Shouldn’t you get the instructions first?

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My girlfriend Donna called the other day.

“Helwo” she said

“Who is this?” I asked, hearing what sounded like a 3-year old child.

“It’s me she said. I had oral surgery.” She mumbled.

The sentence did not come across that clear, but I was able to get the gist of it. It turns out that at the grand old age of 62, she had to have her two lower wisdom teeth pulled.

I will not go into all the gory details, but Donna was not a happy camper.

I was reminded of when I was 19 years old and had to have three impacted wisdom teeth extracted. I looked like Richard Nixon for days. My jowls swelled; and forget about talking. I could barely move my mouth. So, I was sympathetic.

She asked, “Do you know why doctors do not give patients post-surgery instructions until after the surgery?”

“Maybe patients would not have the surgery if they understood all the complications.” I suggested.

Then she proceeded to tell me the events of the previous days. She said her husband had to wait out in the car during the procedure; and afterwards, the nurse walked her out, wobbly and puffy looking. She had gobs of gauze in her mouth too. The nurse handed her husband four pages of discharge instructions, along with five prescriptions.

Donna was kind of out of it and did not quite understand the concept of “post-surgery” instructions.

As they were driving home her husband asked, “Do you want me to drop off the prescriptions and take you home, or do you want to wait in the car with me?”

“Uh huh,” she replied. He asked “The first or the second. You have two options. Which one?” he asked. She pulled out the gauze and mumbled, “Home.”

But first, they stopped at a fast food joint where she asked for something to drink because her mouth was so dry. She swallowed a nice cold soda, which she sucked it down with a straw.

That evening, as she was enjoying a glass of wine, having taken her antibiotic and pain medicine, her husband finally read all the instructions.

“Uh oh.” Her husband said. “Guess we should have read these sooner.”

As they went through the list, they realized she had violated many of the items on the “Do not do” list. That is when she wondered why she had not been given the instructions beforehand.

“Maybe Lee was right. The doctor doesn’t want to scare you,” she said.

But as she sat there finishing her glass of wine, she was glad she had not read the instructions beforehand. After all, a glass of wine after oral surgery seemed like just what the doctor should have ordered.

Lee Scott, award winning humor writer takes her “Walter Mitty” like persona and spins tales around everyday life. She enjoys boating, reading, and meeting people. Scott lives in Beaufort with her husband, JD, along with their dog Brandy. You can reach her at