Anticipation can be exquisite torture. In sex, it's fun, it builds the energy. For kids looking forward to birthdays and holidays, it's much the same thing: an expectation of great pleasure around the bend, mixed with just enough doubt and uncertainty to keep it interesting.
I can't say the same for dental surgery. I've been dreading this experience ever since I was told, eight months ago, that it would likely be something I'd need. Torture? Yes. Exquisite? No way.
On the bright side, as it sometimes happens, anticipation is often more brutal than the actual experience.
My tenure in the dentist's chair wasn't exactly a relaxing spa treatment, but it was bearable. And interesting, as I was able to surreptitiously watch a great deal of the procedure in the reflective surface of the lamp over my head. Gory, but not so scary to have a guy poking around inside my mouth with needles and a knife when I could see exactly what he was doing with them.
Afterwards, thanks to Novocain, my mouth felt five times bigger than normal, and numb. The doc strongly encouraged me to fill my prescriptions for Motrin and Vicodin and begin taking them immediately. "You're going to be very uncomfortable," he warned. I took the Motrin he proffered before leaving the office, and dutifully filled the prescriptions (actually J~ did). But I couldn't bring myself to down narcotics without first experiencing some need for them.
It's three days post-surgery now, and still, I haven't experienced any real pain. I mean, this is boo boo territory, band-aid pain, laughable! Nothing worthy of a narcotic haze, nothing, even, compared to the occasionally fierce grip of menstrual cramps! I did take two more Motrins the first night, but even that seemed frivolous.
So, now that I have that much-anticipated event under my belt, it's time to move on to other things: teaching design this summer. Divorcing A~ in July. Painting J~'s kitchen. Moving in. Taking a brand new stab at baby-making, perhaps.
And to think, when I was first told I would need this surgery, I was already pregnant, happily married and on my way to becoming a parent, or so I thought.
Some things just can't be anticipated.