Monday, August 17, 2009

Competition: A question that needs to be answered...

I just have to ask a question.

And that question is one that I'm certain many of us would like an answer to. I'll get to it in a minute.

I've heard some of my friends who have been pregnant express concern about the fact that any friends, relations, acquaintances and perfect strangers in the street feel obliged to tell their own pregnancy stories.

This means that either they:

1. Freak you out with the absolutely terrible things that happened during conception, gestation or labour. Therefore you feel you are not as worried as you ought to be, and had better get worried, terrified and panicked quick smart.

2. Make you want to hit them because the whole thing is apparently no bother, you'll have no trouble at all. It's just like sneezing, then you have a new baby (who will probably sleep the night through from the very first one) Therefore you are making too big a deal out of the whole thing, probably just playing for sympathy (whether you have life-threatening pre-eclampsia, a history of miscarriage, or some other nasty).

The underlying irritant for the one being preached to is the fact that, whether these women have had one pregnancy or a hundred and fifty, they have personally experienced all that there is to experience of conception, gestation and labour.

Do you know the difference between this phenomenon with respect to gestation and having your wisdom teeth removed?

Men can't have children.

Therefore the proportion of the population able to provide stories has increased exponentially. So I've been really getting hammered with teeth stories for the last few weeks. This Wednesday afternoon I'm scheduled to have all four wisdom teeth removed under general anaesthetic in a hospital in Toowoomba. I will be in overnight, then Mum will come and pick me up and bring me home.

So my question for you all is which is worse?:

a) Someone who tells you dreadful stories
b) Someone who thinks you're too worried, after all, HE/SHE was perfectly fine - and they had to walk 300 miles to the surgery through 3 feet of snow, had them out in the chair without anaesthetic, and then had been entered in a steak-eating competition for later that same day (probably in a town 250 miles in the other direction).
c) Someone who contributes SOMEONE ELSE'S stories "My husband's cousin-once-removed's father-in-law's sister had THIS happen..."
d) All of the above and they all should die. Horribly.

I'd love to hear your responses. But if you feel obliged to give me your teeth stories, not only have you entirely missed the point of this post, but the chances of me not deleting it are...

... Approximately None.


Hippomanic Jen said...

And the best reaction I've had thus far was my Grandma (not the one who died, the other one) who gave me a big hug and said "Don't concentrate on this Wednesday - think about the next one when you'll be on the mend - that's how I get through painful things"

Hippomanic Jen said...

And the worst reaction was at our prayer breakfast this morning, when I'd shared my frustration about all the teeth stories and they started giving me more!

I actually started to talk over one lady, expressing that my need to pastorally care for her by listening to her teeth stories was put on hold until at least next week. She didn't stop talking, obviously it was very necessary for me to hear her stories before I undergo surgery.

I should have got up and left the room. In the end it wasn't scary, but it wasn't helpful either.

And, now that I think about it, I'm not actually certain that they ended up praying for me, Bless 'em.

Hippomanic Jen said...

Way to get my own comment count up!

Givinya De Elba said...

A brilliant post about a horribly annoying phenomenon.

The only words worth listening to are your Grandma's. That strategy worked for my caesarean, and I'm sure it will work for your teeth.

The only thing I will add is that when it comes to wisdom teeth removal, once they're out they're out. They don't grow back, so you only have to live through this once. Which means come Thursday, never again.

Femina said...

I have no teeth stories. I am scared of teeth stories. And if you asked me to pray, I would not preface my prayer with a teeth story. (But you don't have to ask, you know... I'll be praying anyway.)

When I had braces on my teeth I heard every orthodontia horror story imaginable. When I had chicken pox as an adult I heard about people having heart attacks from having the pox as an adult. When I had a car accident I heard about everyone else's car accidents. When I had an anaphylactic allergic reaction, what kind of stories do you think I heard?

It's a weird, weird phenomenon and I sincerely hope I haven't participated in it... but I'll bet I have, at some point.

Femina said...

Damn. I should have ended that with "I sincerely hope I haven't participated in it... but the chance that I haven't, at some point?"

.... (you know the rest)

Wendy said...

Amazing blog post, Jen. You realise now that, at risk of becoming a hypocrie, you cannot participate in one of life's pleasures - reciting medical tales of woe for others' "enjoyment"!

My comfort to first-time mothers-to-be who complain of this phenomenon, is that they'll soon have their very own story to contribute :)

Crazy Sister said...

I think the worst is (b) - the people who tell you you're fussing about something that didn't bother them at all. Grrr.

Some people have the knack for sharing stories without annoying the listener. It can be quite good to hear a range of different experiences, so that you're kind of ready for everything, but the sharer must be sensitive to the fact that you're a different person with different teeth and a different tolerance to anasthetic.

I'm busting to tell you my story. Maybe next week? Hee hee hee...

Best wishes! Whatever happens, you'll be alright.

Jenny said...

No teeth stories, just prayers from me and one word - drugs!

Jodie said...

That's a great post. And I would leave a comment, but I'm a bit freaked out about saying the wrong thing ;) And I don't even have a wisdom teeth story! But I will pray that it all goes well. Which hospital? The one around the corner from me? Pop in beforehand for some pre-op snacks!

Aleta said...

My answer: D

No teeth stories here, promise!

Sending prayers that all goes well and you'll share a happy story afterwards. Ok, well, as happy as can be. :)