Image Source: Photobucket
I saw my oral surgeon today for a wisdom tooth extraction. Only one of my 4 wisdom teeth are actually exposed, and on Christmas day (of all days) I broke it. There was quite the ‘crater-like’ hole in the back of my mouth.
I couldn’t get an appointment with my Dentist until January 5th, but when I did see him he had to refer me to the oral surgeon due to the location of the tooth and the actual tooth itself. (Lucky me)
I had an original appointment with another local surgeon who gave me some song and dance about two separate appointments. One for ‘consultation’, then another to actually remove the tooth. Can you say money, money, money…. MO-NAH!
So with the help of colleagues and friends, I got an appointment with another local oral surgeon. And ironically I was told he could x-ray the tooth, ‘consult’ me and remove the tooth all in one appointment! (Hmm.. )
So that’s where I was this morning. And of course you have the option of local anesthesia or moderate sedation. I chose the local so I could get in and get out. I didn’t need anyone driving me to the darn surgeon. I mean I was well prepared for the aftermath of pain.
So my visit was about the most expeditions, courteous and efficient dental visit I have ever had the ‘pleasure’ of enduring.
It took long for the prep and post procedure education than the actual removal! I don’t know why I’m surprised. I mean I work in surgery and see this every day. But being the patient puts a whole new twist on things.
Needless to say it was as enjoyable an experience as one could make out of x-rays, needles, pain and tooth removal.
So here is the point of my blog post – long story short longer.
I knew that once the local anesthetic wore off, that I’d be in some serious pain. I didn’t feel the tooth being removed but I could feel the amount of pressure he placed on my jaw/face. He also had to place one suture. And to boot I was biting down on a sterile gauze for about 45 minutes that was quite ‘colorful’ to say the least. So I knew what kind of ‘rush’ of pain was in store for me. I’m no stranger to pain. I live with ‘nerve’ pain, but jaw/tooth pain is not fun.
So knowing what I know, and having taken care of surgical patients of almost every type. I decided to practice what I preach, and ‘stay ahead of my pain’. Instead of waiting until the ‘numbness’ disappeared, I took my pain medication now. That way when the anesthetic wears off, I already got narcotics and anti-inflammatory medications doing there job.
I let my wife know what I did. And this was her reply:
‘Such a Nurse’
Why YES. I am.