Nitrous Oxide, my story on laughing gas…

Dad was working at a Govt hospital. For any ailment a march to the hospi was a must for us. Think i was 8 when I visited the dentist for the first time. One Dr. Thukraal ...scary name for a dentist. He promptly announced I got carries in 5, and have to get one extracted

Carries was taken care of within one month several sittings and scolding from the doctor about not taking proper care. Why do dentists scold little children for bad teeth…thats their bread n butter?

The extraction that followed was one of the best experiences of my life. Only a 60s child could experience it I believe. The Dr said i was too young to bear the pain of gum injections so he’d like to put me to sleep with laughing gas (N2O) instead. I just passed out, dreamt i was in a fast moving train and came to senses with uncontrollable laughter which continued for the next 20 mins. No one could stop me. Someone put us in a cab. I could remember throwing my hands and feet during the ride. The laughter ultimately stopped just before we got home. Later dad told me he’d been very worried that I’d gone mad. It was great fun

After that extraction I became a huge fan of N2O. It was my first experience of hallucination, and I wanted to relive it again. I was informed that its use as anaesthasia had been discontinued. We started studying Chemistry in class 7. We learned that laughing gas could be prepared by heating Ammonium Nitrate. A friend of mine had a small makeshift lab at home…so we decided to make it and inhale it ourselves. What we did not learn was it was an explosive compound also used in bombs. Some things are learnt the hard way.

Yes, we got NH4NO3 from a chemical shop, put it in a bottle, stuck a rubber tube to the mouth and held it close to our nostrils, and started heating with a spirit lamp, within seconds there was an explosion, the spirit lamp toppled, spirit was all over the table and floor and it was burning. Young scientists too proud to shout fire fire and get help, we manged to put it off without any injury or telltale evidence.

If anyone has had a similar experience, ie tooth extraction with laughing gas, i would love to hear about it. Till date I am the only one I know