Yesterday, I went back to the dentist to get tooth #32 removed. The tooth grew in sideways, so I wanted to deal with the minor pain of extraction earlier rather have it develop into something worse. Like a cavity. Or who knows, just something more painful?
So here we are again, some painkiller injected to numb down my gums. While I was losing sensation, I texted a few friends and listened to the classical music in the office to distract myself. I’m sure when the dentist and his assistant came back, I was covered in drool even if I didn’t feel this coming down my chin. Thanks kind assistant, for helping me wipe it off. You helped maintain whatever dignity I had left in that room.
Then dentist cut down my bone and fractured my impacted wisdom tooth into four itty bitty pieces. Honestly, the process was a lot better the second time around, since I knew what to expect. Thanks to prior experience, which involved watching a load of YouTube videos for mental preparation, it wasn’t as scary this round.
Plus, we had some small talk about Russia with the dentist, so it helped calm me down. As silly as it sounds, he definitely reassured me when I found out about his dog’s name. I felt like I could trust a guy with a dog named Boris. The name seems to suit the pup, who I imagined was kind-hearted, naive yet fully lovable. I’m sure the dog had solid oral hygiene too.
Anyhow, back to the extraction process. This time around, I tried to focus on things outside the dental clinic. Like UCLA, crushes, and what sort of food I could eat in the next few days. I knew I would be on a liquid diet, so apples and carrots were out of the equation. I reminisced on the time Karin brought me chao, or what others call congee/rice porridge. I really missed that mush, and kind of wished I was getting my tooth removed in a strip mall in the 626 so that I was closer to Valley Boulevard and the food down there. My train of thought just carried me to another place, while I’m certain the assistant was wondering why I was producing so much saliva. Thank you again for this woman for helping me not choke on my own spit, and using that suction tool to help keep things neat.
For the most part, I didn’t feel pain, but I did feel the pressure on my jaw and experience some uncomfortable moments when it was hard to keep my mouth open. Everything seemed to be going well, even if it took a lot longer to remove this tooth. The extraction was done, and we were onto the stitches. The visuals sucked. Cringeworthy even. I hate looking at the wires and blood, so this time around I closed my eyes at times and just trusted the dentist.
I cannot tell you how much I hate stitches. They stung. They looked gross, and they smelled of my bad breath and singed tooth. But they at least play an important role in the recovery process. So thank you to the dentist who sewed them on so tightly. I should be thanking you for the whole process actually, so thanks again! Also, thank you for the drugs!
The procedure was done, so I got picked up shortly after. On my way home, the blood-drenched gauze in my mouth got soggy quite fast. I felt a bit conflicted, since I couldn’t replace it until I got home.
Unfortunately, we were stuck in LA traffic — so it took an hour to get from Little Tokyo to Westwood. I would just have to bear the wait, and embarrassment of having to aim my tissue at my sense-less self to keep my bloody spit from dripping. I learned the hard way not to talk or even slightly open my mouth during that ride, as that nasty concoction got over the seatbelt and shirt a few times. Yuck!
When home, I snuck to a specific women’s restroom, which normally wouldn’t have gotten much foot traffic. However, people did still drop by. A middle school cheerleader and her team came in when blood was dropping down my chin. Her jaw dropped in response, so I must have scared her. Bad time to remove the old gauze, I guess. But I wasn’t so embarrassed as amused, I soaked my fresh new gauze, stuck it on top of the wound and tidied up — making sure all the traces of red were gone.
Then it was dinner time. I had lost my appetite during the car ride home, but I knew I had to eat. My friends who had their wisdom teeth removed had previously warned me about eating enough. I think a couple of them fainted, while others vomited because there wasn’t enough to food in their stomach. I wanted to avoid that, so I took those words seriously.
I brought my turkey barley soup and glass of milk to a pretty secluded part of the dining hall. It was pretty challenging to sip and swallow, so I took longer than usual to eat. Meanwhile, a portly fellow sat down at the table adjacent to mine. He had two cheeseburgers, chicken breast, pizza and a stack of watermelon slices as high as the Empire State Building.
I was impressed, because it looked like he was eating to bulk up — something I struggle with, eating enough. I was also partially jealous, because he could eat whatever he desiree. Lastly, I was also rather entertained, because our meals stood in stark contrast to each other. I felt sorry for the guy since I stared at his food, and found it ironic that he had to sit at the loneliness corner of Bplate next to me — the girl who can’t eat!
While it was so tempting to take a photo of his dinner to show you the amount of food he ate, I resisted. It took a lot of willpower, and I didn’t want to be rude.
Poor fellow, I was already rude for not minding my own business! So I finished my soup and milk, got up and grabbed a watermelon slice on my way out of the dining commons. I struggled to bite down, and thought about getting more to turn into a juice/slush — but then I reconsidered. It would also be rude to take more than one piece fruit from the dining hall, so I settled on just going back to my room.
Popped the pills like the doctor recommended, read my friend’s awesome comic series called Ten Years, and called it an early night!
In the aftermath, things don’t seem so bad. My daily ritual has changed, but only slightly. I take some inflammatory drugs and painkillers. I drink lots of water to stay hydrated and I have to be mindful of what I can eat.
I’m to find good food even if I can’t chew. It’ll be a fun game to see how I can get some variety and taste in the mix, so maybe it’s time to look for Indian and Vietnamese places nearby. The only downside is that I probably won’t get enough protein, and my dentist said I need to skip the gym until at least Friday. It’s a bummer, but I’ll survive. And afterwards, I’ll forget about all this!
On another note, I hope this procedure doesn’t dampen my fun. I’m so excited to watch David Sedaris tonight. Maybe I’ll be as funny and witty as him one day.5