While November may have been a quiet month for my blog, it was a month filled with a lot of change, a lot of deadlines, and also a few visits to the oral surgery unit at the hospital. Last week I had my four wisdom teeth removed and in the days/weeks leading up to surgery I didn’t really have much luck finding relevant articles about what the surgery is actually like. While it’s a pretty minor surgery, it’s definitely no walk in the park - and it requires you to alter your lifestyle pretty drastically for a few days, which is the worst part. Today, I thought I’d share my personal experiences and a few tips I learned from doing stuff wrong.
It’ll be fun!
A Few Days Before Surgery
1. Figure out your ride home. The hospital makes you have a buddy (parent, partner, bestie) there with you during the duration of your surgery to make sure you make it home okay while you’re on the drugs. Find yourself a buddy and if they don’t have a car, then it’s okay for you to take cab. Your buddy can also pick up your prescriptions while you’re knocked out and under the knife. Efficient!
2. Stock up on foods you can eat after surgery. This is an area I wish I had prepared a little more. I bought a few boxes of pre-made organic soup, some yogurt, pudding, and some basic smoothie ingredients. Guess what? After like, one day, this food got BORING. The second day after my surgery I found myself wandering the grocery store aisles moaning in pain and about to pass out from hunger looking for a carton of milk so I could make some scrambled eggs.
PROTEIN, guys. They’re not lying when they say that you need it to live. By day two I could eat scrambled eggs and that SAVED me. If you’re still on the liquid diet after a few days make sure you’re adding protein powder to smoothies, milkshakes, or pudding. Here’s a list of stuff that I ate that made it not-so-bad:
- Potato leek Soup (recipe here)
- Oreo flavoured jello pudding. Seriously, this stuff is awesome and there’s no point in trying to be healthy when you’ve just had your wisdom teeth out. You’ll be in pain. You’ll be sad, go for the pudding.
- Chocolate pudding made from almond milk
- Butternut squash soup
- Green smoothies
- Frozen mashed banana
- Mashed avocado with lime, salt, and pepper
- Vanilla caramel ice cream because you deserve it
3. Call your friends and ask them to come visit you on your days after surgery. Although by day 2 and day 3 you might be fully functioning and able to run errands, you’ll also be pretty grumpy and lonely and in measurable pain. Having friends visit takes that pain away!
The Day of Surgery
1. Eat all the crunchy, grainy food before your surgery. Three days later when you start craving pistachios, pomegranate seeds, and nachos you won’t be filled with as much regret.
2. Download a bunch of movies to watch/buy your favourite magazine. You’ll have something to look forward to when you get home and you can’t do anything because you’re basically drunk for 24 hours.
Immediately After Surgery
1. Make sure your buddy listens to the doctor. You will be fairly useless and pretty dazed and maybe even a little silly. The doctors and nurses will be giving you instructions but you won’t listen. Just enjoy the ride. I remember waking up from surgery and asking the nurse if we could keep my teeth so I could give them to my boyfriend. She said yes but then I never got them. She later told Ryan that I asked her like 4 or 5 times after surgery if we could keep the teeth for him. Clearly, I had my priorities.
2. Relax, I mean, totally chill out. Trying to do anything productive right now is a waste of your time. You might feel fine but you are not. Watch a really easy to follow and basic movie and wait for your frozen face to thaw out.
3. Ice your face. For up to 24 hours after surgery putting an ice pack on your face can reduce the swelling. It will also feel really nice.
Days After Surgery
1. Try to have no commitments. Take a few days off work/school while your face swells up like a chipmunk. It’s highly likely that you’ll wake up in pain during the wee hours of the morning and have difficulty getting back to sleep.
2. Keep icing your face. Even though after the first day it won’t really help get rid of the swelling, it will feel super nice and help numb some of the pain. A bag of peas wrapped in a soft tea towel works like a charm.
3. Be really good at taking your pills. Wait too long in between doses and you’ll want to cry, take a little too much and you might end up having to call the nurse and explain that you might have OD’d and then be reassured that it’s just a side effect of taking a lot of pain medication without a lot of food in your belly.
Overall, getting your wisdom teeth out actually not a huge deal. You might cry a little, but in a week or so you’ll be back to your nacho-chomping self!