Random Reflections
On The Loss
Of #2

Dateline: 14 April 2016

It was seven months ago that I wrote here about the experience of having a tooth extracted (Pride, And Missing #13). Now, alas, I have had to have Dr. Brady remove #2.

The procedure was performed three weeks ago. I'm doing fine now, but had to take it easy for a couple of days.  And I had to take some high-strength prescription ibuprofen every few hours. I'm thankful for pain relieving medications like ibuprofen.

While my former #13 had only a single root, #2 had four roots.  The tooth came out in pieces, and I could tell from the effort being exerted on my jaw that at least three of those pieces didn't come out easily.  When it was over, Dr. Brady told me again that I had extremely dense jaw bone. 


On this visit, before yanking my tooth out, Dr. Brady asked me what I did for a living. I'm never sure how I should answer that question. I told him I wrote books and had a mail order business. He seemed interested in that.

The conversation ensued, and I came to realize that Dr. Brady was interested in my story because he is a fellow entrepreneur. 

It so happens that Dr. Brady and his wife (who is also a dental surgeon, and a competitive runner) started a granola bar business. His wife developed the bar recipe for herself and it is made with some high quality ingredients. In time, other runners expressed an interest in the bars.  A home business was born (see the gRUNola Facebook page). The Bradys were making batches of bars in their kitchen. They were looking to expand the business.

I say they "were" (past tense) because the fledgling gRUNola business came to an abrupt end 18 months ago when they lost their home to a fire. That was, as you might imagine, a real crisis, in a lot of different ways. So, gRUNola bars are in limbo.

Anyway, yes, of course, I told Dr. Brady that I invented Granola bars back in 1975.


Years before I became non-famous (and non-rich) for inventing granola bars, I had a conversation with my friend John Sauro that I have never forgotten.  It was the summer of 1969.

We had just graduated from 5th grade and we were exploring in a large ditch on the edge of the housing development where we lived. The ditch ran behind Linda Jenson's house. I was in love with Linda at the time (but I don't think she ever knew it) and we decided to sit at the top of the ditch, on the edge of her back yard, in hopes that she might be home, and see us, and come outside. 

That never happened, but John and me had a memorable conversation that had a profound effect on me. It started when I asked him what he wanted to be someday. To my utter amazement, he told me that he wanted to be a dentist.  

John's father was not a dentist (dentists, and other such professionals, did not live in our working class neighborhood). But, for some reason, he seriously wanted to be a dentist, and he knew this when he was 11 years old!

As for myself, I didn't know what I wanted to be. Oh, I had long imagined that I would be a secret agent, but I didn't admit that to John. It seemed kind of silly compared to being a dentist. 

I took my future plans much more seriously after that conversation. Before the first day of 6th grade, I had my mind fully wrapped around the goal of being a doctor. I've written about this before. It was my goal for the next three years. I never got better grades in school than I did in 6th to 8th grade.  But that all changed in 9th grade, when my family moved out of suburbia, to this rural neighborhood where I still reside.

I made a clean break with all my boyhood friends when we moved. So I don't know what became of John. But I'm sure he must have done well for himself. 


When my co-worker Tom was going to have his prostate removed, I went to YouTube and watched a video of the procedure. It was so disturbing that I had to stop watching, and go lie down. I felt sick.

When my friend Mary had to have a hip replacement, I went to YouTube and watched the procedure. It didn't affect me like the prostate surgery, but it was still visually traumatic enough that I couldn't watch the whole thing.

Perhaps it's best I didn't become a doctor.

But, come to think of it, I felt similarly nauseous and disturbed when Marlene and I butchered our first chicken. And now, after butchering hundreds of them, it's no big deal. 


So, naturally, I watched some tooth extraction videos on YouTube. Watching a tooth be removed is not nearly as disturbing as watching a prostate be removed.

I discovered that YouTube has an astounding number of videos showing people pulling their own teeth, using regular pliers, or ViseGrips, or a Leatherman tool. 

Which reminds me... Fellow agrarian Scott Terry is an avid Leatherman user. He speaks of it often on his podcast. The Super Tool 300 version is what he likes. You can read his review here: Scott's Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review. One of these days I'm going to get me a Super Tool 300. But I digress.

In this next video (which you must watch) the man pulls his own tooth out with ViseGrips. I'm no dentist, but I'm pretty sure he's removing his #2 tooth.

The film is amazing for a couple of reasons. First, the guy has a remarkably nice set of teeth. Second, the four-rooted molar comes out in one tidy whole piece. That man does NOT have dense jaw bone.

The endearing part of the clip comes after the tooth is out (at 2:45 into the clip), as his wife sincerely thanks God for the success of the procedure. Then, as the movie ends, she says, "Let's pray."  That man is blessed with a godly wife.

What would possess a person to resort to pulling their own tooth? Well, I suspect the combination of poverty and pain would do it, though I question, from the looks of the tooth, whether the guy in the video above was suffering tooth pain.

And then there are YouTube videos of friends pulling teeth of friends. That's how they do it in East Texas. It's kind of a community event ...


So, I'm wondering.... 

How young (or old) were you when you knew what you wanted to do? 

And have you ever pulled one of your own teeth?


Melanie Holsti said...

I was quite sure at age 12 that I wanted to be either a veterinarian or a florist. It only took me one semester of college to realize that I did not want to put in the time or the money to become a vet. I didn't become a florist either, but I did spend two summers working at a nursery as a teen. Instead of becoming either of those things, I married a cattle rancher, and now we live on a farm in the Ozarks. I do a fair bit of gardening (I'm much better with perennial flowers than vegetables, but I do my best), and a little bit of animal doctoring too.

Mermaid said...

In my teens, I was sure I'd be a neurosurgeon.

Freshman year of college, in chemistry I believe, I was sure I'd be an accountant. I was an accountant for about a decade.

Now I'm a stay at home homeschooling mom.

I don't know what I want to do next but it won't be neurosurgery or accounting :)

J Eby said...

I'm fairly certain I wouldn't want to pull my own teeth (or anyone else's for that matter)! I have had all my wisdom teeth pulled after they gave me problems. One came out easy and another made up for the easy one! I'll leave the teeth pulling to dentist and East Texan's.

-Matt the Farmer

Everett R Littlefield said...

I was absolutely sure at 10 years old that I wanted to join the USN and work on the engines and fly in the planes that used to fly over my little Island every day strafing a sunken ship about two miles off shore.

They would come over from Quonset Pt RI which was a US Naval Air Station. They always came from the same direction so we knew where to go to collect the spent 50 caliber casings as they rained down on us! I had a small nail keg full of them for some reason.

So anyway I graduated from school and at the same time standing there in my cap and gown, was sworn into the USN. Left home three days later and pursued that vocation for twenty years before retiring back here to BI to take up the LPG business.

That is my story and I'm sticking to it!:)

Bob Adkinson said...

I was about 58 when I realized that all I wanted to be was retired.

Robin Harris said...

I don't remember at what age I decided I just wanted to be a mom, but that idea stuck with me even through high school. It happened when I was 21. And I'm still at it 33 years later! :D I also homeschooled four of our children and am still teaching number five. Best carrier ever! Also, I HAVE pulled one of my own teeth. But it was in the front, bottom, and was so loose it didn't take too much effort. The rest I let the dentist do. :D

Phildirt said...

I'm only 54 and I haven't figured out what God wants me to do yet.
I'll keep you posted.

Phildirt said...

I'm only 54 and I haven't figured out what God wants me to do yet.
I'll keep you posted.

L Rand said...

I was 11 when I decided to become an archiologist. I dropped out of college and became a ship builder. 5 years later I joined the USAF and flew on jets. 20 years later I got a job driving trains. 12 years later I bought 67 acres in western KY, grow 50 acres of corn and soy beans, and bought the corner convenience store to stay busy. I guess I just can't make up my mind what I want to be when I grow up.

magnoliasntea said...

I never wanted to do anything but keep house and cook tasty dishes for my husband and kids. Sounds boring, but I think it's the best job on earth. I did work in a doctor's office for a couple of years when times were fairly lean, but it cost us more than it was worth because I had to have a snazzy wardrobe, convenience foods, wear and tear on my vehicle, not to mention all the gas and other upkeep, but worst of all was the loss of quality of life for all of us. It was horrid.

Sheila Gilbert said...

That question was never asked, so I never thought of it. However, I do know, that at a very young age, I wanted to be a wife, but didn't really think about the having children part of it. Mostly because I took it for granted that married people had babies. I also came from a big family, and took it for granted. I always knew that I would meet "Mr. Right" one day, and it did happen when I was 18. I was being introduced to my future husband while his back was to me, but the moment he turned around, my heart actually skipped, a shock went through me, and I knew right then, that I was being told that he was the one. It was one of the most exciting things that ever happened to me in my life. We were married in only a few months from that day. We were married for over 46 years, and I can honestly say that he was the most generous, kind, loving man I ever knew. We had four children, and were blessed with a happy life together. He passed away in July 2013, and to say it's been hard is an understatement. However I know that he is in heaven, had committed his life to God, was baptized and loved the Lord very much. I know that I will see him again, and thank God for giving him to me. After my children went to school I did do temp. jobs, but only to make extra for the holidays. My family and my husband were my "job," and today my "job" is to depend on God's love daily. He has guided my life, and has never let me down. He's my life, my hope, and the love of my life, then again, He always was. You see, I was married to Him, before I met the wonderful man He sent me.

James Johnson said...

Elizabeth L. Johnson said,
Diddos, ladies. I, too, tried college, English, journalism, and computer science. Boy, was I glad to quit that boring stuff 'cause I found the man of my dreams from the Lord, we got married and after awhile I started a "career" of homeschooling that lasted 22 years with our three children. It's been an amazing life!! And no, I've never pulled my own tooth, nor wanted to. Yuck, though the video was interesting! May have to do a little of that work, should the need arise when the grid goes down and the nation goes south.

Herrick Kimball said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I enjoyed reading these.

Dan Grubbs said...

I think if I had to say what would best suit my natural skills and abilities and married with my personal secular interests, I would have wanted to be a university literature professor. I even earned my BA in English, but God had other plans and kept me on a path.

I really want to serve and honor God while doing something that I love, which has led us to small-scale farming and homesteading. Yesterday, my wife Kelli and I transplanted 32 Beefsteak tomato plants, 16 red cherry tomato plants, 16 Roma tomato plants, 20 Yolo bell pepper plants, and 20 California Wonder pepper plants. That filled half our hightunnel. We'll plant out the other half of the hightunnel in the next two days. God's creation is amazing and what I really want to be when I grow up is a good steward of His creation.

Bruce said...

Herrick, I would like to recommend the book, CURE TOOTH DECAY: HEAL AND PREVENT CAVITIES WITH NUTRITION by Ramiel Nagel. I've lost count of how many teeth I've had pulled (about 7), but since reading and putting into practice what this book recommends I haven't lost any more. Two years ago I was in a dentist's chair having another molar pulled, but the pain was so intense (the novacain didn't work because the infection was too far along) the dentist quit trying to pull it out and wanted to wait until I got over the infection (which I did through colloidal silver). But I never went back to have it pulled. The infection is gone and I saved the tooth! Besides all the tips in this book I discovered through an herbal book that black walnut tincture (one dropper full in one ounce of water, twice a day) is also a remarkable cure for caries...A wonderful way to save money and your teeth!

Herrick Kimball said...

That's a lot of transplanting! You have more stamina than I do. I assume you are growing for market. That's inspiring.

Very interesting. We are avid colloidal silver users here. Your testimony and recommendation are much appreciated, and I'm headed to Amazon now to order the book. Thank you.