I don't know how acceptable it is to begin my debut column for a respectable paper with a torrent of expletives, so I shall instead substitute that initial inclination with a cold, hard fact: I have just had four wisdom teeth unceremoniously snatched from my mouth, and the aftermath consists of some bloodied, sour lips, behind which unhappily sit four gaping holes. As I'm sure you can imagine/may know, it's most unpleasant. Every time I drag myself from my childhood bed to marvel at my beaten-gerbil reflection, I feel as if I'll keel over.
But thankfully, Hampshire is just uneventful enough for the time to pass without my noticing. I've thus far dedicated a lot of my aimless thinking to Aga maintenance, what it might be like to be a horse (to be explained later), and, of course, this column.
I may be a little guilty of ramping up the drama so as to win your sympathy, because, all in all, the hospital looked after me well and the operation went as planned. The part I found tricky, however, was the morphine.
Thursday morning, I pulled on my favourite pair of skeleton tights and assembled a heavy bag of items I imagined would entertain me after the operation: a Flight of the Conchords box-set, a copy of Brideshead Revisited, my laptop, iron tablets and waaay too many outfit options. I know, I lead a ker-azy life. After coughing up enough cash at the hospital for a week-long trip somewhere fun, I was instead marched to my starchy, pastel room and ordered to change into a snazzy green number, which was, rather sexily I thought, to be kept open at the back. It wasn't long before I was giggling along to the middle-aged lady chat on Loose Women, and ticking the depressing little boxes next to "orange juice" and "cheese sandwich" on the imaginative menu card (foolishly speculating that my eager mouth would be ready for action ASAP).
Before long, my dad, who had accompanied me to the hospital, had left my side and I was staring up at glaring lights and men in masks while illustrating how terribly clever I was by counting backwards. I was informed by a kind anaesthetist that if I imagined I was on a sunny beach somewhere as I fell asleep, there was a 30 per cent chance I would think I had been away on holiday when I came round, albeit without the tan. Mathematics not being my strong suit, I am unfortunately unable to calculate the relative probability of coming round and presuming my head had been crushed between two buses and held there until every band member I have ever slagged off had punched me in the jaw, but it's probably more likely than the holiday crap.
Some doofus asked me if I was in pain. My thumbs responded with a resounding yes, and before I knew it, syringefuls of morphine were racing into my veins. Nice, you may think. Well... morphine does two things, as far as I can make out. Firstly, it makes you itch, and secondly, it makes you cry. I don't particularly want to find myself in a situation again where I'm doing both furiously and simultaneously.
A decision was made that I was too confused to leave as planned, and I was kept in for a trippy night until my father returned to whisk me back to Hampshire the following day. My attention drifted lucidly between thought and dream – at one point, I knew I was a horse. By the time my father returned the next morning, my dreamlike state had been replaced by boredom.
My main issue now is how to pass the time while I wait for my gums to forgive me. As someone who has a low attention span at the best of times, it's been a struggle. My mother insists on making me yummy-looking things that I can't eat, and I've become a dustbin for medication. If I look through any more school photos, I'm afraid I might actually regress to Year 9.
Apparently, old-school Hollywood actresses used to have wisdom teeth removed to provide their cheekbones with greater definition. I guess I have that to look forward to, although it's hard to imagine at the moment, when I have a face that could scare children and/or be mistaken for a leftover pumpkin. And even if the operation did succeed in sucking the chub from my cheek, I've ploughed through enough ice cream in the last few days to even the score.
Just to recap: I've read Brideshead, laughed at Conchords, and come to terms with the fact that my Elephant Man face will remain, regardless of how many pencil skirts and ankle boots I try to flatter it with. My last resort was venturing to complete this column. So, with that, I shall return to the stinging abyss. Until next week.