Nothing but the Tooth

Sooooooo, my wisdom teeth extraction? Yeeeeeah, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it — it sucked. Hard.

I know this probably is going to make me sound like a big ol’ baby, but I’ve never had surgery and never undergone general anesthesia before, so even though wisdom teeth extraction is a super normal, super common procedure, I was quite nervous going in. Still, I thought I knew what to expect. I read all the literature, heard from lots of friends about their experiences, and hey, I watch a lot of medical TV shows, lol. So I guess I kind of figured that getting knocked out would be at least somewhat like what you see on TV or in the movies? You know, where they have you count backwards from 10 and you just kind of… drift off… and things are all peaceful and calm…

But no.

It’s not like falling asleep, where you know you’ve been asleep when you wake up. Instead, it’s like you’re awake one second… and then you’re still awake the next second — except that a whole period of time has passed in between that’s just GONE. But you have no memory of passing out or going under, and no memory of anything having occurred during that time, so it was extremely disorienting for me. And to top it all off, apparently my reaction to anesthesia meds is to hyperventilate and cry uncontrollably.

 

Seriously, I had to actively try and control my breathing for like five full minutes, and I was hit with sooooo many weird emotions in the recovery room! Anger and sadness… ugh, it was misery, and while they said it was a totally normal reaction to the anesthesia medications, I was not prepared for it! I thought I’d be all loopy and space cadet-y, not moody and angry and crazy. Ugh.

The one shining light from my experience was that the tech who was helping me in the recovery room was totally floored when he found out how old I am. He asked me if I was in school, and then when I told him I was 30 and had a baby, his jaw dropped and he said he thought I was 20! Haha! I think my hair really tends to throw people off… although, in retrospect I do wonder if the uncontrolled crying and the fact that my dad was there to drive me home also had something to do with his perception of me. Whatever, I’m still taking it.

My at-home recovery hasn’t been too peachy either, although this part I was a bit more prepared for. They removed all of my impacted, semi-erupted wisdom teeth — two uppers as well as my one lower right one (which is the one that had been giving me grief a couple weeks ago and was the impetus for this entire thing). I’m on ibuprofen and Tylenol 3 (with codeine), which makes it manageable, but my face is pretty swollen and my right jaw is still giving me a lot of grief. I can’t 0pen my mouth much at all without causing myself serious pain — even smiling and laughing is kind of painful, sigh. So thank goodness I own a large supply of long, shallow baby spoons, because they are what I’m using to spoon tiny bits of food into my mouth. Oh, and if you were curious, my amazing, incredibly healthy diet right now primarily consists of yogurt, mashed potatoes, and pudding. I think I’ll attempt some mac ‘n’ cheese later today and see how that goes.

Basically, this entire experience just has me really wishing I had gone through this all when I was a teenager or in college, like my sister and brother did. It’s just a lot harder to dwell in my misery when I’ve got a little someone I need to rally for, lol. Though I am very thankful to my parents & Sean for helping out so much while I’m running at half-speed here.

 

It’ll be interesting to see how long it’s going to take me to get back into the swing of things, too. I was actually feeling pretty proud of myself for working out almost daily over the past couple of weeks, and hope that this doesn’t put too much of a dent in my motivation.

 

I’m a smidgen over 17 pounds down so far, which feels steady and maintainable, especially knowing that I’m approaching my weight and health journey the “right way” right now. Because while many of you know that I have had success with weight loss in the (now seemingly far distant) past, even when I was at my lowest adult weight, I never felt this kind of genuine motivation to work on my health and fitness — I just wanted to weigh less.

So here’s hoping that once I come out the other side of this awful mess of pain and swollen chipmunk cheeks and can’t-drive-while-taking-them-medications, I’ll be able to bounce right back into the sorta-kinda-semblance of a routine that I’ve been setting up? Guess we shall seeeeee!

3 Comments

  1. Ask your mom to make congee – the only thing I ate when I got my wisdom teeth out!

  2. Jennifersays:

    Your description of the anesthesia was spot on – my son had his teeth out in March and was super argumentative with me when I was getting him in the car and in the house; he told us later he had no recollection of any of it. All he remembered was being awake one minute at the oral surgeon and waking up in his bed! Hope you are on the mend soon!

  3. Shannonsays:

    I had mine cut out, so I was knocked out too. We lived an hour away from my orthodontist and my mom had to pull over several times because I was so nauseous from swallowing my bloody spit. (hello drying heaving when you can’t really open your mouth much) Then I had to go my great aunts funeral two days later with swollen cheeks, then off to vacation in London two days after that… I was literally in the airport bathroom with my hooked water syringe rinsing out my sockets.. Wisdom teeth removal is such a rough process… You’ll be better soon! Hang in there!

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