Thursday, March 5, 2009

What was it like to have my Wisdom Teeth removed?

It's the next morning and I feel fine. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I was given antibodies to prevent infection and painkillers (light and serious) which I haven't needed.

They put a needle in me and knocked me out intravenously. I asked the dentist what they were using and he got quite defensive. He was adamant that they were chemicals that I wouldn't remember and seemed suspicious of me for asking. I suspect his authority is challenged a great deal on this subject -Western medicine, anesthesia included, struggles to be authoritative and objective when the reality is full of side effects and uncertainty.

He lightened up after I made it cleat how fun I thought the whole thing was. "Wouldn't you be curious about what was being pumped inside of you?" I asked.

He said they use a variety of chemicals, one makes me sleep, one freezes for pain, one prevents inflammation, and one makes me forget. Despite the high sci-fi value of the last one I changed my questioning to ask if I could keep my x-ray. They treated me as if it were normal for them to send it to my dentist and I stopped pursuing the topic. Now that I'm out of their chair I want it and I think I'm going to get it. Don't I own it?

In fact, I'll call after I write this. Writing my thoughts certainly spurs me to action.
My phone call led to an interesting run around. They are insisting on sending the x-ray to my dentist -although "my dentist" was simply someone who squeezed me in and isn't taking regular patients. The surgeon's receptionist who is currently holding the x-ray said she would talk to my surgeon tomorrow.

What I remember.
I can recall about five minutes of action. I could feel tools clattering around on my wisdom teeth and pulling them. But there was no pain. I could hear my dentist say that I teach history, this may have been a dream, based on a brief conversation before we began. He was on to the next patient before I could ask.

They were worried about me. I was in good spirits but they said I looked quite faint. My heart rate dropped to a surprising low. They sad this happened to athletes. I asked if it was tru for Buddhists too. They missed my vein with the needle the first time and when they started to sedate me it hurt. I love how well the staff ca understand me with my mouth full. The dentist scolded his aid and fixed the needle. I don't remember getting sleepy. Afterward, they dripped two bags of clear juice into me to rehydrate me. After the second bag, I was barely dizzy, walking on my own.

I was walking up and down the stairs when I came home o find a movie. I was worried that it would make me feel faint but it didn't. My brothers bought my drugs and popped the movie in for me. Later that evening, I felt very faint. Apparently I was supposed to start drinking something to get my energy back but I hadn't touched food or water all day. A banana-berry smoothie with a helping of mom's protein powder and some maple sugar in water and I was back. I worked until midnight and slept until 6:30am.

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