Saturday, October 11, 2008

To Drunk and Back (minus one tooth)

The ordeal is over and, I must say, it was one of the BEST experiences of my life, lol!

I prepared for my wisdom tooth extraction by staying calm that morning and preparing for the worst. I didn't say much and I was quite focused. The plan was to just get it over with and to shove it away into harmless bad-experiences-stored-memory. I paid my hefty fee, and sat down to wait for my turn.

Scrounging in my bag, I discovered a green plastic bug. I pulled it out of it's packaging and tucked it away in my pocket. It's the little things in life that make miserable moments more manageable. I found it funny to have a plastic green beetle in my pocket. I put my hand in my pocket and peeked at it occasionally.

My name was called. I took a deep breath and got up. V. said goodbye and wished me luck and I followed the lady to the surgery room.

The lady was very sweet. She introduced herself and told me that she would be taking care of me and making sure I was comfortable. A fellow inside the room introduced himself as well and began some friendly chatter with me. He was the anesthesiologist. They took my jacket (bye, bye, bug!) and covered me with a warm dark green fleece blanket. I felt quite comfy and was not much disturbed when I felt the pinch of the IV needle.

The anthesiologist kept me occupied with many questions about my job and it was after a particularly kind thought that he said, "and that's a nice thought to slip into!" Oh! The drugs must be kicking in soon, I thought. I looked up to see my vision swim as the surgeon walked into the room and exclaimed "Whoa! The drugs must be..." and then I was out.

I woke to the gentle squeeze of the blood pressure machine against my upper left arm and thought how comforting that felt. There was some music playing and I realized that I was already humming along to it. It seemed like really good music to me so I kept my eyes closed and just kept humming along.

A nurse came into the room and asked me how I was doing, and I told her that I was great. I told her I found the squeeze of the machine of my arm to be very comforting. She was glad I was comfortable and went out again. When she came back in after a few minutes, I was still singing along to the music. I told her she had a great job and she agreed. She took my IV off and told me to slowly open my eyes. Things were still swimming quite a bit when I opened my eyes. I could see someone being worked on in another room and I noticed that all the doctors wore colourful caps. I felt incredibly happy and content and continued to hum absent-mindedly to another song that was playing. I had not noticed music playing when I had entered the surgery room earlier but it was so obvious now. I chattered about some other experiences with surgery to the nurse and compared it with this one, saying how great this one was.

She unhooked the blood pressure machine from my arm and I was sad to have it go, but I was delighted to have my jacket back. She helped me walk to a new waiting room at the back and I walked slowly with her. I felt like I was walking on the moon. I took note of all the things I passed by (I guess because I was walking so slowly and had a lot of time) and I noticed cans of ginger ale with the word ORGANIC on it. I was quite pleased by that.

She left me sitting on a couch and went to get V. When V. saw me, he asked me how it was and told him it was, "so fun!" He looked at me quizzically and grinned. The nurse and V. sat down and she explained all the medicines I would be taking afterwards and some other after-surgery details. I listened as well as I could but I was quite distracted. When she pulled out a can of ginger ale and gave it to V. I exclaimed, "It's organic!"

The nurse told V. that he would have to guide me as I walked because I was walking very slowly. She showed us to the door, which turned out to be a back exit into the hallway (I guess because all the patients behave strangely afterwards). I began to tell V. how fun it all was and how we should do it again sometime. He laughed and helped me walk.

In the car ride, he tried to persuade me to stop singing because he was worried about the stitches, but my sister told me that I was still singing as I walked in the door at home and that I kept telling her how it was so fun. V. said, "Yes, yes, come along now" and guided me down the stairs to my room. He tucked me into bed and I was still chuckling about my fun day when I dozed off.

Yes, and so when I woke up several hours later (with the green plastic bug on my forehead no less), I was now laughing about how strange I must have behaved after the surgery. I found it infinitely funny that I had wanted to do the tooth extraction again because it was so fun, and I was so glad that I had had such a pleasant experience overall. V. provided me with some chilled ginger ale, and he later made me some hyper smooth mashed potatoes, which were delicious. I kept an ice pack on my cheek for the remainder of the day, and I didn't feel badly at all, except that I had to keep still, rest, and try not to talk.

Not so bad for such a dreaded experience, huh?


b.p. said...

Sounds like they put a big dose of laughing gas in you ... hahah, you sounded like you were so high :p ... that or least you remember it all! (apart from the blackout)

Douglas Penland said...

What's the ginger ale for? You sounded really drunk. Your story gave me a great relief about my extraction next month! I just hope I'll have a good time at the clinic. Two of my dentists will be taking care of me, and they assured me that I won't feel anything painful during and after the procedure. I really need this to get done before I fly to Murfreesboro, TN for a long vacation and get my braces on. said...

Hi Douglas Penland!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

The ginger ale is to help keep down any potential nausea I might have had after being given anesthesia, I think. Ginger is a natural way of reducing nausea. I have noticed that Gravol now has a ginger gummy version for mild nausea.

I hope you'll have a good time getting your tooth extracted next month. I highly recommend getting wisdom tooth extractions done by a specialist rather than a regular dentist though. I've heard lots of positive experiences from people that went to specialists versus regular dentists. I would never get a warm blanket and my own anesthesiologist, blood pressure cuff, and music at my dentist's office.

Oh, and I chose a specialist that works a lot with children. I figure if he can handle tiny mouths and teensy stitches, I'll be in good hands.

Good luck!