Monday, March 29, 2010

What Did I Have In Common With Coffee?

THURSDAY, 4:05pm

Just had three teeth removed, and here I sit waiting for the Percocets to kick in. The Novocain hasn’t worn off yet, so I’m in no pain either way. I’m just typing until the friendly buzz settles, which should be about twenty minutes if I remember my pharmacology (which I do, rest assured.)

The extractions were relatively easy. The teeth were so bad, they probably would have gotten up and walked out of my mouth on their own if I just waited a few more months. In any case, my most excellent dentist popped all three of them in about five minutes, tops.

Funny dentist: After doing the extractions, my dentist told his assistant to save the teeth, rather than disposing of them. When she asked why, he said, “I’m going to use them to calibrate the x-ray.” Seems he usually uses a coin, or something similarly small, to do the job, but he figured why not use actual teeth now that he had some in his possession? When I asked if I could see the teeth, he feigned indignation, saying, "No! They’re my teeth now! Bwah-Hah-Hah!"

I did get to see them, though, and... Yuck! Seriously scarred, pitted, and almost three-quarters fillings from years of abuse, if I had known exactly what they looked like from all angles I might have yanked them myself a while back.

When he revealed his use for my teeth, I was going to crack wise and say, "Well, since you needed them, I can charge you, right?" I kept quiet, however, because I didn’t want to take any chance at queering his writing out of the prescription for the percs. Who knows? If he took offense for some reason, I might have ended up with St. Joseph’s orange-flavored aspirin for children.

I can tell the percs are kicking in because the idea of chewing on a Saint Joseph’s orange-flavored aspirin actually has a certain appeal at the moment. See you later!

FRIDAY, 9:03am

The good thing about taking Percocets, aside from the obvious pain relief, is that they make everything interesting. You have this nice yawny sort of hum happening in your head, and it lowers your intelligence and reaction time to an extent where things that might not usually strike you funny do. And things that are truly funny to begin with become extremely so (as long as they aren’t too cerebral, in which case you miss a few current jokes while you’re trying to figure out a previous one.)

The bad thing about taking Percocets, aside from the obvious potential for addiction or death – if you’re dumb and don’t read up on the drugs you’re taking before you take them, which task I have never neglected – is that they make everything interesting. So, while your gray matter is telling you that you really should turn out the lights and try to get some shuteye, the other part of your brain, believing that it is actually accomplishing something worthwhile, has decided that it’s really important and fascinating to find out what your softball team’s lifetime batting averages are. So, I kept drinking coffee and scribbling numbers in a notebook long after when I should have been snoring. The result is that I’m operating on about four hours of sleep this morning, have a foul tasting mouth (result of the extraction sites weeping a bit of blood, as well as the leftover coffee and cigarette residue, none of which I can rinse out for another day), and I don’t want to pop another pill just yet because I know, if I do, I’ll find a whole bunch of other stupid stuff to amuse myself and I won’t get to bed until 2 am again, at which point I’ll toss and turn and twitch because I’ll be way overtired, leading to another bad night of sleep and another round of pills and that’s one of the ways to start getting hooked on the things. So, despite a small bit of pain, I’ll forgo a pill in favor of some sleep. And then pop one as soon as I awake.

And it’s snowing.

(That doesn’t have anything to do with the above, really, but I just thought I’d throw it in here because it pisses me off. We just had four or five days of decent spring-like weather, and I was looking forward to our first softball scrimmage on Sunday. Snow makes that a longshot. And, now that I think of it, that DOES have something to do with the above, as the exercise would be a good way to clear my body of the drug residue.)

Let’s see... do I have anything else to ramble about? Well, sure, I always have something else to ramble about. But, I won’t. I think I’ve more than proven that I have nothing of interest to say this morning. See you after my nap.

SATURDAY, 6:55pm

Boy, that was a long nap!

No, not really. I just didn’t feel like writing when I got up. Nothing much to write about, anyway. Napped, got up, took a pill, took another pill, ordered some Chinese food, MY WIFE came home, we ate, watched the Celtics beat Sacramento, took another pill, tried to play the bass a bit, went to bed, got up, did NOT take any more pills because I can’t play the bass worth a damn when I’m on those things and today is the day I was going to Ronnie Bower’s house to jam, which I did, which was fun, came home, and here I am, writing, while the coffee is brewing, and now I’m going to make the coffee, take another pill, and stop writing the world’s unnecessarily longest sentence. See you either before or after softball on Sunday!

SUNDAY, 9:12pm

So, I got up this morning and went down to Smith Field, where we were scheduled to have the first scrimmage of the softball season. My manager, Jack Atton, scheduled this one earlier in the year than we’ve ever had one before. This is because he’s excited about the upcoming season. So am I. I’m a hopeless optimist even when my teams don’t deserve such optimism, but this year it looks as though we have a really outstanding squad shaping up. In years past, I always hoped to win my first championship, but I knew we’d do so as a longshot. This year, if we have the roster I expect, and the other teams in the league return with their same rosters from last year, I’d make us the favorite. That’s an absolute first, and I’m pumped.

However, if nobody on your expected team shows up, you won’t win anything. And that’s what appeared to be happening by 9:00 this morning.

I had, as usual, beaten everyone else to the field. I got there at about 8:30. After stretching, running a few wind sprints up and down the first base line, and exhausting all of the entertainment possibilities inherent in swinging a bat at imaginary pitches, I had pretty much given up hope of any of my teammates showing. As a matter of fact, I had amused myself for the previous five minutes by composing titles for this piece:

55, Minus 3, Plus 36 = Idiot
(My age, how many teeth I had pulled Thursday, the temperature in Fahrenheit – equal to approximately colder than a welldigger’s ass in Celsius – and the entire equation equaling my apparent IQ.)

Oh, Man! How Many Percs Did I Take? Am I Tripping?
(Self-explanatory, I believe.)

What The Fucking Fuck? Where The Fuck Are My Fucking Teammates?

And so on.

Well, maybe Jack saw a thermometer, called or e-mailed everybody else, and I just didn’t get the message that practice was called off. I threw on my jacket, picked up my bat, and started walking across the field to where I had parked my car. I was halfway there when someone behind me called my name.

I turned around and saw Emilio Zirpolo. I walked back toward him. When I got there, he told me he had just gotten off of the phone with Jack, who was running a little late because of traffic and would soon be at the field (which he was, just a minute or so later.) As the three of us talked, Fast Freddy Goodman came through the gate. Soon thereafter, Dave Vargas appeared. In all, we ended up with eight players, which was enough to have some good batting practice and fielding.

It was cold, but after being on the field for ten minutes, it became pleasurable enough. I was moving around decently for an ancient catcher. In my turn with the bat, I hit a few right on the screws (despite having forgotten my glasses and basically seeing a fuzzy ball.) The best thing about playing – and I’ve come to appreciate this more and more with each passing year – is the camaraderie. Not only does this appear to be a good roster, but it also looks to be filled with nice guys.

Three of those who showed were not on the team last year. They were recruited by Jack – a couple with aid from Dave - for the upcoming season. Jack is a great evaluator of talent, and that’s obviously important for a manager, but I think one of his overlooked strengths is that he only asks decent people to play on this team. That is, if a guy is a great player, but a real asshole, Jack doesn’t want him around. I couldn’t agree more. Anyway, as a result, there is very little bad blood on any of our teams.

Dave told a true story in that regard, to the new guys. The first year Dave was on this team, Jack had a previous commitment on the first Sunday of the season. So, after managing the first game of our doubleheader, he left to take care of his other business. I took over as manager for the second game.

In the second inning, Dave is at bat. I don’t really know him too well at this point. The count goes to 3 and 0. The fourth pitch is about two feet above Dave’s head, an obvious ball four. Instead of letting the ball go by, and drawing a walk, Dave takes a phony swing at it, with no intention of hitting the ball. The umpire had no choice but to call a strike. Dave didn’t want the walk, and wanted to take his chances on getting a good pitch to hit on the next delivery.

I exploded. I mean, I went off like a nuclear bomb. I started screaming at Dave, "What in the fuck was that? Take the fucking walk!" and other similar niceties. Now, I don’t normally yell and scream like; it’s not my style at all. However, that just seemed like such a boneheaded play by Dave, as well as a dissing of his teammates. Taking the walk is not only the generally smart thing to do, but if you don’t take it, you’re telling your teammates who hit behind you that you don’t think they can deliver. That’s not cool, at all.

Anyway, I later heard, from someone else, that Dave was really sad about my yelling at him. As it has become apparent to me since then, Dave is one of the sweetest guys on this team. Yelling was not the effective way to deal with the situation. Dave is a smart guy, and if I just spoke to him calmly, it would have been worked out just fine for both of us. Instead, I blew up. I didn’t think. And if David was the kind of asshole some players are, we might have had a big beef and nothing would have been accomplished. The point of my relating this story, though, is to show that, because Jack recruits good people, we didn’t end up as enemies. I’ve grown to respect David greatly as a competitor. He cares, deeply, about winning. And, I should add, he’s never made that play again, nor has he ever given me any other reason to blow up. He’s a funny guy, with a good sense of humor, and in all other ways he has shown himself to be a great teammate. He’s always trying to help other guys, whether by offering you one of his good bats to use during your time up or giving you a tip he’s picked up about the opposing pitcher or just generally keeping things loose. He’s one of the guys I especially look forward to seeing on game day, now, and I hope he feels the same way about me.

I could go on and on about softball, as you know, but you’ll get enough of that as the season gets under way in earnest. Anyway, I’m feeling pretty tired now, what with the nice exercise this morning and the additional percs I took afterward and this evening. Time to hit the sack. Back to work in the morning.

MONDAY, 8:32am

Back to work. I don’t suppose any of this was especially compelling, so I thank you for sticking around. If I had any percs left, I’d gladly give you one.

Soon, with more better stuff.

P.S. For my teammates, and anyone else interested – maybe Chris M., though I can’t imagine who else – I’ve posted some of those lifetime stats I was working on while I was higher than a kite Thursday night.

P.P.S. As for the title, I was perked. Sorry, but that's the best you're going to get.


Ananda girl said...

Drugs and baseball! I am a happy reader. I can't wait to hear about this season.

Jazz said...

You ate all the percs? Didn't even save one for me? Pffft.

sandyshares said...

you are too much send me some percosets.

Michelle H. said...

I looked at the baseball stats on the other site. Don't know a lick what they mean, but hey, I tried (maybe I need a perc to understand.)

Good to hear the dentist didn't yank your jaw out to leave you a drooling mess. He is a funny one. I can see why you prefer to have the work done by him.

Jinksy said...

I think some of your drugs percolated into your writing of this post, as I have a glzed look on my face, now I've reached the end of it...

Unspoken said...

Oh how I wish I could still take Percocet. Sadly, I am terribly allergic. They are doing the job for you, I see!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, I think this was quite inside look at the mind of a man on pain killers...blow by blow account...quite humorous...I do think your dentist is hilarious...and it sounds like you are going to have a fantastic softball season! Percs and all ;-) Hope the pain is gone sorry you have to endure this...Hugs, Janine

CiCi said...

I've never taken Percocet, but I am sure hubby has. I have had two teeth removed and it was such a relief to get those infectious pieces of crap out of my gums. I had no idea they were so bad. So I kinda know how you feel.

Chuck said...

I had some Percocet when I was recovering from a ski injury. Good stuff, but they didn't keep me on it for very long...

I have no idea if it's made by the same company, but regular strength Percogesic is the most effective OTC painkiller I've used. Kind of hard to find but I had it getting over a painful procedure and it really helped.

Sueann said...

Well, I can't believe I read the whole thing!! LOL! Yes you were high! And I wasn't...more the shame! Great baseball to watch you all play!
Have a great day at work!

Cricket said...

Glad you seem to be feeling *better* and on the road to recovery. It is a funny feeling, post-extraction, to perk the coffee and down a few percs with it... the one wakes you up enough to enjoy the effects of the other.

I hope your dentist doesn't read your blog though, or you're going to get an earful over that "cigarette and coffee residue." Didn't you get the whole dry socket lecture?

I know, I do it too, though carefully, and hope for the best. Haven't had one yet (knocks wood). For Lord's sake, you can't skip breakfast ;-)

Suldog said...

Cricket - I do, indeed, get the lecture, but my dentist knows me. He stitched the gums, and packed them with a gauze-like disolvable material, specifically because he knows I smoke. That, on top of the percs...

Did I mention that I love my dentist?

Craig said...

OK, this is getting a little uncanny. . .

I think this is either the second or third time in the last few months that one of your posts has poked directly into the sensitive center of one of my own stories. After reading your previous post, I wrote up my own Extraction-Cum-Painkillers story (which, because of Holy Week and Easter, won't actually run for a couple weeks, but I hope it's worth waiting for. . .)

And I'll just say right now that your knowledge of how long it takes for Novocaine to wear off would've come in right handy for me, once upon a time. . .

Chris said...

Jack sounds like my kinda guy. If you ever need a fill in at first or third, give me a call. Or more to the point, contact my agent Scott Boras. I'd need plane fare to Boston, clam chowder for life, and maybe a couple other percs.

Jeez, I crack myself up.

Buck said...

I'm glad things went well for ya on Thursday/Friday. Sunday too!

I rathole the Good Drugs I get from my Adventures In Modern Dentistry for possible future crises and take OTC stuff, which seems to work. But you should see my medicine cabinet!

tshsmom said...'re 53...not 55...right? ;D

Unknown said...

Easter Sunday--Opening day for the Red Sox!!!!

Maggie May said...

Better off without those teeth. Hope they weren't all side by side or they would have cause quite a gap.

I've never heard of that particular drug and if we have it, it must be under another name.

Nuts in May

Jeni said...

Always good when you herald the beginning of another baseball season because that we, it's a known factor that you're gonna be out there, trying your best to help your team do their best. And you'll be coming back -yes -with more and better stuff as you glean stories fresh from the mound then. Right? You know I am, so just agree with me. (I was however beginning to think the length of that one sentence that you had begun to imitate my style of writing though.)

Jackie said...

I'm glad the teeth are extracted...the pain is lessening.
Take care of you....(glad that the dentist did the extra packing, etc...wouldn't want you to get a nasty 'fection.)

Angela Christensen said...

I'm with Amanda on this one: drugs AND baseball? Does it get better? This being one of the years Spring Training is going to get by me without my getting to even ONE game, I am savoring the fact that those four important words have passed and that the season will start, even if you meet it with several fewer teeth.
Oh, the words? You know 'em.
Pitchers and catchers report. ;)

Matt Conlon said...

Rats, Cricket beat me to the Dry Socket lecture comment. Bah, I guess that's what I get for working instead of reading blogs today!

I found it funny that you pay attention to the no rinsing rule, but the no strenuous activity and no smoking rules are out the window!

I got dry socket last year on a wisdom tooth extraction. Truth be told, it wasn't that bad. I got a second prescription, though I really had no pain from it.

It was yet again a "I've never seen that happen before" situation. Doc said I should be in horrible pain. My biggest complaint was that I'd gotten a piece of popcorn in it, you know the seed shell part? It'd been there for maybe two days, and whatever else it trapped in there tasted terrible, and stunk.

Weirdest part was when the gum closed, instead of growing and going down into the socket, it grew straight up until it was done growing, and settled down and in. Very strange.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip said...

I guess there has to be some reason for looking forward to going to the dentist.
I can't decide if I have a high pain threshold or am a masochist. But I sure don't go for the meds.

Hilary said...

Wait.. the ball was fuzzy because you forgot your glasses but you drove to the game?

lime said...

lol, i can't believe percs make you want to stay up and ponder things. i take one and i get that buzz and then i just say, "g'nite, gracie." alternately i sit on the couch not wanting to respond to the call of nature. then once the call is so great i can no longer ignore it i get up, stagger down the hallway and ram my newly uncasted but still very owie broken arm right into a door jamb. then because the percs have reduced any kind of self censorship i might otherwise be inclined to my children will hear me let loose with a torrent of profanity such as they have never heard from me before....something that would have made your rant at dave seem mild in comparison.

Suldog said...

TSHSMOM points out a salient fact. I am, indeed, 53, not 55. That I forgot my own age (and made myself older, to boot) should be a warning to all you youngsters in the crowd. Don't do drugs! Stay high on life!

(If you have any you want to dispose of, now that you know the dangers, drop me a line.)

Suldog said...

For those perhaps unfamiliar with the drug, Percocet is a combination of Oxycodone and Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Oxycodone is an opiate, similar in effect to Hydrocodone (Vicodin), and also to other opiates, such as Morphine, although to a lesser degree. Of course, if you take enough of anything, the degree of efficacy comes closer.

Suldog said...

Yes, Hillary. There's a difference in degree of bad vision. My uncorrected vision isn't hideous - perhaps 20/30, at worst. So, for something like seeing a relatively small object, like a softball, coming at me at 60 mph, I need the glasses for maximum efficacy, whereas a large object, like a car, at a similar speed, is mighty hard to miss. I do use my distance glasses at night, or when conditions are particularly bad, if that eases your mind :-)

Anonymous said...

Jim darling, I read the lot, all of it and didn't skip the Ball bit because I'm hoping that some time soon, if I really try I will understand the buzz-I guess it is rather like my son and football and JP and Rugby. And me and books. was all very funny and considering what you have put yourself through, understandably fuzzy. I was concerned that you could get an infection, but you seem to have a great dentist [seeing mine on thursday-I have agreed to have the D word. Help!
Take care.

veri word:frostati. sounds like something to cool your gums.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shrinky said...

You REALLY DID research those baseball stats?? And here was I thinking you were just hallucenating.. (shaking my head) Hope you're off the drugs again - wink.

Shammickite said...

Drugs can do that to ya.

Unknown said...

Once a long, long time ago i had a slight sprain in my ankle and they gave me a few Percs to push through the pain. Truth? I hated them! I never got the feeling you described, in fact they took away the pain but I felt like I floated every time I walked & that definitely didn't do it for me haha. Anyway, glad you're feeling better & had a fun day on the field too!