Monday, May 5, 2008

Shut Up, She Explained*

A person who happens to have had a miserable time giving birth, or having surgery, or renovating her house should absolutely feel free to shut up about it unless telling the horror story can actually prevent someone else from experiencing the same thing.

I’m having oral surgery on Thursday and no fewer than 3 people have been kind enough to tell me that they nearly killed themselves from the pain, that they have nightmares even years later and that Dustin Hoffman’s dental visits in Marathon Man looked like day spa treatments compared to their ordeal.

This is why I occasionally stop pregnant total strangers in the grocery store and say “psst…it’s not that bad. Whatever you have heard, IT’S NOT THAT BAD”.

“Really?” they always say. “Because my sister/mother/mother-in-law/friends have told me that I’m going to be ripped in half, that I won’t walk again for a month, that I’ll never sleep, eat, or shower again, and that my life is going to end!”

Why do people do this? I do not know. I’m not telling anyone else about the oral surgery (well, except for the entire Internet) until it’s over and I’m enjoying a Vicodin-fueled haze.

*The title of this post is brilliant, but not original. Slight paraphrase of Ring Lardner, Jr.


Anonymous said...

I love this! (Well, except for the fact that you have to have oral surgery)

That's an excellent question: Why do people feel compelled to tell people how bad it's going to be?

Good for you for exploding those myths. My oral surgery included barfing after, but I got over it. My birthing stories include three different scenarios, but each time I was surprised at how quickly the old bod snapped back. (well, things jiggled more and I hung on to too much weight, but my liver did not fall out of my vadge so that's a plus).

So good. Keep it up. Explain it.

(good luck on an uneventful surgery)

Sauntering Soul said...

Sorry to hear you're having to go through oral surgery. Even the best of oral surgeries are not exactly good times. If it's wisdom teeth being removed IT'S NOT THAT BAD. If it's gum grafting surgery, I'll keep my thoughts and opinions to myself. :-)

enc said...

I had oral surgery, and it was fine. It'll be fine.

In fact, the only p.i.t.a. about it was the gargling with warm salt-water, and even that wasn't that bad.

CDP said...

bfkadc--(KILLING me with this). I do expect some vomitizing, but no worse than that. When I had my wisdom teeth out, I was amazed at how quickly I recovered and how NOT bad it was.

SS--I actually have had the gum thing once. The procedure was nothing, but I have to admit that I felt pretty bad afterward for a day or so.

enc--thank you! See, I expect this to go very well.

susan said...

Count me in with those who sympathize.

I remember when I was pregnant trying to get people to tell me what it was like. It turned out you just had to be there to know and afterwards I couldn't explain either. It might make a good story for the collection but I'd have to think long and hard about those drawings. Did you ever hear Bill Cosby's routine about witnessing the birth of one of his children?.. taking your lips and stretching them til you could wrap them around your head was a pretty good analogy. Ah well, I could go on but I won't.

ps - Your weekend story blew me away. Thank goodness you prevailed in every way.

Anonymous said...

Such people should be beaten severely with their own shoes.

I myself had oral surgery and it was cake. You have 2 things to look forward to: perscription drugs, and everyone offering to do things for you because they feel bad for you. Live it up.

MichaƩle said...

Found your blog via "The QC Report." My husband, who finds doing laundry too painful to even attempt, sailed through his root canal without so much as an aspirin. I was shocked, stunned, amazed and quite impressed. You'll do great and may the force be with you!

Anonymous said...

CDP - I've never had any teeth pulled, but have had more than enough lacerations, sprains and breaks to know that the pain - though excruciating in the moment - is temporary. Glad to hear you're recovering nicely. Now go enjoy some solid foods.

Matty Boy said...

Best of luck with this. I've had some in the past few years and it went off without a hitch. Hope yours does as well.

CDP said...


Catherinette--that is EXACTLY my plan. I intend to feel just bad enough that I need to rest on the couch and watch movies.

Michaele--thanks! Don't you love The QC Report? She's quite brilliant.

Spartacus--thanks! Actually, I'm having it on Thursday, so I'll be recovering on Friday. I need to stock up on ice cream.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I've had oral surgery in the past, and emergency oral surgery at that and I'm here to tell you that IT"S NOT THAT BAD. Seriously it isn't. I was expecting far worse but it really was not bad at all. The people who told you that stuff must be total wussies.

CDP said...

Dr. Monkey--thanks! And I'm going to tell them that, too! (big babies)

FranIAm said...

I want to make a lolz photo of some Neccos saying "Srsly not so bad!"

Which I would have to say is my experience of oral surgery.

The well intentioned are often purveyors of gloom and doom.

CDP said...

Fran--oh hai, ok not so bad, hmm? srsly? gud! (PS--gloom and doom--ur doin it rong)

jolie said...

I vowed I'd never offer advice to my friends on their pregnancy unless they asked!! becuz it got to be such a burden to hear all the "how it was fer me" stories when I was enciente. I've stuck to that vow for nigh on 20 years now. your posting reminds me why.

thank you!

CDP said...

Jolie--good approach!

BeckEye said...

I won't tell you my wisdom tooth story then.

CDP said...

BeckEye--thank you! I had mine out and had no problems. I didn't exactly feel great for a few days afterward, but it wasn't a disaster. But I have heard many horror stories (most of them I heard right before I was having mine out).

dguzman said...

I may be a little late, but I can tell you from experience that the oral surgery thing won't be that bad.

Make sure to tell those a-holes "F*CK YOU!" next time they try to scare you.

All material on this blog copyright CDP 2007-2010 unless otherwise noted.