In praise of custard and dental surgeons

Coffee. Liquid food.
Coffee. Liquid food.

I just opened a can of custard and ate the lot. The thick, sweet, silky smooth Food of the Gods coated the inside of my mouth, glided over the stitches and found its way into a very empty tummy which growled with satisfaction.

The can joined the Heinz Tomato Soup empties in the recycling pile. It has been 48 hours since I voluntarily stepped over the threshold of the Leeds Dental Institute with my one remaining wisdom tooth, stubbornly sticking to my jawbone and redefining jaunty with its peculiar and rather useless angle. The next time I crossed it, just 30 minutes later the tooth was gone, though not without a fight.

“We’re going to have to drill it in half,” said Claire, the dental surgeon, in a matter-of-fact way which put me at ease. The equally professional nurse handed me a pair of cool-looking glasses, I was disappointed to find didn’t have some kind of virtual reality projection to take my mind off the drilling and ultimate cracking from that stubborn tooth. The nurse smiled, ‘this is the NHS,’ she laughed, ‘though I’ve heard the private practice have screens on the ceiling.’ ‘I wouldn’t know,’ I mumbled through four lots of local anaesthetic.

And so it began, I’ll spare the details, except to say I was congratulated for being brave and not freaking out with all the drilling, pushing, tugging, cracking and… oh I’ll leave it at that.

As I got up to go, I took a look at the cause of many infections requiring doses of that particular antibiotic which really doesn’t mix with alcohol. ‘Ah you bugger’, I cursed it, not for a moment thinking of taking it home to make into a stylish pair of earrings.

‘Thanks,’ I said to Claire and her team. And I meant it. I told them the horror story of the previous extraction at my dental surgery. The one where the dentist had a droplet of sweat rolling down his nose before he had to take a rest before resuming the attack on what was left of the tooth. In hindsight, that wasn’t a good experience.

So now it’s soft gloopy food for a few days, and plenty of custard and coffee, my drug of choice. I complained to Noel that I did look like I had the face of a hamster, but his assurances that on me it looked good didn’t stop me putting a bag on my head when I went out.

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