Known as Fang

October 12, 2010
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Have you ever stopped to think and wonder what could happen in certain situations?
I had the opportunity to do this when I was in first grade. When I was little, I was taking a bath and lost my footing. I slipped and bashed my mouth against a metal rail. Immediately, the bath tub filled with blood and I sat there crying. Keep in mind I was only two at the time, but my mom often recites the story to me. I did, however, have to live with a gap in my teeth that spanned my top row. I had lost four teeth that day and my adult teeth were not growing in as planned. In fact, the doctors wondered if I would be able to grow those teeth in at all.

When I entered the first grade, I pretty much did not think about my teeth that much. Although, I was occasionally teased by being called “fang”, but I learned to cope with that and decided it was best to ignore it. The only time I was really reminded of it was when I went to the dentist and they discovered that my teeth were indeed trying to grow in. At first, it was a huge relief not to be teased for missing those teeth anymore, but when the doctor told me I might require surgery; I may have become a little easy. The doctor told me that my teeth were all coming in and that I need to buy a teething ring to nurse the teeth in and soften up my gums. My gums were very solid because I used them to speak and eat instead of my dislodged teeth. The next few weeks turned into one of the longest few weeks of my life.

The next few weeks, I sat on my bed sucking on the teething ring and trying to avoid surgery. I was constantly tortured by the nagging reminder of surgery. I could not stop myself from thinking about how the surgeon would cut into my gums with his razor sharp scalpel when I was awake or how I would never wake up from the anesthesia. I was petrified of waking up the morning of the operation and getting in the car to take the seemingly endless drive to orthodontist’s office. I tried to make these next couple weeks last as long as possible, but I knew that the inevitable was about to happen and I was certainly not pleased about it.

I was hoping to hear from the doctor that I would not need to have surgery and that my gums would give in to birthing new teeth soon, but that was simply not the case. I was shaking horrendously when I found out that my surgery was scheduled for next week! I was certainly not ready for that. I mean, I had already gotten three of my teeth to grow in before the appointment, but I guess the last tooth was my downfall. The next week would be filled with nervousness and anxiety in massive amounts.

The next week I was not my normal self. I could not get the operation off my mind. I couldn’t help but think of all the horrendous things that could go wrong. It was bad enough I had to worry about surgery for three weeks, but now I had to actually go through with it in a week! I couldn’t keep my mind of the surgery, I was even having dreams where the surgeon dug into my face as I slipped into unconsciousness. The week quickly passed which was unfortunate because the very next day I would have my surgery.

The day of the surgery had come, and I was awoken by my mother who knew this day was going to be very difficult for me. I was not in a hurry to get the orthodontist, so I took as much time as possible when I got ready. However, I knew it was going to have to happen sometime or later. After I got ready, I got into the car and my mom began accelerating into what was the longest drive of my life. For what seemed like an eternity, the car finally stopped at our unfortunate destination. I got into the office and was hoping to be waiting a while for the surgery. The last thing I wanted to do was go into the operating room. But nevertheless, almost as soon as we stepped in the door, we were stepping into the operating room. I lied down in the reclining chair they had in the room. As the anesthesiologist began to slip me into unconsciousness I looked at my mom with eyes filled with sorrow and uneasiness of things to come. I awoke a few hours later dazed and confused. I felt where the gap in my teeth used to be and found a protective wax coating and stitches on my new tooth. After it was over, I was finally able to relax my mind from panic and uneasiness. I was ecstatic the procedure was finally over.

Looking back on the operation, it was one of if not the most difficult moments in my life. I am glad that it happened though because it taught me not to concentrate on things you fear but to concentrate on the things you enjoy. That was the worst few weeks of my young life. I am happy that I have all my teeth and am also glad that I learned a lesson I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

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