Thursday, April 12, 2012

Goodbye Wisdom

As stated in a previous entry, I had my wisdom teeth removed this week. Let me start by saying this is an event I have dreaded since high school, when it seemed all my peers were having their wisdom teeth removed. Mine have always seemed to be fine, and I am of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. But sure enough, here I am, a couple months shy of 30 (!!!), and I get a big old cavity in one of my wisdom teeth. I opted to have all four removed at once so I'd only have to go through this whole ordeal one time.

My appointment was for 8:30 in the morning. I was instructed to stop eating and drinking 8 hours before my surgery. I chose midnight as my cutoff and as a result found myself chugging massive quantities of water at 11:45 at night. I have this really weird thing about being dehydrated and the thought that I wasn't allowed to drink water or I might DIE during surgery was freaking me out.

My alarm went off bright and early the next morning and I dragged myself out of bed to turn on the shower. Showering in the morning is this super-rare luxury for me these days and I was kind of excited at the prospect. But apparently I was being punished for something because our hot water heater decided to take a crap. Which meant, on the morning of my surgery, I was forced to take a COLD shower. Not happy.

We arrived nice and early for my appointment, just the way I like it. I was pretty sure I was about to die from dehydration at this point, but no one else seemed concerned. I was ushered into a room and set up in a chair where they took my blood pressure and gave me some laughing gas. The nurse asked me if I'd ever had laughing gas before and I said no. Now I know why I've always turned it down. It just feels wrong. Like you're floating a couple inches above your body, but in a bad way. Also, it smells funny. But they didn't actually give me an option here, and since I was on the brink of death from dehydration, I didn't argue.

Things started to get fuzzy after this. I remember a rather large nurse telling me how great I was doing. All I could think was, yeah, I'm doing a great job of laying here. I should get a gold medal for this. The other half of my brain was furiously plotting my escape route. Another nurse came in and told me again how well I was doing, and that they were right there with me. Um, where else would they be? I know this was supposed to be comforting, but when you're floating two inches above your body and are severely dehydrated, you kind of just want everyone to shut up so you can concentrate on how to escape. Am I right?

At some point the oral surgeon came in to put an IV in my arm. This was the reason they had given me the laughing gas: because they didn't think I could handle getting an IV without it. Really? I don't know what kind of people they see on a daily basis, but I'm not that scared of needles! He too told me how well I was doing and I finally resigned myself to the fact that there was no escaping this situation. The nurses and the doctor were too efficient. Too quick with their needles and blood pressure cuffs. The last thing I remember is a nurse putting a heart monitor on my finger.

Next thing I knew, I was sitting in a chair in some sort of recovery area with my husband and the Eskimo sitting next to me. My cheeks were stuffed with gauze and I really WAS about to die of dehydration. I somehow managed to communicate this fact through the gauze and the haze of the anesthesia and a kindly nurse brought me a bottle of water. I immediately spilled about 70% of if down my front, but I did manage to get some in my mouth. The Eskimo must have been totally freaked about by the way I looked because he didn't even try to steal my bottle of water. 

It's been a couple days, and I guess I'm recovering well. My husband took two days off work, partly for me, and partly because he had to replace our hot water heater. Thank goodness he's so handy since we just spent our life savings to have four teeth removed from my head. I think the best part is that I got to laze around in bed for TWO DAYS with no feelings of guilt. I didn't spend the entire two days in bed, but I could have! And I managed to finish up my schoolwork for the semester before my surgery, so there's been nothing hanging over my head. I guess it hasn't been quite as awful as I was anticipating, but I do kind of miss my teeth.

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