The Loss of Wisdom

It has been almost a week and I’m finally ready to talk about the fact that I had four – yes four – wisdom teeth pulled last Friday.  The reaction that I get from people when I tell them I had four teeth pulled at one time is a combination of sheer horror and adulation.  However I can’t fathom the alternative…going through the pain of having maybe one or two teeth pulled and dealing with the slow recovery process, only to deal with the anxiety that would come with anticipating the next trip to the oral surgeon.  No, I decided to have all four removed at once, go through the recovery process and never look back.

Recovery has been slow going but fortunately I have not experienced pain…discomfort?  Yes, but absolutely no pain.  This experience has made me realize three things…

1) Anesthesia and pain medication is one of the most amazing things that man conceived.  During my recovery I got plenty of rest and in-between my deep, hydrocodone  induced naps I had flashes of Gone With The Wind, particularly the horrible scenes that depicted confederate soldiers facing amputation and other mind numbingly painful procedures with little to no chloroform available.  The breast exam that my gynecologist puts me through is more uncomfortable than the procedure that I experienced.  The procedure consisted of sitting in a reclining chair, having my blood pressure taken, experiencing the quick prick of a shot (which was then replaced by the anesthesia drip), the doctor asking if I was nervous (ummm, does a bear sh*t in the woods doc??), short breathing tubes in my nose…and a deep la la land sleep.

2)  Food is EXTREMELY important to me…it builds me up (and perhaps plumps me up a bit too) it makes me feel good – it puts a pep in my step.  I need the food that I eat to be an experience, something joyful and purely satisfying…the mushy, liquid diet that I was confined to for approximately five to six days after surgery just made me sad…that’s right, sad.  Several times I found myself in the grips of desperation.  On the third night after surgery I was standing in front of the refrigerator trying to gum and salivate my way through bite size pieces of Manny & Olga’s meat lovers pizza.  What kind of cruel person orders meat lovers pizza when they know there’s a person on the premise who has been rendered orally challenged???  That person will remain nameless…yes, my mouth ached horribly the next morning but I was willing to suffer for my kryptonite!

3) A good mother is one of the most special things in the entire world (next to a good father).  Yes folks, my mother stood by me like a champ.  She made me smoothies, fixed me soup, potatoes, gave me my meds, hot and cold compresses…it’s nice to know that no matter how old I get and no matter how big this cold world might be – I can always come home.  

Here’s to anesthesia, kryptonite, and MOMS 🙂

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One thought on “The Loss of Wisdom

  1. Been there, babe! Story time…

    Three years ago I woke up one morning with the pain of what was probably nothing more than your garden variety impacted wisdom tooth. It’d been pestering me off and on for months, but I didn’t have dental insurance at the time and put it off as long as I could. But the pain this dark morning had finally succeeded in breaking my financial will, and I made the emergency appointment. I walk into the office recalling the nighmarish tales of friends & family who’d had the procedure performed, some who’d had just one extracted, other Titans like yourself who’d had all four yanked the same afternoon.

    I was prepared for some pain, but figured it was overdo, so I walked in ready to take it like a champ. Little did know that my so called “surgeons” would have no idea what they — yes “they” — were doing. I was chucked into the chair of an admittedly fresh brand new oral surgeon who was clearly either still in training or should have been. I laid my head back, open my mouth and saw my man looking down at my teeth like a 7 year old kid who’d just been given a brand new bucket of Legos. Since the ordeal I’ve asked a handful of other dentists and patients who’ve either performed the procedure or been in the chair for it, and each said it should have taken no more than 20 minutes to pull the single tooth. Tell me how it took in the neighborhood of 2 and a half hours!

    I knew something was very wrong when the lad’s eyebrows began to crunch in frustration at what he was doing. Then there was the pain. I was supposed to be dumbed up, but at one point I felt a sharp pain that I don’t think I was supposed to. His frustration grew, and I could tell it was getting worse. You know how dentists, opthamologists and other physicians have a certain kind style, rhythm and professional movement about their craft when performing their craft. Well, he started off that way, but by the time he realized he was out of his league he looked like one of those clowns in the Excalibur cartoon flicks trying to pull King Arthur’s sword from the Stone.

    He called over another, more senior and experinced dentists to clean up the mess, and it only got worse. I don’t know if the old man was actually more inept than the first bloke, or if he was just doing whatever he could to restore my mouth back to whatever semblance of what it was before Doogie got hold of me or what, but it took him a good 100 + minutes to get me out of there. I must have had to ask for more novocaine every 15 minutes until they were done, because the pain was and discomfort was that constant.

    Christina, I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t like I was at the movies or something. I couldn’t decide to just walk out and catch another show in the theatre one or two doors over. These jokers had the back of mouth sliced open! Only God knows what kind of shape I’d have been in 15 minutes after I walked of the office, not to mention how much blood would’ve spewed out of my the second I tilted my head up. I was stuck, and it was awful. I couldn’t feel anything for days. I was all but certain that Bart and Homer had left me with permanent nerve damage. Thankfully, though, with the grace of God, the bleeding resigned, my mouth healed and the feeling in it restored.

    There’s a reason why the call them wisom teeth. Those who have it will only go to the best to have them removed.

    Lesson learned.

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