Dental work has been sort of a semi-annual pre Thanksgiving tradition with Shelby, and this year was no exception. Today she had her wisdom teeth surgically removed.
Because of the structure of her teeth and gums, the poor kid has had more dental surgery done in her 17 years than anybody else should expect in their entire life. She had molars removed on two different occasions, braces placed, gum reconstructive surgery, an extra tooth removed, and bone reconstruction. Almost every one of these has been done on the day before Thanksgiving due to her school and my work schedule.
It hasn’t really interfered with the Thanksgiving feast, because her favorite holiday foods are perfect for a recovering sore mouth. Pumpkin pie with whipped cream is very soft, and the turkey can be shredded to make a delectable mash when mixed in together with mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing.
Shelby's most memorable pre-Thanksgiving surgery is the time she had the extra tooth removed. For some reason, she had an extra primary tooth between her two front teeth. This was a full sized rooted tooth that evidently had been there when she was born. She developed a big gap between her front teeth because there was no room for the extra one to come through, so it had to go. I was a bit apprehensive about having it removed because this was no small oral surgery, and Shelby was only seven years old. Everything went well however, so the memorable part was before the operation
As part of her preop prep, the nurses gave her what’s called a "Demerol cocktail." I determined it was pretty strong stuff when my normally chatty daughter became silent, and sat in the brown overstuffed waiting room chair with a silly grin on her face. Suddenly, Shelby's expression changed to one of reverie, and she started reaching in front of her, opening and closing her hand as if to grasp something.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
In awe, she responded, "Oh, look Momma! The picture…!"
I focused on a print that was way out of our reach on the opposite wall. It an ordinary framed picture of some pine trees in a field, similar to what one might find in a medical office anywhere. Shelby reached out her hand as far as possible, and in a hushed voice she continued:
"The picture! It’s…so beautiful! And… it's coming to me!!!"
Those were some pretty powerful drugs, if you ask me!