31 July 2014

Getting my wisdom teeth removed


Martinus did this drawing while I was waiting to go into surgery.

It's been exactly a month since I had my wisdom teeth removed and I'm ready to talk about it now. Two of my wisdom teeth were removed surgically. I read about other people's experiences, but I had no idea how I would feel.

It hurt so much. This might seem obvious but the pain turned out to be very different than I expected. I thought the painkillers would take away all the pain and leave me drowsy. I thought it would only hurt a lot if I tried to chew something hard. For the first few days I didn't feel any difference after taking the painkillers, even after taking the stronger one I was only supposed to take if the first one didn't work. The pain was underneath my face, not my jaw as I had expected. There was pain all the time and it was worse with movement. The vibration from walking hurt, lifting my head from the pillow hurt, it all hurt. I tried to blow my nose and my eyes almost popped out from the shock of the sudden pain. I felt like there was a bag of pure pain hanging from my chin.

Somehow I thought that I'd use the weekend after my surgery to organize the kitchen cabinets. That sounds so ridiculous now. Even if my mouth didn't hurt all the time and more whenever I moved at all, I was exhausted and felt nauseous after standing for a few minutes. Another one of my silly plans was to make soup from scratch. I was not in the mood to cook when I got home. I should've bought food the day before, but we ended up stopping to buy soup on our way home. I knew I wouldn't be able to eat regular food and my mouth would hurt, but I didn't realise how much.

One of the possible side effects of anaesthesia is nausea and I didn't have anything on hand for it when it hit me. The pain is bad enough to deal with on its own. The evening after my surgery was the worst. (I did feel much better after vomiting, but it can last longer for some people and it's better to be prepared)

After the first few days, I started feeling the painkillers working even though it didn't stop the pain completely. I woke up during the night a few times and couldn't fall asleep again because of the pain. I felt slightly better every day. When most of the pain was gone, I still felt exhausted and couldn't be out of bed for very long. After two weeks the pain was gone and I had energy again, but I couldn't even open my mouth enough to eat a banana. After a month I'm finally back to normal, but can feel slight stiffness in my jaw.

I didn't expect the emotional effect being in pain 24/7 would have on me. I felt pretty sorry for myself and started crying a few times. It wasn't a fun experience, but it was definitely worth it after struggling with my wisdom teeth for years.