The Unusual Challenge This Week

I’ve done a bunch of unusual stuff but the most memorable thing was that I talked to a woman at the playground. It was a very normal, easy conversation that cost me zero effort. And guess what? The woman wasn’t an immigrant and didn’t speak a word of Spanish. She was very American. But she wasn’t from here. And that’s why it was possible to have a very normal conversation that didn’t feel like pushing a boulder up a hill. She had zero trouble understanding my accent either.

This made me sad because I’m very tired of living in this land of socially challenged folks. Nowhere else I’ve been in the country is like this. Why I had to end up here is a mystery.

5 thoughts on “The Unusual Challenge This Week”

  1. Well, I had an unusual challenge this week, too. I went to the dentist on Tuesday to have a broken crown replaced. The dentist said, “I’m going to have to give you local anesthesia [injected into your lower jaw], but you’ll need less of it if I give you laughing gas [nitrous oxide] first.”

    So he had me inhale nitrous oxide gas for thirty minutes, came back and asked how I felt. I said, “I don’t feel any goddamn different. Still wide awake.” He turned up the concentration and had me inhale it for another twenty minutes. No change.

    “Okay,” he said. “I’m going to have to give you the full amount of [injected local] anesthesia.” He gave me the needle work and came back in fifteen minutes. I told him the only difference was a barely perceptible tingling on about a half-inch space on my lower lip.

    Then he gave me a second full dose of injected anesthesia and came back again in fifteen minutes. No change at all. So he gave me a THIRD full injection. A quarter hour later –nada!

    Finally, the dentist said, “Let’s go to Plan B. Come back on Thursday and I’ll give you I.V. anesthesia.”

    Three years ago when I had local dental anesthesia, I was so doped up that I had to wander around the parking lot like a zombie for two hours before I could safely drive home. Now all of a sudden I’m totally immune to both nitrous oxide and local anesthesia. There’s no medical explanation for the total change in how my aging body responded (Yesterday was my 74th birthday), so go figure!

    (The I.V. anesthesia on Thursday worked.)


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