I’m back and finally feeling coherent enough to write something. I thought maybe I would skip chronicling my experience getting my wisdom teeth removed, but somehow it seems like an episode that should be saved for posterity. So, at the risk of sounding like a whiny baby, here are some of the highlights. Don’t read them if you’re squeamish.
Well, first of all, I’m a disappointment to my sister. I’m glad she didn’t take the day off to watch me as I woke up from the anesthesia. When she woke up from her surgery, she put on quite the show, accusing people of stealing her clothes, calling her dentist a little boy, and finding herself unable to grasp the fact that her bottom lip was indeed her bottom lip. She was really hoping I would do something equally, if not more, outrageous. Apparently when I woke up, I defaulted to a deeply ingrained behavior.
When awake and not understanding directions, I have the habit of nodding my head and saying ok. I am the worst person in the world when it comes to absorbing verbal directions. My mom said when my dentist came into the room with the post-op directions, I nodded and followed along. In actuality, I remember nothing that he said. Quite frankly, a gorilla could have delivered a singing telegram, and I wouldn’t have remembered. But, it’s always best to smile and nod anyway.
Next, I have to give me mom kudos. She worked the night shift the night before my surgery, drove me an hour to surgery, waited for it to get done, and then drove me an hour back home not including the stop at the pharmacy. On the way back, when the gauze started to make me gag, she soothed me by saying, “It’s ok. Here — I’m working on pulling over.” Quite frankly, she knows me and how I react to pain. If she was being rational instead of being a good mom, she should have yelled, “Pull yourself together and don’t vomit in the new car!!!” Then she kept interrupting her sleep to keep me medicated, and I’m sure she was exhausted when the medicines got to me the first night, and I wound up slumped in the middle of the kitchen floor at 1 am not 30 seconds after telling her I was fine. I was sitting there with my head between my knees trying to decide whether to vomit or faint, and she was trying to decide whether to protect me from the circling dogs or whether to grab a wet paper towel to cool me down. Deogi did get a good lick in on my forehead — I think he was doing his best to help.
Then, there was dad. He did his part too by turning over the remote control for the three days that I spent foggily watching tv. I’m all caught up on Burn Notice.
My family is great; that’s probably evidenced by the fact that my worst day of recovery, hands down, was when I came home yesterday. I left a very narrow window of recovery. The teeth got pulled Friday, and I had to be ready to teach today — five days to recover. So, I trekked back yesterday. I did call a friend to help unload the car, so that went fine; everything else started to go downhill from there. I was experiencing referred pain, which in non-technical terms means it felt like an army of gnomes were taking tiny hammers and alternately tapping on and prying at the roots of all my teeth. When I went upstairs to do a salt water rinse to try to ease the pain, the tap water turned brown right as I was brushing my teeth. That’s exactly what I wanted to see while engaged in a ritual designed to keep bacteria at a low level in my mouth. So, I had to go to Turkey Hill to pick up two gallons of water, which defeated the purpose of having someone unload my car. Then, when I checked the news to find out whether there was a water danger notification, I found out that police shot someone not too far away from here after some sort of altercation that started at the bar across from the Turkey Hill. And, then I discovered that the air conditioner… yeah, the one that weighs a ton… was leaking into the window sill and that I would have to wrestle with it to fix it (a task that waited for today). Ugh…I just ate dinner and moped around counting down the hours until 8:00 when I could go to bed.
But, I’m done with the whining. Today was better. My jaw was pretty sore after talking through my 90 minute class, but the students were kind and jumped right in to read a sample paper to spare me from having to do it. I think the only other tooth mishap was that a stitch popped loose right while students were sharing their freewriting; the poor student sharing his writing at the time probably thought I didn’t like the writing because it was hard to think of something good to say while I was trying to assess the situation with the stitch and trying not freak out. Actually it’s good that the stitches are dissolving because that means the dentist won’t have to mess with them when I go in for the follow up. The referred pain is sneaking back tonight, but not as bad as yesterday, so I do think I’m on the mend.
So, at the end of the day, having my wisdom teeth removed is, as expected, not really any fun. But, it did remind me to be thankful for good family and friends, which I often am. It also reminded me to be thankful for good health because pain for even a few days made me super grouchy, and I’m reminded that some people I know deal with pain and discomfort on a nearly constant basis. I have a new appreciation for their cheerfulness and a new tolerance for their glum moments.