Remember on Monday when I lamented my ongoing headache and jaw pain? And how I was like, “It’s probably just TMJ or something” and “I doubt it’s my wisdom teeth coming in.”
Well, it wasn’t TMJ at all! It totally was my wisdom teeth!
I went to the dentist Monday afternoon and without even doing an x-ray or anything beyond looking in my mouth, the dentist said I needed emergency surgery.
Apparently I had developed pericoronitis, which is an infection that’s caused when saliva or a little piece of food gets stuck in the flap over an incoming wisdom tooth. (Gross. Am I gross? I brush and floss obsessively, WTF.) And, since I haven’t had dental insurance in years and therefore haven’t been to the dentist in a while, it appeared as though my wisdom teeth were, in fact, coming in. (Plus, since I’m Crohn’s flaring, it makes sense that my autoimmuned body couldn’t fight off the infection. I’m a mess.)
So the dentist took one look in my mouth and said I needed to get my wisdom teeth removed now. As in he wanted me to get it done that night. (Cue meltdown in the office.) He said that because my throat and head were hurting so badly, that meant the infection was spreading “at an aggressive rate,” and that if it spread to my brain, lungs, or heart, I would die. Not a huge deal. But OK.
On top of the Crohn’s flare and the pain I was in and the fact that I’m leaving the country this weekend, this was not welcome news. And I was slightly hysterical.
But now, on the other side of surgery, I’m happy to report it really wasn’t all that traumatic!
My surgery was scheduled for Tuesday at 10 AM, so Brian drove me the half hour-ish to the oral surgeon’s office. Everyone at the office was very nice, and I was pretty relaxed. Probably because I wore my tracksuit jacket.
They brought me back for x-rays, determined that I had three wisdom teeth, and said they’d remove all three of them. I said I wanted the strongest drugs and deepest sedation possible, so that’s what I got.
Brian hung out in the room with me right up until they gave me the laughing gas. First they gave me some numbing gel, then the laughing gas, and finally the IV with the good stuff. I remember laughing hysterically at absolutely nothing, and the next thing I knew, I was awake and they were telling me the surgery was done.
And I did not believe them. Even though my mouth felt huge and weird, and even though I was completely drugged and out of it, I really didn’t believe they had taken my teeth out until they showed them to me. (They’re huge!)
But apparently the surgeon and his staff knew all about me, so I must have managed to talk throughout the entire procedure. They knew that I met Celine Dion on the Today show, they knew I was a runner, they knew how I met Brian, and they knew all about Ellie.
I slept for a good part of the day, and once the drugs wore off, I was in quite a bit of pain. But with some Vicodin that eased up, and I took some Ambien to get a good night’s sleep. The post-surgery pain has been nothing compared to the pain I was in before.
Today, I’ve mostly felt nauseated, probably from the Vicodin, so I won’t be taking any more of that. My mouth doesn’t hurt at all and I’m not really swollen — but I’m definitely still Crohnsing, and I’ve had a fever off and on all day, which is annoying. I was hoping that somehow all my problems were intertwined, and that when they removed my teeth, my Crohn’s would magically heal itself. So far, no luck. My skin is a mess, my scalp psoriasis is in high gear, and my hair is falling out in big chunks every time I shower. I am beautiful, no matter what they say.
I’m glad I had the surgery, even if it did cost a damn fortune without insurance. (Consider this your PSA to go to the dentist regularly, people!) If you’re in New Jersey and need dental work done, I would very highly recommend the good people at Riverside Oral Surgery. They were the best, even though the dental assistant said she “thinks Beyoncé is overrated.”
And now, for your entertainment, here is a little video showing my state of mind immediately following the surgery. Enjoy. Turtle.
THANKS FOR ALL THE LOVE THIS WEEK, FRIENDS! You’ve made my recovery a whole lot better!