Getting my wisdom teeth removed

Well hello! That was a big of a break, wasn’t it?

But, back into the swing of it, this year I finally decided to get my wisdom teeth removed. In case that’s looming ahead of you too, here’s what happened – first I made the decision to get them out under General Anaesthetic, booked in, made sure that my private health insurance covered it, found out what my out of pocket expenses would be, and then waited.

I got a phone call the day before confirming details, including that my time to arrive at the hospital had been moved forward an hour, so that was one hour less that I would be hungry and nervous.

I was told not to eat or drink from midnight onwards. I also consulted a friend who works in a hospital and got advice to take off all my jewellery and leave it at home as I’d probably be asked to remove it before going into surgery.

I arrived at the hospital on time. I got a bit nervous at this point as the plan was that Tim and the kids would me in and I could give them all a cuddle goodbye, but lots of construction at the hospital meant we couldn’t find a car park so instead they dropped me at the front door and I went in on my own. The checking in was mostly looking through paperwork and making sure that it was all accurate and was okay until I checked my phone and found I had a good luck message from a friend, which made me burst into tears. This alarmed the women checking me in but once she’d assessed that I was okay, just overly emotional, I was on my way into pre-op, armed with lots of tissues.

The nurse inside made sure that I was okay too, and offered tissues and blankets if I needed them. I’d bought myself a new jumper that came from the pyjama section and is best described as a wearable blanket, so I settled down to read a book. I’d saved A Court of Wings and Ruin to read, knowing that I would need a good distraction.

Then after waiting a while, it was time to go through more questions and paperwork, and get changed into a hospital gown, then back for more waiting. I was nervous walking to the operating theatre and by the time I got in there I was shaking. I went through a quick briefing from the dentist (although he is from the usual dental surgery that I go to, I hadn’t met him before) and the anaesthetist, along with the anaesthetist nurse. The anaesthetist got me to move around a bit until I was positioned however they wanted on the bed, then chatted to me, asking me questions.

I didn’t feel the needle go into my arm, which I was impressed at. Then he asked me if I had any questions. I asked if I’d seen him afterwards, to which he said no, then said, “Well yes but no one remembers that part, so it will seem like you don’t” and then I don’t remember anything more until waking up in a hallway in recovery (it probably wasn’t a hallway). Once I was awake and checked over, the dentist appeared again to see how I was. My tongue felt giant but the rest of me felt fine. I got another talk on what to do and not do, and then was moved to a quieter part of the recovery room. After a while, a nurse came and cleaned my face up again, then told me she’d give my mum a call to come and pick me up. Then looked at my paperwork, did a double take and said, “Oh sorry you look much younger than you are! I see I’m calling your husband, not your mum”. Perhaps she was doing that to cheer me up because once you get past 30, those moments become very rare. I watched some tv, put an ice pack on my face, watched a stylish man get into trouble from the nurses for not wearing his ice pack, ate some jelly, then left.

I had a bundle of information, but my face didn’t hurt because of the local anaesthetic that had been put in. So I went home, and watched a lot of television, and then went to bed, setting my alarm to wake up and take my (over the counter) pain killers on time. (Do other countries use the “over the counter” description? That just means you don’t need a prescription.)

The next few days were a mixture of trying to eat without making anything bad happen. Too many people had told me horror stories and scared me, which actually made it worse because then I didn’t eat properly and ended up hungry and sad and low on energy. Once I had the eating sorted out, it was fine. I had my mouth checked on Monday by the same dentist that did the surgery who cheerfully told me that my teeth were a pain to get out and he was glad that I was under for that part, and then was amused by my squeamishness and told me I’d have to touch the stitches eventually. He was right though, once I got over that part too, it was better. He also told me to start eating whatever I wanted to and to ignore all the horror stories.

The dissolvable stitches did not dissolve fully for me, so two weeks later I went in to get them removed. Once they were out, my mouth felt great.

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