This Saturday our 19-year-old son is having his impacted wisdom teeth removed. And because I’m a glutton for punishment and have unresolved memories of the past – I’m going with him. I say this because when my husband and I were newlyweds and still attending Northwest University (the former Northwest College) Greg had his impacted wisdom teeth out – all four of them. Now just WHY he didn’t have them out before college OR before we were married – is a mystery to me – along with other mysteries of the universe. *sigh*
I remember it well – even though it was some 28 years ago. Greg was done with all his finals for that semester and scheduled his appointment accordingly. However, I still had two finals to take. We thought – no problem – I can just study while I wait for him to have the procedure done. We arrived early in the day and as soon as we got there – Greg was whisked away behind closed doors of the Oral Surgeon‘s office in Bellevue – just a few miles from where we lived.
Because the teeth (all four of them) were impacted – they had to put him under with a general anesthetic. The actual procedure was pretty short – but the recovery was long.
It seemed like I was in that waiting room for a long time. The longer it took the more I couldn’t concentrate anymore – and was feeling a little anxious. After what seemed like hours – I finally heard someone from behind closed doors – ‘hiccuping‘ – VERY LOUDLY. I remember thinking, ‘how rude’. But it persisted – and a nurse finally came out and asked me to come back.
I followed the loud ‘hiccuping’ sounds to a recovery room – and there was my husband – sitting up and being VERY LOUD! If you know Greg – he is a very soft-spoken, kind and gentle man – does NOT like to draw attention to himself AT ALL and would rather die than to be obnoxious IN PUBLIC. And yet – here he was – my inebriated husband – like he had a ‘snoot-full’. And VERY pleased with himself!
Well, because I had NEVER seen my husband drunk – much less TAKE A DRINK – it was really quite amusing and horrifying at the same time! I became quite frantic – as a nurse and myself tried to help Greg out to the car – now pulled around to a side door. They had given him a little bag to hold in case – well YOU KNOW – and he used it – often – while walking to the car – and after getting in.
I must admit – it put me in a state of panic. The medical staff didn’t even bat an eye – perfectly normal they told me. Really? What’s normal – a drunk husband holding a bag on his lap? What a sick world.
So I’m now ‘driving’ in my state of frantic/panic. I somehow managed to get on the freeway – don’t know how and then forgot how to get home. I should mention that we were house-sitting that week for a missionary lady in another part of Kirkland where we were living at the time. I had never driven there before – Greg always drove. I had NO IDEA how to get ‘home’. So naturally I sailed right by the right exit. As I did – Greg looked up from his drunken stupor – with his head in the bag and like the ‘ghost of Christmas future‘ – just pointed out the window as the exit quickly disappeared from sight.
Well I finally found a place to turn around and somehow got us home. He was pretty bad for the next 24 hours or so – couldn’t hold down anything – it was bad. I had to have my mother come ‘sit’ with him – so I could go take a couple of finals. I have no memory of taking them – and one I barely passed. Lesson learned.
When we could take the vomiting and over-all ‘green’ completion NO more – I called the doctor – who at first thought that Greg may have picked up a flu bug. But the more it persisted they started digging into family history – and discovered that Greg was allergic to the anesthetic given him – as he had a persistent battle when he was a child with motion sickness. This explained everything to the doctor and to us too – we were really worried. But as the medication ran through his body and wore off – he was fine.
So here I am again. 28 years later. I’m not sure why I’m the one elected to go with our son this Saturday to do this all over again. I’m sure waiting in the waiting room while our son is whisked off behind closed doors is going to feel a little like deja’ vu. And when he comes out of it – am I going to hear the same thing before I see him – like father – like son? I am going to be the designated driver – because if he is going to be a drunk like his father after having the anesthetic – then I should be there. Someone has to. And I have a little experience with this. Sure hope I can find my way home. 🙂