Tuesday, December 8, 2009

wisdom teeth

Many of you know that I recently had my wisdom teeth "extracted." I went in for a routine surgery on Thursday, Dec. 3. They hooked me up to the funny gas and asleep I went. About an hour later, I awoke to a nurse pulling bloody gauze out of my mouth and helping me into a wheel chair. We wheeled to a room nearby and she helped me lay on a mock bed in the "resting" area. I've heard many funny "post anesthesia" stories. This isn't one of them. I didn't have that kind of experience. I pretty much just woke up, laid there and got my bearings. I heard someone screaming nearby - and then i started laughing. I don't know why that struck me as funny, but in the moment, I found it laughable.

I was then escorted to another room where Mark came to join me. They gave us the rundown, told me what to expect, where to pick up my prescription, the whole works. Should be a piece of cake, I thought. We walked to the car (I totally was able to walk myself) and I didn't even fall asleep on the way home. I was pretty "with it" and I was impressed that I wasn't reacting to the anesthesia more.

We got to Walgreens to pick up my Vicodin and as we were waiting in the parking lot, I suddenly felt very emotional. I started to bawl and Mark took me home. Neither of us knew why I was crying, he just knew I wanted to be at home.

Then - it began.
The WORST experience of my life (so far).

I ate some applesauce because it was all I could fit in my mouth. I wanted to eat enough to fill my stomach so I could begin taking my pain killers. I popped one in and I waited. Soon after, I was sleeping on the couch. A groggy haze came over me and I just needed to close my eyes. When I woke up, it was time to take another pill...so I ate a little bit more and took another. Shortly after, I was in the bathroom throwing up everything I had just ate. This continued, off and on, for the rest of the day. Any time I ate anything, it was only moments before I barfed it up. Sorry to be graphic, but it's true. And this was violent vomiting, if I can say that. I'm pretty sure I could have sprayed someone across the room it was so forceful. It was very sick.

I decided at this point that painkillers just weren't for me, and that I wouldn't be taking anymore. I started taking ibuprofen, crossing my fingers that it would be enough.

Day 2 went well. I could hardly feel the pain. My mom came and brought me lunch and we watched "17 again". Love that Zac Efron. He is my craddle-robber crush (though i think i'm only a year or two older than him). All was good. I was so happy. I couldn't believe how easy this was. I thought I was set.

I went to bed that night and woke up around 2 am. My mouth was throbbing. It was a pain like no other. You know when you haven't flossed in a REALLY long time, and then you get something stuck in your teeth, and you floss the crap out of it until it throbs and hurts? Ok, it was kind of like that, except a million times worse, and it was radiating throughout my entire face and up to my ears. I could hardly stand it. I obviously couldn't sleep through it so I woke up and started icing it. I didn't want to admit it at first, but I knew I was going to have to take another Vicodin, because this just wasn't going to work for me. After much contemplation, I ate a piece of bread, drank a huge glass of water, and popped another pill.

It took a while to kick in, and even when it did, it didn't work with the intensity that I felt it should have. It still hurt, but it was mangageable. I drifted to sleep off and on for the rest of the night.

The next THREE days I dealt with this. I would sleep from like 10 pm to 1 or 2 am and then be up the rest of the day. I was pretty sure I had a dry socket, BUT, because it was the weekend, I was kind of screwed. I called the dental office on Sunday morning because I just couldn't take it anymore. He told me that it was probably too early for me to actually have a dry socket (because it was only day 4) and that I should come in Monday morning and they would take a peek. Not what I wanted to hear. I wanted relief, man! I was so tired and so SICK of it. I had been laying on the same couch for four days now, staring at our fake Christmas tree, watching movies and catching up on episodes of "Glee." I needed a change of scenery if I was going to have to deal with this for one more day. Mark took me up to my parents, and just being there made me feel better. More people to talk to, a prettier Christmas tree to enjoy, a wonderful, loving dog named Chief to love me and cuddle with me. It was good.

There were a few times that night that I just started crying. I couldn't help it. It hurt SO bad I just wanted to knock myself out so I wouldn't have to deal with it. The painkillers + ibuprofen weren't working - and it was making me sick. On top of the pain, I was naseaus. It was terrible.

I woke up at 2:45, ready to be annoyed and "deal" once again. I was especially naseuas. I found that there is nothing good on television between the hours of 2 am and 5 am. There was nobody online to chat with. I had nothing to distract myself, and the time dragged by. My dog was confused why I was awake. I was clearly interrupting his pattern (and i probably took his bed on the couch!)

My mom finally woke up at 5 am and joined me. We got ready and drove down to the oral surgeon in St. Paul. We waited a few minutes, and were escorted into a room. I told them what was happening, they told me i DID have a dry socket and then they explained what they would do. To sum it up, he basically took a tiny piece of medicinal guaze and jammed it deep down into the socket. Imagine stabbing a sore in your mouth over and over. That's what it felt like. I clinched my fingers together as tight as I could. And that was that. 30 seconds later, it was in. It stung for about 5 minutes, and then it was INSTANT relief. I couldn't not believe it! I could not believe how much better it felt. In fact, it didn't even hurt anymore. It was insane.

So now it is Tuesday. I still haven't been able to sleep well because my mouth is pretty sore. It's yellow on my jaw line and will probably turn black and blue. Those teeth must have been in there pretty good. Tomorrow, I go back and they take out the guaze apparently. Not sure what that means, or what that feels like. I'm hoping it won't be too painful.

I have to say, I'm looking forward to eating things and not worrying about stuff getting caught in my teeth. I'm looking foward to opening my mouth big enough to take a big bite of something I like. I'm looking forward to eating something crunchy. I'm looking forward to sleeping through the night. I'm looking forward to not icing my face and constantly taking ibuprofen.

This has been an experience. And I know many of you have probably had similar experiences with your wisdom teeth, but I just wanted to share mine and leave you with this.

If you haven't had yours out, and they AREN'T hurting you, DON'T DO IT. I was talking to my Dad about this the other night, and he had a good point. He doesn't know anyone from his "generation" that had their wisdom teeth out. He never got his out, and he has had no problems. He thinks it's actually just a scam to make money. Ha. I'm starting to wonder if he could be right.

Your dentist might tell you that you NEED to get them out, but you really don't need to do it unless they cause problems for you. My dentist told me I needed to, but my teeth weren't hurting me. They were just sitting there, and had been sitting there for a while. SO, now that I look back, and think of how terrible it all was, I probably wouldn't have done it. Not until I really, actually had to.

So that is my pity party story. A lot of people have been asking how it went, or how I'm feeling and now I've answered all of that without having to open my mouth, which is nice - because it still hurts :)

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