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The Wisdom Tooth Removal
My appointment was for 1pm on a Tuesday. I worked very hard to ensure I got a full 8 hours of sleep the night before, and when I woke up I had my vitamins and a protein shake. My boyfriend drove me in to the dentist and we got there right at 1pm.
Unfortunately, just as with the previous appointment, we sat out in the lobby for a full 50 minutes. I tried my best to stay relaxed and calm during this time.
This may sound really funny to people, I am sure we all have our own unique ways of preparing for stress. In my case maybe I've seen too many WWII movies which involved torture by pulling out teeth. I even joked to Bob on the way in that in most cultures a person would only go to this type of procedure if they were handcuffed and struggling.
So what I imagined is that this was a rite of passage for the Roman Legion, and that Russell Crowe was inviting me to become part of his elite group of archers for his unit. This was something that each archer had to go through to prove his or her worth. He was standing beside me, saying "Strength and Honor", and my going through this quietly was my proof that I was worthy to belong to the team.
Finally they brought me into the room. I was able to take a camera-phone photo of the xray of my tooth. They had me rinse my mouth out with mouthwash to kill the bacteria. I put chap stick on my lips. I want to note here that I'd been doing mouth exercises - opening my mouth really wide - for the past 3 weeks to prepare. It really helped! My mouth was much better at opening widely with no strain. So I held my mouth open, they didn't use any "devices" to hold it open.
The nurse used a Q-tip to swap some topical pain killer on the wisdom tooth area. The dentist warned me that the needle part would pinch a bit. Did I mention I *hate* needles? Hate hate hate them. Strength and honor. The first two were only mildly pokey. The third one did actually hurt. I think that one had to go into the roof of the mouth. I made a noise at that point and they said it should all be fine from here. Of course, at this point I had forgotten about Strength and Honor and had begun to decide that I should have been knocked completely out for this procedure. I knew panic was not far off and I focused on my mantra.
Really, this was a dividing line where there was now no pain but where my stress had taken over. I literally felt pretty much nothing else after this point - but I had gotten wound up by those shots. He did another shot which I didn't feel at all.
Then he said he was going to do a test to see if the medication had taken. He said I might feel a slight tugging but nothing else. I did feel a slight tugging. He then looked at me and asked if I wanted to put it off until next week. I said no, I wanted to do it now. He said, that's good because it's done!
He then spent another 2 minutes doing "sewing" - I didn't feel anything at all, just maybe little tugs on my head but no pain or real sensations at all.
Then they sat me up, put my tooth into a bag for me along with gauze and instructions. They spent about five minutes going over the instructions for care. I felt very shaky. My eyes had teared a bit during the process (really due to stress, not to pain) so I wiped those away. I went out to the main desk, and then went out to the car while Bob had his own extraction quickly checked.
So really I went into the room at 1:50pm, began at 2:00pm, was done at 2:10pm and was heading home at 2:20pm.
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