Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oral Surgery - Losing 1/2 of Wisdom

No, I could not think of a clever title. Boo!

A month ago I went in for a regular dental check up and the announcement I've been dreading for 15 years came up - time to remove the wisdom teeth. I've been told since high school they could go either way - I might get to keep them or they would have to come out. First thought (not a surprise to those of you who know me well), COST! I asked for a quote up front and I brought it with me to the appointment, just in case.

Only two of them had to come out, the other two I can keep because they are straight and able to be cleaned. Whew!

I slept well Friday night, and Saturday ran a few errands before going into the dental office. Amber, Memphie, and Cheryl went with me to be my support team and because they wanted to see the effects of the meds.
(Don't you take photos in the dentist waiting room too???)

However, the controlled substance I was to take apparently had little effect on me. I walked into the cubicle for the surgery and said Good morning to the doctora and she looked up shocked and said, "Did you take the pills?" I told her yes, I followed her instructions to the letter. She said, "You should be very drunk right now." 

When you get your wisdom teeth out, everyone you meet will share their story with you. I heard the good, the bad, and the ugly. I had no idea what to expect. No one really talked about the actual procedure. 

So for those of you wondering, here is what I experienced. I did NOT have an anesthesiologist come in to administer medication (reason: COST!). I did prescriptions from the pharmacy - totally the way to go. Two pills, one injection $9.57. YES, Please! 

I was giving shots in the mouth to numb the area - pinching, not horrible. Yes, I flinched. I had headphones on during the surgery, but could still hear what was going on (doctora told me to bring the headphones). 
There was an iguana outside in the tree, so I was momentarily distracted by that as well. 

There was a LOT of pulling and tugging. I don't know what I imagined it would be for a tooth to be taken out. It didn't hurt, lots of pressure. She told me if I felt pain (she demonstrated by pinching a tiny piece of skin on my arm) to raise my hand so that I could get more anesthetics. I raised my hand once, because the lip-keeper-open-thingy was rubbing painfully on my lip. 

Honestly, with the pulling, it felt like each tooth was coming out in chunks, which I found out later it wasn't. 

About 30 minutes later, two teeth out and then the one thing I was hoping I could leave Panama without getting - the butt shot. They love their butt shots here! Now I have had one. 
It wasn't that bad. 

I laid on my side, waiting for the doctora to come back. Not really any pain, just lots of numbness and feeling like I couldn't open my mouth. 

I heard Amber laughing in the hallway, walking back with the doctora. (The doctora had told Amber and Cheryl how shocked she was that I didn't react to the meds). 

Amber and Cheryl were given the instructions about taking meds, activity, keeping it clean, etc. I remember pretty much all of it. 

She showed me the teeth and they were intact! Shocked! 

(Yes, I took a picture!)

The only gross part has been taking out the gauze. I basically drooled out blood and the gauze. Sorry for grossing some of you out! :) 

I was definitely in pain yesterday - not unbearable, but uncomfortable. I don't think my body feels the affects of the pain meds. Oh well! 

Cheryl and I had developed a "code word" so that she would know if I was being serious about watching a series we have going through. I remembered the code word and then promptly fell asleep part way through. 

Per the doctora's instructions, ice was applied all day long. 

Roo and Amber made yummy soft dinner of mac'n'cheese and Roo cut it up into tiny pieces. Ah, thanks, friend. 

Slept well and woke up feeling pretty good. And no swelling so far today! 

Best thing about having a surgery in Panama! 
Here are the souvenirs from wisdom teeth surgery: 

Removed teeth, extra gauze, and the doctora's card complete with cell phone number. Wow! Who does that? 

Monday (two days afterwards), Dra. calls me to see how the recovery is going and to see if I have any questions! Lovely! So kind! 

Thankful for great friends who have been amazing nurses (thanks, Amber and Cheryl), for an affordable place to have teeth taken out, for a pretty smooth recovery, and for the skills of a doctora who has been amazing! 

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