I received the most Novocaine I’ve ever needed. One day, last July I had been scheduled for a molar extraction at the dental clinic. The dentist brought out the dreaded long-needle syringe and injected the pain-numbing drug into the gum near the afflicted tooth. She left the room to allow the drug to do its work.
Upon her return, the dentist asked if I felt numbness yet. I did not. So, she injected more Novocaine near the bad tooth. She left for awhile, then returned. The gum still had normal sensations. She once again repeated the procedure. Finally, a few minutes later, half of my mouth felt the characteristic numbness from the drug.
The actual extraction and subsequent stitching required perhaps ten-minutes. While the dentist inspected her work, she remarked that I was one of her most sensitive redheaded patients. I mumbled that normally, two injections are required for work inside my mouth, so I was also astonished. Apparently the scientific finding that redheads have a higher pain threshold than other people was especially true that day.
We gingers are used to our sensitivity–both physical and emotional. Regardless of ethnicity or race, we have historically been thought of as freaks of nature. During Medieval times we were portrayed as soulless spawn of Satan. We weren’t simply scorned, redheads were sentenced to death by the Church. Apparently redheads were perfect scapegoats because of the religious and social intolerance of people who look different than others. There’s nothing like some burning at the stake to remove a fire-haired demon from society.
Thankfully, we’re living in a somewhat more enlighened age, so I don’t have to worry about being incinerated at the stake or being exiled to the frontier. However, we’re still singled out in grade school for our brilliant locks. The females are oggled for their foxy appearance; and the males are sometimes bullied for standing out from the crowd. Even in adulthood, it’s socially acceptable to point out our red hair, even with complimentary intent. At least we learn to cultivate emotional thick skin.
We are actual mutant Ninjas at heart due to the mutation of the MC1R gene. That’s the gene responsible for producing melanin. We gingers produce less of it, so our skin tone is usually lighter than our peers, plus we get the ginger colored hair. Unfortunately, the mutation also affects the pain response centered in the midbrain.
I eventually learned to accept the shortcomings and advantages of being a ginger. I even miss having the near-flourescent, carrot toned hue of my youth. Now, it’s more subdued and showing wisps of white. Even when the ginger hair eventually fades to all-white, we’re still gingers at heart–or at least in our midbrains.
Today is “Kiss a Ginger Day”. You aren’t really required to kiss one of us unless you’re in a relationship with one. If you’re a redhead and kiss another redhead, that would be pretty nice.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes singer/songwriter, Willie Nelson. “I think I’m basically the same guy I always was. Maybe I’ve learned, through experience, to rein in some of the anger and temper they say redheads normally have.”
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I didn’t know about the pain tolerance difference in red heads. I find it interesting and will likely research the physiology of it but you live it. I guess you don’t know anything different though to compare.
Yes, I didn’t know about the pain tolerance difference until my first dentist visit when I was still a young kid. I later saw a blurb about it in a newspaper several years ago.
😘 from one 👩🏼🦰 to another giggle giggle 😘
Reblogged this on How I found My Muchness.
I’d like a Kiss An Old Fart Day. Although not persecuted to the same extent as the gingers, we don’t get the respect we deserve.🤣 Maybe for good reason as my goof up on your other post shows.🙄
I’m on board for that. Oldsters put up with being patronized and creaky joints. .😉