On the night of July 29 th, I was not a happy person. It was the only night this summer that I had to go home early to wake up the next morning for my 8: 00 appointment with the oral surgeon. What made me even more mad is that I had to sit at home and “heal” for the next couple of days, so I thought. I had no idea of all of the problems I would have for the next month. I rolled out of bed the next morning around ten til eight, smoked a cigarette, and got in the car. I did not even change out of my pajamas.
As we drove to the appointment, I noticed all of the cars out. I had not been up this early in over two months, and I tend to forget that the world is alive at this hour. We got to the hospital and I smoked the last cigarette I was going to be able to smoke for the next few days. I was happy that I only had to sit in the waiting room for five minutes before they called me back. I sat in the chair, and the nurse gave me a blanket.
She was sticking the needle in my hand when the young doctor came in. The last thing I remembered is him saying “I’m about to give you the good drugs now.” I was out like a light. I woke up in my bed at home in the most excruciating pain I have ever been in. I started crying, and my mom came to my rescue with 800 mg of Tylenol and two Perkisets. It took about fifteen minutes for it to kick in and the pain had lessened. She then brought me some mashed potatoes and applesauce, a meal that I would live off of for the next few days.
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After I ate, I was knocked out for the rest of the day. That’s how the first two days were. Every now and then I would shove gauze in the back of my mouth and go sneak a cigarette, like I was thirteen years old again. I was told about dry socket, and how that was even more painful than what I was in now. I could not even imagine having the doctor shoving bits of cotton balls into the raw holes in my mouth. On the brighter side, I am lucky that I did not get it.
Those first two days were easy compared to the following month I was to go through. I had a routine: take my pain medicine, go to sleep, watch movies, go to sleep. It was Friday morning that my next problems started. I woke up to go to the bathroom. When I looked in the mirror I my jaw dropped to the ground… I looked like a chipmunk with its mouth full of nuts.
My face was so swollen. Naturally, I flipped out and called for my mother. Her jaw dropped as well, and she immediately called the doctor. They told her that it was normal for a little swelling to occur on the third or fourth day. My directions were to keep ice on my face and by that afternoon to the next morning, it should go down.
So I did. The next morning was even worse. I couldn’t even open my eyes; they were swollen shut. I had not gotten any better. I had gotten worse. To top it off, I was in serious pain.
I did what the doctors had told me again that day and for the next two, but the swelling did not go down. Looking the way I did, I definitely could not go back to work (waiting tables).
Shoney’s tries to attract customers, not scare them away. I was still trapped at home. After about a week, the swelling went down, only on the right side of my face. I started to notice a hard lump on the left side of my jaw, so we went back to the doctor.
We learned that I had a hematoma, a blood clot, on my jaw. I was out of Perkiset, and I was not allowed a refill. I was stuck with IB Prof in. All we could do is wait, so we did.
The hematoma was the start of a lot of problems. It enabled my mouth to open. For the next month I could only eat flat, or squished up foods. It was a big obstacle to eat. I had to wedge food past my teeth, and then I could chew.
I could only eat from a spoon, slurping it off of it and trying to get it past my teeth. I got used to the name calling like chipmunk and chubby-cheeks. Everyone picked on me, laughing with me, not at me. When I went back to work, my regular customers asked me who I had gotten in a fight with. I was so tired of having a lump on the side of my face, having kids stare at me, and not being able to eat normally. I had not eaten a burger or a sandwich in over a month.
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There was no adjusting to it. It was not until I moved to Spartanburg that I was totally healed. That first cheeseburger was the best thing I had ever eaten in my life. This has been the worst two months of my life.
I learned that this only happens to a small number of people as a result of surgery, which means that I am just another statistic. Bad things always happen to me. When I went to sleep on the night of July 29, I was only mad that I had to stay at my house for the next few days. I would never have imagined all of the things I had to go through. Getting my wisdom teeth pulled has been a long and winding journey. This is a story that I will tell my kids and my grand kids, right before they get their wisdom teeth pulled..