May 11, 2015

The Accident

The first thing that you should know is that the title of this post is a total lie; there was no accident.

In fact, I paid nearly $200 of my own hard earned money to have someone deliberately do this to me.

You see, even though I'm only 24, I still get that womanly urge to make myself feel younger. You know, that little tickle of delight when someone cards me at Applebee's. And this weekend was no exception; I got all sorts of aging-lady thrills from getting my wisdom teeth removed, something most of my friends did a decade ago.

Because I'm a weenie who doesn't like needles, drills, or those horrendous pointy dentist things, I opted for general anesthesia for the removal of my four impacted wisdom teeth. And it was a great decision, let me tell you.

The only downside was that I needed to get an IV stuck in my arm. But even then, immediately after the needle prick, the nurse called my mom back to the waiting area with me and told her that I "was so brave." It was like that ego boost you used to get as a kid at the doctor's office after you only cried a little bit after getting your tetanus shot.

(Sadly, however, there was no prize box or stickers this time for my job well done.)

My mom and I chatted in the waiting area as they pumped me with "something that's like Gatorade" until about half an hour later, when I was strapped onto a stretcher in my surgical gown. After I was pinned down, my anesthesiologist told me that he was giving me "something that will make you relax." The last thing I remember is my nurse singing softly in my ear about pina coladas.

And then I was awake.

I've never had surgery before, so the anesthesia was a really wild experience; the first thing I asked when I opened my eyes is, "Is it over?" The second thing I asked was, "Can I have a lozenge?"

Turns out, I could not have a lozenge. Instead, I was asked to rate my pain on a scale from 1-10. I was drowsy but still determined to answer this one question as accurately as possible; I told my nurse I was at about a 2.7

However, I quickly decided that a 2.7 was a bit dramatic for a sore throat (although I would have appreciated that lozenge anyway), so I spent the next 30 seconds in a state of flustered indecision, going back and forth between a 1.6 and around a 2.5, until the nurse suggested that I close my eyes and try to relax a bit.

So I did for about five minutes, until I woke back up again, really wishing I had that lozenge. I didn't ask for it again out loud, but I did give my nurse "the look," hoping that she remembered my request and that I was at approximately 2.3 on the pain scale, after all.

She didn't give me a lozenge, but she did give me some applesauce topped with an oxycodone. Which was nice for several reasons: I was starving from not eating all day and the oxycodone made me just loopy enough that when I got in the car, I wasn't too bothered by what I saw in the mirror.

In fact, I was so loopy that I had no problem sending that selfie up there to my fiance.

Now, normally Derrick appreciates any picture of me but I think this time he was only being nice; this selfie was horrifying. I had red marks from all the tubes they taped to me (some of which were covered with neosporin), dried blood in my right nostril and the corners of my mouth, which was a shade or two darker than the wet blood goozing out of my newly-unoccupied sockets.

Overall, I can't say the experience was really worth feeling 15 again but thanks to my mom, it certainly wasn't as bad as it could have been. There's just something about homemade soup and jello that warms your heart, even when you can't move your jaw.

Strong opiates aren't the worst things in the world either, though.