What It’s Like to Have Dental Surgery with One Arm

The nurses began preparations for my dental implant surgery. They lowered my head in the procedure chair and had me scoot to the top. Standing to my left, Nurse #1 unfolded the blood pressure cuff. Standing to my right, Nurse #2 gathered supplies to insert the IV.

Nurse #1 reached toward my left arm. I took great pride in telling her that it is prosthetic and might not give such an accurate blood pressure reading. She was clearly caught off guard.

Thus a conversation of adaptions ensued. My entire life is about adaptions. Adaptions aren’t a bad thing. They force us to exercise our brains to figure out Plan B’s.

“Can we have the blood pressure cuff on the same arm as the IV?” Nurse #1 asked.

Nurse #2 paused for a minute. “Yes, I’ll just have to put the IV in her wrist instead of her elbow,” she responded.

Nurse #2 stuck the needle in my wrist fairly painlessly and got the IV started. Nurse #1 moved to my right side and positioned the blood pressure cuff on my upper arm. Then she clipped a pulse oximeter to the end of my index finger.

My right arm was pretty tied up, if you know what I mean. And I was ok with that until… my nose started itching. At first I tried to convince myself that my nose wasn’t itching—that didn’t work. Then I tried thinking about traveling to New Mexico, my next vacation destination—that didn’t work either. So I moved on to the famous “Bewitched” method, wiggling the nose up and down, left and right, using facial muscles—it only seemed to make it itch more. Just as a bit of claustrophobia was rising within me, the surgeon walked into the room and shot the happy serum into the IV. Ahhhh, my nose stopped itching.

********************

“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:11 NASB).

One Smile, One Arm

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