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July 14, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-07-14

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A painful dose of wisdom

be done sooner or later but
I would have preferred later-
like never. As my luck escaped
the moment the first wisdom
tooth poked its pearly head
through my gums, my beautiful
artificially straightened teeth
began to go north by northwest.
I tried to ignore it, but as the
days passed tisy retainers could
barely be forced into my mouth.
I knew then that the fortune
my parents had parted with on
orthodontics tas quickly being
Not knowing what to do next
I consulted my dentist (a grad
student with a once a week
practice in an office over Kres-
ges), who chuckled and said, "I
bet they'll have to take them
all out."
I was soon headed to the oral
surgeon, a Good-Humor type of
man clad in white: shirt, pants,
shoes, hair and of course white
teeth. After innumerable X-
rays he announced that all my
wisdom teeth were impacted
at acute 45 degree angles and
definately had no place in my
mouth. From behind his back
the Good Humor man produced
a small piece of paper - the
"estimate." I choked, caught
my breath and nodded, "Okay."
Good-bye savings account.
He described the procedure
for surgically removing teeth.
It didn't sound too gruesome,

until he gave me the consent
sheet which freed him from re-
sponsibility of any clomp'lica-
tions. I signed.
I had nearly three weeks to
prepare for part one of my
doom (the wisdom teeth were
to be removed two at a time
because of their deep impac-
tion). My friends (friends?) sub-
jected me to a bounty of com-
ments ranging from "You can
hairdly think now, what will you
do without wisdom teeth" to
"If you want to save money
I can punch you in the jaw"
and "Size nine teeth in a size
seven mouth, right?" from a
fellow colleague at The Daily.
r 'HE DAY approached. and I
attempted to gather my
courage and wisely made prac-
tical preparations. I bought a
new nightgown to receive visi-
tors and planned how I would
wile away the hours in bed
reading books, writing letters,
and working on a quilt I'd
started several years ago. My
roommate, Naomi, spread the
word that company would be
welcome during the 'convales-
cence' period.
Monday morning arrived -
"The Day." At 7 a.m. I was
up, washing my hair, dabbing
on make-up and cleaning the
apartment. "What on earth are
you doing?" screamed Naomi
from the bedroom.
"It's my last chance to do
anything for a few days," I
answered, "Besides, I want to

The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Wednesday, July 14, 1976
News Phone- 764-0552
Quite a COngresswoman
NEARLY TWO YEARS AGO, a black Democratic Con-
gresswoman from Texas named Barbara Jordan
seized the imagination of the American people when,
during the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment de-
bate, she declared in her deep, eloquent voice, "My faith
in the Constitution is whole . . . complete . . . total.
"I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator
to the dimunition, the subversion, and the destruction of
the Constitution," she said, in one of the most moving
examples of rhetoric to emerge from the impeachment
Monday night, Rep. Jordan again held the national
spotlight when she became the first black or woman to
deliver a keynote address at a presidential convention.
The convention hall erupted in a thunderous applause.
Clearly, this woman of great vision, who has established
herself as one of the most respected and capable mem-
bers of Congress, has captured the admiration of a na-
tion deep in the search for leaders.
Unfortunately, Jimmy Carter may not feel as strong-
ly. Jordan's name was conspicuously absent from his list
of seven final vice-presidential considerations, a list de-
void of blacks and women.
Although Jordan hails from Carter's south, she is
deserving of close scrutiny. A Congresswoman of unques-
tioned ability, her compassion and wisdom, coupled with
over a decade of adroit experience in both state and na-
tional government, makes her a qualified person to as-
sume a position of leadership. Her background-a poor
girl rising from a black Houston neighborhood-is further
indication of this woman's uncanny drive to succeed.
Jimmy Carter erred in not giving Jordan the con-
sideration she so richly deserves. It's high time that
blacks and women serve in this country's positions of
top leadership.
We hope Barbara Jordan will someday enjoy that

look nice for my visitors.'
She groaned.
We walked the two blocks to
the oral surgeon's office. Nat-
mi chattered aimlessly to com-
pensate for my silence. As we
sat in the waiting room she
turned to me and ordered,
"Open your mouth."
"What for?"
"I want to count your teeth
to make sure they take the
right ones out."
I laughed, sort of.
"Miss Jordan." The Good Hlu-
mor Man's nurse appeared at
the door.
I followed her. "Good-bye,"
called Naomi from the waiting
The nurse looked disgusted.
"It's not as if you'll never see
each other again," she said.
Maybe it was.
I wanted to turn and flee as
they arranged my near rigid
body in the chair. The Good
Humor Man came in 'Ho-ho-
"We're just going to give you
a little sedative in this I.V."
he sa, casually producing a
hypodermic needle ten inches
long. "Just relax."
away as I felt the needle
kiss my arm. Under my breath
I murmured, "The Lord is my
shepherd...." The occasion call-
ed for it.
I can't be relied upon for an
accurate account of the next
few hours. Most of it Naomi
described a few days' later,
laughing all the while.
I vaguely remember waking
to thoughts of "When did they
take out my teeth?" The nurse
came over and made me sit
up - several times. I just
couldn't do it, I wanted to sleep.
My roommate and Don, a friend
who offered to drive us the two
blocks home, each supported a
side of -me as we left the of-
fice. Don later told me about
the man sitting in the waiting
room (to see the doctor about
wisdom teeth) who turned white
and horror stricken as they
dragged my limp carcass out
the door.
The three of us squeezed into
a closet-sized elevator. I was
aware of something in my
mouth but felt no pain, in fact,
I felt pretty good. I babbled
endlessly about nothing. When
we arrived at the car Naomi
tried to support me on her side
of the seat while Don got in.
I fell over.
Once at home I didn't even
wait for the covers to be pull-
ed back before diving into bed.
Naomi managed to slip me into
my nightgown and remove the
gauze from my mouth. (What
I woke after a five-hour slum-
ber. My head was throbbing
and I could barely sit up. Two
friends sisited, bearing a straw-
berry tilkshake, my favorite
refreshment. I now hate both
strawberry milkshakes and but-
ter pecan icecream. After slurp-
ing at least a half-gallon of
each during those days I turn
green at their appearance.

I'd hardly opened my eyes
when my roommate rushed in
with a little green and black
pill which she assured would
kill my pain. Not only did it
kill the pain but after a mere
twenty minutes of coherence I
returned to a pheno-barbitol in-
duced never-never land.
S0 IT WENT for the next two
days. I'd be awake long
enough to swallow a pill, down
a milkshake and zone out again.
Occasionally I'd stagger from
room to room, unable to do
much of anything but tired of
flopping in bed. My constant
stupor prevented me from en-
gaging in anything more strenu-
ous than staring at the TV.
Mealtimes were delightful. My
roommate felt I needed some
nourishment to supplement my
diet of strawberry milkshakes
and butter pecan ice cream.
Her idea of nourishment were
various unrecognizable bowls of
slop, generally called baby food.
"Beef and Vegetables," "Maca-
roni and Carrots," and "Turkey
Stew" all looked and tasted
identical - bad. Still, my mouth
was too sore for anythitg but
this tasteless mush.
By the second day the novel-
ty of my situation had worn
off and my friends stopped drop-
ping in with milkshakes and
sympathy. I spent most of the
day alone, sleeping, drinking
milkshakes, and contemplating
my swollen face.
This was nofun anymore. I
didn't enjoy staying in bed but
I was incapable of anything
else. Besides, my summer clas-
ses were starting and I wanted
to get back to work. The next
morning I woke up popped a

pain pill, dressed and left for
class before my roommate had
a chance to stop me. I didn't
feel too bad; a little weak may-
be, but I'd survive.
5'OLLOWING my class I drove
to Detroit to cover a story
for The Daily. Due to my temp
orary inability to understand
anything I went to the wroig
place and nearly missed my as
signonent. The day was hot ait
I felt ragged and sick. By the
time I returned home I wu
dizzy and had lost two of ns
eight stitches, causing blood t
gush from my mouth.
I couldn't write my story or
even think about it. So, for lack
of anything better to do, I
An understanding editor
exiled me from The Daily for
a week. Each time I showed
to work I was promptly told
to remove myself from the
premises. Finally I surrendered,
stayed home and recovered.
Next week my other two wis-
dom teeth will be removed. I'sm
not exactly looking forward to
it but at least I know w hat
to expect. Ive already prom-
ised that I'll stay home unetil
sealed rather than horrifying
'lhe Daily with my aches, pains,
faiting spells and blood. We've
even bought a new supply if
baby food and I'm trying s
decide on a new flavor of ice
cream, hopefully something I
won't miss too much when I
grow to hate it.
Daily staff writer laim Jor-
dan is due to have tiiointer
itisdom teeth extracted next
week. Say a prayer for her.

Mailbox: On a father's rights

To The Daily:
The Daily's editorial on "A mother's right
to abort" (July 8) comments on the difficulty
in distinguishing between the respective rights
of a (prospective) mother and a (prospective)
father concerning an abortion, and suggests
that the emotional burden of a father who
desires the birth of a child should not be
However, in considering the rights of pros-
pective fathers in abortion decisions, don't
overlook the other alternatives. Ideally, a

man who desires to father a child should
make sure in advance that his sexual part-
ner is willing to be a mother.
If pregnancy is, to begin with, a mutually
desired outcome of sexual intercourse, abor-
tion is not likely to be an issue. In other
words, if fatherhood is your goal, state your
intentions, Sir! The woman who enjoys your
company is not necessarily ready to bear and
raise a child for you.
Toni Kennedy
July 9

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