Note to self: Never Google “wisdom teeth death”

Tomorrow, an oral surgeon will be ripping my wisdom teeth from my skull.

I’ve been putting this off for over five years, and my fear of surgery is now bordering on pathological. I know I’m being a wuss, but I’ve never had any kind of surgery. I’ve never been sedated in my life. And since I’m a textbook type-A control freak, the idea of being knocked out for an hour while someone drills into my head with power tools is just a little terrifying. It’s not the pain that scares me. It almost seems more appealing to stay awake for the surgery. Almost.

Last Thursday I went in for a consultation. I ended up waiting in the scary little room staring at the x-rays that had doomed me for 45 minutes. I could hear the oral surgeon loudly consulting with the man in the next room. Apparently, he was about 100 years old with a 215/95 blood pressure. They canceled his surgery and called an ambulance because the doctor was convinced he was about to suffer a stroke. I hope he’s okay, and it seems they caught his symptoms early enough that they would be able to treat him, but seriously? Why did I have to end up in the room next to the guy who left the office in an ambulance? I could just picture myself being carted away in a speeding ambulance due to my rare but life-threatening complications.

When the doctor finally came in to talk to me, he spent 20 minutes telling me about risks and possible complications and explaining stitches in my gums and dry sockets and nerve damage. I couldn’t help but think this whole wisdom teeth removal thing was just a bad idea. Those teeth aren’t hurting anything. They’ve been there for years. The only reason I’m removing the things is because my dentist has been telling me to do it for five years.

But this is the responsible thing to do. We don’t know if we’ll continue our dental coverage when we move since we’ll be paying so much for health insurance already, so we’re trying to get any potential problems out of the way now. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I had some serious doubts when I saw my estimated bill, though. Let’s just say, I can think of a million other things I’d rather do with my weekend and my money than have teeth ripped from my skull.

When I got home, I broke my number one rule when it comes to medical care: I Googled my condition. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Google searching any symptom or medical condition, it’s that Google only gives you one prognosis: IMMINENT DEATH.

Sniffles? You’re suffering a rare strain of the flu that will kill you. Headaches? Rush to an emergency room immediately before that aneurism kills you. Mosquito bite? YOU HAVE WEST NILE VIRUS, AND YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.

So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I found this.

All of this is to say, I won’t be around this weekend as I recover, and I might not get back to regular posting until Tuesday or Wednesday. I want to try to get some writing done this weekend, but I have no idea how out of it I’ll be. Wish me luck and strength to stop being a wimp.

9 thoughts on “Note to self: Never Google “wisdom teeth death”

  1. Melanie

    Hang in there. I had mine done when I was 17. The day before Thanksgving. I was so scared that two nurses had to help me into the room because I was sobbing. It went quick and, according to my mother, when it was finished, the first thing I said was, “dude, is it over?” As long as you irrigate properly, dry socket is no big deal. I had it done on Wednesday and was singing on the praise team at church by Sunday. You’ll be fine!! :)

  2. Marla

    Like you, I waited (more than 5 years though) to have my wisdom teeth removed because I was terrified. I almost had Melanie’s experience – first words out of my mouth when I woke up was “when are you going to get started”? I had worried for nothing, the whole procedure took about 1/2 hour and although I could have gone to work the next day I took two days off anyway because everyone had told me their horror stories. For every horror story, there are hundreds of “ho hum no big deal” stories…but you never hear those! Good luck – you will feel like such a big girl when you’re done! ;-)

  3. Marla

    PS all those admonishments and warnings are about liability…and stop googling! I injured my achiles tendon over the summer and googled before I finally gave in and went to the doctor and was convinced I was headed for a wheelchair (it did hurt that much). When the doctor told me that it was a common injury “among athletes” I was puffed up with pride for weeks – he thinks I’m an athelete! Oh, and there’s no wheelchair in my future.

  4. Brittany

    LOL.. don’t forget pregnancy. Isn’t every symptom a sign that you’re pregnant according to Google?

    Anyway, don’t sweat it! Wisdom teeth are the easiest thing ever. Seriously. I had mine out on a Tuesday and was eating by Thursday at Thanksgiving. It’s not bad at all, only mildly uncomfortable. I don’t even think I used any of my pain pills. Just don’t smoke after you get them out and you should be fine on the dry sockets! Best of luck! I hope Tony will be on call to take care of you all weekend? :)
    .-= Brittany´s last blog ..Hot Pot! =-.

  5. Lanita

    Ditto on the don’t sweat it. I had mine out on a Friday. I had them knock me out, so I don’t remember a thing, but was amazed at how fast the surgery went when I woke up. I was numb for a few hours, but once the numbness wore off, it wasn’t that bad. I ate applesauce and mashed potatoes for a day… then on to softer regular food. By that Monday, I was eating a burger and fries.

    They did warn me not to eat with a straw for a few days afterward, so I just ate my milkshake after the surgery with a spoon. I never had any complications and healed just fine.

    All the best!

    1. Karen

      Aw, thanks so much for the encouragement and good thoughts everyone! I’m already feeling a little less anxious. I hope my experience is as easy as all of yours! :)

  6. Kacie

    Hi Weenie! That’s what I’m going to call you until this is all over. When it’s over, you’ll be like, “I made such a fuss over that? How silly of me!”

    The fact that you’ll be sedated is awesome. Yeah, it’s nerve-wracking if you’ve never had it done. But I was sedated for surgery this summer. It was great! I felt calm beforehand, and it didn’t feel like time had elapsed once I had come to. Anytime I need to be sedated again is a-ok with me.

    Suck it up, Weenie. You’re going to live to tell us all about it. :)
    .-= Kacie´s last blog ..Start saving for your CSA now =-.

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