I mentioned briefly yesterday about having my wisdom teeth pulled. This event fixed a major problem I was having with my sinuses, but it is also a wild story. I have some really crazy stories about growing up. I imagine most people could make their childhood strange and funny but I only need to tell what actually happened and people think I’m making it all up. Actually it is funny because I can tell the truth and people don’t believe me but if I lie they swallow it hook line and sinker. Weird huh? This story isn’t quite as outlandish as some of the others, but it is true to the best of my recollection, which may not be perfect based on events that will be made clear in the story.
Late in the summer before my senior year in high school I started meeting with the oral surgeon that would be removing my wisdom teeth. We had to go to a specialist because of complications and the depth of the teeth. One complication is one of the roots was partially in my sinus cavity which was causing me to have a series of sinus infections. Also my lower wisdom teeth were growing 90 degrees off angle. Over the course of a couple different screening appointments I was told of the potential complications including death. Honestly that isn’t the one that scared me. I was specifically told I needed to be careful about sneezing when the teeth were removed. I could blow out the weak spot in my sinuses if I wasn’t careful to sneeze fully out instead of trying to stifle the pressure. How’s that for scary?
Yeah, so the specialist was a hippy. He didn’t say he was but in the late 90s the guy had hair quite a bit longer than mine, which was shoulder length back then, and grey. Have you seen the movie Independence Day? You know the character Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek) played? He looked exactly like him. The guy had to be a hippy
Yeah just like that. Anyways, the last appointment before the big show he starts telling me about the drug process. They were a top notch operation. The plan was to start me off with nitrous oxide (happy gas), then put in an IV with something to knock me out followed by local anesthetic before during and after the operation. He said that when they started the IV drip I would count backward from 100 and probably get down to the 80s or 70s. He said a few people get down to the 50s and almost no one gets below that. I’m not sure if they increase the speed of the drip during this count down or what but it is apparently really important to actually count backwards. Someone explain that to me. Candy?
Anyways, the big day comes and my mom brings me there since I’m not allowed to drive afterwards and she used to be a dental assistant anyways, so she probably asked to watch. Yeah she’s hard core like that but my dad nearly passed out when I was getting an ingrown toenail fixed. They bring me in and get the gas on my nose after reminding my mom and myself about the risks, procedure, and follow-up. My mom was more worried about dry socket because of her experience in dealing with that but I was still worried about blowing my sinuses out into my mouth. Then the doctor says they are ready to start the IV drip. At this point I don’t remember if I said this or thought it but I think I said, “ok put the needle in.” Either way I looked and saw the IV was already in so I said, “Wow, you guys are good, there’s a needle in my arm.” They may or may have said something about that but they did ask me to count backward. So I started, “100, 99, … 98, …..97, ………” Next thing I know I was in a cold room with a very small knit blanker that wasn’t helping keep the cold off.
My mother was trying to wake me up and I distinctly remember telling her, “I don’t feel good. I don’t think I can make it to school today.” Yeah that’s the first thing I remember saying. I honestly couldn’t remember where I was or why I felt like I had a mouth full of cotton. Ok that one made sense once I woke up a little more. I did have a mouth full of cotton. Turns out they had been trying to wake me up for some time. I had even gotten up and fallen back to sleep a few times. I do not handle drugs well.
I can’t take Benadryl, real Sudafed, Claritin (I learned that last week) and most narcotics. Well I can take them but they really mess me up in some weird ways. Even taking small doses of them can have some powerful side effects on me. I got stung by a bee and it swelled up pretty good. I went to the pharmacy to get something for it and asked the pharmacist what the best thing was. I ended up getting sting ease and Benadryl for it. I took the Benadryl in the early evening and woke up feeling terrible the next day. It was like I could feel my nerves vibrating. Wicked weird feeling. I felt like this for 3 days.
Turns out that when they put me under it is a job and a half to wake me back up. I also know that there is a good reason for not letting people drive after being put under. Once they got me up all the way and explained once again all the follow-up goodness to me and my mom we went to the car. I had a whole entourage and they were all trying to help me. I’m guessing they were worried I’d fall or something but to a 16 year old guy that is more than a little annoying. I shook off the help when it was time to get into the car, but I kept feeling someone pushing down on my head like they do in cops. Each time I’d stand up and tell everyone to leave me alone. After 4 or 5 times I yelled at everyone to back off and let me get in the car by myself. Of course, by yell I mean yell as well as you can with a mouth full of gauze so more like mutter incoherently while gesturing at the car wildly. This time I made it into the car ignoring the person that kept pushing on my head.
I might mention that I found out later I was smacking my head repeatedly into the car and no one was helping after I told them to back off the first time. I have to wonder what my mother and 3 youngish female employees were thinking as I smashed my head into the 1995 Maxima over and over again only to turn and make agitated grunts like some crazy ape. If I got embarrassed I might have died right there, but whatever.
Later my parent tried to get me to eat apple sauce. I refused but they kept insisting. The gauze was soaked with spit by then and I was getting quite ill from it all. I finally made it clear that I needed all that taken out and about then I also start heaving. I’d say threw up but I wasn’t allowed to eat for many hours before the surgery so … well you get the point. Late that night I finally felt well enough to eat a couple bites of apple sauce but that was just because I needed something on my stomach for the pills I had to take. I think it was narcotic because I was unconscious pretty soon after.
The next day I was starving. I ate all my apple sauce but let me say that didn’t quite do it for me. I was offered more drugs but I passed in favor of 800mg Motrin. I really don’t like passing out. For lunch I had more apple sauce and I was pretty sick of my apple sauce and Motrin diet by then. Come dinner my parents, being evil, made chicken on the grill. I could smell it cooking and saw my wonderful apple sauce in the fridge. Well being a 16 year old guy I went for the chicken. It may well have been the best chicken I’ve ever had. I ate 2 thighs off the bone but passed on the corn on the cob. The next day they made ribs. Seriously? Ribs??? How can I pass that up, so on Friday I had pretty major oral surgery and on Saturday I was eating chicken off the bone and on Sunday Ribs. If my parents cook like that after every oral surgery then I
might go ahead and schedule that root canal.
This is getting pretty long so let me wrap it up by talking about something that happened that Wednesday. All day long I felt something tickling my throat. Eventually I was able to cough and get a hold of it. When I pulled it out it was a black string. A bit after that I realized it was one of my stitches. Of course I freaked just a bit but nothing was hurting or bleeding so I guess it was ok. When I went in for my follow up appointment the doctor couldn’t find any of the stitches. I told him about the one I pulled and he said it wasn’t uncommon to just swallow them. He said the other three stitches should just move on through and I’d be fine. I don’t know when I ate it, but I apparently ate silk along with one of my meals. Who knows, could have been the ribs. Did I mention I love ribs?