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The tooth saga is almost over

I went in for surgery this morning around 9am to get two wisdom teeth and a dead molar removed. For the first time in my life I’ve had an operation that put me to sleep. It took about an hour total, including recovery.

I quite enjoy new experiences, and this was definitely a new experience. Leading up to it over the past week, I’ve had some anxiety about it because I’ve never had an operation in my entire life. I’ve been lucky enough that I’ve never needed to go into hospital for anything, so this is the first time since I was born almost 48 years ago.

dentalsurgeryI was amazed at the number of people needed. There was an anaesthetist, his assistant (I assume), and a couple other nurses, and the dental surgeon. The lamp above me had something covering the central light area, that reminded me of a toilet plunger that they could remove when they wanted the light onto my mouth. I wondered why they didn’t just turn the light off until they needed it…

They gave me some sunglasses that they then taped onto my face so they wouldn’t fall off. I guess that was becauseit was possible that my eyes would be open while under asleep, and they didn’t want me burning out my eyes from the lamp.

When the needle went in to put me to sleep, I wanted to take careful note of how it felt as it was taking effect. So I was looking through the sunglasses at the light, and within about 10 seconds I noticed that it seemed to be getting a bit blurry and darker than normal, and then….

And then I woke up. Just like that. My first thought was something like, “Wow, that’s pretty cool.” Everyone was gone, and I was in the recovery room of the surgery. There was a nurse who was talking to me, but I can’t remember what she was talking about. Then she helped me get off the table and sit in a couch.

They brought Fanfan in and then started providing information and instructions about post-operative care, etc. By this time I was mentally capable enough to ask a few questions for clarification for Fanfan, who had a problem where a lot of stuff being said just went straight over her head.

The last time I saw the actual dental surgeon was during a pre-op conversation we had before I went into the surgery. I never saw him again. All the pre-op preparations and post-op instructions was by nurses.

It was a fascinating experience, and I was particularly pleased that even though I was anxious about it two nights ago (hardly able to sleep at all), I was no longer anxious after my wife arrived yesterday. Having her with me, knowing I’d be looked after during this trying time, was enough to help me just let it all go. I slept well last night, and this morning I had no anxiety at all. I was quite looking forward to the experience.

You know how you feel when you’re nervous about something – I had none of that. I was just relaxed, calm, ready for it. I thought that was great.

So, how did I feel after the operation? Well, my mouth was a freakin’ disaster zone. There was no pain at all, but it felt ‘heavy’. It felt very numb, I couldn’t feel anything, and it felt like my tongue didn’t want to work properly. My mouth and throat were incredibly dry – the dryest my throat has been in my life! The nurse gave me an apple juice to drink, and I had two of them. That helped a lot.

My throat was very sore, and I guessed that was because of a tube they stuck down it – something I’d read about on the internet a couple nights ago. General anaesthetic apparently requires a tube down the throat – not something they told me about during any of the consultation and pre-op conversations, but it’s certainly something my throat seems to confirm!

The numbness in my mouth began to fade after about two hours, and I was pleasantly surprised as the day wore on that there’s been absolutely no pain or discomfort or aching from the extractions. The painkillers I’m taking are very, very good. The only issue has been a killer sore throat which has gotten worse during the day, but which I expect will get better by tomorrow.

It’s going to be good to move on without any problems with my teeth! I’m so happy about that. And at some stage in the next few months I’ll see about getting that single filling and a clean, and then start working on regular 6-monthly checkup in future. I can tell you that I’m quite excited about this change to my dentistry habits and the better results for my teeth. It’s been something that has often been on my mind over the past 35 years, so I think this past month has been something I’ve needed in my life. And which I’ve probably been expecting too. I knew that one day it would all catch up to me.

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