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October 14, 2023

On October 3rd, 2023, beginning just after 8:00AM and ending around 10:45, I had my wisdom teeth and my top right rear molar extracted. Only one tooth came out in one piece, and I needed to have more anesthetic applied on the left side of my mouth partway through because those teeth were... difficult. I was awake for the roughly 2.5 hour procedure, and numb from nose to chin. I prefer it that way. I had explicitly banned my family from recording me in the event that I was given gas and ended up intoxicated. Now I know it would have been far more expensive to have it done that way, so I saved quite a bit of money on top of avoiding intoxication. Maddie T. at work said her recent wisdom tooth extractions cost her nearly $2,000. Mine were $240 plus a $50 deductible for the year after insurance had their way with those bills.

Once I got to my pharmacy, about 45 minutes later, I picked up three of my four prescriptions. Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammitory medication to be taken for three days, amoxicillin/clavulanate, antibiotics to be taken for a week, and cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxer to be taken for two weeks. The painkillers, hydrocodone/acetamenophin, had to be given in person and were picked up later in the afternoon. I also changed my gauze in the bathroom and purchased a half gallon container of lime sherbet, as it was something I could eat for the three days I wasn't allowed to chew food.

I didn't experience much pain until that afternoon, where I took acetamenophen and ibuprofen before passing out around 6:15pm. I stuck to protien shakes, tomato soup ordered from Panera Bread, and that sherbet I had bought, as essentially my only sources of food for those three days. No straws, no sodas, no chewing food, no swishing, very carefully brushing my teeth and avoiding the sites of surgery for at least three days.

I went back to work the following friday, not very talkative at all of course. I was speaking quietly because I couldn't open my mouth very wide as it was swollen and sore. I ate Macaroni and Cheese that day for lunch, which was something I needed to chew, but still very soft, and french fries that afternoon after work.

Days pass. My pain decreases, my swelling increases a bit after my anti-inflammatories run out, but it's also gone down since. The holes in my gums are less and less sore, though this past Thursday, the 12th, I managed to find a fragment of tooth that was left behind. It emerged slightly after lunch that day and I managed to get it out once I was in the car on the way home. Small, sharp, and irritating. The only thing that concerns me now is the little pockets left behind from my bottom teeth. They seem to get food stuck in them relatively frequently that I have to use room temperature-to-warm water to doslodge, and I would prefer to keep them clear so they can hopefully close eventually.

How do I feel? Fantastic. I was never in enough pain to need the hydrocodone, and I'm in far less pain now than I ever was before having them out. The tension and discomfort and pain is gone. I'm just slightly raw in the gums at the back from being poked with a syringe over and over again to administer the anesthetic... and of course, from having teeth pulled... but it pales in comparison to the things I felt before. I feel like Goku when he takes his training weights off, I feel like I was nerfed by God herself and then had it surgically removed. Like I'm unstoppable.

My mom and many others say my recovery has been surprisingly smooth. Like, her college best friend and my honorary uncle, Dennis, he was bedridden with ice packs for two weeks. I was back to work after three days and a little bit sore. Maybe my pain tolerance is just high. Maybe I had really good dentists, thanks Dr. Ilia! My follow-up is on Monday the 16th, 13 days after my surgery, that way they can assess how well I've been healing. I do hope it goes well, because I feel good about my progress so far.

Annika LaFey signing off for now! Have a lovely day, all ye who read this.