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.