Why, yes. I am Irish.


I’ve got an impacted wisdom tooth. Well, let me clarify. It’s been impacted for several years–a “soft tissue” impaction, where the top part of the tooth pokes out back yonder, but the rest doesn’t bother to make an appearance. Apparently it thinks the world is a cruel, cruel place and feels much safer nestled in the nether regions of my gums.

Most of the time my wisdom tooth just sits there, quietly hiding, not much more than a slight nuisance. But every so often it kicks up its heels to really make its presence known; kind of like a drunk uncle at a family reunion. And yesterday it stuck the proverbial lampshade on its head and stood up to sing the chorus of “Go On Home British Soldiers.” My cheek is sore and swollen, my ear and head are pounding, and I’m beginning to sing the chorus of holy shit, I wish this pain would Go On Home.

Naturally you’re wondering, “Kel. Why have you not been to a dentist to have the offending tooth removed by now?” Aye, there’s the rub. There are three things in life I fear above all else.

1.) Flying (or, rather, being a passenger aboard an airplane, since I don’t actually fly.)
2.) Donald Trump’s hair.
3.) Dentist bills.

Normally I would sit here in agony, moaning and cursing and singing bitter parodies of bitter Irish folk songs. Fortuanately I’m in the middle of NaNoWriMo, so I can channel that agony into my book. I have the feeling my characters are going to be doing a great deal of moaning and cursing for the next few days. Someone might slay a dentist. Or shave Donald Trump’s head. The singing of folk songs will largely depend on how my word count is faring.

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About R.J. Keller

R. J. Keller is the author of Waiting For Spring. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and created episodes of the writer-centric YouTube series, Inside The Writers' Studio, with author Kristen Tsetsi. She co-hosted Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran from 2011-2014. She lives in Central Maine with her family, where she enjoys gardening, collecting geeky memorabilia, and watching other people cook. View all posts by R.J. Keller

5 responses to “Why, yes. I am Irish.

  • hoosiertoo

    I had 2 of my 4 wisdom teeth cut out by military dentists – which is to say, neophytes from the local school of dentistry in Oakland, CA – while in boot camp. I barely noticed the added misery due to having the last living SS concentration camp guard for a drill instructor.

    A third was removed by a contract dentist in Muskegon, MI. I don’t remember much of that experience. I was well medicated before I got to the office, and the dentist was generous with the novocaine. Since I rarely sobered up, I don’t know if it hurt or not or, if it did, when it stopped hurting. I highly recommend this procedure.

    The fourth wisdom was ripped from my lower jaw by an old school dentist – meaning he doubled as a barber and considered alchohol, copiously imbibed, to be a sufficient pain killer.

    Imagine sitting in a chair with the son of Mengele standing over you on the chair and using a pair of pliers to remove that wisdom tooth, which(I shit you not!)he had just broken with a hammer and chisel, by brute force with a pair of pliers.

    I got Tylenol w/codeine for pain relief after the ordeal. Screw that! I’d had better drugs than that in elementary school* and I wasn’t afraid to use them.

    I can’t imagine how touching my knee could cause pain in my jaw, but it did. After a couple of days, I could stand to suck soup through a straw.

    I was never so happy to be out of wisdom teeth.

    I hear thy aren’t quite so barbaric nowadays. You might want to give the dentist a call.

    *Middle school, really. I didn’t get into the real heavy stuff until 8th grade.**

    **Sadly, this is true.

  • R.J. Keller

    Drill instructors are worse than drills. I’ll have to remember that.

    I broke down and called my dentist this morning. He can’t get me in until a week from Monday. Ugh!

    I know for a fact that there are better drugs than Tylenol w/codeine in my kids’ middle school. It makes me fear and dread their High School days, which will be here all-too-soon. Fortunately they seem to have their head screwed on straighter than their mother did at that age…but that’s a subject for a different blog entry. And on a blog that my mother doesn’t read. (Hi Mom!!!)

    By the way, have you got my last two emails? If not let me know and I’ll start using my Yahoo email addy when I write to you.

  • hoosiertoo

    Haven’t received anything since I sent out a response to the “y r u catlic” query.

  • Elleann

    Ouch, ouch, ouch Kels!!!

    I had my wisdoms on the one side out years and years ago, can hardly remember it. But what I do remember very clearly is two years of suffering from intermittent trigeminal neuralgia, which affects the same area: ear, nose, cheek bones, orbits of the eye, up to the forehead and temple, down through the jaw. It’s been described as the worst pain known to man, because as it is a nerve pain, there is basically nothing you can take for it. So you have ALL my sympathies – and my admiration for continuing to write under such adversity!!

  • Elleann

    And btw, re the fear of flying thing? I had that too, for years and years. But when I started making translatlantic trips, I was miraculously cured of (most of) it!

    For horrible flight stories, how about this one: an engine fell off an SA plane – a Boeing 737 – just after take-off last week. Thanks to the brilliance of the pilots, no one was injured and the plane landed safely!

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