New Year, Less Me

I’ve kicked of my 2019 in true style, by having a piece of my skull yanked out of socket. That’s right, on the third day of this year I got so bored of life in 2019 that I chose to have a second wisdom tooth removed (sorry 2019, but you really need to up your game).

For those less familiar with my life, you’ll find the delightful account of my last wisdom tooth extraction that took place back in 2016 here. I suppose the main difference between the circumstance of that experience and this is that the first wisdom tooth to be removed was a delightful little critter that was burrowing a hole into the side of my cheek. I was doubled over in absolute pain the day I stumbled into a private clinic to have an emergency removal (thanks massively to Mumma Bennett who scouted out the surgery on my behalf). The wisdom tooth being removed this time round who I will fondly as ‘Left Upper Eight’ had been giving me grief for some years now, but nothing quite like the previous tooth that had being trying to burst out of my cheek, Baby Alien style. Left Upper Eight liked to keep me on my toes, a mouth ulcer here and there, an odd antibiotic-fixing infection every so often to keep me on my toes, but day to day little more than an occasional jab to remind me of its existence.

After a particularly challenging couple of weeks around Christmas time I finally made the decision to be done with Upper Eight’s tricks and be rid of him/her/it(?) for good. It says a lot that top of my New Year to do list was call the London surgery to book in an examination and removal.

I’d had this done before, so waiting for my appointment didn’t bother me in the same way as it had done the years before. Course, the private dentist’s waiting room had had large leather seats and played Heart radio which you could listen to with an selection of Women’s Weeklies. The NHS waiting room at my London dentist is none of these things, but then it’s also less than half the price for what it clinically defines as Band Two treatment. Besides, who really cares about their horoscope for the week when they’re about to have a surgical drill put in their mouth? A Christmas present guide on the Top 111 Coffee Shops in London will do the job.

I was told to go down to the dentist, an unusual experience for this dentistry as in all my previous dentist surgeries I’d become acquainted with nurses leading me through to the chair itself. Pros of this mean no need for that awkward small talk that you have to make both sufficient and short enough to fill the ten second gap from waiting room to dentist, the con is that on this occasion I found myself walking hesitantly down into the basement area of the surgery where my dentist was ready and waiting. When going for a check-up it’s bright and breezy, but knowing you’re going to have a tooth extracted makes you feel a bit uneasy. I had to remind myself that I wasn’t going down to the hull of a ship where the dentist was little more than a drunk sailor with a saw. I put on my best normal look as I walked into the room.

“How are you Alice?” The dentist asked.

“I’m here to get a tooth removed that’s making me miserable in a procedure that short term will make me even more miserable. How do you think I feel?” I thought to myself, nut instead I said…

“Alright, I’ve been better.”

He went through the procedure and I smiled and nodded throughout as he explained the potential complications. To cover his own back, that I was sure of, although the complications became increasing gruesome. I started to squirm in my seat, the private dentist had never informed me of any potential complications before.

“And finally there’s a risk the removal of the bone can cause a hole in the sinus. Why does that cause an issue you ask…”

“I didn’t” I thought.

“Well that means when you eat food could get up your nose because the two spaces would become one. I’d stitch it though, you wouldn’t even be aware of me doing that if it happened.”

“Yippee for that” said the dry voice my head as I outwardly smiled pleasantly. Sat in the chair I forced myself to sign the form to give this man full control over something I was beginning to regret choosing. Maybe the antibiotics weren’t so bad.

Sparing all the details of what happened (more because I was both thankfully unaware due to the local aesthetic and having my eyes tightly shut) about ten minutes later, if that, I opened my eyes with a lump of surgical gauze in my mouth and the offending tooth laid bare on a tray. When asked if I wanted to keep it the drugs, gauze and moment itself made my response usual and typically Alice.

“You’re cute.” I said to the tooth. From the corner of my eye I could see the dentist and the nurse exchanging a look. I studied its shape and yellowed colour from the long hook that that previously sat below the gum line. It really wasn’t cute.

“So you want to keep it?” The dentist repeated, slight bafflement in his voice. Clearly I was one of a minority to take such interest in a tooth, at least one of the few people over the age of 11.

Sense returned to me. “Err, actually no, it’s alright.” As drawn as I was to the tooth I remembered I had plenty of other functioning teeth in my mouth to marvel at. The drugs and the moment itself started to wear off, to be replaced with a new sensation in my mouth that made me keen to release myself from the small white room.

“You’ll start feeling pain in the jaw area where the tooth has been extracted, that’s normal.” The Dentist said, before going through the aftercare process. I signed the last form, thanked the man for removing the tooth but took leave my leave quickly. I returned to the flat thankful that its emptiness meat I could groan through the gauze, my pain explicit but implicit to me and myself only.

Which puts me where I am now, currently working through a post surgery recovery plan to get me back to my normal-ish self. There have been ups and downs, downs with the pain, the unable to drink coffee until it is barely warm, unable to eat solid or large meals. Ups when the pain killers kick in and feeling neutral is a blessing, when I get over the foul taste and the salt water temporarily eases the soreness. My tongue has yet to reach that curious stage when it’ll explore that side of the mouth and find the crater that exists where Left Upper Eight used to be. In repulsion the oral muscle will then swiftly retreat back to its former position where it’ll remain in hiding for several weeks. It happened before and it’ll happen again, I just know it.

I’m glad to be rid of my second wisdom tooth and long term know I will look at this as a good decision to make in my life. Short term pain for long term gain as the gym freaks would say. Ironically I’ve been told to stay away from vigorous exercise for at least a week, so I guess that’ll be my excuse for eating cakes and hanging out in coffee bars for the time being.

What can I say? New Year, less me.


Blood Stained Shoes and Ripped Tights: Thursday 18th February

Thursday 18th February

*Just heading back to the office. Text later. Xx*

“Jesus! You alright love?!”

“Do I look alright?! No, really! Am I hurt?”

“Urm, no, just blood. A lot of blood.”

“Ok, thanks. See ya!”

“Wait! Are you sure you’re ok?! You’ve just fallen over!”

“I’m fine thanks!”


“No, I can still use my hands. I didn’t put my hands out to save myself. I don’t know why. I was carrying a bag in one hand, the other didn’t come out in time. No, no recent brain surgery. No, I can read. No, I didn’t black out. No, there’s no history of epileptic fits in my family. No, I can’t see my face for bruising. It hurts everywhere. No, I can’t pin point it down, it all hurts. Yes, I’m pretty sure it’s due to the fall. I fell on my face. No, I told you my hands are fine. I don’t know how serious it is, that’s why I’m calling you. Yes, I can talk still. No, I hadn’t been drinking. No, I don’t have any blood related diseases…”


“Here, shall I take photos of you before I bandage you up?”

“Urm, sure. Is it that bad?”

“Lets say you’ll want to see this when you’re all bandaged up. Have you got a camera?”

“Yeah, here you go.”

“I’ll take a few…”


“…Wow, this is a very good camera. Injuries in high definition! You’ll love looking back at these later! Something to put up to get followers.”


“Ok, you’re going to scar on your foot. They let the skin dry and I doubt we can save it.”

“That’s ok. It’s only small. I care more about my face if I have to be honest.”

“Wait there, I’ve got to discuss how we’re going to do this with someone else. You’re pretty bad and I want to avoid you scaring.”

“Sure, I mean no scaring to the face would be preferable.”


“How did you do that? You walk that same route everyday.”

“Why didn’t you use your hands?”

“Your face actually hit the pavement?”

“Where are you now? Did your parents come and pick you up in the end?”


Friday – Sunday

*Why can’t I sleep? Why won’t the tablets work? Someone, anyone, please just take this pain away. Give me extra days bed bound and bored, or a passing dizzy spell, but the pain. Please just leave me for a couple of hours so I can sleep.*



“Are you ok? You seem pretty down today”

“I just have no energy. What energy I do have I can’t use because I can’t walk without pain. I can’t do anything for myself.”


“India, help bring the bags in for Alice.”


“We’re concerned for her, she’s in pain. It’s her knee, her hands are fine. Yeah, her knee must have gone down then her face. No, her hands are fine. Would you say she should go to minor injuries? Yep, that’s what we thought. Warwick or Stratford? Ok, and her face, they’ve told her to keep these bandages on, but what do you think? She thinks it’s just grazing, but the nurses at Swindon said she had to wear them for a week before taking them off. Yep, we thought that was the case, but then we’re not medics in this house! Ok, thanks Jill.”



“So you fell on Thursday and your knee is still bad?”


“When you fell did you make any attempt to save yourself?”

“No, I hit the pavement with my face and knee. I don’t know why but I failed to use my hands.”

“Did you black out perhaps? What caused you to fall?”

“I didn’t black out, there was a man there. He was chatting to his friend on the phone. I don’t know what caused the fall, I wasn’t looking at my feet at the time.”

“Well, the x rays show that nothing is broken. Just rest it up and let nature take it’s time. Don’t rush to put weight on it and try to not walk long distances for a couple of days.”

“I walk a lot. I don’t have a car, so there’s little I can do about that.”

“Sorry, we don’t give crutches out unless the bone is broken. It’s for the best if you manage without one.”



“Ah, so you saw the photos then! Yeah, she insisted they took photos of her face so she could show her boss or write some blog post on it. You know what they’re like nowadays. No, she didn’t use her hands. None of us really know why, but then these things happen. Almost happened to me the other day. Case of slow reactions I suppose and how you trip up. No, she hasn’t looked into any no win, no fee agencies. Why? Should she…?”



“You sure you’re ok to go back to work?”

“I’m ready to go back. I want to get on with life now. I’m done with being dependant, unable to do anything while life goes on around me.”


Wednesday (today)

“Alice! You’re back? How are you feeling?”

“Let me know if I can help in any way. Can I get you anything from town?”

“Aren’t those the shoes you fell over in?”

“Huh, guess they are. Blood stained and tainted with bad memories. I’ll have to buy some more when I can.”

“Come on you, let’s get you back home.”


It’s been a roller coaster week, but for once I’m thankful that the world keeps spinning.