This is your brain on drugs

My periodontist is a friendly, manicured man who mistakenly calls me by my last name and asks if I have children.

“Yes, Dr. Dan, I still have two boys,” I’ll tell him.

“Oh, that’s right, Lesley,” he’ll say, his hair gelled and immaculate, his teeth straight and very white. “I keep forgetting.”

Wednesday, I ended up in Dr. Dan’s office with an IV dripping narcotics into my veins. I was there for a dental implant to replace a tooth that had become infected at the bone and had to be extracted.

“How are you today, Lesley?” Dr. Dan asked, the IV already starting to make the room shine and hum.

“Fine,” I said and then blacked out.

When I came to, I was being rolled through a parking lot in a wheelchair and the sun was very bright.

Where? Wait? What? Ooooh, the sun. Will you look at the sun! Have you ever seen anything so pretty and powerful and magical? Oh, hey, I see cars! They’re like everywhere, dudes! Awesome! Cars are totally awesome!

The world had become fuzzy and was spasming on and off like a shorted electrical device, but I felt especially good in this hazy, sunny, new world.

As the day floated and flickered by, my head sharpened, and my gums no longer bled, and my mouth began to ache, and I stopped drooling over automobiles. The power outages in my short-term memory continued, though.

I remember, for instance, telling Sally that I was going to mow the lawn, and her telling me that I really shouldn’t, and me telling her that she shouldn’t worry so much, that I was perfectly capable of doing a little yard work.

When I awoke the next day, I didn’t think I’d mowed the lawn till I walked Eli to the bus stop and noticed that the yard had been cut and edged.

“Did I do that?” I later asked Sally.

“You really don’t remember?”

“Well, I recall unrolling the extension cord for the weed eater and blasting a dead caterpillar off the patio with the leaf blower, so I’m guessing I might have.”

Sally looked at me with her mouth open and sighed and patted me on the head. I’m pretty sure this means that, yes, I mowed the lawn stoned all the way out of my noodle.

After the surgery, I was on five different medications. That’s right. Five.

And I felt stellar.

At least, I think I did.

Four pills were to help me recover from the implant, and the other was for heartburn. The heartburn medication, I know, I was supposed to take on an empty stomach. One of the others I was to take after I ate. And there was one, the anti-inflamatory perhaps?, that I wasn’t to mix with something. Ibuprofen maybe? Caffeine perhaps? Pink peeps? LSD? I’m not sure.

I also have a foggy recollection of somebody warning me that if my stool turned green and became thick like peanut butter, that I was to contact the doctor. I wonder if I made that one up in my head. I mean, green peanut butter turds just doesn’t sound like a deadly side effect.

And, yes, I’ve inspected, and so far, five days later, no green dookie.

So I really can’t complain.

***

Saturday, Eli pedaled his two wheeler in his first mountain bike race. He got tangled up in a crash right out of the gate and came around the first corner in last place. Trying to pass a kid at the next corner, he bounced off the trail, which pushed him farther back.

“Keep your head up,” I remember thinking. “Don’t get frustrated. Don’t give up.”

And he didn’t. After going off the trail, Eli passed one boy after another and crossed the finish line somewhere in the middle of the pack. With another lap, I bet he would have contended for the win.

I asked him how it was when it was over.

“Cool,” he said. “Can I ride some more?”

I’m guessing that means he had a good time. I’m guessing that also means we’ll have to find another race for six-year-old to do.

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3 Responses to “This is your brain on drugs”


  1. 1 Barb Black April 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    This one just has me grinning. When I had my wisdom teeth out (so long ago that dirt was yet to be invented), I think I had a similar cocktail. I remember my younger brother coming home, laughing at my puffy cheeks, and me saying, “What the hell are you doing here?” (Which probably sounded more like “Whath’helleryudoon’re”) He said, “I live here. Duh.” “You do? Mom let you move back in?” “What are you talking about?! I’m 14 years old!”

    Evidently in your concentration over green peanut butter-esque stool, you forgot to listen to the bit about not operating heavy machinery. (And just how heavy is heavy machinery?)

  2. 2 lori April 20, 2011 at 8:43 am

    hilarious, craig!!! this is your old co-worker from NI, lori. you popped up on my facebook “hey, you might know this guy,” and when i saw you have a blog, i just had to check it out. love it. i know that time flies and everything, but i am having trouble understanding how you have a son old enough to mountain bike. that’s crazy. anyhoo, i hope that you all are well!

  3. 3 lesleyfamily April 20, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Barb, Yes. Heavy machinery. Dr. Dan sent me home with instructions and not operating heavy machinery was bolded. Perhaps I should have listened to Dr. Dan and Sally. Then again, it’s kind of like not doing work when you can’t remember the work. Hey, we still very much want a painting. Sally and I have packed entirely too much into our days of late, so we’re not getting around to lots of stuff we want to do, including that. But we want to and will.

    Lori, good to hear from you. It’s cool to see you have a blog of your own. I had no idea you had moved to Hong Kong. I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures.


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