My Experience with Laughing Gas

“I’m nervous,” I said to the nurse as I went in. She had already taken my glasses so I couldn’t see anything and that’s probably for the best. I don’t really know why I made that particular announcement. It’s as though I thought I was the only one of sixteen people in the day who would be afraid of oral surgery.

“Oh are you?” she said, with surprise. “Well sit down here.” I sat in the chair and she placed the nitrous over my nose, asking me to breathe deeply. I told her it tasted funny. Like cotton candy flavoring.

I don’t know if anyone has ever told you what being under nitrous oxide is like, but it is an odd sensation. The first thing to change in how your head feels. Your ears begin to ring and your head starts to feel as though it’s vibrating. I imagine it what concussion feels like. Shortly thereafter, your hands and feet start to feel the effects and the feeling travels inward until your whole body feels like it is a buzzing, electric mass.

It’s cool, frankly.

What happened then, though, is that my body had slowed down without notifying the old brain so that I continued to need to talk. I can imagine you’re not surprised that I wanted to talk. So in a voice slow and deep I told the nurse about myself. Each word was hard to manage, as though they’d been lashed all together with salt water taffy, but I pressed on.

“My best friend is out there,” I said, slowly. “She’s taken the day off. Isn’t that amazing? Aren’t I so lucky to have such a good friend?” The nurse agreed that I was. Just then the doctor arrived.

“I’m nervous,” I said to him as he came to the chair, “but it’s not your fault. You seem lovely!” I turned to the nurse. “Doesn’t he seem very nice?” I asked before turning back to the surgeon and telling him that, yes, I felt he seemed very nice. I also told them how many people had referred me.

The doctor told me I had two impacted teeth to which I replied “That’s exactly right, doctor!” as though he needed my help. He then asked if I was was ready for my IV and I informed him that if he wanted my ID he’d have to ask my best friend to get it from my purse. He told me I’d feel a poke on the count of three.

He got to two before I said “Ouch… that’s… quite a poke.” They all laughed, as they should have since he hadn’t done anything yet. I assume this is the part where they would have asked me to count down from 100 except that I had never really stopped talking.

It’s not as though it would be hard to tell when I was officially out.

Which took about two seconds.

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