(This will explain and, hopefully, justify why I have been conspicuously absent from my blog for the past few days!)
Monday morning found me in the dentist’s chair, mouth jacked open to a size I never thought possible. The dentist and his hygienist stabbed the inside of my mouth till it was so frozen I thought I’d choke on my own seemingly huge tongue. Then they proceeded to remove all four of my wisdom teeth.
The first thought that came to mind as they started pulling: “Now I understand why most people have a general anesthetic.”
That wasn’t an option for me because I’m still breastfeeding my five-month-old son. And while I probably could have waited to do the surgery till after he was weaned, I thought general anesthetic seemed like overkill for mere tooth removal. How very wrong I was.
If given the choice, I’d go through another natural labour before having my wisdom teeth removed. Unfortunately, there’s no satisfaction to be gained by saying, “Never again” in this case, as there never can be an ‘again.’ Those teeth are gone for good.
I was warned about the pressure. Only afterwards, when I saw my nearly ¾-inch blood-streaked teeth lying in a hot pink tooth-fairy box, did I comprehend why it felt like my head was going to explode as they reefed, yanked, pulled, sawed till I felt bits of ground tooth hitting my glasses, and pulled some more.
When I didn’t die after the first tooth removal, I had to live through three more. Not wanting to traumatize anyone else who is preparing for the surgery, all I can say is it was far worse than I ever imagined.
As I exited the room, ice pack held to my swelling jaw, I bumped into the dentist’s wife, who is also a dentist. “Oh, you poor girl. Had a wisdom tooth out, did you?” “All four,” I mumbled. Her eyes nearly popped out of her head. “With a local? Wow, you’re brave.” If that was meant to make me feel proud of my bravery, it only made me feel worse.
I’ve now completed two days of recovery (as of the time of writing this post). Monday’s food consumption consisted of a cup of broth and a few mouthfuls of scrambled eggs by evening. Tuesday, I managed some pureed soup and polenta. Wednesday, I successfully ate a muffin, though it took a good fifteen minutes to nibble it, bit by bit. This is a far cry from my usually ravenous appetite.
At least I’m noticing steady improvement in jaw mobility and a decreased overall ache. Particularly nasty are my swollen, dry lips that are cracked and scabbed in the corners – not conducive to kissing my husband.
While the ordeal is not yet over, I’m glad I’ll never return to the dentist’s chair to relive the experience. I’m also very grateful I never knew how hellish it actually would be. In the meantime, I’m eyeing up the lentil soup on the stove and hoping I’ll get enough of it down to take away the gnawing hunger pains in my stomach.