First of all, I am extremely terrified of needles. Any procedure, any doctor’s appointments, anything that involves preventative care: needles are my worst enemy. Keep needles away from me!….until I realize that it’s the tiniest of pinches. I’m not sure what the block is in my mind that keeps me so afraid of needles. I feel stupid every time I get a shot because I realize I was scared for nothing.
Anyways…the idea of getting an IV was one of a few things that were freaking me out about the whole procedure. I went to high school with a girl who has had multiple heart surgeries, and she has claimed to have been awake enough through the anesthesia to hear what was going on. I really did not want to wake up in the middle of the procedure to that old man leering over my open mouth breaking teeth and clanking tools around in there. The sound of a machine sawing away at my gums..would just be the end of me. Not literally. But I really did not want to hear that noise.
This was my first surgery ever!!
I walked into the office where I was greeted by a very friendly lady. I could tell she was used to comforting timid patients awaiting their procedure. I filled out some paperwork which took all of 2 minutes. The next thing I knew a nurse walked in and called my name. Everything moved in slow motion. I looked to my left into my sister’s fiancée’s eyes, his eyes as wide as a deer in headlights, telling me he can’t do anything to help me. I looked back to my right, to see my best friend nonchalantly lounging in the chair next to me. My sister’s voice abruptly brought me back to reality as she said my name again to let me know I was the only Tonjanae around that they could be calling.
9 something…all track of time is lost.
We were led into a small room that resembled a normal doctor’s office. My blood pressure was taken and an approximately “8 minute” video to explain the risks and side effects of the procedure. I swear that video lasted all of two minutes and the doctor came in to try to speed me off to the operating room. I was trying to stall so bad. I was the most nervous I have ever been in my life. I was looking all around the room, anything to avoid eye contact with the man who was destined to snatch my four wisdom teeth out of my mouth. I wanted to make sure my sister could answer all of the questions for me, but he was very adamant about making sure I was present and responding to him. He had to tell me to get out of the chair three times before I actually got up and slowly walked to the operating room.
Moments before the daunting surgery…
I stopped dead in the doorway. The operating room was oddly open with no door to block other patients from seeing everything that happened in that scary, sterilized room. I was asked to sit on the white bed, in this white room. The doctor used a stethoscope to check my breathing. The moment the very nice nurse lady asked me to lay down, the tears burst from my eyes. I immediately started hyperventilating, I was trying so hard to wipe my tears away. I was so embarrassed.
“What exactly is it that you’re afraid of?” nice nurse lady asked me.
I just shrugged my shoulders as my tears flooded my shirt. I slowly laid down and they swarmed me with monitors. One nurse put the breathing tubes in my nose to monitor my breathing. The next nurse put the laughing gas breathing tube on top. It was forcing its way into my nose. It’s sweet scent pushed against the back of my nose, almost as if the gas new it was in a foreign place and wanted to push itself out. I tried to breathe in deeply because I knew the gas was meant to calm me.
I wasn’t quite sure if the gas had hit me or not, but I was definitely feeling different. I knew that if I could stand up, I would be able to feel if there was something different. I kept fidgeting, lifting my leg up and down and twitching my fingers to feel the slightest of a difference..I just couldn’t tell.
I was so nervous and still crying. The nurses literally had to tell me what exactly they were doing.
“Ok, we are putting on blah blah monitor, it’s going to be cold and wet”
“Ok, I’m going to put blah blah monitor, it goes on your fingers”
My body was already seemingly lifeless. I just felt my head moving and my thoughts rushing around in my head. The doctor was ready to put the IV in…so quickly. Aren’t we rushing a bit?? He held up the pen to show me he was going to mark where my vein was. But I didn’t trust that it was only the pen. I was moving my head, straining to see what he was doing. Keep in mind, my arms and legs are strapped down “because once the procedure was done they would have to move me from that room to another,”said the nice nurse lady.
“If you be still we can make this easy”- doctor.
“Alright he’s going to put the IV in. Just be still” – nice nurse lady.
I tensed up and braced myself for the impact of that deathly sharp utensil. Closer…and closer it got.
“See? Can you see piece of cake?” – doctor
Me……..nearly rolling my eyes. Did I really just freak out over something I could barely feel? Especially on that laughing gas, it felt like the smallest of pokes.
“I need to hear you say it. Say piece of cake.” – doctor
I wanted to hate him.
“Piece uh cake” – gassed up me
“Just like that was a piece of cake, the whole surgery will be just as easy. I’m going to put some medicine in you and you’re going to get more sleepy, and you’re going to get more laughing gas, which will make you sleepier and before you know it it’ll be all over.”- the doctor was nonchalant, yet assuring.
He made sure to tell me that I was the third person he operated on that morning. He asked me if I was feeling any different. I moved my body as much as I could to get a sense of how abnormal I was feeling……and I was out.
The last thing I remember before I knocked out was making small conversation. Telling them about my family. I don’t even remember falling asleep.
Sometime after the surgery was over..
Out of nowhere, I regained consciousness that I can remember. I was confused and surprised that it was all over. I was put out of the world for a brief 30-45 mins and I was beamed back to earth. It was like I had no idea what was going on, even though I knew what had happened. I wanted to get up and be normal, not understanding that I literally just got out of surgery, and getting up with that laughing gas still strong in my system was probably not the best idea.
I was so confused, and super emotional. They brought my teeth to me. I was super excited at first, but my expression quickly changed and I started crying because it hit me that I really just went through surgery. I didn’t feel like they cut me open. I didn’t feel like I had just gotten out of surgery. It just didn’t make any sense. Now, I had all four of my wisdom teeth in my hand, and I couldn’t believe they pulled them all out.
All in all, I found this oral surgery a rather eye opening and interesting experience. I wouldn’t mind doing it all over again. I enjoyed having the laughing gas in my system, as I was leaving the building. I knew I was loopy, but I was still conscious enough. It’s very difficult to explain. For those of you who still have yet to get your wisdom teeth taken out, have no fear. It’s a lightning-quick procedure. You’ll never know what hit you. I’m writing this on my second day of recovery. My cheeks are swollen, and even though you’re only supposed to eat soft foods and liquids… I am starving! I have eaten whatever I felt comfortable eating: from chips and guac to blackberry pie. I’m fine! I can’t believe it was only yesterday. Definitely, take your medicine on time and take Advil as needed. I took a nap today and woke up feeling like a train went through my mouth. So even though you may feel fine, I suggest taking Advil at the suggested times for your other meds as well.
Wisdom teeth aren’t that bad! I advise that you have the wisdom to bite your tongue and get that stupid procedure done with.
Be brave! You can do it!
Thanks for reading about my experience. Tell me about your experience getting your wisdom teeth out or the fears you have about your upcoming appointment.