Monday, May 26, 2008

Wisdom? I ain't got none!


This past Saturday morning at the start of a beautiful Memorial Weekend (which happens about once in a blue moon, as I well remember some Memorial Day's that involved winter coats and mittens!), I underwent surgery for the removal of a wisdom tooth.

Now, I've known for over 3 years that this tooth should come out but my fear of anesthesia, and surgery in general kept me from having this procedure done. But I have a lot going on in my future and the fact that health insurance may become an issue was a huge deciding factor for me. So I guess it's only right that I got stuck spending my weekend recovering instead of sailing.

I had one wisdom tooth pulled about 20 years ago, and since it had erupted, the dentist was able to extract it 'in the chair'. All I remember is that it took way longer than it should have and required my dentist to leave the room several times in search of a bigger pair of pliers or other implements of torture. Finally after I was sure my jaw was going to break, the tooth let go with a crack and I spent the next 2 days on my couch, with a swollen face, and a lot of pain medication.

Don't worry, I still packed lunches and cooked meals. After all I wasn't dead.

So knowing that this tooth was impacted, needed to be forcibly removed from my jaw bone, and that my gums would be sliced open, told me that this would be a lot worse that my last experience.

But thanks to the 'happy pill' that I'd taken 90 minutes before my appointment (wisely prescribed by the surgeon who did NOT want to work on this nervous patient), I strolled into the office complete with a goofy grin and dragging Hans in my wake.

I suddenly found myself in the chair, a nitrous mask was strapped to my face, an IV was started, and then someone said, "You're all done, Laura."

I said, "No I'm not."

"Yes you are."

"How can I be done?"

"Because your tooth is out and you can go home in a few minutes."

And that was it.

Except for the fact that I had my usual 'tummy trouble ala anesthesia' and had to use a Wendy's parking lot instead of my trusty bucket (I was able to make it to a grassy spot!), I'm amazed at how well everything went. I took a pain pill before we left the parking lot and then 1 every 4 hours until the next morning. By the next day I was eating pizza and today (Monday) we went for a 2 hour bike ride.

My only regret?

That I didn't do this 3 years ago AND that I didn't let them yank the final wisdom tooth that remains!

Yes, I have one left but as I've said before, I'm not the brightest bulb in the box and I'll take my 'smarts' or 'wisdom' from wherever I can get it.


Katie Alender said...

I had the same painless experience. I was dreading it soooo much, but it was over before I knew it. I'd been so nervous going in that they had to give me laughing gas to relax me. But overall it wasn't bad at all.

Glad it went smoothly!

laura said...

2 of my kids had all 4 wisdom teeth pulled at once and my fear was based on their experiences. Baby Girl still swears she'd NEVER do it again. She literally couldn't chew for 1 month and for about 3 weeks after the surgery, new colorful bruises in the obvious shape of forceps would appear. Need I say more? I was lucky!!!

Mary Witzl said...

I'm glad you didn't suffer too. Dentists make me awfully edgy.

My youngest just had a tooth pulled. She hasn't been great about brushing her teeth and I've been less than diligent about making sure she keeps her dental appointments. Boy, the guilt!

I had all my wisdom teeth out at once too. It wasn't a picnic, but the worst thing was that they forgot to take the dressings out. My gums healed over them and they had to be cut open later so that the dressings could be removed. Not fun.

laura said...

Mary, that is too gross! If that had happened today you would be on Larry King Live!