Wisdom Teeth Removal: Day 4

Sunday..

At least two, if not three times I woke up in the middle of the deep deep sleep lortab gave me by gasping for breath. Each time I resisted going back to sleep, dreading the next time I’m startled awake feeling like I’m not getting enough air. I tried to wait it out as long as I could awake so that less of the medication would be in me. I didn’t do too well. So I awoke poorly rested and hating this pain medication.

I asked my husband to call the office of the oral surgeon to explain what was going on. I could hear a bit of the conversation on the other side of the call. It wasn’t an allergic reaction. Yes but it was a very very adverse one IMHO. The doctor suggested to take half of the pill and then wait an hour. If I still had pain, take the other half. All of the medicine hitting me all at once was probably causing me trouble. I could also up my ibuprofen to 4 tablets at once. Not that taking that much will help my stomach I bet.

As far as food went we tried some mix that was supposed to be pumpkin soup. It was more spice than pumpkin. Neither one of us could finish our bowls. That’s soup # 3 that failed us. We batted zero. So it was more mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, yogurt, generic jello, and shakes for me.

The pain got worse and I was forced to take a half lortab during the afternoon. Though I got drowsy I forced myself to stay awake. I hate that damn medicine now.

I spent the day in bed. More applications of the ice pack. Though by now it was past the 48 hours recommended. I figured it couldn’t hurt.

Later that afternoon I spied my reflection in the mirror. I now had a good size light bruise on the right side of my face. The one side that was less swollen, the one that was healing better. Sigh. Plus both areas began to itch. It’s hard to scratch something that’s so tender and painful to the touch. Again I’m hoping the scratching means healing. The bruise on my left side is still nasty and spreading. Oh joy. It hurts by just existing there on my face. Hurting when I turn to the left or lower my chin. It looks like something socked me there. More unpleasant thoughts of looks I’ll get when I return to work, taking the train in, flood my head.

I just keep remembering that each day that passes is one day closer to this being over. One day this will be just a memory. I’ll forget the pain and look back at these posts wondering how out of it I was.

In the evening I take another half of a lortab to help keep the pain at bay through the night at the suggestion of my husband. I am a bit chilly, so I grab my nearby hoodie and put it on for the night, pulling the hood over my eyes. I’m still sleeping sitting up in the bed. I’m not asleep long, 30 minutes to an hour at most. I have a terrible nightmare and actually wake myself up with my own screaming. I’m panting, covered in sweat, and feeling very warm. My husband asks if I’m okay. I answer that I don’t know. And I didn’t. I take off the hoodie and toss it to the ground. I sit there panting, trying to stay awake as long as possible. As the medicine pulls me back to sleep I swear to myself that I’m building a new tolerance to pain. I’m just taking ibuprofen by itself from here on out. To hell with the lortab. That medicine is being put on my “I don’t care. I’m never taking it again” list.

Wisdom Teeth Removal: Day 3

Saturday..

No one talks about the third day. Now I wonder and suspect why..

I woke up realizing all of my pain killers had worn off while I slept. So it was the battle to stay fairly asleep vs the pain waking me up more and more. Oh that was not fun at all. I also don’t like taking painkillers on an empty stomach so I had to down something substantial so I could take the medicine.

A bruise had finally formed under the left side of my chin. I wasn’t terribly surprised. That side of my face had been more swollen. Despite using an ice pack repeatedly over the past two days, the bruise finally appeared. And it’s nasty looking. I’m thankful now I’m not going out of the house. I’m not looking forward to the stares, startled second looks and the like when I start working again. Both cheeks are nice and tender to the slightest touch. The right one was starting to itch, so I hope that means it’s healing. There’s not a bruise on the right side of my face yet.

I finally noticed the stitches in my gum. I first discovered it after eating mac and cheese. I thought some food was stuck between my teeth, but looked to see a stitch. The teeth before the spot of the surgery on my bottom left are very tender and hurtful to even a gentle tooth brushing. I’m not sure if that’s normal. I had been rinsing with warm salt water since Friday hoping it’s helping with the healing. But with the bruise, new pain, and this tenderness I’m not so sure. I shudder to think what all this stitching means and how much work they had to do to my gum to pull out that tooth. Ugh.

Today’s food choices had broadened to mashed potatoes. I had tried some mac and cheese Friday night and enjoyed it. Amazing how much you enjoy something smooth like that after having liquids before then. I had another generic jello as well. My food options are pretty limited still and I wonder if I’ll lose or gain weight.

Since the bottom left area is getting nice and tender it’s starting to become difficult to swallow. The motion of it seems to irritate that area just enough to cause it to hurt. That’s not good. Meh. I’m waiting for this to be over.

I’m also realizing why everyone advised that if I needed all 4 of my wisdom teeth out to get it done all at once. I can’t imagine going through this twice. I don’t like the nausea, the weird dreams the lortab gives me, the pain, all the icing, etc. I’d rather go through all this misery just the one time thank you very much.

Resting, eating, icing, sleeping, taking meds.. my daily schedule isn’t that exciting. I’m not even sure if these blog posts are making much sense with how out of it I am between exhaustion and medication. I hope I’m semi coherent.

Wisdom Teeth Removal: Day 2

Friday..

So I had went shopping Wednesday late afternoon. As I looked for food I could have, a woman there said I had the look of someone who had too many options. I jokingly corrected it’s the look of someone about to have their wisdom teeth removed. She recommended to ice the areas like crazy the first day to keep swelling down. As so I did on day 1 as much as possible when I wasn’t feeling very ill.

Now comes day 2. I had been forewarned by several sources that day 2 is sheer hell. The dental meds wear off and you have to take ibuprofen and the prescribed pain-killer. Although as I looked ahead to this day I thought pain was a better choice than nausea. That day 1 was more hellish with just how really ill I felt. At least with pain you can take medication to deal with it. With nausea you can’t get anything down.

I took a Lortab at 6pm on Thursday. Let me tell you this stuff is something else. It gives you very weird dreams. Now you may recall some dreams you’ve had that made you go, “What the heck was that about?” You thought how it didn’t make sense. Well it’s worse than that. Not only do they not make any sense, you dream stuff that just isn’t logical. And your mind seems to jump all over the place. I had the passing thought of that perhaps this is why some people feel compelled to get high or hammered to allow their muse to work. I wasn’t proud of the thought, but I had it. If this is what I needed to get my muse going, I could go without it. I can tell how out of it the medicine makes me, and thus I don’t like it.

By the instructions I got I’m supposed to take 3 ibuprofen first. If that didn’t work, then the Lortab. Unfortunately this didn’t help me keep track of when to take what. (I also had to take penicillin every 6 hours.) Times get out of kilter and get spread further apart for each medicine which makes it that much harder to remember. Then after the Lortab whacks me out of it, it’s hard to remember anything. As the day progressed it became more difficult to remember when I last took what. I was also more tired Friday than I was on the previous day. Exhaustion and mental confusion is not a good mix.

Now I had received the advice of staying ahead of the pain. Well this is hard when you have the problem I described above. Also the pain level goes from about a 2 out of 10, manageable, to quickly getting worse. I wasn’t in that area in between low and okay this hurts now for very long. Eventually I learned the pain was so bad that the ibuprofen alone couldn’t handle it, so I had to take the Lortab at the same time. But that lesson didn’t come until I was completely confused over when to take what and had to “reset” myself to a time when I could take all of the medicine together. And I got into quite a bit of pain waiting for that reset time to arrive.

I actually did get myself out and about a bit this day during the afternoon. Storms were planned to come through during the evening so I wasn’t looking forward to waking up in the middle of the night to either the weather radio or thunder. Out of all my days since the surgery so far, this one at least gave me enough energy to leave the house. (I’ve pretty much been bedridden after it though.) I couldn’t really have anything to eat out, but at least the outside air and warmth helped cheer up my spirits.

So from my experience I can say, try to stay ahead of the pain. It won’t be as easy as people say or suggest. Try to set alarms or reminders when to take your meds next. Oh and taking it on any kind of food helps your stomach. But don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss your time to take your pain medication.

So day 3 consisted of some time out, figuring out what to take when, and taking naps. With the exception of the pain I experienced waiting for time to “reset”, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Oh, and yes there was more icing of the areas.

Wisdom Teeth Removal: Day 1

So I had scheduled to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed at 8:20 am on Thursday. Three of them had grown horizontal in my jaw. Only one grew straight up, but needed to be pulled anyway and before now had begun to rot. I was told over 2 years ago to get it done “soon.” The oral surgeon said I should have got this done when I was 16, not 33. (Financial/insurance issues.) Even now I have to be observed carefully to make sure everything heals okay.

I couldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight because I was being put to sleep. My last meal Wednesday evening consisted of beef udon, edamame, kakuni, and ramune. (I’m hoping it helps with any future Japanese food cravings.) Any meds I had to take in the morning had to be taken with the smallest sip of water I could manage in order to get them down. (Antibiotic, painkiller, and my beta blocker.) I spent the day before being nauseous from the antibiotic and still feeling miserable when I arrived.

When I got there I was brought into the surgery room and lied in the chair. Then began the usual going to knock you out surgery routines. (I had an endoscopy so I’d been through the motions.) Finger polsock on left hand, blood pressure cuff on right arm, 3 EKG leads on my body. Next came the laughing gas, which I’ve never had before. It was put over my nose and my husband who was in the room remarked about my green pig nostril. I told him he could throw an angry bird at me. (Nervous as hell, but still had my sense of humor.) I breathed that in deeply for a minute or two before they saw in my eyes it was working. My feet started to feel like they were going asleep, then my hands. That was the work of the gas. Then they put an IV in my left arm. They also put a band under my hair to tie it up for the surgery. My left arm was strapped to my body for safety.

Then came the IV. I don’t know what the heck the medicine was, but I did not like it at all. I began to get a taste in my mouth, said as much, and they said that was normal. I didn’t like the taste and started to mouth breathe and get a bit nauseous. After a minute or two the taste passed and I returned to breathing out of my nose. Then they were about to start to knock me out. I said goodbye to my husband as he left the room and they injected the meds in me. Out like a light.

Next thing I knew I heard a woman ask me, “Christine, can you wake up for me?” I slowly opened my eyes, still in the chair in the room. A bed was pulled up against it and I was told to move over onto it. It’s kind of weird because I think I saw more of the room out of my memory and mind’s eye than my actual eyes. After scooting onto the bed I was wheeled to the recovery room to face a wall, and with a wall to my right side. I began to look around. A nurse asked me if I was okay. Now at this point I realized I had two huge rolls of cotton in my mouth like two strange tusks. Plus I was numbed up a lot around my mouth. So naturally speaking was a challenge. I wanted to say “maa maa” which means so-so in Japanese. (The fact I could remember my limited Japanese in this state makes me feel a bit proud.) Instead I just shrugged and made a sound, relaying the fact I was probably as good as one could be in this state. Then she asked how my stomach was and thankfully it was 100 percent better and I gave her a thumbs up. She went away and I looked around some more, wondering when my husband would come in. The nurse returned and asked if I felt ready to sit up. Right. Just woke up. Drugged up. Sitting. Yeah. I shrugged again and kind of went “eh” as best as I could. That managed to buy me some time to lie there, thankfully.

Finally my husband came in and rubbed my head and smiled at me. Amazing what the human touch can do to comfort. The nurse asked again if I could sit up so we could leave. Well alright I figured I’d try. So she helped me up and moved the pillows against the wall so I could sit against them. At this point I noticed my bottom right side of my jaw hurt. I let her know and the oral surgeon decided to put some more meds in my gums. I was lied back down and he injected medicine in my bottom and top right gum. It hurt when he put it in the lower, which surprised him. After a moment to let that sink in, again I had to sit up. At least this time went a bit better. I sat there for a minute.

Then the nurse asked if I could stand. She wanted me to put my right food on a chair there and my left straight on the ground. Now my feet felt alright, but I knew from past experience that I may not be as confident as I think I am at this. So I put my right foot on the chair, my left on the ground and made sure it felt firm. The nurse helped support me as I brought my right foot to the floor. Then my husband helped support my other side. I walked with help but actually it wasn’t as hard as I was expecting. I walked out the door and to my husband’s car waiting outside. I was told to watch my head as I ducked into the seat.

So I happily enjoyed the drive home, biting down on my cotton tusks. Everything was okay. The surgery went well. I was glad it was done. Then three-quarters of the way home the nausea began. And it steadily grew. By the time I got home and stepped into the doorway it was a level 10. The terrible drug taste was back in my mouth and was making things so much worse. I sat down on the recliner sofa and felt the need to throw up. And that was most of my morning. I was just lying there feeling miserable, wanting to throw up. Oh and there was the changing of the guard of the cotton in my mouth, which had to be wet, as I waited for the bleeding to stop.

1pm rolled around and I was still not feeling well. I knew I had to eat so we decided to try to see if I could swallow yet. (And I needed to take ibuprofen.) My husband got some water and that proved to be an exercise in futility. I barely got any down, coughed like crazy, and bloody water fell down my face and shirt. I learned after that to hold a bowl under my chin. I barely got the one ibuprofen down.

Eventually I tried some non dairy food, which was all I could have till the nausea went away. I tried some natural chicken broth, and it did not taste good. In fact it made my nausea worse. Next it was a box of miso broth I bought from Whole Foods. Oh glorious miso broth that I looked forward to. And that also tasted terrible. Damn you miso, you betrayed me. Next was sugar-free jello. But the cherry I had was very strong flavored so I didn’t eat much. Next I gave it a rest and took a bit of a nap. I woke up and decided to try some hummus. It wasn’t easy to really eat, it was more slowly dissolving. Buuut, it got the terrible taste of that IV medicine in my mouth.

3pm rolled around and I wasn’t nauseous for at least an hour. So I decided to try dairy. I have these generic versions of Slim Fast shakes. So I asked for one of those. Oh that was heaven to finally have something to drink that was substantial. It also helped the other 2 ibuprofen I needed to go down. The day progressively got better. I moved onto pudding and had another shake later.

6pm and the pain definitely started kicking in. I was told to take my prescription pain-killer, Lortab, by 8pm. I didn’t last that long. I took it and at 9 I took 3 more ibuprofen for the pain. I finally worked my way upstairs to bed. Now sleeping was going to be interesting as I had to sleep in a reclined position to keep swelling down. It wasn’t easy to get to sleep. The whole day I wasn’t very tired aside from the one 30 minute or so nap I had. Finally sleep came and day one came to an end.

So to sum up day one consisted of nausea and oh yes icing of the cheeks. Lots and lots of putting an ice bag repeatedly against my cheeks.

Day two is when I was forewarned hell would begin as the dental drugs completely wear off.