When I went for oral surgery last spring, the doctor told me he could only do one half of my mouth that day or I wouldn’t be able to eat for two weeks. Considering it was almost bathing suit season, I didn’t think that was necessarily a bad thing. But he convinced me otherwise, and told me if I was really gung ho about getting it all done, I could come back in a month or so to have the job finished. However, the problem with oral surgery is that after you’ve gone through it once, you realize it would take a team of wild horses to drag you in there to do it again.
But six months later, when the teeth on the other side of my mouth got so sensitive that even eating spaghetti left me in pain, I decided I had to bite the periodontal bullet and go back in the chair.
Let me tell you, there’s nothing like having work done on your mouth to make you appreciate little everyday pains like childbirth and getting hit by a car.
Of course, the surgery itself was no big deal. The dentist gave me so much novocaine that even my left nostril went numb. However, when it finally wore off eight hours later and I stopped feeling like my lip was hanging down to my collarbone and all the drool on my chin had dried up, the throb set in.
Contrary to popular belief, Acetaminophen does not dull the pain.
Ibuprofen does not dull the pain.
According to my father, the only thing that works is getting hit over the head by a 2-by-4. It doesn’t lessen the pain in your mouth, but the pain in your head is a good distraction.
My husband was very supportive. He booked a flight to the other side of the country and went on a business trip the day of my surgery. I don’t blame him. I didn’t really want to be around me, either. He did, however, send me a lovely bouquet of flowers and wishes for a speedy recovery, or at least by the time he returned from his trip.
At some point, I decided the only thing to do was go to sleep. My mouth had other plans. While my eyes said, “OK, we’re going to sleep now,” my mouth said, “Arggh, who can sleep with all this throbbing?” So, with an ice pack affixed to my jaw, I stayed up and watched the movies that are so bad they have to run them at 3 in the morning.
The next day, I not only had a golf ball on the side of my face, I had some very attractive bags under my eyes to boot.
All this continued for several more days until I was convinced that a full set of dentures would be a more agreeable alternative.
Finally, sick of sitting home with an ice pack on my face, I decided to do the one thing I knew would make me feel better.
While I was waiting on the checkout line, a very pregnant woman with an infant and three small children got in line behind me.
The kids were all yelling and fighting with each other and the mother looked completely fed up.
I realized then that my misery would be pretty much over in a week.
She still had 17 years to go.
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