less teeths.

So… I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed on Friday. “Why so late?” you ask. Oh, you know,  because they didn’t bother to grow in until i was in my 20s.  Apparently I have a fetus mouth.

When I sat down and discussed my anesthetic options with the oral surgeon, he explained there are actually four options that he offers to patients:
1.  Local anesthesia = complete consciousness
2.  Local + laughing gas = slight consciousness
3.  “Twilight” – local + laughing gas + iv = semi-conscious with little recollection (which he recommended and I opted for)
4.  General anesthesia = completely knocked out (a bit overkill for my procedure)

Receiving the drugs was pretty interesting, to say the least. When the nurse administered the laughing gas, she told me I would get a little “laughy,” whatever that means.  Sure enough, I took a few deep breaths and felt like I’d had a few drinks or smoked hookah. Interesting.  The doc proceeded to insert the iv needle into my arm, and I waited for him to start shooting needles in my mouth.  The next thing I knew, he was cracking my one impacted tooth and telling me he was almost done.  (I vaguely remember asking him to reposition the clamp at some point bc it was uncomfortable.)  Then I was slowly cleaned up and un-needled. Upon restoring some more active consciousness, I made sure to ask for my teeth. They were pretty gigantic little buggers.

I was left with prescriptions for vicodin for potential pain and antibiotics to prevent infection, as well as a laundry list of do’s and don’ts after getting teeth removed.

The past two weeks I have been terrified of this procedure and how potentially debilitating it could be,  especially since the only weekend I could do it was thr Fourth of July. Mind you, I am missing a ton of good eating opportunities.

Coming out of surgery, Mama Law brought me to pick up the prescriptions and got me iced up at home.  She (Daddy Law contributed too) stocked her already packed fridge with soft foods, including almond tofu, jello, porridge, soup, ice cream, yogurt, and Italian ice. I popped a few Advils and had almond tofu, but my tongue was still numb, so I took it easy. Continued gauze-ing and icing while I watched hours upon hours of tv with my parents.

Fast forward to today.  Woke up with no real pain, just a sore jaw and slightly swollen left cheek where the impacted tooth was. (The sore jaw does greatly limit facial expressions though-it’s amazing how much lateral movement is involved in my regular expressions…) All in all, a pretty good reaction compared to some of the horror stories I’ve heard.

The worst part of this experience is not being able to enjoy the foods I’m craving (cheeseburgers, steak, fried chicken), especially during this bbq-centric holiday. It’s amazing how much more satisfying food is when you chew it and savor all the flavors. I hope I never get to the point where I can no longer enjoy the taste of my food.  I hope my taste buds last forever.  I’ve come to realize how much of my personal happiness is dependent on the presence of good food (not necessarily fancy, just good.)  I am definitely going to appreciate solid food infinitely more when I reintroduce it to my diet.

This feels like Lent, but I can’t substitute an equally satisfying food in place of everything I’m not consuming.



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