OK, I always knew that my brain was wired somewhat strangely – in fact many (WAY too many) people have told me that. But I never realized that it was my face that begat all of the damage and was the true golden source of all my other wiring issues. Over the last couple of years I have grown exponentially in my self-awareness and now realize that it all stemmed from one cowardly decision that my dentist made many years ago.
THE FATEFUL DECISION
As a teenager, it was time for that annual rite of passage known as “The Removal of the Wisdom Teeth”. I manned up, got to the office of the assigned purveyor of pain and waited. Finally got in, laid back in the chair and as I waited for the peaceful bliss that comes from being knocked completely out – was asked this question: “Do you want us to remove ALL of the wisdom teeth or just the two that are easy to get?” As any red-blooded American boy would say when confronted by a tough decision – I stood firm and proud and whimpered quietly “Just get the easy ones….” That decision would shape my life.
DECISION CONSEQUENCE #1
Flash forward a gazillion painless face-wired-correctly days. Dental officials all over the world were nagging me to get my other two wisdom teeth out to give them something to do. Impacted, they said. Infected, some said. Insecure, one said (I didn’t go to him again). So the decision was made that I, with the perfect face, would undergo what was suddenly considered ‘major’ surgery to remove the other two wisdom teeth. I was warned that there may be some complications. Apparently 1 in about 1,000 (statistics not guaranteed to be accurate – as I am too lazy to check for actual numbers) people that have wisdom teeth removed in ‘later life’ suffer some type of nerve loss.
Say hello to that one person. During the operation a nerve was snapped in my labiomental crease by my local pain-giver. Terrified of where that is? I was. I can tell you now that I am the proud owner of a raw slab of beef there. No feeling at all, only a weird sensation of tickling if I whiskers start to grow there. No sensation of cold, hot, wet, dry, slimy, gooey, drippy…..nothing. I’ve learned to adjust – and I’m not subject to a drool bucket as of yet, although I’m sure that’s coming. All because of the fateful decision. By the way, for you non-medical people out there – the labiomental crease is the area between your lower lip and your chin. Get your minds out of the gutters.
DECISION CONSEQUENCE #2
Once my face saw what fun it could have with an incorrectly wired lower mouth (or upper chin), it decided to go for the next step. Tell me honestly if anyone else has this occur to them or if I’m the only lucky one. There are times when my eye itches so much that it impacts my sneezer nerve – triggering some type of psychotic push and pull between my eyes and mouth. It’s quite comical to see this I’m sure – moving from scratching my eyeball out like a madman, to quickly covering my mouth and nose to cover the sneeze, to back to my eye that has now started watering, back to covering the sneeze again with my whole now soaking wet arm. Rinse, repeat 6-10 times. It’s exhausting honestly. Is there some nerve connection between the sneezer and eye? There has to be.
DECISION CONSEQUENCE #3
Now I can’t even wash my hair without having some sort of nerve reaction. I used a new shampoo the other day and before I knew it, the corner of my eyes was burning. Not a bad burning….more like just a casual ‘hey, I’m still here’ kind of burning. But burning nonetheless. Of course, it COULD have been because this new shampoo I was using looked like molten blobs of melted lead that had been subjected to radioactive waste. In fact, it’s actually named ‘Cool Metal’:
Now THAT will get the old hair clean, eh? I’m sure it’s been tested on millions of sample subjects to ensure that it’s completely safe – but this stuff could scrape the stink right off the stinker. I prefer to think of this as just another case where my face is showing its nerve-damaged hand.
Bottom line is – if you can take all of your wisdom teeth out at an early age – do it. Don’t take the easy way out like I did. If you leave a couple in for a hack dentist to hack out later in your hack life, you are destined for a life-long adventure of your face not obeying you. I’m just waiting for my twitching ear to start triggering the uncontrollable drool. That should be fun.