Monday, January 8, 2007

My Wisdom Teeth Are Gone

So this last Friday I got my wisdom teeth out. This should have been done a few years ago, but there was no way I could afford the cost of it then (it was over $1000, but with insurance only cost me $200).

So on Friday Aaron took me over to Wisdom Teeth Only in Provo. I highly recommend them. I had a very good experience (granted I wasn't awake most of the time!). They took me into the operating room and sat down in the dentist chair. The oral surgeon came in and talked to me a little about what to expect and so forth. Then someone came in and put in an IV with medications to help me sleep. This is the first time I've been "put under" with anesthesia, so I was pretty nervous. I thought it would be one of those masks that they put over your mouth and nose, but I was glad it wasn't. I wasn't too happy about the needle (the last time I got a shot it was a tetanis shot that made my arm ache for days), but it was a small prick and that was all. He found my vein easily, so no biggee. I immediately started to get drowsy and I remember them talking around me, putting something in my mouth. At one point I heard them chatting to each other about their families, etc., but I'm not sure when that was. Then they were telling me to swing my legs over to the side of the chair and they walked me to the room next door, set me on another reclining dentist chair, and put a blanket over me. Aaron came in and I tried to say his name, but it didn't come out well. I knew I should open my eyes, but I was pretty content just lying there.

Finally I opened them. I heard a nurse say something about me waking up. She came in and talked to us about what I should do while recovering. She said I probably wouldn't remember what she was saying, but I was pretty alert by then (partly because I wanted to know what she was saying). They got a wheelchair and rolled me out to the car. We had to go to Costco to get the medications (pain killer and antibiotics). I felt really gross and was bleeding quite a bit. Aaron walked me to the door of the bathroom and I went in and changed the gauze, which was already soaked in blood. Then we waited for the medication. I noticed on the instructions it said to drink a clear liquid like apple juice or gingerale before taking the pain meds, so I sent Aaron to find some apple juice. Of course, the smallest amount they had were 2 one-gallon jugs.

We got the meds, paid for the apple juice, and went home. Aaron got me to the couch and then got my pillow and a blanket. I drank some apple juice and took the pain meds, forgetting about the antibiotics. By now it was around 11 a.m. (so the surgery itself only took about an hour including all the befores and afters). Then around 2 p.m. I remembered I hadn't taken the antibiotics. So I got the bottle and swallowed one. Well, that turned out to be a bad idea, except to be a learning experience and to add one more medication to the "Do Not Take under ANY Circumstances" list, because within an hour I was puking it back up (along with the apple juice and a meal-replacement shake I had drunk). Unfortunately, I must not have gotten it all because this reoccurred once an hour for four more hours. Finally at the end I was pretty sure it was out because I tasted something very sour and gross-tasting that I had not before. I was right because after that it stopped.

After the first time we called the dentist office and told them about it. They said to just stop taking it. I guess it was only a precaution in case of infection (so I didn't even need to take it). They wanted me to continue on the pain pills to rule out whether they had really caused the nausea (I was pretty sure it wasn't since it was 4 hours after I took the pain pills that I had nausea).

It was sort of fun just lying on the couch (and since I had novacation left, it was my "personal holiday" from work. We get one a year). I watched TV and found out how boring day-time TV is. I was wishing for a puzzle book, but didn't think to ask Aaron to go get one. I spent the day with an icepack on my face, switching back and forth between one cheek and the other.

The next day I started on the pain pills again. I had no problem with nausea, so my suspicion was confirmed. I found, though, that 4 ibprofen (800 mg) worked just as well if not better than the prescription, so I switched. In the instructions from the dentist, it said I could take either 600-800 mg of ibuprofen or the pain pills, but ibuprofen works well for me, and it has less chances of causing nausea. I mostly took it again on Saturday just to confirm whether it had caused the problems on Friday.

I started eating soft foods on Saturday and yesterday, Sunday, I was eating back to normal. I think overall the recovering is coming along quite well. My gums get sore when I eat and I woke up this morning at 5 a.m. with pain (which a few ibuprofen stopped and I went back to sleep).

I was nervous to have my teeth come out, and I'm so glad it's over!

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