Friday, I had all of my wisdom teeth removed. They were slightly impacted and required surgery to take them out. As you know if you have been following my blog or any other presence of mine online, it has been an ordeal to get these suckers out of my mouth. God is good though and the teeth are gone. Not only that, but it appears that my time spent suffering counted as “time served” on the pain-o-meter, because I have had no pain whatsoever post-surgery.
Throw your shoes at me. I know. So far I have talked to two people who shared the same type of experience (one was my grandmother—who only had one removed, so I’m not even sure if that counts—and one was a coworker of mine). Almost everyone else has a horror story to share.
I scheduled this appointment back when I got this new job and waited months to get the procedure done in hopes that my new insurance would cover a good portion of it (they did!). The doctor I’d planned to use was going to be on vacation for a long time, so I settled on another gentleman in his office. His picture on the practice’s website has him in some sort of military uniform. Immediately, I am imagining some gory, front lines medical work, but I tried not to dwell too much on the thoughts swirling in my mind. And am I ever glad that I let that go. This man was an artist. There is no way I can chalk up having no pain to my high tolerance for the stuff (because I definitely do not have that). My teeth must have been ready to go and this guy was the fellow to take them out. Thank you, doctor, for your superb work.
We (Mom & me) arrived at the office a few minutes before 8:00 a.m. and were ushered into the waiting area where we filled out a few forms, then I was led to a room near the back. Already the chair I was seated in was much more comfortable than the last time I’d tried to get this done. They hooked me up to all the pulse monitors, clamped things on my arms, and prepared the nitrous.
At this point they put the contraption over my nose and instructed me on how to breathe. Then someone asked if I’d ever had it before. “No,” I answered and after that things got a lot slower. I felt like I was dreaming. I listened to the conversations between the nurses. One had a husband she was worried might be redeployed. The other was complaining about a baby shower. And then I was dreaming that I was ballroom dancing. I opened my eyes once, then quickly closed them again. I had no desire to know what was going on around me. Better to be oblivious and out of it. For what seemed like the tenth time, someone asked me if I was feeling the nitrous. “Mmhmm…”
A cold hand grabbed my arm and the owner asked, “How are we doing today?” The doctor. “Oh, I’m fine. How are you doing?” (I imagine it took 5 minutes for those six words to come out of my mouth) He sprayed something on my arm, rubbed it down with what I thought was alcohol, and I knew what was about to happen. Before I could worry about anything or concentrate enough to listen for my heart rate to increase, the IV was inserted and he was talking again.
“Did that hurt?”
“Just a little.”
“But nothing obscenely awful?”
“Nah, I’m fine.”
“Well, good. Got any questions before we get started?”
I giggled, “Well, you waited a little late to ask, didn’t you?” I heard some nurses laugh. “No, I’m fine.”
“Do you have any allergies?”
“Has your medical history changed any since your last visit?”
“Is there any chance you could be pregnant?”
“No, but go tell my mom I am. She’ll have a heart attack.”
Then a nurse said, “Yay, we can use the defibrillator!”
I don’t know how much time passed here, but I got the feeling that they weren’t expecting me to speak when I did. “Hey, wait. What did you poke my arm with?” He explained that it was the IV and that I’d be feeling something soon. It wasn’t very long before I felt a warm, tingling up a vein in my arm. When the feeling finally reached my brain, I was out.
The next thing I remember is one of the nurses helping me into a wheelchair and wheeling me outside toward a ramp. She asked which car was ours and I pointed to my mom’s Tahoe. She said, “There’s no one in there.” I said, “I don’t care. That’s our car.” I was shivering and my teeth were chattering, so she wheeled me back in until my mom was out in the car. As the nurse pushed me around the back of the vehicle I said something about Sarah Palin, pointing out the bumper stickers on the Tahoe, and telling her that we voted for McCain. I’m sure she appreciated my sermon.
Once I got in the car the first thing I did was put on my glasses. As anyone who wears glasses or contacts knows, you want that “I can breathe” feeling that comes from putting on your spectacles whenever you have any of your other senses numbed. (I’ve heard that the rest of your senses don’t “turn on” all the way until you have ALL of them on.) The second thing I did, which I now realize took me 10 minutes according to the time on my phone, was send out the following text message:
9:01 a.m. I am done and pretty coherent. Mouth full of gauze. Need my pain meds.
I hope those that received it enjoyed it
When I got home all I wanted to do was replace the gauze in my mouth, get a drink, take an oxycodone, and take a nap. I couldn’t speak for a few hours, but once the intense bleeding had stopped, I was going. Dad said that the medicine made me really goofy and chatty. I couldn’t tell that it did anything at all. I will tell you though, that I have not had any pain at all until today (and that’s minor). Now I’m feeling sick from small amount of blood that I am swallowing during the day. It’s been right on the dot at 5:45 every evening that I start feeling nauseated. Working all day has been pretty interesting, as the phones started getting very difficult to answer after just a few hours. Gums and inside of mouth are now swollen. I’ve never been so excited to go home to an ice pack.