The deed has been done. The tooth has been removed (plus a little bonus – more on that later) and I am at home recovering. It was only a few hours ago as I write this, I am still sedated, so if I don’t make much sense, blame that!
Just as I was going to bed the night before I checked my letter and discovered a) I should be starving myself from midnight and b) it was a totally different hospital to the one I was expecting. So I ate a couple of Belvita biscuits and went to sleep.
I’m a get up at 6 and eat breakfast IMMEDIATELY kind of person. So by 7am my stomach was growling and by 8am it was making me quite grumpy and irrational. On the plus side, it took away any fear I might otherwise have had about the actual tooth removal.
I went in for my appointment dead on time at 10am (pretty much an all-time first for the NHS in my experience). I waited in the same waiting room where I sat with my 5 year old son all those years ago when he had to have his teeth taken out after colliding with the trampoline. It was surprising how familiar it was.
The paperwork was very quick, apart from the 10 minute interlude to try to remove my nail varnish. It appeared the nail varnish was preventing the heart rate monitor from picking up my pulse, so it had to be removed. With the world’s weakest nail varnish remover. Really I should have just picked it off. And when it was kind of removed from two fingers they concluded that, actually, my heart rate probably really is that slow. And my blood pressure really is that low.
And then I was going through to a room just like a dentist’s surgery. As I lay back on the chair ready for my sedation and anaesethic, I was asked what I thought about my top wisdom tooth. Well, nothing really. It was just a tooth. Another tooth which hadn’t properly come through. Apparently it was showing the early signs of decay and would be likely to need to come out at some point. Would I be happy to just have it removed by my dentist at some point in the future?
Well, no, I wouldn’t. Because of my claustrophobia. I can’t have all those instruments and things in my mouth for long periods as I start to panic. So what would I feel about having it removed now? Top teeth are apparently far easier to get out than bottom ones and it would add no real time or discomfort to the whole thing. No-brainer.
So I had my top tooth out as well.
The doctor had a good jab at three of my veins to get the canula in to put the sedation and local anaesethic in. To be honest, it felt like he was sawing into them. It was very painful. When I eventually dared look at the damage, the bruising, swelling and scratching were every bit as bad as I’d imagined. Then the anaesethic and sedation went in and time sped up.
I was aware of what was going on, but not aware. It was darker and I could see things happening and vaguely feel them. The top tooth came out instantly. The second tooth seemed to come out in pieces. I have no recollection of being stitched back up.
It was 11.15 when I went into the recovery room and 12pm when I got into the car to go home. I have literally no idea where those two hours went. I may have slept a little in the recovery room. The alarm on the heart rate monitor kept going off as my heart rate dipped below 50, but they’d accepted that was normal for me.
My husband was given instructions on how to care for me and my mouth, what to eat, how long the pain should last etc and we went home.
I didn’t feel hungry. But as we passed McDonalds less than 20 minutes later, I felt hungry so I ate a chocolate muffin (soft food!) and drank some orange juice. I felt quite perky.
Then the anaesethic started to wear off. My face started to feel like my own again. And it HURT. Everything hurt – my jaw, my lips, my chin, my ear – and my arm where it had been sliced. I had some ibuprofen and it took the slightest edge off it, but all I could do for the next two hours was lie down and close my eyes. I couldn’t eat or drink and I could feel blood sloshing around in my mouth. I felt thoroughly miserable.
And then I perked up again. And ate two yoghurts.
Potentially I could be up and down for a week or so. I’ll need to eat soft food for a few days and will probably only manage small amounts at a time. The sedative in my system could affect me for 24 hours or more, so I’m not allowed to drive, lift heavy items or be left on my own.
Now I’m keeping my fingers crossed for no infection. Lying around doing nothing is a novelty for me, but I can’t have it going on for too long!