Robert Hampton

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16th August 2014

The Whole Tooth and Nothing but the Tooth
Posted by at 8.01pm | 3 responses | It's My Life


Yesterday I was admitted to hospital.

Don’t panic, though! This was not the result of some disaster, a faux pas with a chainsaw normally seen in the opening scenes of Casualty. Rather, it was to have two wisdom teeth extracted.

I’d been referred by my dentist, who had spotted that the position they’d grown into was causing food to get trapped between them and the healthy teeth next door. This was handy if I got hungry later in the evening, as I could usually extract a bit of gristle that had got stuck there, but not so good for oral hygiene, as I was starting to develop cavities in the adjacent tooth.

(Incidentally, if God really does exist and created all of us in his image, surely he would have got the whole teeth thing down correctly by now? I know so many people who have had to have wisdom teeth removed because they are growing sideways, or pushing other teeth out of the way, or some other problem)

Like a massive coward, I had opted to have it done under general anaesthetic. I didn’t have to, but as soon as the consultant at the pre-op mentioned that they would be cutting bits of bone out of my face, I decided that I wanted to be asleep for the whole thing.

I got off the train at Fazakerley station on Friday morning, just before 11am. I then had to find my way through the labyrinthine Aintree Hospital site. Naturally, the bit I needed was as far away from the railway station as it was possible to get.

Aintree Hospital map

I checked in at reception and then settled down in the waiting room for what turned out to be quite a long wait. Aintree Hospital (what I saw of it) is a fantastic NHS facility – modern, spotlessly clean and with amazingly helpful staff. Put that on the front page of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre.

Every so often someone would call my name, but each time it was just to go into a consulting room to do some tests or confirm various details. I was asked several times for my name, date of birth and if I knew what procedure I was having done. By the third time it all got a bit tiresome, but I guess it’s better than waking up and finding you’ve had a sex change done by mistake.

I had taken the advice to leave valuables at home a bit too seriously, and hadn’t brought my phone with me. Therefore I was limited in my entertainment options (and no chance to see if the cute Irish guy I’d seen in scrubs was on Grindr). I pulled out the crumpled Attitude and Gay Times mags that I had brought from home. I read both of them cover to cover, paying particular attention to the David Ames photoshoot in the latest GT.

David Ames GT cover

Nice boots (ahem).

In addition, there was a television in the waiting area tuned to BBC One. I think letting patients watch daytime TV saves on anaesthetic later (SATIRE).

The waiting wasn’t too bad. The only real issue was that I was under strict orders not to eat or drink beforehand. I had even kept my mouth clamped shut in the shower that morning, in case I accidentally swallowed any water. As the minutes ticked away, however, the hunger and thirst got to me a bit.

Finally I got called in to get ready for the op. I was actually mildly annoyed as it meant I missed the final round of Perfection and didn’t find out if they won the £1,000 or not. On the other hand, I was glad to get things over and done with.

I was presented with my surgical stockings (sexy) and a gown. Yes, it was one that opened at the back. Thankfully for all concerned I managed to put it on the right way round (plus they let me keep my undies on – I’d worn my best AussieBums for the occasion).

And that was it. I walked into the theatre, where I got on the bed and various monitoring things were attached to me. I was asked yet again to confirm all my details, and then the anaesthetic went into my wrist.

Throughout the whole day I had been strangely calm, but now I was a bit worried. It’s a routine procedure, and a very low risk one, but I have a knack for focusing on the worst case scenario. You hear horror stories about people who never wake up from the anaesthetic, or – even worse – wake up in the middle of the operation and feel every cut and incision being made.

Then I felt a cold sensation in my hand as the anaesthetic started to flow into me. The very last thing I remember is an oxygen mask being clamped on to me.

I had a very strange dream which involved me posting garbled messages on Twitter (just like real life, then). I woke up in the recovery room, minus two teeth and with a large amount of soreness in my mouth, but otherwise fine.

Next thing I knew I was being wheeled into a ward for the final check over. I lay back, watching the fluorescent lights pass overhead, and pretended I was in an episode of ER. Except in ER they never accidentally banged the trolley into the wall.

By now it was about 5pm. In the ward, the friendly nurse did some more tests on me. Then (oh joy!) some food was wheeled in – soup, followed by fish, mushy peas and mash, with jelly and ice cream for dessert. Not my favourite foods, but excellent for someone whose mouth was still partially numb. The ice cream was particularly welcome for my sore throat.

I wanted to go home, but the nurse said he couldn’t discharge me until I’d been to the toilet. Well, that put some undue pressure on me. Fortunately nature took its course not long after.

And that was it. My Mum (bless her) turned up to take me home, where a further bowl of ice cream was quickly consumed. I felt fine, just quite sore and with a bit of swelling to the face (why is it never the body parts I want that swell up?) – perfect for a selfie.

So that was how I spent my Friday – drugged up, a bit of oral business, and then very sore afterwards. Just a typical day, really. Thanks to everyone at Aintree Hospital for looking after me so well. 🙂

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3 Responses
  1. Comment by P.Z.Temperton
    16th August 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Ha Ha Ha! I had one out (wisdom tooth, that is) a couple of years ago without the general anaesthetic. It was a nightmare. You made the right choice.

  2. Pingback by Bite Back « Robert Hampton
    22nd August 2014 at 3:33 pm

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