I Did Survive

Remember how I said I wasn’t going to die when I got my wisdom teeth pulled? I was right. In fact, I have not died with surprising ease. Now, there’s still about 72 hours for a little demon called “dry socket” to set in, but I’m going to knock fervently on some wood and send up a few prayers to St. Apollonia and pretend I’m in the clear.

(Speaking of St. Apollonia, she had all her teeth punched out before she was burned at the stake. I just learned this. Holy ouch.)

Since most of what I read online while researching the wisdom tooth procedure were horror stories, I thought I’d add a bit to the noise and share my relative success with the world wide web, as well as Jen-Tested Survival Tips.

Day One: I’m Paranoid, Therefore I Am

The last thing I saw before I fell asleep was the crucifix above the door, a nice memento that if I die I guess I’ll get to meet Jesus. It was not reassuring, and the laughing gas did not make me feel more calm or less paranoid. Yes, the needle hurt. I was still afraid of nausea. I whimpered like a little baby.

The last thing I felt was a gloved hand on my upper arm. It was a gentle, loving touch, and I pretended it was my mother.

I woke up and asked for my teeth. They came in a little envelope that I didn’t want to open in public. Wisdom teeth grow in the darkest, farthest reaches of your mouth. If you go to the dentist as infrequently as I do, they are like your own little secret. Mine, it turns out, are adorable and came out in once piece.


I was disappointingly lucid after I woke up. I had no David After Dentist moment or dizziness or nausea. I don’t remember getting wheeled out to meet my ride because I later was dropped off, unlocked my gate, and walked up 2 flights of stairs on my own, which was a lot more memorable because of the three inches of snow that had fallen that morning. I also used Snapchat and continued to be paranoid. (This is a running theme with me, you will see. I just took a break from typing to look up symptoms of dry socket because my teeth are slightly achy.)

The doctor said the anesthesia would last up to seven hours, but it only seemed to last the duration of the surgery for me. On the car ride home, my teeth began to throb gently, and every time I tried to talk, the gauze made me gag. I hated the gauze. It reminded me of when I knocked my teeth out in first grade trying to jump into a trash can and then refused to swallow. The teacher called on me to read aloud and all the saliva I’d been storing just spilled out onto my desk. But I was worried because my impatience with the gauze caused me to remove it earlier than my instruction sheet said.

The pieces were bright red, but when I looked with a flashlight to see if there was a clot, I couldn’t find it. I spent hours Googling how to tell if the bleeding had stopped and looked at numerous grotesque pictures of healing tooth extractions. It did not make me feel better.

I was hoping the hardcore drugs I was prescribed would help me not be me for a little while, but I was afraid to take them. I kept researching how to not throw up on oxy, but nothing made me feel better about it. The pain wasn’t that bad, so I have only been taking the hyperdose of ibuprofen every five or six hours. I am paranoid, therefore I am.

I only had one set of ice packs, so I had to improvise while they re-chilled in the fridge. I used burritos, frozen fruit, and a bra wrapped around my head to ice my face. I want to flaunt this picture of me as a symbol of my brilliance. I may not be able to use a spoon, I haven’t gone to grad school, but look at me now. A whole new use for burritos and lingerie.


All in all, I’m pretty happy I did this. I needed them out, and it was a pretty fast procedure. So far, there has been very little pain and absolutely no nausea. Just a hell of a lot of possibility that the worst is yet to come…

Day 2: I Think I Need a Bib

Thank you, mom, for buying me a hard copy of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please for Christmas. Cutting my hours of mindless television streaming with bits of storytime with this goddess have been a life saver. Playing her audio book as I read along is exactly what I imagined it would be, and now I have the time to really enjoy it.


Today, I have already watched 6 episodes of Friends and 4 episodes of Parks and Rec. I don’t know what I watched yesterday. Community, probably. Maybe a little Brooklyn-99. 22 minutes upon 22 minutes of bright, cheery comedy.

My smoothies remain delicious and full of good nutrients, but as they run out, I become more aware of the fact that soon I will have to eat with a spoon. All previous attempts have ended in failure and weirdly colored drool. Mmmm, chocolate…

(I should mention that since writing the above statement, I successfully ate a bowl of tomato soup and a cup of pudding. Progress!)

Before I end this delightfully disgusting post about my body, I would like to give a warm and beyond appreciative shout out to my lovely ride, without whom I would probably have actually died. She braved the elements, bought me drugs, and has checked in on me a few times since dropping me off at my building. Thank you. You are a goddess, too.


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