The past few days were spent gearing up for my operation on Monday morning. Guess what operation it was? No, it had nothing to do with a nose job or anything like that. I went to extract my four wisdom teeth! Yes! They are now finally out and I can rest in peace knowing that my other teeth will not be further pushed forwards, leading to a possible need for braces or invisalign in the future.
It was on one fine afternoon in the start of August when I felt the top and bottom left rows of my teeth hurting. It got so bad that I couldn’t chew in that side of my mouth and so I decided to get it checked at a dentist. After taking an X Ray and going through a consultation with a dentist, I got a referral for a wisdom teeth surgery at a private clinic at East Coast (If you’d like to know which clinics I visited, drop me an email and I will gladly respond to you). So blah blah blah and the date was set to be on the 19th Sept. Both my siblings had done the operation before for braces so I had some first-hand recounts of their experiences. My aunts had also taken theirs out but they did it under local anaesthesia. I went for sedation, which meant that there would be someone injecting some alien liquid into me to make me sleep and I wouldn’t feel a thing, even if the dentist were to use a huge-ass saw.
I was just scaring you. I don’t think he used a saw. 😉
The main difference between local anaesthesia and sedation is that for the former, you are wide awake but you don’t feel a thing throughout the procedure. However, you will feel pain (and I heard it hurts REAL bad) when the anaesthesia is injected to your gums or the area in your mouth where the wisdom tooth is located at. For sedation, there will be an anaesthesiologist who will inject the anaesthesia through the back of your palm (it didn’t hurt at all when the needle was poked under my skin and when the liquid was injected). You will then fall almost immediately asleep and stay that way throughout the entire procedure. This means you won’t feel or hear a thing for the next hour or so. Even if they cut your tongue in half.
Again, I am kidding. Dentists don’t cut tongues. Murderers do that.
I went into a tweeting frenzy right before my operation. I had to be at the clinic at 11am but I was awake at 8.30am. Here are my crazy tweets right from when I had gotten dressed till the time I almost got to the clinic, each one about 10 – 15 minutes apart from each other:
“Omg I’m freaking out! About 3 more hours to go till the operation. Can’t get back to sleep!”
“In a parallel universe, my fam and I live on a farm. Our neighbour’s pig-cow just gave birth to 5 piglets and they came out crying.”
“Crying like humans! And my mum is driving my bro and I for my operation at the dentist… In a lorry.”
(Talking about my dream that morning.)
“How do plastics do it? I’m already freaking out like crazeeeee!!! Omgomgomgomg.”
“Omg. I can’t feel my feet. On the way to the clinic now. Parents driving me there.”
“Parents are doing business while driving. Busy consolidating orders over the phone. I wanna be like this too! Be busy business woman! Haha!”
(Trying desperately to de-stress by distracting myself with other non-related things.)
“Ok we’re almost at the clinic now. This’ll be my last tweet before the op. Can’t do live tweets cos I’ll be under sedation!”
I have to admit. When my mind is not occupied with anything related to science, I tend to get pretty bimbotic. So the story goes like this:
I was all freaked out and jittery as I climbed onto the operating bed. There were two female nurses / trainees in their scrubs, there was the dentist (who is always all smiles) and there was also the anaesthesiologist, whom I’ve only seen for the first time. Two males, two females. Yin and yang were balanced (if you exclude me). OK fine, that’s pretty irrelevant but you know, just to set the scene.
So the anaesthesiologist had to coax me and calm me down before he injected the needle into me. I was telling everybody there that I was scared, even the receptionist. I lay there on the bed, waiting for the moment to say, “Aha! I am going to sleep now!” and then fall swiftly into a deep slumber. But, hmm, nothing. So I waited for a while more while my dentist got the computer ready for the operation and the other three busied themselves with their tasks. Still, nothing. So I asked out loud to anyone who would hear me, “Why am I still not asleep?!” I did not want to feel pain if I were to be blacked out and I wanted my “Aha” moment! *Awkward pause* The anaesthesiologist replied nicely, “Because I haven’t put anything into the needle yet.” And then, guffaws from everybody.
At least I made the atmosphere less tensed for me and honestly, it was truly a funny moment in that operating room. But when he did inject the anaesthetic into me, within a matter of seconds, I felt the room swaying, as if I was drunk. And then the next thing I knew, somebody was waking me up because the operation had ended. It was really fast and I felt absolutely nothing during the process.
They helped me to a nearby armchair and I rested there for about half an hour, still groggy from the drug. The receptionist made me Milo! Some of the staff came to talk to me as well, and one of them told me that if I were to eat too much too soon, I would puke but that would be OK. The receptionist talked a little more with me and I wanted to let her know that I am currently looking to give private tuition but I couldn’t really speak much. Do you know why?
My entire bottom jaw, including my lower lip, gums and tongue were numb. It felt as it my mouth was hung wide open into the shape of a big “O”. It did not match what I felt with my fingers, which told me that my mouth was almost closed shut. My bottom lip was like a loose flap and when I playfully blew air out of my mouth, it just flopped open and I thought I might’ve looked like a chimpanzee at some point.
Finally, after resting for a bit and trying my very hardest to drink some warm Milo with a straw and a numbed mouth, my dad came to pick my mum and I up from the clinic (you need to be accompanied with a family member, or at least the person whose Medisave you’d be using to pay for the operation). I tweeted a little post-operation-related information after that:
“I am home. Everything near my lower jaw feels like soft and smooth rubber. It’s numb and I can’t talk nor drink properly.”
“I am still under the influence of anaesthesia. Seeing yellow stars. Going to concuss for a bit. Good night!!”
“It’s been about 3 hours since my surgery ended. The pain is starting to kick in. Not much swelling yet but the wounds are still bleeding.”
(After the nap.)
“It’s now 5.30pm. I haven’t eaten anything since 1am last night. I’m starving.”
“I also can’t close my mouth because I’ve got gauze and it’s thick and I don’t have a sterilised pair of scissors to cut it.”
“@JaniceGeolin feeling miserable but oooh, yes! I didn’t think of that. Fudge ice cream’s gonna be awesome!”(In reply to a very nice tweeter follower, who suggested I indulge in ice cream!)
“I can’t close my mouth and the plaster is where I had the needle inserted in me. http://twitpic.com/6nahgc“
“I just spent 25 minutes eating a bowl of porridge that didn’t require chewing. now my wisdom gums are aching…”
“I have an ulcer somewhere at the back of my mouth. must have been from the surgery. bad, cos i think i’m about to have sore throat too!”
I wonder how much I will weigh after this week is over. I hope the swelling will not worsen and that the bleeding will stop. I also hope you managed to find out something about wisdom teeth removal surgery from this entry. If you’d like to ask me more questions about it, you can drop me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh yes, by the way, my latest article is up today on Fever Avenue (scheduled for 1p.m., just nice for your lunchtime read). You’re going to see a very, very, very bitchy side of me that I rarely expose, or get into character, for that matter. It’s going to be about major beauty taboos and I hope it will make you laugh! Have a good week!