The Last of My Wisdom

Well, I’m entering my own personal level of hell today. I’m having my wisdom teeth removed.

I have a tooth thing. I mean, nobody likes the dentist, but my aversion has bordered on being extreme. I’ve obsessively cleaned my teeth myself for years to avoid the terror of having someone else’s hands in my mouth, and have been warned that I needed my wisdom teeth out for the last 8 years or so before finally giving in now, at the ripe age of 27.

I don’t know where the intense anxiety I have comes from. Was it the dentist as a child? (I don’t think so, I never seemed to have a problem there.) Maybe the orthodontia? (Feeling like my skull was being ripped in half was pretty unnerving.) But then there are the years of dreams about my teeth exploding, turning to sand, and falling out over and over and over again -dreams that have only receded in the last two or three years.

As terrifying as this is, I’m much less worried about the actual procedure, and I’m more worried about what comes after. Pain. Discomfort. Pain pills. All things that are triggers (for me) for bipolar activity.

It is one thing for a normal, healthy adult to experience some pain and discomfort, but when experience it, it doesn’t come alone. Suicidality. Delusional yearnings of self-injury. Irritability and hostility that could drive even the most caring person up the wall. It wont be pretty, and not because my cheeks will be swollen up like big balloons, either.

I’ve set up a number of distractions to try and help with this, but being sick last weekend was a stern reminder that pain and discomfort are dangerous territories for me to be in. Hopefully things will go much better than I expect, but if not I have a series of back up plans in case anything goes awry.

I guess that means I just need to eat a lot of ice cream. Like, a lot a lot.

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8 responses to “The Last of My Wisdom

  1. OUCH! Hope this doen’t trigger you bipolar. I think people do not realize how much pain can be a big trigger point. Focus on the ice cream. Imagine eating ice cream until your wisdom teeth popped out pain free.

  2. Good luck! If it makes you feel any better when I had my wisdom teeth out it was easy peasy, & I had little to know pain. I took the option to be put to sleep during the procedure because I didn’t want to be aware of what was going on during. The only problem I had was getting dry socket after, which I highly recommend you don’t do. >_<

  3. I am deathly afraid of the dentist!

  4. I know this sounds crazy but I kind of wish I knew you. I have to get my wisdom teeth removed and I feel just like you. I’ve been crying non stop for days, I’m clingy as hell, moody, suicidal, self injuring, you name it. My husband is the most kind person in the world but I think I’m driving him nuts.

    I didn’t used to be afraid of dentists, but two times ago when I went I was in a lot of pain, bled for seven days and they wouldn’t help me, couldn’t eat on that side for four years, and to this day can still feel the needle.

    The last time I was forced to go in I almost broke down in tears over freaking x rays, they felt like ball gags and I was terrified someone would put their hand on my mouth. To make it worse, I told the dentist she was hurting me, and she said she hadn’t poked me yet. When I insisted, she rolled her eyes and just stared at my husband, like, control your little beast.

    He says there is almost no chance of pain but what are the odds of the previous expieriences? If I asked, would they tell me I would have bled for seven days straight with no help and feel a needle four years later? I’m terrified I will be in pain the rest of my life, and no one believes me, they think I’m exaggerating.

    I’m so sorry for venting to a total stranger but I’m scared, lonely, and just want someone to understand why I’m afraid.

    I hope yours goes well.

    • I was pretty agitated leading up to the procedure, even in the office once I sat in the chair I was too anxious to be able to answer any of the questions the nurse asked me. She, too, gave me a look of being fed up, and then went straight to the laughing gas. I thought drugging me so soon (and a good 15-20 minutes before my procedure even started) was a little hasty, (especially since I was going to be put under) but honestly I felt much better once the nitrous oxide started flowing, enough to relax, and even laugh. Within a minute of the doctor coming in, I was unconscious, waking up what felt like moments later, and it was over.

      I hope that your procedure will go as smoothly as mine did, and I doubly hope that the people at your dentist’s office will be able to help with your anxiety before the procedure (even if that just means busting out the laughing gas). This was something I have been anxious about for years, and after everything concluded I honestly wish I would have had it done sooner.

      I’m sorry to hear about what happened to you with the dentist before, and I know how overwhelming that fear can become, and how it can gush out just automatically, even when you try to hold it back. Good luck, I really hope everything goes well!

  5. Thank you, I’m glad yours went well, if you don’t mind me asking, how did recovery take, and how bad was the pain?

    • I have definitely had problems being able to relate the pain, because I normally have very severe chronic migraines that are extremely painful. I was a little shocked (and happy) to find that the pain in my mouth after the extraction didn’t even come close to that, probably much closer to a very dull sort of sinus headache. The pain was easily subdued with a couple ibuprofen, I hardly even needed the pain medication (except for the first day).

      The healing is slow, and now (a week later) I would say I am almost to full-bore again. I am a little fatigued, but generally feeling fine.

      My mouth, though not particularly painful, is uncomfortable. I keep noticing I’m clenching my teeth for some reason, and some of my teeth feel like they aren’t quite in the right place (like I have amnesia of the mouth or something, really weird). The most annoying part is definitely eating, and having to keep the areas where my teeth were very clean. I wont lie, I’ve been hungry for a week… simply because I can’t seem to take enough time to eat enough to get full (though that might not be a bad thing, maybe I’ll lose a few pounds!). I would say smoothies might be your new best friend!

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