I’ve only been in tears in pain twice. The first time was when the local anesthetic was wearing off of my foot after my surgery. That time, I was bent over the ottoman, weeping, with my mother yelling, “For God’s sake, take the damn Vicodin!”
The second time was this morning, when the oral surgeon had to pack my dry socket.
Since I was still experiencing radiating pain along my jaw, I Googled “wisdom teeth aftercare” and learned that I probably had a dry socket. I called my oral surgeon’s office, and explained to the nurse my symptoms, she recommended that I come in right away.
Turns out, sometimes, no matter what you try to do to prevent them, dry sockets just happen. The course of treatment was packing the wound and a round of antibiotics. I’m just really glad I had no idea that was the treatment before I went in, otherwise I don’t know what I would have done. (I probably would have thrown up on myself during the procedure, actually.)
God bless the nurse and the assistant learning the procedure – they were both doing their jobs and helping to treat my condition. But, as she started packing the strip of medicine-soaked paper into my jaw, I started to crawl backwards up and over the chair, and tears sprang to my eyes. She kept saying, “I’m sorry, I know it hurts, I’m sorry.” I wiped the tears out of my eyes, and said, “I know: you’re just doing your job, I understand.” I really, really tried to keep my shit together.
I started hiccupping in the elevator ride down to my car, and had to suck up my sniveling as I ran into someone at the door on my way out. As soon as I got in the car, I started sobbing big, body-wracking sobs from the pain and the frustration. I put my head on the steering wheel and cried and cried until I had wept the the eyeliner and mascara off – I was still pretty messed up from all the Vicodin I’d been taking, compounded with the dry socket treatment and the aching of my jaw since Friday, and because I was tired and frustrated from all the other ridiculous baggage I’m always carrying around.
I finally regained some composure and drove the long ride in to work, fighting a fresh batch of tears the whole way. While waiting for my prescription to be filled, I carefully re-applied my eye makeup and covered the blotchy red marks on my face. After a while, I felt better – better than I had felt in days with the packing in my jaw. I finally felt like laughing and talking, rather than sleeping and doing nothing. The only downside (other than of course, the horrifying pain of having it packed) is that everything today tastes like I’d licked a hospital: like Betadine and cleanser.
Tomorrow, I’m supposed to go back and have this dressing removed and something else put in. You might hear again how I cried like a sissy from tomorrow’s procedure, too.
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