The loss of wisdom.

W1.JPGAt the age of 34 I decided to get my wisdom teeth removed. I had been thinking about it for 10 years & had finally come to a decision. Come on, I’m a Taurus.

I’ve been putting off writing about my experience simply because… I was waiting for it to end. The Wisdom Extraction Experience still hasn’t ended, & I’m not sure if it will ever end. But I’m going back to work tomorrow & so here you are.

My dentist referred me to an oral surgeon whose office is in the Ala Moana Building. This is the building that shares a parking lot with Ala Moana Shopping Center. It’s a very nice building with a great view. Upon meeting with the surgeon, I agreed to pay $100 out of pocket so I could get laughing gas. Hell yeah.

I’ve only ever had to have work in my mouth done once before — I got a cavity some time in… well, like a hundred years ago. I was in the care of my current dentist’s father at the time, & although I loved the guy he sure didn’t have a way with needles. That injection of local sucked.

I suck with drugs. I mean all kinds of drugs. Drugs don’t work well for me. I try not to take Advil unless I absolutely have to for fear that it won’t work next time. When I drink I miss out on the benefit everyone else gets of feeling drunk before moving on to the sick part. I don’t know why I thought laughing gas would be any different. I guess… I just had to find out.

When I was in college some friends & I splurged & bought a case of little nitrous oxide tanks that you inhaled with a balloon. It was pretty fun, mostly because we just laughed at eachother, for about 15 minutes. What a way to blow college money. And when I was waiting tables at Spindrifter Kahala, a busboy & I snuck into the walk-in one morning & exhausted an entire pallet of whipped cream. We just stood in there & laughed at eachother. We didn’t know it would ruin the product. We never got busted for it though.

A big old tube was placed over my nose (picture a 1.5″ diameter hose with a hole on its side for your nose to fit into) & I was instructed to inhale. The surgeon & his assistants fussed over me for a few minutes while I breathed. I inhaled slowly, deeply, & stared out the sunny window. I felt nothing.

Then everyone was just waiting. The 3 of them stood around me while I breathed. I kept wondering if I felt any different. The surgeon eventually asked me the same thing, & they went back to waiting.

I’ll say one thing for the nitrous. I did get relaxed. The surgeon was very good with the local injection: he did it slowly, so that the caine could hit the tissue as he was penetrating it, & it was only minimally uncomfortable. I couldn’t see anything they were doing to my mouth over the hose, & if I ever began wondering what they were doing, I just made sure to breath deep for a few. The procedure was quite tolerable, & I was out of there in less than an hour. The procedure itself took probably about 20 minutes.

It cost $450 for each removed tooth. I have HDS dental coverage, & my copay still came out to about $386. Crappy.

W3.JPGW2.JPGI took a few pictures of myself trying to smile while I was waiting for the elevator. Believe me, they were crappy pictures & you’ll thank me for not posting them. No, I did not drool. I did take multiple pictures of this Lotus parked outside Ampy’s, but as you can see my photography skills were not in top shape. Sorry. These are the only 2 discernible pictures, out of around 10.

I then went to Longs at Kahala Mall where I was informed my Vicodin would take an hour for pick-up. Fortunately Banana Republic was nearby, & I strolled over there & scared the crap out of the employees trying to talk with bloody gauze in my mouth. While shopping (everything looked great! I wondered if the laughing gas had really worn off.) the local began wearing off, & I had the first faint tastes (sorry) of pain.

Since then I developed Dry Socket, which has yet to resolve. Vicodin worked the 1st day, but its efficacy didn’t last very long & besides, it made me too nauseous to remain upright. So tomorrow I will be going to work with the entire right side of my head aching, & I’ll probably be cranky. But too bad.

2 Comments so far

  1. Joy (unregistered) on October 26th, 2005 @ 12:37 am

    I’m glad you’re not as swollen and I’m sure you’re glad you took that week off of work. Go Go Jamba Juice!!! It was sooooo cute watching you try to eat at Yotekko-Ya and Tokurri Tei… but I’m glad you’re on the mend. I think that the earlier you get your wisdoms pulled the easier the healing process… when I got mine pulled it wasn’t half as bad as your experience.

  2. Tako (unregistered) on October 27th, 2005 @ 5:36 am

    Sorry to hear about your pain, wish you the best of luck on your speedy recovery and hope to soon be helping to PL you like I always love doing :)

    and just for the sake of telling the story, I ate a kuaina burger the day of pulling my wisdoms. needless to say I am not a wise man, nor one who listens to advice very often.

    But just remember. Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever. LOL

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