Friday, August 07, 2009

Paging Dr. Freud

Some of you might already know that I'm preparing for some oral surgery on Monday. Nothing too extreme, but I have an impacted wisdom tooth that's got to come out, and I wanted to get it done and over with before I had to report back to school. It wouldn't be good to start off the year with a requesting a couple of sick days.

I'm a little freaked out about surgery, but this will be the second time I've had this procedure, so it's not quite so scary. I remember thinking last time, just before the drugs kicked in..."I *really* don't want to do this!" But, in no time at all, it was over and I had cheeks that looked like a bad Marlon Brando "Godfather" impersonator. But, then again, I remember thinking the exact same thought as Offspring's head was crowning during birth. "I REALLY don't want to do this!!!" Funny how passing a bowling ball-sized object through a drinking straw-sized portion of your anatomy can play havoc with your emotions.

But, with the worry of impending surgery, I've been having a sort-of recurring dream that I've had for many years: the losing of the teeth. Now, when I say "losing of the teeth", I mean not just losing a tooth here and there, but very VIVID dreams of doing normal activity and suddenly every single tooth in my head falls out. Fine one minute, and the next: poof! Toothless crone.

The details differ from dream to dream, but the ultimate outcome is that I end up with no teeth in one fell swoop. In one dream, I remember getting up like normal, and heading to the bathroom to brush my teeth, and having the toothbrush knock out a tooth or two, and the rest following like dominoes. So, there I am, with toothpaste dripping down my chin and a heap of what look like white Chiclets filling up my palm.

Other variations involve me thinking a tooth is loose, and going to push on it with a finger, and having that tooth and all the rest fall out into the sink. Or, the one where I bite into a crisp apple, and draw back, only to find all the teeth are stuck in said apple. Or the one where I'm just suddenly able to spit teeth into my palm like you'd spit out watermelon seeds.

Crazy, right? Back away slowly, people.

I know Freudian Dream Analysis would say that I'm vain and worried about the loss of my beauty, but since I feel like you can't really lose what you never had, that's not so much of an option. (And, yes -- I DO have self-esteem issues, but this isn't so much a dig at myself as it is a sad fact. It's not like I was going to be on the cover of any magazines any time soon. Anyway...)

I even talked to a guy who had a "dream analysis" blog. Apparently, it's a pretty common dream, and it could also relate to your sense of confidence, and how others see you. I mean, a nice smile (or a not-so-nice one) is something most people notice right off the bat. So, if you lose all your teeth, you might be embarrassed to face people, and your confidence would take a hit. Or, it may convey a sense of powerlessness -- you may feel that things are out of your control, or that your voice isn't being heard.

Whatever the root cause is, come Monday, I will be one tooth less. Maybe I should talk to the dentist now about a set of dentures -- sort of a preemptive strike. Best to be prepared, just in case.


kathy a. said...

klee, hope it is over with and you recover quick-like! make everyone pamper you the next few days. palm fronds and milk-shakes to order would not be out of line.

i have trouble remembering dreams, but my mouth is such that when i finally got extensive dental care in my early 20's, at the local dental school, the professors loved me. they would tell the students, "just look at this bombed out mouth." every procedure involved up to a dozen people peering into my mouth. that there is some kind of esteem builder.

so, i can definitely relate to the fear of losing them all. on the up side, enduring that and following up meant that in the ensuing 30 years, i lost only one tooth [the weakest of the bunch], and the bridge that replaced it is a thing of sturdy beauty. i'm in no danger of dentures, so banish that thought. the hygenist even complimented my gums last visit.

i'm of the passive-aggressive school of dental compliance. for years, my standard reward for enduring procedures was to stop at the nearest donut shop for a chocolate-covered old fashioned. i do not floss on a regular basis. but i keep going back. and brushing.

goes without saying, since i didn't have dental care as a kid, my kids did. their current [adult] dentists are parents of a school friend -- in fact, daughter lost her first baby tooth at their son's birthday party, so she was well-attended by professionals for the event. me, i'm sticking with the dentist i've been seeing for 19 years. he's so good, i don't even need the donuts any more.

liz said...

Sending you love and Twinkies which were my after-dentist-visit indulgence for years. Now, my dentist is next door to the bagel shop, so I get a bagel mit schmear instead.

Hoping they give you the good drugs.

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