This week I’m in and out of sleep, taking pain meds every few hours, essentially on a diet of yogurt, broth, applesauce and ice cream thanks to an experience Monday that I just had to tell you about.
For the past few weeks, dare I say months (I know), I’ve been desperately trying to avoid dealing with pain around my wisdom teeth, swollen gums, the whole bit. I actually was encouraged by a dentist two years ago to get them removed and I thought, nah I can power through the pain.
When the more recent pain started I thought it had something to do with medication I was taking or perhaps the weather or perhaps some other random reason. Whatever the reason, it kept me in denial about actually going to a dentist to address the issue. It was part fear, part financial because who wants to drop hundreds of dollars (after insurance) for little more than 1 hour of work, part who has the time to deal with surgery and recovery and part a laissez-faire attitude about the whole thing.
Thanks to a loving but stern talk with my mother last week I booked an appointment that night for the next day. I went to see a dentist and ultimately got a chance to consult with an oral surgeon which led to a decision that I needed to get all four wisdom teeth removed from my face at the earliest — May 21.
I was so nervous leading up to it, had tons of anxiety and was so glad that my boyfriend could be there with me. I was taken back to the room and told that they were going to start the laughing gas pretty soon because of course if I’m going to have teeth pulled by the root I need to not feel anything and I mean that! This was my first surgery and first time having anesthesia that was so strong and what an experience that was!!
I didn’t think the nitrous oxide would have such an effect but I knew it had taken hold when the surgeon walked in to ask if I was ready to go and instead of using my words, I just could not stop laughing.
Actually, several times throughout the surgery I burst out laughing because of random things I was thinking about like my boyfriend’s face if he walked in and saw my face looking like a balloon. I was also laughing at the surgeon a little bit whether he knew it or not because he had a tough time with some of the teeth that were really in there. Afterwards he told me that my roots really liked me because he had to work hard to get those teeth out.
I was so glad to have laughing gas but boy coming down off that stuff is a real drag lol.
Of course, Beyonce and Drake got me through the first half of the surgery and I was so grateful but my Google Play app did not repeat the playlist that I had started so about halfway through the surgery my music was gone and of course I’m far too loopy to figure out how to unlock my phone. So I had to just listen to everything. All of the drilling, the talking, the root pulling and I’m way more conscious of what’s happening. It sucked.
The first half at least I was humming and singing a little bit. I’m sure it sounded crazy to them because I had a mask over my face, a bunch of tools in my mouth and occasionally let out wild hyena cackles but in my head I could have been on tour.
I thought that I would have been sleep the entire time so I was a little surprised when most of the time I was awake. I was able to look around. I knew what was kind of happening but there was a time or two when I let the gas take over and I could not keep my eyes awake. I realize that must have been tough for them because they gave me instructions to hold my head still, keep my chin up. In my head I was thinking I’ve got to stay in this to help the doctor and in reality my body just was going to do whatever it was going to do and sometimes I just went limp.
When the surgery was over my bottom lip felt HUGE like that scene in The Nutty Professor where Eddie Murphy is fighting between the skinny and fat version of himself.
I asked them if I could keep the teeth to remind myself of this experience. They could only give me one because the others had to be drilled and chipped into a million pieces.
I remember last week when I first went into their office and they gave me some post-op instructions to review before I came back. They said that I should be able to leave out after surgery on my own if I didn’t have somebody to be with me. Fast forward to surgery day when I woke up from the anesthesia and it was time for me to get out of the chair and leave all I could think was, “How the hell could somebody walk out of here after something like that on their own and be okay?” My boyfriend was the real MVP and has been since.
I felt very Michael Jackson trial or post hollywood cosmetic surgery walking out. Adrian got me a mouth cover to put on. You know, those things that people wear in public sometimes at the airport when they don’t want to share germs? I had my coat on zipped up, my hood on, sunglasses on even though it was raining.
Something very valuable that I learned and would tell anyone now is that I should have taken that next pain pill earlier than they told me to because the timing of when the anesthesia wore off and the pain started to set in….babyyyy…. it was Unreal. I stayed and have remained staying in one place as often as possible — Changing mouth gauze every 30 to 60 minutes, spitting out lots of blood and my face is the size of Canada. My home is a series of alarms going off every so often to remind me of another pill to take or another dressing to change or just to eat.
I’m grateful for the thoughts and prayers and well wishes. I was given a long list of risks prior to this surgery and I was an increased risk for a few reasons. I’m so glad things went as smoothly as I prayed for. Recovery has been a bear but I’ll be better eventually. Keeping some sense of humor is helping me through the moments of crying because of the pain or laying on the bathroom floor because of the nausea caused by the meds. Once I can eat a burger and fries, I never want yogurt again lol.
My parents and nephew came to visit which is just the sweetest. I’ll spend the weekend with my family. I had to tell them there was nothing to worry about. I’ve been in very good hands. My boyfriend has done just a phenomenal job of taking care of me. He has been so kind, patient, keeping me in good spirits. I looked up at him today with jaws full of gauze and the inability to open my mouth very wide because of the pain and swelling and called him my true love then laughed because I clearly looked a mess. He obviously understood none of it but he replied oh yeah of course.
So the road to recovery I’m on continues and it’s painful but I’m glad I’ll never have to do this again. Seriously…
Forget wisdom I’ll keep whatever is left.