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Woes. The Young Lady needs to get her wisdom teeth removed.

This isn't a big surprise (my husband and his sister, and I and my sister, all had to have that done), but it was already looking like a busy summer. And she's never had a serious medical procedure - not even a single stitch or an ilness worse than the flu in 16 years. So she's not feeling very brave about it.



( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 7th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
Heh, I have the same issue right now. 18 years without a surgical procedure or even blood drawn, and now, KAPOW, wisdom teeth next month.
May. 8th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)

Awww ... well, most everyone in the country goes through it.   >hugs!<

She's had blood drawn a couple of time, though.

May. 8th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
Fortunately I only have three anyway. But god, I am a total wreck when it comes to medical things. They've tried to draw blood before but they actually COULD NOT because I was freaking out so much. Never again.
May. 9th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)

I got pretty stoic by the time I was in my teens - I had horrible crippling cramps: a severe case of what they call spasmodic dysmenorrhea. And no one knew about ibuprofen as a treatment back then - I think it existed, but it was prescription-only and for arthritis and things. I learned to just go limp and ride through pain.

I was donating blood fairly regularly for a while there, but at the moment, they don't want my blood ... .

May. 9th, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)
It's not pain that bothers me, I'm just a bit squeamish.

Heh, well, hopefully that'll change soon :)
May. 11th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)

> HUGS! <

May. 8th, 2008 01:02 am (UTC)
Awww, I hope she's doing okay! I probably ought to have mine removed too, but I'm a wuss!
May. 8th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)

I think she's mostly over the formless worries stage. Karl tells us that after he had his done, when the doctor (or somebody) told him he had to take it easy because he was still woozy, Karl went and stood on his head to prove there was no need for concern! He was (and still is) such a boy!   XD

So she's hoping she'll be more like Dad and less like Mom. (I was laid up for several days.)

May. 9th, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
I don't remember just how long I was sidelined after mine -- and they were pretty badly impacted, which possibly makes a difference compared to a more straightforward extraction that doesn't involve gouging and chiseling things to bits -- but I seem to remember it wasn't all that long, and after the first day it was more the wooziness from the pain meds, Tylenol 3 or whatever codeine-ish thing it was, that was slowing me down more than the direct aftereffects of the surgery itself. The day of the surgery itself was the only one where I was deeply, uselessly miserable, and that was more the drugs-and-taste-of-blood nausea rather than the pain -- I've got a fairly high and oddly-wired pain tolerance, but I absolutely cannot cope with nausea, it just turns me into a blubbering helpless wreck longing to be put out of my misery.
May. 11th, 2008 01:41 am (UTC)

I do indeed remember some nausea. I'm not at all prone to that - can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I've thrown up in adulthood - but I couldn't drink stawberry shakes or eat strawberry ice cream for years afterward because my Dad was dispatched on a late-night Mickey D's run to get me some shakes to drink, and strawberry was all they had ... .

May. 11th, 2008 08:30 am (UTC)
Oh, lucky you having a strong stomach! I'm horribly prone to motion sickness, and my tummy just seems to occasionally go cranky and haywire for no readily apparent reason, so even in the absence of nasty stomach flus and the like, it's something I typically wind up dealing with several times a year. :(
May. 13th, 2008 11:27 am (UTC)

Funny - I never thought of it that way, because I'm definite;y affected by certain things. I get sympathetic pains when I hear about suffering in others, for example, and I have trouble getting gruesome scenes out of my mind. But I just don't react with nausea.

> huggles you <

May. 15th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, I don't get nauseated from viewing/reading squicky things -- I'm the sort of person who can happily chow down on pasta in red sauce while watching documentary footage of surgery! I don't squick very easily. But there just seem to be an awful lot of purely physical triggers that are likely to set my stomach to revolt.
May. 17th, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)

Ahhh ... my gastric disturbances tend to move, um, the other direction. Irritable Bowel Syndrome ... . And green peppers and raw onions make me very ill with cramping and gas (oddly enough, salsa with onions is OK ... the tomato and/or the cilantro seem to neutralize the onion).

May. 8th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)
Oh! Can I brag and tell my wisdom teeth removal under only novicane and laughing gas?
May. 8th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)
I didn't even get laughing gas. Just some oral sedative, which really didn't seem to do diddlysquat, and local. And they didn't give me enough local at first to deal with chiselling out the impacted lower ones, so I had to sort of grab at the damn surgeon's arm and make incoherent novocained angry mumbling noises until they figured out that I needed a *lot* more juice. *sigh*

She's a few years younger than I was at the time -- my last molars and wisdom teeth were all rather late coming in -- but otherwise in a sort of similar boat as far as medical experiences. I'd had one very bad, if small, burn as a child, and thanks to my severe allergies I'd had an ER visit and far more time spent in doctor's offices and experience with needles than I'd have liked, but never any broken bones or dealings with anything involving anesthetic or surgery or stitches, so I was definitely freaked out too. But while the surgery under inadequate local certainly wasn't *fun*, honestly the worst part of it for me was dealing with people; I'd never had any nervous problems with routine dentist visits and my regular dentist and all his office staff were really really nice, but for some reason I had to see someone else for the wisdom teeth and the oral surgeon's bedside manner was very callous and impersonal, so very much not what I needed in those circumstances, and I don't recall any of the nurses or other staff there being particularly friendly and reassuring either. Even worse, my mother was in a phase of being really overtly nasty to me, so when I was miserably nauseous afterwards from the horrible combination of the drugs and the taste of blood and motion sickness from the car ride home, her snippy attitude coming at a time when I was totally wretched and desperate for someone, anyone to just be a little bit nice and sympathetic just made things ever so much worse. The YL's got a nice supportive family and friends actually within the same time zone and area code, both things I was sorely lacking at the time, so I'm sure she'll have no lack of caring folks to baby her a little bit afterwards...just try to vet the the doctor beforehand to make sure it's someone she feels comfortable with, and I bet she'll come through with flying colors.
May. 8th, 2008 06:14 am (UTC)
Wow. That sounds much more horrific than my first filling, which set the bar in my family for bad dental work. I second the importance of good people doing the work - the people who did my wisdom teeth were fantastic, and I know that's why it went so well.
May. 8th, 2008 07:05 am (UTC)
Heh, and that's still not my worst medical-messup horror story; the one that takes the cake is when I broke my leg and dealt with just such an absolute clusterfuck of incompetence and callous treatment at the hospital the ambo took me too that I still get kind of enraged telling the story, almost a decade later. Starting with the ER admission where I had to lay around for hours whimpering on a gurney before anyone saw me...OK, it was an urban ER late on a Saturday night, there were folks with stab wounds and gunshots and the like who needed more immediate attention, I was hurting but not in any immediate danger, that's all fair enough triage -- but the dude bitching about how my nail polish made it impossible to use the fingertip pulse monitor thingy was totally out of line, in a neighborhood with that many nail salons there is NO FREAKIN' WAY they'd never had to deal with nail polish before -- get some damn acetone at the dollar store already! And my poor BF of the day shouldn't have had to go begging to multiple people in white coats before he finally managed to get someone to at least give me some goddamn Tylenol and a cup of water. And then there were all the nurses who kept insisting on giving me painkiller injections intramuscularly, even though they were excruciatingly, lingeringly painful and less effective that way, and I already HAD AN IV SHUNT IN MY HAND for the damn things -- a few of them did the proper IV routine initially and a few others relented when I pointed out the shunt and the fact that the other nurses used it, but there were a couple of nasty bitches who just refused to take the extra minutes involved to flush the lines with saline; it was their way or no meds, and I was hurting too badly from the unset fracture to put up a proper fight. Oh, did I mention that despite repeated attempts over several days, they never did manage to set the break properly, even when they finally said they did? I had to get it redone by a different orthopedist after I checked myself out ahead of schedule and against the smarmy, condescending social worker's advice -- they wanted me to stay for another day or two of PT and supervised lessons on dealing with the cast and crutches and all, but the PT staff were nasty too and at this point I'd had enough run-ins with the bitchier nurses that there was not an injection site left on my body that wasn't painful and tender from the damn IM injections (and in fact one of the upper arm injections was done so badly that it wound up abcessing, and I have a lovely dime-sized keloid on my left bicep now to remember the experience by...). Oh, and did I mention that when they "set" my leg that last time, they casted it in about eleventy-squillion pounds of plaster...not just old-fashioned, but so badly and heavily done that the orthopedist I went to after I escaped was shocked at what a shoddy job it was? Or the screwed-up paperwork -- they messed up my prescriptions so badly the first time they were written that my poor BF got dirty looks from the pharmacist for suspicion of trying to get narcotics illegitimately, and they couldn't even manage the paperwork properly -- they kept sending me bills for things my insurance company had long since paid, *months* after the fact. They got increasingly nasty notes from me each time I had to send them the same damn documentation showing they were in the wrong...

*deep breath*

Not that I'm BITTER or anything, oh no.

And this was supposed to be a TEACHING hospital! Terrfying, eh?

Don't get me wrong, there were a few people who were competent kind, and helpful -- the resident who finally got cornered for Tylenol, a few of the nurses, the X-ray tech that first night was super-nice, and even the orthopedist who screwed up the last round of setting my leg at least had a reasonably pleasant manner, even if he apparently couldn't handle a freakin' simple tib/fib spiral fracture. But the callous-to-cruel-to-incompetent types vastly outnumbered them. If I'm ever downtown and in need of emergency care again for some reason, I'd sooner go to one of the excellent local ER vets before I'd let myself be taken to that place again...
May. 8th, 2008 03:39 pm (UTC)
Oh. My. God.

I would still be enraged about that too.
May. 9th, 2008 01:43 am (UTC)

Downtown here????

That's really appalling! Usually teaching hospitals are better because the doctors get asked questions and so actually have to think about what they're doing. But I guess there are exceptions to every rule. I'm just so sorry you had to deal with that!

May. 9th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)
Eeeeeeyep. HUH, summer of '98. When the scandal broke two years back about the storm of negligence that led to David Rosenbaum's death in the ER, I was sooooo unsurprised at all the dirt that came out about his treatment. :(

I'd expected much better from a teaching hospital, too, since my one prior experience back in Philly, seeing a friend treated at U. Penn for massive trauma from a hit-and-run, was thoroughly impressive. But Penn's an Ivy with all the funding and hiring power that goes with it, and it probably didn't hurt matters any that Adam was one of their own -- premed student, hit in an intersection a block away from school walking to the subway after class, with his professor and the prof's girlfriend, both MDs, right on the scene for immediate first aid seconds after the crash, and it's not as if the ambulance had very far to drive!
May. 9th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)

Karl went to Penn ... .

I used to take myself to GW when I needed emergency care, back before I had a car - when I sliced my hand open on a broken glass, for example, and when a bug flew into my eye and scratched my cornea. (I guess I should have included those in my list of incidents, below, but they weren't actual hospitalizations ... .) And I accompanied my parents (in the ambulance) to WHC and Suburban (in Bethesda), various times.

With the cornea incident, once I could see, I realized that the ophthalmological resident who was overseeing my treatment had been in my high school graduating class!

May. 10th, 2008 04:36 am (UTC)
*nod* The leg was the only time I've been hospitalized; all the other minor surgical bits I've dealt with, the wisdom teeth and suspicious moles getting carved off and the like, have been just little outpatient-under-local deals. Other than that I've been in the ER twice for severe allergic reactions, once as a child for a bit involving massive hives but at least no breathing problems, and the scarier one a few years back where the airways were actualy closing up along with the skin reactions. That last one was sure a major contrast with the treatment I got at HUH, mind you -- it was the Inova in, ummm, Fairfax IIRC, and while there were quite a few folks sitting about the waiting room, they did NOT mess around when they heard the magic words "anaphylaxis" and saw my lovely dead-gray complexion under all the hives -- I was whisked right off to an oxygen mask and IV epinephrine and benadryl, and they didn't even bother asking any of the usual insurance questions for at least half an hour or so, when they were fairly sure I was stabilizing and no longer about to keel over.
May. 11th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)

Yeah, Fairfax is where they took me for the angioplasty. Arlington now has a big, modern cardiac center, but they didn't back then (1989). I was taken over in an ambulance - during rush hour! O.o; I was impressed by the ambulance crew: they were all of the same physical type, male and female, chunky, muscular, and not too tall, and all of the same blunt, rough-around-the-edges Gojyo-esque sympathetic personality.

May. 9th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)

I guess I've just been very, very lucky. My first orthodontic extraction wasn't pleasant, but that's because they didn't tell me what was going to happen (I mean, I knew I was having teeth pulled, but they didn't go into any detail), just clapped a breathing mask over my face and held it there. My last memory is of them strapping my feet down because I was kicking them. (I was 9.)

But that was the only nastiness I've had, and I've had a total of three oral surgeries, two rather rude and not-for-polite-company surgeries on my posterior, a cyst removed from one breast, the lumpectomy and re-excision on the other, an angioplasty, and a childbirth ... there was some unpleasantness waiting around for the angioplasty (I needed to be transferred to a bigger hospital, but they didn't have a bed right away), but it wasn't from any particular stupidity, just bureaucratic idiocy and my own precarious condition.

My main problem right now is trying to schedule the procedure. Summer looks real short when you've got 3 weeks of your own vacation plans, two weeks of your backup's, 4 weeks of theater camp, and a week when your backup will be working abbreviated days because her musician-househusband will be teaching a fiddle workshop and she needs to take their kid to and from daycamp ... . And during the only really "open" week, some overseas neilgaimanboard members will be in town, and she's livid at the idea that the surgery might in any way prevent her from meeting them ... we should all have such problems, I know.

May. 8th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)


I'll tell her!

May. 9th, 2008 01:28 am (UTC)
All the dental assistants were really impressed. Also, to brag about how awesome they were, one of them held my hand while it was being done, just because. For a minute, under the drugs, I thought my mom had snuck back into the room.
May. 9th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC)
Oh, wow, that's totally bragworthy and sweet! That's the sort of practice that's worth going out of your way for, and pimping out to all your local friends.

So what was the horror story with the filling?
May. 11th, 2008 07:45 am (UTC)
It was! And really brought home the importance of having good people working on you.

The horror story was this:

I go in for my first filling (at, like 13, and I was so disappointed because I'd never had a cavity until then) and the dentist gives me laughing gas without asking my mother (who wasn't there, she'd dropped me off).

Now, I found out later (when I got my wisdom teeth out) that too much laughing gas makes one feel out of control - at the time I thought I was getting really anxious because I felt like I was floating above my body, and was very calm as they drilled and probed. I knew I would normally be much more bothered by this, and the fact that I wasn't freaked me out. While this was going on, I was also chewing the hell out of my numb inner cheek and lip. I ripped the skin all the hell, and when I got out, my lip looked like I'd been punched in the face.

Also, the dentist was so ham-handed that my filling was sensitive to cold for about, oh, three years. I'm not kidding. I had to be careful to put ice cream and cold drinks on the left side of my mouth because it I didn't it would fill like the liquid was poured inside my tooth. (unpleasant.)

To make matters worse (this is where me and my mother start screwing up) after this I had to take the bus to Tae Kwon Do practice, and then AFTER that mom made me go to this (unitarian universalist) church thing, because we had missed the last week of whatever thing we were doing. (At which no one asked me how I was, when, as I said, my mouth was puffed up all to hell.)

Mom still gets furious at the dentist for giving me drugs without her permission, herself for not being there with me and making me go to church afterward.
May. 11th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, ick, horrible! *hugs*
May. 11th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
It was not fun.
May. 13th, 2008 11:25 am (UTC)

OK, now I'll stop feeling overly protective about the way I always stay with the Young Lady when she's having dental/orthodontic care.

May. 13th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, you are SO not overprotective for doing that.
May. 15th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)

Heh ... I figured that at some point, it would be "Mom! Gimme some privacy here!"

May. 15th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
Well, when/if that happens, then you can start letting her go on her own.
May. 16th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC)

Sound advice ... .


May. 16th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC)
Thank you.
May. 15th, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
Hee...now this is really kind of funny to me, because my mom generally was the sort who was overprotective to the point of being smothering, and had such serious Boundary Issues (as in, did not understand the concept at all!) that I basically had no privacy AT ALL anywhere...but she stopped going into the doctor's or dentist's office with me somewhere around...geeze, it must have been at some point in the elementary school age range!

Mind you, she took me to the same pediatrician and the same dentist from day one, and the dentist was the same she went to herself, and both practices had the same core staff of really motherly older nurses who were a continuous presence as well. And with my allergies we were at the doctor's EVERY WEEK...twice a week, for a couple of years earlier on! So I guess there was enough trust and familiarity built up to convince even her suspicious mind that it was OK to stay in the waiting room and finish her magazine...
May. 17th, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)

Hmm, I wasn't sick very often when I was a kid - my sister was the one with the tonsillitis and all that crud - and we belonged to Group Health, which was essentially an early HMO. My pediatrician, Dr. Diamond, was this grumpy slightly creepy gnomelike guy ... I was just as glad not to see him alone. Care's doctor is a woman of roughly my age, also a mother, whom Care likes well enough to insist on seeing (vs. any other doctor in the practice) even though she;s in only 2 days a week.

Our dentist was likewise a grumpy old fashioned guy - we never had novocaine ... .

May. 17th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
I got allergy shots continuously from something like age 7 until I finally put my foot down at 18 and said screw it, this isn't helping me one bit and I'm sick and tired of my weekends being ruined! About the only good thing I got out of that is being fairly blase' around needles. And thanks to the allergies, my respiratory system is very infection-prone so I've always caught and hung on to every sinus, etc. bug that comes along. I never had to deal with anything serious or surgical like tonsillitis, but I was always sick a lot on top of the routine weekly allergy nonsense. I didn't exactly enjoy going there, obviously, but the doctor and nurses were all nice enough. (Funnily enough, there's an older Asian gentleman who works at my local post office who bears more than a slight resemblance to Dr. Ando -- accent is totally different but the looks and tone of voice and general good humor all are awfully familiar. I keep expecting I should get a lollipop when I drop off a package or buy stamps!)

I liked going to the dentist a lot better, since you didn't have to take your clothes off or get jabbed with needles or anything -- my teeth were pretty trouble-free, only a couple of small fillings and I said no to the expense of braces since they would have been only a minor cosmetic improvement rather than structurally necessary, so there wasn't a lot of unpleasant experience with novocaine jabs. All the scraping and such wasn't fun, but it didn't really hurt, either, and it was just once a year so it was all OK. Dr Ohtani and all his staff were super-nice, and all the weird dental machinery was just so *interesting* looking, so all in all going to the dentist was really pretty OK...
May. 19th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)

My teeth were a horrendous mess - some of the lower incisors were so crowded that they had turned at right angles to the others. Nowadays they usually treat that with "palate expanders" that take advantage of a young child's skeletal flexibility to make more room (as long as the bone structure seems to support it), but I had extractions twice before I had braces, and I'm missing my bicuspids as a result.

Originally my regular dentist was going to do the extractions, but as mentioned, he'd never used Novocaine on us before, and when he came at me with this enormous syringe, I freaked out so badly that he gave up (and thereafter I had the experience with the oral surgeon that I described previously).

Edited at 2008-05-19 07:50 pm (UTC)
May. 10th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)

That is pretty impressive! The time I was in intensive care, I got this poor male nurse to hold my hand ... I felt bad about it later on but I was very scared and lonely. Intensive care is not very nice when you're not drugged out of your mind!

May. 11th, 2008 07:17 am (UTC)
It certainly is not!
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