling me to take it easy, and how I did so great (after they took a look at my swollen face, that is) I get driven home by my dentist, and go back to regular life with frozen corn on my face.