I know usually Wednesday is an audio, and Thursday is a free write, but I was a little…well, unwell for doing a voice memo entry yesterday. I had my wisdom teeth removed a few days ago. I know, it’s something usually done in the teen years, but I was ready now, so that’s how it happened.
All things considered it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I was awake during the procedure, though I did opt for Valium to help calm my nerves. In the past, I had been given Valium I.V. for other procedures and it never made me anywhere near as sleepy as other benzodiazepines, so I decided it might be just the thing to take the edge off. In hindsight, I likely would have had the same effect if I had just taken the water sans pill. ‘sigh’
My main source of nervousness came from the administration of anesthetic. In the past, my dentist had used prilocaine, a local anesthetic with a relatively short duration, which had worked well for the small amount of work I needed. But for a procedure like an extraction, he opted for lidocaine, which in the past had left me numb for up to 8 hours. And there are few feelings I hate more than the sensation of being numb. But there was nothing I could do, so to the best of my ability I sat still and tried not to think of the next 8 hours of nothingness my mouth would be subjected to.
You might be thinking, “What? Are you mad? Would you rather the pain of having four teeth yanked out of your mouth?” Well, not while it’s being done, no. But I can’t adjust to a pain I can’t feel, and the sooner I can feel it, the sooner that process can begin, even if adjusting does initially involve a few hours of me clutching a pillow, pinching the tiny space between my eyes and saying, “Oh my gosh, this hurts,” in a hushed breath over and over. ‘shrug’ Just the way I prefer it.
But lucky me! After my initial freak out (when as they were going to start I flung myself upright, realizing that cracking and crunching sounds were soon to follow), I decided to let it happen, telling myself, “Your only responsibility is to focus on your nose, breathing in and out”. And that’s what I did. And even when they reached my bottom teeth (which were not completely numb- the inner back quadrants still had sensation), I decided I was not going to say a thing and have to get shot again. My only responsibility was focusing on my nose, breathing in and out.
(Okay, yes, it did occur to me that I might hit the ceiling if the sensation was too much, but I just knew I could handle the pain, so I did. It actually wasn’t that bad, but the crunching and twisting was very funky.)
And lucky me again! Instead of having to endure 8 hours of numbness, I only had to put up with about 3, which left me to get in touch with that new feeling in my mouth. But boy, was I surprised. For whatever reason, the feeling was nothing like what I was expecting (achy, tight, pounding jaws and cheeks). It almost felt like I’d had braces put on. The shifting soreness from molar to incisor, the “gappy” feeling between my cheek and gums (caused, in this case, by swelling). This was easy! This, I could put up with. Even if it does make me grumpy. Just a little. A touch. A tick.
It’s been a couple days and I’m not doing too bad. Talking a lot hurts, as does being too active. Frankly, my body almost feels like it’s battling a cold or something like that. The swollen lymph nodes in my neck were actually the most painful part of it all; so much so that for the first night, I could barely move my neck without pain, and had to resort to tiny finger massages to help relieve the feeling (and that in and of itself was very painful). But I got along well enough without needing painkillers, and I am soo grateful all those teeth are gone and I don’t have any more to remove! Thanks for everything, wizzies. It was…I dunno, it just WAS! I’m off for a delightful sundae cup. Yum.
But I miss my nice hot teas.
Q to you: have you ever been so unwilling to get re-numbed for a procedure that you simply kept still and dealt with whatever pain came your way? Let me know in the comments!