Sunday, July 25, 2010

The loss of wisdom

I'm a bad blogger. Finally figured out what was up with blogger and then I took off. I actually had to travel out of the country for business and the morning after I returned, I dragged my jet-lagged self to the dentist and had the thing done that I've been dreading all the years of my life: wisdom teeth extraction. All four teeth are now gone.

I ended opting for the optional sedation for I don't remember much and apparently went on a soliquoy on the merits of a new grocery store in our neighborhood. I think I felt some tugging, some smashing, but for the most part, while I was awake, I was blissfully unaware. The aftermath hasn't been as bad as I feared. Well, Saturday morning was less than fun but not for reasons I thought.

For the most part, pain has been minimal. In fact, I felt nothing on the left side of my face, prompting me to ask whether anything had been done on that side. I felt some tightness in my right side and some minor pain that radiated down the front side of my neck. My doctor prescribed an antibiotic and two pain prescriptions -- ibuprofen and Tylenol plus codeine. I took pain pills that first day and not since. The pain really hasn't been that bad -- my gums just feel really, really itchy and like there's stuff back there, pieces of peanuts or the like.

What was surprising was the fever. It started the evening of the surgery and I just figured I was cramping up after spending 10 hours the previous day on an airplane and then lying on the sofa all day. By the time Saturday early morning came around, I was absolutely miserable. I couldn't figure out if I was hot or cold, my body ached, my head was splitting, and I was woefully nauseous. My temperature registered at 101.6 at the highest.

J called the dentist at 7:30 am and he assured us that this was normal, though everything we read online seemed to imply otherwise. Around 8:30 am Saturday, my fever broke in a particularly grotesque manner that I hope won't lead to further complications (read: dry socket). I spent the rest of the day on the sofa, recovering and by early afternoon, my temperature was normal. I tried solid foods -- crepes with nutella -- for dinner and that was good, though quite the chore to chew. My right jaw just doesn't seem to want to open for me.

Today for a special family occasion, I chomped slowly through two slices of pizza (try chewing pizza only on the fronts of your teeth -- it's highly inefficient) and even eating cake was not fun. Tonight, I think I'm giving up on solid food because even though it was delicious, I don't think I'm up for making that effort again. Luckily, I have some celery and potato soup made from last week that was frozen especially for this occasion and there's plenty of ice-cream and yogurt in the refrigerator.

All in all, this experience isn't anything close to the horror stories I've heard people tell and for that, I'm grateful. I think it'll still be about a week before I can eat normally again, but I'm doing my "jaw excercises" and rinsing now with salt water so hopefully I'm speeding the recovery along nicely.

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