Four Gaping, Painful Holes Where They Used To Be

That's what I have after this morning. Yes, the surgery is over, and everyone tells me I am doing surprisingly well! I think it's just because that Vicadin is amazing stuff, but I do tend to recover quickly from dental procedures.

I woke up this morning and had to remind myself not to eat or drink anything. It was torturous. I was getting hungry by the time we got down to the oral surgeon's office. I wasn't allowed to eat because I got IV anesthetic. More on that later.

We arrived at the office, and I admit that I had a few butterflies. It didn't help that we ended up having to wait in the lobby for a half hour past my appointment time. By the time they brought me back I was pretty calm though.

They brought me back to this rather cold surgery area, and they had me sit down. We just jumped right in, which was surprising to me, because I was expecting some of the preliminary stuff. Before we started I told them my current weight, because I didn't want to get too much general anesthetic - not a good thing. Like I said previously, I tend to over-estimate my weight on health histories - don't ask me why, I guess so that they don't look at me and think "She is definitely not that light," or something.

So they laid the chair back and one girl covered me with a ton of blankets, one girl secured a blood pressure cuff around my arm and then started sticking monitors on my shoulders and rib cage, and the doctor put a little clippy pulse monitor on my finger. The assistant made me feel good by telling me how tiny I was (I don't think I'm tiny, but I like it when people tell me that I am, even if it isn't true).

Then the machine behind me kept making these obnoxious beeps. After the doctor had secured the nasal hood for nitrous oxide over my nose, he moved the finger monitor to my thumb. More obnoxious beeping. Apparently they couldn't get a good heart rate on me because my fingers are too cold. That doesn't surprise me - my fingers are always cold - I don't get the best circulation in my hands. They've been that way for forever. So he rubbed my fingers a few times, piled a few more blankets on me, and secured the monitor again. It must have improved somewhat, because we finally proceeded.

Next he tied a turnacut around my arm and told me to make a fist. Then he told me to let my arm hang down and slapped my hand a few times to get a good vein. Then he inserted the IV - it hurt, but I'm good with needles, so not a biggy.

Finally we were ready to begin. He told me they were starting the general anesthesia, and it would come on gradually. I didn't feel anything for a few minutes, but suddenly I felt a burning sensation in my thumb. It spread to my fingers and started traveling up my arm. I was a little freaked out by that - I've never gone under before, and I wasn't sure if it was normal. But when I told him that my arm hurt he said it was okay, it was just the medication.

He said the ceiling would start to move. And it did. It started moving back and forth. He told me I could go ahead and close my eyes, and I did - the rest is gone from my memory. I vaguely remember a few pulls and tugs, very slight pain on the lower teeth, and then I was awake again. They asked how I was doing, and I said I was good. Apparently Derek was in the room again at this time talking to the doctor, but I have no recollection of that. I remember hearing the doctor's assistant giving Derek the instructions on my medications, but now when I try to remember what she said I can't - I was still kind of out of it.

One thing that I thought was funny was that I had local anesthetic to numb up my enitre mouth, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to keep me calm, and general anesthesia to knock me out - that's a lot of chemicals running around in my little body! No wonder I was out of it.

Finally I started becoming a little more alert - and once I was more alert, my first instinct was to start crying. I have no idea why, because nothing hurt, and I wasn't uncomfortable. I just wanted to cry. Somehow I managed not to cry, even though everyone kept asking if I was okay. My sister reports this same reaction when she had her teeth out - I think it was just a side effect of the medication. After a few minutes the urge to cry went away.

I was pretty dizzy - they had to hold my arm and support me while we walked to the back door. During this whole thing my mouth was stuffed with gauze and my entire mouth and tongue was numb - but that wasn't stopping me from talking. I was talking alot I think. While Derek went outside to pull the car around and the nurse was stadning with me (again asking if I was alright), I must have been talking way too much, because she told me that I should try not to talk too much.

Again, that didn't stop me. I talked alot to Derek in the car. He said he thought I was cute, because even though I could barely formulate proper words, I was still talking alot and making jokes. I think I must have sounded hilarious - I could barely understand myself.

I was a little uncomfortable because I couldn't swallow. I think my throat was a little swollen, because I tried and I just couldn't swallow. It went away after a half hour or so.

We made a few stops around town before we headed home. We had to get frozen fruit at Sam's Club, books for me at the library, and bananas and clam chowder at Walmart. I was being rather high-maintenance; Derek had to go into each place twice just getting me everything I wanted. He came out of Sam's Club with frozen strawberries and blueberries so he can make me smoothies (he's so sweet), but I wanted mixed frozen fruit for my smoothies, and somehow it seemed like a really big deal that I didn't have mixed fruit (I think the effects of the medication weren't quite gone yet - it's really not that big of a deal). He was so sweet and went back in and got me my mixed fruit. Thanks Babe!

Derek also bought me magazines - This Old House magazine (which has been really interesting to read) and In Style (which I always look at in the check-out line, but have never really had a copy of). Thanks again Honey!

After taking that dumb antibiotic pill (that's a whole other story - I'm bitter about the antiobiotic, because it will mess with my birth control pill, and I'm not happy about it), which I had to take on an empty stomach, I fell asleep on part of the way home. Then Derek stopped and bought me a pomegranate Jamba Juice smoothie because he wanted me to eat somehting (it was 11:00 AM by then, and I still hadn't eaten) and take my pain pill (which needs to be taken on a full stomach). It's working really well - I'm no longer numb, and I still feel no pain. Once again, amazing stuff! It's actually about time for my next Vicadin though . . .

Since we got home I've been watching TV and reading my magazines, alternating between gauze stuffed in my mouth and drinking an amazing mocha latte iced drink that my mom bought me from our local coffee shop. Thanks Mom!

My sister was here for a while, and she's coming back again later bearing movies! We'll watch movies and read magazines together. Thanks for keeping me company, Rach!

I have alot of great supportive family - they make the experience almost fun!

One last thing - I got to keep my teeth!!!! They are so cool - Even though they are kind of bloody and have tissue stuck to them still. But they are fascinating! This is what I do for a living, People - I'm actually very glad that I find it fascinating, or my job would be miserable! I'll try to clean them up a little and take a picture.

So that was my lovely wisdom tooth extraction/sedation/pain medication/magazine/non-coherent adventure of the day! All of those are first for me, by the way. Here is the journey documented in pictures.

Me before the surgery.

Derek and me being nervous.

Me after the surgery - I think my cheeks are a little swollen.

My swollen throat and bloody gauze. Hope that doesn't gross any of you out.

My Jamba Juice.

Me enjoying my magazines.

My super-cool teeth! Aren't they neat?! They look just like my model teeth from school - I'm keeping them! Once again, hope it doesn't gross you out!
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AmyK said...

HAHA! I love how you posted those pictures and THEN said "hope it doesn't gross you out!" Like you're saying, "These might gross you out, but... well, I don't care! Have a peek!" haha! Crack me up. (not that you don't care about people, 'cause I'm sure you do; it just cracked me up)

Glad it went well!
The whole needles thing, though? Freak me out! Blah!

Heck, this whole post made me laugh. Thumbs up!

Jessica said...

I'm glad you're doing well tonight! I've gotta be honest, though...I felt great the night of my surgery and woke up the next morning feeling like someone had hit me in both sides of the face with a baseball bat or something. But I hope your experience is better than mine! The Vicodin helps a lot (although I accidentally took mine on an empty stomach the first time...bad mistake, I felt sick all day until I ate something!)

And I'm super jealous you got to keep your teeth! I told my sister afterward that I wish I could keep mine! Even though one was broken in half and the other was in 6 or 7 pieces.

Praying for a quick recovery for you!

Jenene said...

I'm glad the surgery went fine for you. My sister gave me this great advice when I got mine out: "don't take the pain meds unless you are actually in pain. You don't want to go through withdrawal once it's time to go off them."

I'm surprised that you kind of vaguely remember sensations during the surgery. I remember nothing.

I remember that they gave me the IV, and I was really disappointed that I couldn't feel myself falling asleep.

And then I was waking up in Recovery.

Anonymous said...

Glad the surgery went well! When I got mine out I was ummm quite a bit more swollen than you and was not interested in making jokes! When my husband got his out he was the same way being VERY silly! Your pictures and captions cracked me up!

Kara @ Just1Step said...

So glad it all went well!
I thought it was pretty cool to see your teeth...although I can see how it would gross some people out, haha.

Chandra said...

Wow, you got gas, and IV, and Vicoden? Lucky! I only had novicane! I'm not kidding either- I had mine removed at a free clinic since I don't have health insurance, and that's all they give. After-care pain meds were Tylenol and IBuprofin.

AgnesandAmy said...

I had to come back to this post of yours (my old comment is ridiculous, lol). I'm facing possibly getting my wisdom teeth out since one of them is giving me a lot of pain (it's starting to erupt), and I'm SO scared! Bah! Partially because I'm probably going to get them done by a dentist I don't know and trust yet... which is kind of scary. But I remembered, "Hey, Callie had her wisdom teeth out and I remember her posting about them... I'll check out her post!"

I think what I'm most scared about is the IV. I haven't had an IV since I was a baby and the thought really freaks me out!!

I have an appointment for x-rays in a couple hours so I guess I'll find out then if I need to worry or not! ;)

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