Mrs. Potato Head

First I conversed with the anaesthetist.

“So I hear you’re going overseas.”

“Yeah but don’t think I’m not noticing that huge needle.”

“Why are you travelling? Just finished high school eh?”


“Just finished uni then?”

“Nooo! I’ve been out for years!”

“Oh! Well I hope you’ve got some sort of qualification, if you’re intending to unleash yourself on the world?”

“Hey. I got a degree buddy. Did you really think I just finished high school? Crikey…”

Next thing I remember I can hear my voice talking and it won’t bloody stop. It is saying a whole lot of stupid things. My brain feels like lead and it is pleading with the mouth, WOULD YOU PLEASE SHUT UP? But the mouth won’t comply.

They call this “IV Sedation”, as opposed to general anaesthetic, so apparently you can’t feel a thing but you can still get quite talkative. I started becoming aware of things just as the surgeon was winding up. I felt something tugging at my tooth, but no pain. But I am babbling away in a wounded monotone, trying to make him feel bad for attacking me, “HEY. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. HEY. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.”

Then I chatted to a nurse. “You guys are so lovely. You are doing a lovely job. Really you are. You have all been so nice.”

“Thank you, dear.”

“You know I was so worried you wouldn’t be able to knock me out? Like I would be unknockoutable and I would feel it all? You know I’ve been on a mad health kick purely to avoid encounters with doctors?”

“Shut up!” (That was the Brain speaking)

“Is that so love?”

I proceeded to launch into what I thought was a very articulate and detailed outline of my diet and exercise regime and secrets of well-being, weight loss and eternal happiness, but I’m sure it was a saliva-drenched numb-tongued garbled blur.

As they wheeled me out of theatre my brain cringed because the mouth was still talking and talking and there seemed no way of stopping it. Half an hour later, sitting up in a chair with my mouth stuffed with cotton swabs, grinning and giggling. The nurse was telling my sister, “This one’s a talker. She told us all her secrets.”

“BWAHAHA! Oh shit,” said I.

I started writing this entry yesterday, tis now Friday 5AM and I can’t sleep because of my Gigantor Head. I was hoping for the chipmunk face, chipmunks are somewhat cute and perky. But instead my face has taken on a lumpy potatoesque quality. I am a slab with eyes. My lips are numb so when I spoon my gruel into my mouth it slithers down my deformed chin like a useless little baby. Somebody strap me into a highchair and make some aeroplane noises!

I am hideous. Look away. Look awaaaayyyy. No hang on, fetch me some more drugs, then look away.

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

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48 thoughts on “Mrs. Potato Head

  1. Ah. I’ve been there and done that. Except I was lucky and got general anesthesia (my mother had hers out under local and said no child of hers was going to go through that).

    I remember drooling quite a lot. I was given a milkshake when I got home and about fifty percent of it ended up on the kitchen table.

    It’ll get better. Give it a couple days. Make your sister fix nice things for you – tapioca pudding, custard, mashed potatoes.

  2. i am awake now if that counts… but getting ready for work so can’t chat for long πŸ˜› YAY it’s Friday!

    Anyway I have a handy stash of pain killers if you want some πŸ™‚ I never leave home without them…

    Oh and if you are bored and have nothing better to do, you can email me all day because today will be nice and boring for me… nothing important to do… well not terribly important anyway… so email will be nice πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve still got that pleasure to come – and apparently mine will involve a bit of jaw-breaking to accomplish. It can wait – as long as possible!

    You’ll need that anaesthetic stuff when you head off to Edinburgh. Apparently they’re less friendly than Londoners (which is a BIG surprise to me):

    Maybe Bristol’s a better bet.

    Scott F πŸ™‚

  4. Shauns: Hey, this guy WAS talking to you before being dragged out of his apartment by two bibulous buddies and led in shackles to the pub. My apologies for the erratic goodbye.

    I suppose that anaesthesiologists force us to respond with double negatives, even if some of them don’t realize that the one thing you NEVER ask a lady is her age. Unless, of course, you’ve on a first-name basis with her after repeated sessions in darkness and you want to get the goods not for setting silly expiration dates, but for the apposite gift.

    And, thank you, Mattay and Monkey for taking care of poor Shauny.

  5. Here you go, chook.

    Dang! I was up at 5am. In exactly the state you describe; fucking quasi-insomnia. Still around? Big hugs, anyway.

  6. Oh dear! What can I say but hurry up an de-bloat your face. I hear chubby faces are quite cute, just as long as your mother isn’t grabbing you by the jowels and saying, “now who’s a cute little Shauny, aye?”

  7. I was online at that time (accounting for different time zones). Oh, well…

    I was going to say that your swollenness probably seems worse to you than it is. When I had an operation in 1995, I was sure – even when looking at it – that the scar was something like twice the length that it actually was.

    What was the other thing I was going to say? Oh, something about how I hope they forewarned you about the talkativeness side effects, or something. Blah.


  8. Hope you feel better soon Shauny….just dope up as much as possible, and don’t worry about what you babbled to the nurses.

    I’m sure they’ve heard much, much worse.

  9. My advice to you is be careful what you ingest over the next week.

    I am still unable to drink lemon flavoured sports drinks, eat jelly or use scented tissues after my op 7 years ago. The taste of blood mixed with even your favourite food is enough to put you off for life – sure it is bearable at the time but when you are all better the memory of that taste still remains.

    I hope you feel better. You need to know this!

  10. Oh God Shauny I’m a deranged anaesthetic talker too.

    I had a cosmetic procedure done last year and as I came out of the general anaesthetic I found myself blabbing absolute nonsense to the recovery nurse. She asked me why I had the procedure done and I tols her because of my upcoming wedding!

    “Noooooooooooooo” I was screaming in my head, that’s the most stupid of all reasons and it’s simply not true…but I went on and said it anyway.

    That memory still haunts me.

  11. Holy macaroni, no one warned me about babble! Pain and complications, sure, but BABBLE? Oh, the embarrassment!

    If there’s any chance I might babble in front of a relative, I’m going to have to rethink my transport home options for April 5th. Should I sabotage Nanna’s hearing aid and bring her along or kidnap a non-English speaking stranger to do the deed?

  12. I just had a vision of “whatever happened to Baby Shauny” but I will let that go.

    Thanks for the shout on the Chicken Mafia.

    Hoping for a speedy recovery!

  13. Ahh memories…

    I had some of my teeth removed a few years back. My face was swollen for a week after and the bruises hung around for a couple more. No pain at all though, which was wierd. Just lots of numb drooling. And stitches in your mouth are not fun.

    I hope you feel better soon Shauny.

  14. Oh you poor deformed thing! But i’m sure you’ll be glad you had it done — dentistry in GB is notoriously bad.

    Feel better soon.

  15. Aww, poor Shauny. Here’s a tip: Don’t eat red Jell-O, because that makes a terrific mess that never comes out of your clothing. Although! I let a lot of ice cubes melt in my mouth. Best diet I’ve ever been on. Lost frightening amounts of weight. And you, my dear, are youthlike and darling enough to be mistaken for an eighteen-year-old. Oh yeah.

  16. I remember when my brother was gaining consciousness after surgery.

    Him: Will I be able to play the piano?

    Nurse: Of course, dear. You’ll be good as new in no time.

    Him: Oh, good. I’ve always wanted to play the piano.

    At least it sounds as if everything seemed to go smoothly. Hope your face goes back to normal! πŸ™‚

  17. Shauny, your face will go back to normal, I am not worried… The best thing about this operation is that the swelling will go away. For sure. Soon.

  18. Ouch. *beaming little empathies towards you*

    I subsisted on nought but bananna custard for weeks after.

    Then I had to go back and get the stitches taken out of my gums …

    And don’t drive people away! This is a perfect opportunity for pity-pampering, prey on friends’ tender affections while you can!

    … but maybe that’s the lawyer in me talking …

  19. Ouchy. I’ve never had _that _ particular feeling, but I guess I may one day. At least it’s better than gastro or concussion in that you can sit up straight without wanting to vomit.

    Let us know when you start hallucinating.

  20. Ouch. Moving and dental surgery all in the same week? You are definitely getting building up some ‘karmic suffering points.’ This means that you will later find a bunch of money or get to get drunk a lot without hangovers in the future.

    So strange–yours and SJ’s posts reminded me I have to go to the dentist tomorrow. Your post reminded me I have to drink that last bit of codeine cough syrup I’ve been saving for a special occasion right before I go.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  21. eeksy… i put the “the” back in, but i guess i should have left it unedited as proof of that old saying, “drugs are bad”.

  22. I just meant that it didn’t look real… And that you’re pretty… and … and…

    Nah, I’m a jerk. That’s all.

  23. Pthlahgh, I meant heroine, not cocaine πŸ˜› Codeine and heroine are both opiates, if I remember correctly (so it was opium after all).

    And with everything being all interconnected, sixtiesall holistic man/sixties, heroine was the main drug in Trainspotting, starring Ewan McGregor, and mostly set in Edinburgh.

  24. Did I spell it wrong? I think I did, Luke. I think I’ve spelt them all wrong. My spelling has gone to pot (but not from smoking it).

  25. Mrrgh, man, I think I’ll just punch Rhiannon for you! If for nothing else, to preserve the sanctity of, you know, good puns. Oh wait, there are no good puns. What am I talking about?

  26. I have an appointment with an Oral Surgeon this week. I have to have on wisdom tooth removed. It’s already half out, so I’m hoping it can be done in the chair. I’m shit-scared of going under a general – and now that I’ve read your story, god knows what I’ll babble about while I’m incoherant!!

    How long did it take for the pain to go away?

  27. My sympathies, both on the surgery and the insomnia. I haven’t have my tonsils out yet (only got 2 anyway and they’re so far up they couldn’t find them using ordinary X-rays; had to use those panoramic ones). But I did have oral surgery when I was a kid for a slew of other problems. They used that same kind of IV not-quite-full anesthesia; woke up partway through the procedure to calmly watch them extracting baby teeth and stitching me up and doing gawdknowswhatallelse in there. Didn’t start babbling until Mom got me out to the car. I didn’t want to lean against it while she got the door unlocked because I wanted to prove I was steady enough on my feet. However, I knew I couldn’t say all that so all I blurted out was “it’s dirty” as my reason, even though my brain was saying “no no no my balance is fine really!”. I remember on the ride home I described in sincere detail through a gauze-packed mouth the entire procedure to her.

    Ok, I’ll stop rambling now and try to get back to sleep. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  28. nooooooooooooo! i’ll write when i have something to say. right now i am too busy being grumpy and numb and sore and wishing i could eat a goddamn steak.

    not to mention moving house, too. anyone want a vacuum cleaner? panasonic, 1300 watts. surely you want to suck your dust with the vac that sucked shauny’s dust?

  29. how much is the vacuum?? I need one for when I move out on my own again some day in the distant future πŸ™‚

  30. oh! you’re so cute, shauny. i love that you just talked and talked and talked and talked!

    not that i advocate this sort of thing or nothin, but i looooved being whacked out on panadeine forte for several days! that’s the good oil. t-bone bought me a bunch of magazines and all i could handle was looking at the pretty pictures, and schlorking down loads of custard.

    hope you’re feeling chipperer soon!

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