No More Wisdom, Teeth That Is…

wisdomteeth

It took me twenty-seven years to part with my four wisdom teeth. Now that’s one of the longest relationships I’ve had in my life so you can see why I was reluctant to let them go. I was really only reluctant because I had too many irrational fears. Anxiety and negative thinking generated and blew up these fears to the point they seemed overwhelming and all encompassing.

Long story short – All four teeth were pulled at the local hospital by a very talented oral surgeon who sincerely deserves accolades for the job done on my teeth. I have yet to feel any pain, only slight discomfort in one side of my mouth (and I mean ever so slightly). He prescribed ibuprofen (600 mg) and T3s but I have not had to rely on them whatsoever besides an ibuprofen to help the swelling.

The general smooth sailing of this operation seems glorious compared to the vision of my recovery I had cooked up in my head prior to surgery. Let’s address irrational fear number 1: That I would not be put under anesthesia for my wisdom teeth extraction and if I was, that I would wake up in the middle of surgery to crunching tooth noises and scenes of blood and gore. The first part of this fear was addressed by the surgeon himself at our consultation meeting when he informed me that I would be put asleep for the surgery and that he would freeze my mouth during surgery so that I would have limited pain when I woke up.

However, the second part of this irrational fear stuck with me until the hour before surgery where I kept it pretty together (accepting that what happens was going to happen) and then broke down balling hysterically. The guy in charge of taking me or rather wheeling me to my surgery noticed me crying and asked me what was wrong, “Are you just nervous or afraid? Because it’s okay to be nervous but there is no reason to be afraid.” He went on to explain that my surgeon has done this for many decades and that the nurses and staff have also done this procedure like a hundred times. It comes easy to them, he explained. He also detailed to me the nature of my anesthesia and how it was impossible that I would wake up during surgery since the anesthesiologist only has one job and that is to monitor me being asleep and keep me that way.

He was most comforting, this man, and I am very thankful for my encounter with him prior to surgery. He wheeled me to the OR while telling me “You must be one of those girls who watches Grey’s Anatomy.” I exclaimed that’s my favourite show! (I’ve re-watched the entire series at least eight times)  And then he went on, “Well you don’t see no McDreamy wheeling you to the OR just McOldGuy (referring to himself) and no McSteamy lurking in the hallway. These hallways are clear and calm. There’s no rushing in and out of OR rooms in frenzies and crazy drama.” I laughed quite loudly in response to this news and asked genuinely, “So a bomb isn’t gonna go off in the hospital and blow up this hallway?” (referring to a significant episode in earlier Grey’s). He chuckled “No! Surgery is actually pretty boring compared to that show and you’ll do great!” He wheeled me in front of the door and there I waited for my surgical team to get started.

I proceeded to work myself up again and then a surgical nurse came out to get me and assured me my teeth were of the easier surgeries she has ever seen and that they will not be difficult to remove. The gas mask was put on me and alarmingly I was able to count fully backwards from ten but then added a comment that I was getting drowsy and then blackness. I woke up in what seemed moments later with a nurse calling my name saying I did great and to which I responded “Are all my teeth still there? Like they didn’t knock out extra ones?” He laughed and assured me that they only extracted the four wisdom teeth. This was yet another irrational fear of mine that once they took one out, it would be like a domino effect and I’d be left with virtually no smile. This luckily was not the case and I woke up with only slight discomfort, no pain.

My mouth was frozen the entire day following surgery and night so I felt no pain and would continue to feel no pain a week later which brings us to today. I don’t know why I was so scared to have my wisdom teeth removed knowing that majority of people get it done all the time and they have all survived (I like those odds). I think it comes down to my anxiety of the unknown, of something I have yet to experience and in my negative brain immediately predict it to be a negative one. My surgery and recovery went flawless and I could not have asked for a better oral surgeon. It’s good I had them removed since they would only cause problems later down the road and my dentist was surprised I wasn’t already feeling some pain off and on because of the state they were in. It took a lot of courage for someone with as many dooms day thoughts as me to even cross the threshold to the surgical floor but I am glad I did it. It means I am improving my oral health and therefore my overall health.

I feel silly for avoiding the dentist and avoiding this surgery because so far I have had nothing but positive experiences I have decided to start trying to tackle my problems head on instead of avoiding them and hoping they go away. I may not always get the positive outcome I have so far but it’s worth the risk to keep things more on track. It seems I have lost my wisdom teeth but have gained some residual wisdom. And that I am thankful for.

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