Hey everyone, I survived a 4 wisdom tooth extraction under local anesthetic and here to embarrass myself once again on the Internet. I feel it’s for the better good as everyone loves a good chipmunk (or hamster, as the Germans have been calling me) photo. I also want to recount this experience while it is still fresh as a reminder that pain is temporary, people go through worse, I am strong, [other cheesy stuff], how terrible it was, etc. Feel free to skip all the reading (it ain’t pretty) and instead scroll down and laugh at all the photos.
First off, I must say I feel super tough after this for a few reasons 1) local anesthetic 2) alone 3) all 4. I did not realize I was a little extreme doing four teeth under local anesthetic until everyone here acted so surprised when I told them. “ALL FOUR AT ONCE? they would ask. My friends from home were even more shocked, “You’re going to be AWAKE?” My German health insurance covered the whole procedure, which was fantastic, but a general anesthetic would have cost another 250€ and that’s a good weekend trip right there. My oral surgeon also had informed me that my lower right wisdom tooth was extremely close to the nerve and a CT was ordered so they’d have a better view during extraction. If they hit the nerve, I could be numb for “weeks or months”. Um, are you joking?
Anyways, all the talk before the surgery had me pretty terrified. I am normally a very calm and steady person, but the pre-extraction consults with my oral surgeon combined with her terrible English and the absence of a set caretaker here (aka Mom), I was absolutely dreading the procedure.
I waited about 20 minutes post appointment time before my name was called (so much for German punctuality – it does not exist at the doctors). When I was brought into the “operating” room, I did not recognize the doctor. I was quickly told that my doctor was sick and asked if it was Ok if this new doctor performed the surgery. She had such a kind manner and spoke fantastic English. I was ecstatic. Before, I had no confidence in my surgeon so the personality of my new one alone was soothing. I was given 2-4 shots of local anesthetic at the site of every extraction, so about 12 shots in total. I’ve had a couple cavities filled and those shots don’t bother me, nor do most shots, but oh were these something else. I cringed and teared up. My legs were shaking completely. Here, I began thinking I should have forked over the cash for the general anesthetic.
Although I can understand German in many circumstances, medical ones, despite many cognates, terrify me. I want a full, confident understanding of what is going on and why. My new doctor during the procedure gave me play-by-plays (you know, because I was awake and all). She would say things like “you will feel a lot of pressure”, “you will hear a crack”, “it’s going to be very loud”, “first tooth is out”, etc. These words were scary, but it made me feel better knowing it was coming and that it is normal. I was allowed to listen to music during the procedure, but the saw that cut my teeth and the cracking could not be drowned out.
Luckily, all this lasted only 30 minutes and my shakey legs were stilled immediately after. I was so relieved. It was over. After a x-ray to make sure they got every last bit, I was free to go, just like that. My mouth still super numb and ice packs on, I wandered to the pharmacy , where I understand zero that the pharmacist told me, but was so happy to go home I didn’t care. I was actually feeling pretty great due to the anesthetic and relief.
Eliminating my little mishap spitting blood all over the tramstop, everything went smoothly and I was all set for my day in bed watching the newest “Revenge”, “Scandal”, “The New Normal”, “Shark Tank”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Switched at Birth”, “The Bachelor” and old episodes of “Dexter” and “It’s Alway Sunny”. Yep, I’d saved up the return of this weeks shows for the weekend.
I bled for a good 7 hours, which was miserable. And gross. Like really gross. And once my anesthetic began to wear off, I was terrified. I could not figure out how to take my pain meds and I was quickly turning into a mess. I was in pain and frustrated. Luckily for me, my German friend and WhatsApp came through in the clutch and we figured out how to properly consumer the pain medication. I’m an idiot.
So Alas, the last three days in pictures. Sorry for any of you who actually read about my horrid experience.
Petrified before my early morning surgery. I ate a fresh croissant from the bakery next door right before.
Immediately post-extraction, waiting for my x-rays
Still got my new tunes rolling, here’s the playlist I listened to
sending “I survived” photos to friends & family, anesthetic still going strong
The doctor was very surprised I asked to keep my teeth. I sent this photo to my mom entitled “Does the tooth fairy come to Germany?” She said she does. Cha-ching!
Miss America 2013
Anesthetic wearing off. WTH.
Infinity scarf, repurposed.
I actually look like I took this with the Fat Face Booth App. News Flash: I really look like this.
Chipmunk/Hamster/Squirrel – at least all of these animals are widely considered cute?
A little bruising action, ya know, because it just keeps getting better.
Day 2 – at least I showered?
Really enjoyed the selfies keeping me company these past few days. (No fear, I had company from real people, as well).
Day 3. I think it’s gone down a little?
Anywho, I am doing much better now. I still feel a little pain and hate eating (plus side: great diet thus far). I have not been outside in 60 hours, which is clearly not normal. We have gone from no snow to a blanket of it in this time.
Have you had your wisdom teeth pulled? How was it? Do you still have yours?