10/06/2007

Perils of wisdom

I had all four wisdom teeth removed yesterday morning. They were slightly cavity-riddled, since I wasn't really using them for anything anyway, out they came. I was supposed to have them out after classes got out in the spring, but I was all kinds of busy making my way to L.A. for the summer, so it had to wait. And all I can say is, thank god for Vicodin.

First, the dentist jabbed me inside my mouth with really big needles about three or four times, to make sure I was good and numb for the extraction. My tongue, my entire lower jaw, I couldn't feel a thing. Very strange experience. I apologized in advance to the cute assistant for my eventual drooling problem.

After waiting about 10 or 15 minutes to make sure I was completely numb, my dentist pulled up a chair beside me, told me to open wide and went to work with the pliers. I'd heard from other people about how they were knocked out while getting their wisdom teeth removed. That sounded blissful enough, but it was not to be for me. Although, aside from my jaw hurting from all the unnatural positions I was told to hold it in, it was really quite painless. Three of the teeth came out with little fuss. Just a few quick jerks of the pliers and out they came. There was a strange grinding sensation, before the teeth popped free. And let me tell you, I've tasted enough blood the last couple days to last the rest of my life, thank you very much.

The fourth tooth was still impacted, so that took a little more doing. Something involving slicing into my gums to get to it. I don't know. I couldn't really see what the dentist was doing. All I know is, it took more than a few quick yanks with the pliers. There was some digging going on in there. I have the sutures to prove it.

I spent the first few hours after the teeth came out yesterday with a mouth full of gauze, to soak up all the blood. Soon, the Novocaine began to wear off, so I popped the first of what would be many Vicodins and laid down in bed for a couple hours. I couldn't really fall asleep properly, because of the numbed throbbing in my jaw, but I think I drifted in and out of some kind of pseudo-sleep, weird waking dreams about, well, I can't quite remember now.

I finally had something to eat around 6 last night. Mac & cheese and some salad. Today I'll try for some actual real food. I think my father and I are taking my grandmother to lunch.

And speaking of my grandmother, it turns out that, while she was in Pittsburgh, she suffered from a number of small strokes that neither she nor her doctors ever noticed. She had a brain scan last week and the results came back. She's got a few dead areas in her brain, which would account for the memory problems and insane paranoia she's exhibited since she got here. I guess her brain mass has shrunk, too.

How does that happen? How can a person have a stroke and just go about their daily lives as if nothing had happened? I mean, obviously they're weren't debilitating. She was still going to work and driving to the grocery store before she moved here. But still. That's a little scary. This is why we'd wanted her to move to Omaha for the past few years. Though, I guess, she's done okay by herself after however many smallish strokes. But how long can that last, right? She still isn't sure who we are half the time. Yesterday, she was wondering which of us, if any, lived in her apartment building.

It's weird. It's feels like we're basically biding our time until she dies. When she was in Pittsburgh, it wasn't something I ever gave a whole lot of thought to, but now that she's here and I'm seeing her a few times a week, it's become this dark cloud of inevitability hanging over her. But hey, she's got a bum heart valve and survived some strokes. She might still outlive us all. She's a stubborn old gal, that's for sure. Must be where my father and I get it from.

3 comments:

raptorpack said...

All of my wisdom teeth are impacted. Sounds like it will be stitch city when I get them done.

raptorpack said...

This isn't a comment post. I just keep forgetting to turn on my computer at home in order to contact the outside world. So, since I can't access email through my work computer this is the best way to get word to you. I'm sorry I didn't get back you earlier. Okay, we have small BBQ and game night this Saturday and Kat and Chuck's. Auston, a couple of gay guys, I'll call a few more but I say who will show. Anyway, nothing big just food and few board or card games. I'll email directions if don't know where it is.

lesleykajira said...

Just letting you know your blog entry here came up for a google search of the "perils of wisdom teeth". i'll be having all four out recently and was happy to hear yours didn't hurt too much. Happily, they will be knocking my behind out.