Sorry for going silent there for a few days.
I had a lot to get done at both work and home before Tuesday.
What was special about Tuesday? It was THE day. The day I had been trying to schedule, pay for and make happen for months (actually, years..) finally came.
I had oral surgery to remove my 4 impacted wisdom teeth.
While this was completely and totally necessary, I have been dreading the procedure ever since I learned that I would need it several years ago. You see, I’m terrified of dentists, and to top it off, I was even more scared of the IV sedation. I’ve partied, in my day, but never have I lost any period of time. I always have had the capacity to recall how dumb I behaved while under the influence of a substance. The idea of being pumped full of drugs and simply losing 2 hours of my life wasn’t really something I looked forward to.
I spent all of Monday feeling anxious. I called and confirmed my appt. with the dental school’s oral surgery department. It took like 5 phone calls and an hour of my life. I kept trying to reach the “appointment” line of the department, but every time it would just shove me on hold. As a last ditch attempt, I chose the “billing” option and I got right through.
They confirmed my apt for 2pm on Tuesday and reminded me that it was going to cost $1,366, since I couldn’t get a payment plan for the school. Can you say financial ouch?
I spent all of Tuesday morning hungry. You can’t eat or drink for 8 hours prior to surgery, and unfortunately, since my case was complex, I had to be seen by a resident or instructor. They don’t come in until the afternoon session. Lucky me.
At 1:30 pm, my friend Peter came to pick me up and take me to the appt. We got there at about 1:45pm and I checked in. First I was called in by a woman who explained that I had been chosen to participate in a study. I pretty much just have to write down my pain levels and adverse effects for 4 days, mail it back to the school and they will give me $25. I consented to be part of the study…might as well get something positive out of this experience!
Shortly after that I was taken back to the surgery room. I met my surgeon and the nurse in charge of anaesthesia. They got a little medical history from me, told me there was nothing to be scared of, and then hooked me up to a heart rate monitor, oxygen flow and an IV. Then they turned the overhead lights off and covered me up with a blanket, as the doctor said it gets cold in the room. I don’t remember too much more, as within 2 minutes of the IV drip starting, I was out.
I woke up at one point, heard mumbling about only one left. I think I heard the doctor tell the nurse to give me more of something. Then seconds later I felt like I was waking up again. My suspicion is that I started to wake up one tooth too early. It all kind of blends together. I remember the room looking all rainbow-colored as I started to come out. The second time I remember waking up, all of the equipment was being removed. I tried to talk, but I was packed with gauze. Everything was a little foggy, but I knew where I was and what had happened. I heard someone say they were going to get Peter. Then I remember asking if I could see my teeth. They showed them to me…two were whole, the other two broken into pieces. I guess I must’ve asked to keep the whole ones, as they were wrapped in a plastic zip loc bag and put with my things.
Then they brought Peter in. They explained what I was supposed to do afterwards to him, and I found out later that before they brought him in, someone had sat out in the waiting room and explained that they were going to bring me out in a wheelchair and he should watch for profuse bleeding. He said it kind of freaked him out and he had asked them if I was okay. They reassured him it was normal. I ended up not needing a wheelchair. Peter helped me up and got me out and to the car. Then to Walgreens where I sat pathetically in a seat while he got my prescriptions for me, pointing to me and reassuring the pharmacist that he was picking up pills for me because I couldn’t talk. Apparently I looked so awful that the pharmacist threw in 2 ice packs for free. Thank you, Walgreens!
Peter got me into my apartment, helped me figure out what medicine to take, wrote down a note for me so I would know when to take the next dose. He then went to the store to get me milk and supplies. Once he was really sure that I was going to be okay, he took off for home and I settled down for a long evening of watching Star Trek: The Next Generation on DVD. He called and checked in on me at 7:30pm, made sure I was okay and reminded me of when I could medicate again. He told me today that I had seemed so pathetic and sad yesterday that he felt really bad/worried about me. I have such good friends.
I felt pretty awful for the rest of Tuesday, but thus far, Wednesday hasn’t been as bad as I expected. The pain has been mild, but the swelling is out of this world.
In order to avoid scaring/scarring you, I’ve dolled up the pictures. Let’s do a comparison.
Due to this incredibly “not cute” swelling situation I have going on, I’ve spent most of the day doing this…
…while looking at this:
I foresee a lot more of these two things in my future.
Do you still have your wisdom teeth?