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Saturday, January 14, 2006 

Good News, Bad News

Well, the good news is I was wrong: no infection. I suspected as much, but my rampant hypochondria got the best of me.

As for the bad news, well, the reason I had a wisdom tooth removed at my advanced, ahem, age is because at an annual dental exam my dentist, Dr. Noordeh, noticed, on my x-ray, what she thought might be a cyst around one of my impacted wisdom teeth. She referred me to an oral surgeon who confirmed it. This was over a year ago. There was much discussion about the tooth's removal because the tooth's roots were so precariously close to the nerve running along the jawline. Any trauma to the nerve could leave me permanently with a tingling, novocaine-like tingling of my tongue, lip chin and cheek. Not a promising proposition. Anyway, I went back to the oral surgeon in December. He informed me that he was retiring, and introduced me to the doctor who would be taking over his practice. We talked and we decided that there was no sense in putting it off, when really it would in most likelyhood continue to grow. So, I made the appointment for December 29th - I didn't have plans for New Year's anyway...

Anyway, the biopsy results came back. The cyst was a tumor. Not malignant, but of a type that could possibly regrow. Over and over. Which means I would have to have the same surgery. Again and again. I have to go back annually for five years to make sure I'm clear. Joy. But I'm not dying. At least not yet. Or of septicemia.

Look at it this way: If you keep having to have surgery, you keep getting prescriptions for painkillers. And by the third surgery, you could probably wink and smile your way to refills - as many as your heart desired.

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