For those of you who have had any of your teeth pulled ever in your life, you will know the pain and "pressure" of having those poor little guys yanked from their cozy home in your gums. But I will try my best to create a mental picture for you lucky souls who have no idea what we have been through.
It all started in dental hygiene school, where we were leaning how to take panoramic x-rays. I had never had one of those before. So when the instructors asked for a volunteer to show the class this specific x-ray I volunteered. First mistake. The findings of this x-ray were going to change my life as I knew it. Forever. Following this x-ray I was called into Dr. Bennett's office. I liked Dr. B's office. It was little and packed with random things, and the funniest posters and wall art featuring dental humor which only a dental professional would appreciate. Sitting in this cozy little office Dr. B hit me with the news- I had wisdom teeth. 4 wisdom teeth. Ok, I thought, ok that is alright. According to the x-ray they looked normal and healthy, and they looked as if they we all going to just grow in straight and give me no problems! And then I saw it. On the bottom left of the x-ray, meaning my bottom right wisdom tooth, was sitting there all smug, completely sideways. Sideways! How dare you betray me like this body! I thought we were closer than that.
|NOT MY X-RAY, but closest thing Google had.|
So as you can see, this tooth was not coming in upright. Not even at all. And these are the words of comfort from Dr. B- "Yeah, those need to come out". Easy for him to say, it wasn't his x-ray. Now at this point, I was still in school, living in south Texas and I was not about to just run and spend a million dollars to get those pulled out right then and there. Also I think I was still in denial. This x-ray lied, those aren't my teeth. It will all be ok. So I didn't do anything. This was 2 years ago. Following that x-ray and over the next 2 years I ignored that and hoped it would go away. During that time my 3 "normal" wisdom teeth made their way thru my gums and into my dentition. Which, might I add, we also not an enjoyable experience. Lots of "discomfort" and when I say discomfort I mean pain, and head aches and "pressure". HAHAHAHA ohhh boy, my thoughts on the word "pressure" cannot be described in words. ANYWAY! Those grew in and I didn't think anything of it. Until I got my new job working at a dental clinic. I have been working there for 6 months now, almost 7, and I didn't go in and get my own teeth cleaned and check up'd until 2 weeks ago. Mistake number 2. After getting my teeth cleaned, a set of x-rays (including the infamous pan x-ray) and an exam form my dentist I was told a number of disturbing things. 1. I had cavities. Surprise surprise. The irony is just too much! But still, not really shocked because I have always been pretty cavity-proned. Now to be honest, I am starting to question this whole hygiene regime we tell patients to use at home. Brush, floss and fluoride mouth rinse. For those of us more cavity prone we recommend Flo Rinse, a stronger concentration of fluoride than most mouth-rinses. And I can tell you I have been pretty diligent in my oral home care including brushing, flossing and mouthrinsing with a fluoride rinse. But alas, I end up with cavities. What else can I do? Oh well, I am getting off topic. 2. I still had that troubled wisdom tooth. Of course you do Kaitlin, did you really think that it would just "go away" with time? Kinda. Not only that, but 2 of my cavities were ON my top two wisdom teeth that had grown in, and they don't normally fill wisdom teeth just because the likelihood of having more cavities there is common. Just because they are so far back and tricky to clean properly. So the verdict was in. They needed to come out. All of them. The good news is tho that my sideways wisdom tooth from 2 years had slightly rotated and was more upright, while the bad news is it had already done too much damage. The pressure of the sideways tooth cause the bone holding the tooth next to it to be broken down and resorbed. I have vertical bone loss! EEK!! The problem with that being with less bone holding my other tooth it could be a possibility that I loose it at some point. I would not be a happy camper. Ok, anyway, so I need them out, and my dentist tells me to call the other clinic and have his brother (the other dentist I work for who I have never met until my extraction appointment. What an awesome way to meet your boss) and book and appointment to get them out. I would be awake. Just really frozen, and just really aware and freaked out. Perfect. Perfect activity for my dental anxiety. So as it turns out, I was too afraid to even make the appointment, because that is a moms job right? Mom's book appointments for stuff like that! But since I am a grown up now, I figured I shouldn't have my mom do. How childish. I'll get the receptionist at work to do it for me. So she did. I was to have my teeth pulled June 12, about a week away from that day.
The days flew by, of course, and the day of my appointment was at hand. The night before I felt surprisingly calm! I ate lots of spaghetti and Cheerios and snacks because I was told I would not be able to eat regular food for a couple days. I did not sleep too well that night. Woke up probably every hour after 4 am, just popped off my pillow in pure panic! Eventually at around 8 I got up, and started to really freak out. I was very nervous because I had no idea what to expect. I have never had my whole mouth frozen and I had never had a tooth pulled. Although I was instructed to eat a good breakfast, I passed on that because I was way too worked up to even think about eating! Mistake number 3. I arrived 20 minutes early to my appointment because I was worried about being late. This office was all the way on the north end of the city and I had to map quest it. Once I got inside I was chatting with the receptionists and I told them that I was a hygienist from the south side clinic, and they all immediately were like "Ohh Kaitlin! Sweet Kaitlin! That's what we call you over here". They think I'm sweet? That's so nice. They have never even met me. They could be dead wrong. I could be very un-sweet and they have no idea! And that's besides the point! They were trying to distract me from the task at hand. Eventually I get called back into the clinic and I sit down in the chair. It is very different being on this side of the chair. I don't like it, not one bit! I am trying to stay light and calm and happy and that comes across and giggley and lots of chatter. Classic Kaitlin. By the time the dentist comes in I am sitting there with the topical anesthetic cotton swabs hanging out of my mouth and this is how I am meeting my boss for the very first time. Great first impression.
Next comes the needles. The 15 needles. 15! Not that I was counting but I was totally counting! By the third or 4th I was already feeling pretty numb, but the needles kept coming. After what seemed like forever of "ok and you will just feel a small poke here", and "take a deep breath you will feel some pressure here" he finally put his needle down and said "I'll be right back". At this point my heart is super fluttery and I am shaking like a leaf, but I am now laughing and I say to the assistant, "well this is new!". Apparently that amount of epinephrine in the local anesthetic has that affect on people sometimes. Now we are waiting for the Dr to come back and begin the extraction. This is the worst part of it all. Waiting. Oh I have figured it out! I think the reason the dentist is such an all around hated and despised place is because it involves so much WAITING! From the minute you call and make an appointment, or in my case have my friend at work do it, you are waiting, anticipating, and envisioning how it is going to go. Then when that waiting is over you get to the dentist, and they have you WAIT in the waiting room. They have a room for that, of course. You wait and you smell and you hear and create all sorts of scary images in your head. Once that waiting is over, you are called into the back, where they sit you in a seat and have you WAIT for the dentist, "he will be right with you". SO you wait, and panic. They give you a remote for the tv on the roof that you won't even be able to see once they lay you back , so the remote is for nervous clicking of the channel button and to distract you from the waiting. Once that waiting is done, the dentist comes in and freezes, and then leaves you alone for the "freezing to kick in", in other words WAIT some more!! And during all this time you have had so much time to think and hash over all the scenarios of what is going to happen that of course you are scared and nervous and want to bolt out the back door. But I didn't do that. And I didn't cry or scream or push the dentists hands away or kick the assistant when she tried to put the gas mask on me.. oh wait. I did do that when I was 6 and they had to put me to sleep to do some dental work. Look how far I have come! Finally the dentist comes back in and I don't know if I am relieved he is finally here and we can get started or if I want him to leave me waiting for a little longer. That place really messes with your head.
So the time has truly come. I see the chisels and the pliers and the chain saws and the machetes all waiting on the tray as they slowly lower my chair to a workable surgical position. It's too late to back out now, this was happening and I was doing it. I wish I could describe in words the bizarre feeling of having your tooth pulled. It seems unreal to me that you can just take some big, metal thing, rock my tooth back and forth a little bit then bam! It's out! I am not exaggerating when I say all 4 teeth, including Stubborn-Mc-Sidways tooth, were all out in under 5 minutes. All 4! The pressure was immense, and sound was unbearable and the blood running down my throat was really uncalled for. The top 2 came out pretty quick, and the dentist comments "wow these are huge!". Reassuring. As he went in to do the bottom ones and he starts rocking I get a shooting pain up my jaw and I mumble something about "oh ow, I feel that". He quickly sticks another needle in somewhere in my mouth I assume, I wouldn't be able to tell you where really, I was pretty frozen. A few seconds later he was back on that tooth and again, I feel a shooting pain up my jaw. Oh boy, I am starting to not like this. And when I say starting I don't mean starting I mean continuing to not like this even more. The dentist then tells me that my bottom roots are way for down in my jaw and very close to the alveolar nerve, so no matter how much freezing he gives me I am still go to feel it. Oh. I see. That is not what I signed up for but here we are in the midst of a nightmare and he says no matter what " I am still going to feel it". Buckle up Kaitlin you are going to feel a little bit of pressure. So he continues and yanks both bottom teeth out, and yes I felt it but what are ya gunna do right? I am quickly sat up, gauze shoved in my mouth and am told I am good to go!
Good to go.
Good to go??
I am sorry, but I have just sat thru an eternity of waiting, and then a very surprisingly fast surgical extraction of my teeth. and my heart is pounding and my head is frozen and I am swallowing a large amount of my own blood, and the other large amount of my blood is apparently running out of my mouth and down my lips. Attractive I am sure. Thankfully my dear sweet friend and dental assistant Amanda was there to help clean me up and told me to just sit for a few minute until I was "good to go".
After sitting for a few minutes I texted my mom.
After a few minutes I made my way up to the the front desk and then to my car. I sat there and went over in my head what just happened to me. I did it! I got all my wisdom teeth pulled in one fell swoop (look mom I used the right word! It's not FOUL swoop its FELL swoop! Right?...) and I NEVER have to do it again! And I sat there thinking, wow, the worst is over!
And it was, for the most part.
Next onto the recovery. I finally made my way home, home as in my parents house, after getting lost on the north end and I was so tired. Tired from being up all hours of the night, tired from being swollen and throbbing and frozen and panicked. I stopped at the drug store to get my drugs, and then made my way to my moms couch where she could take care of me.
Oh, here's another thing about me.. ok, no. Yes. No. Yes. No, I don't know if I wanna tell y'all. Ok I will! NO! I won't! I WILL! OKAAYY! I can't swallow pills. I can't do it. I have tried and tried and tried and it never works! I am one of those freaks of nature who cannot make it happen and it really, really sucks. I told Tom yesterday that that is one of the things I hate most about myself, and he replies with no it's cute! Cute. Cute?! No Tom, cute is snorting occasionally when I am laughing really hard. Cute, is becoming really shy when I talk to him because he is just so good looking. Cute does not include a severe mental disability that inhibits me from just taking medicine like a NORMAL HUMAN! I have tried everything to take medicines. I used to have my mom crush up my pills and put it in spoonfuls of various breakfast spreads or pudding. I have tried hiding it in food and trying to trick myself to swallow it, but I am just far too clever and I always know it's in there. I have YouTubed how to do it!! They have videos for that kinda stuff. So I am not alone. But still, not ideal. So now when I take Advil I just pop it in my mouth, chew it up and that's that! I have grow accustomed to the acid taste and it doesn't even phase me! So when I picked up my t3's, and clindamycin I figured that is what I would do. T3's, not so bad. My mom crushed it up into yogurt for me and I managed, but this antibiotic... oh. my goodness. I have never experienced such a foul tasting anything in my mouth and it made me sick. I opened up the capsules and poured the powder into a little water and just drank it. I just almost killed myself is what happened. When it was time for the next dose, I poured the little capsule into a spoonful of yogurt. A little better.
Welcome to my life people. I am working on it. So that's how my days have been. I am just eating mushy, soft things, trying to keep things out of my holes, and trying really hard not to get dry socket or an infection or any side effects from this dumb antibiotic. Sigh..
Today I have advanced to this.
And that is the story of my wisdom teeth, and that is an experience I never want to have to do again. I would not wish this on my greatest enemy! Ok, maybe my greatest enemy but not to anyone who I kind of like! I also am aware that I am a baby, and a little dramatic, but hey. That's just me :)