So everyone tells me that the one thing to try to avoid in this whole wisdom teeth extraction deal is something called "dry socket".
This apparently is where a blood clot does not properly form or is lost prematurely and raw bone from your jaw is exposed to the Hades-like environment of your mouth and you end up with the mother of all jaw aches.
Well, MY oral surgeon said I would know if I had dry socket if my jaw didn't start to feel better by four days after the operation.
My jaw WAS starting to feel better four days after the operation. A couple of days after that things weren't so good.
Now the right side was healing up just fine. The left however had a gaping hole the size of Meteor Crater, Arizon that was picking up every cotton picking thing I tried to eat. You ought to see what happens to a carrot shred from pre-processed salad when you have a hole in your head that big.
Well, I figured that diluted hydrogen peroxide was just enough to "lift" all the crap down in that hole and at least keep it from getting infected.
HOWEVER, apparently that little maneuver even MORE exposed the nerves and my jaw and the throbbing began.
FORTUNATELY I had a follow-up with the oral surgeon scheduled eight days after my surgery, which was yesterday - Friday.
He took a look and was somewhat puzzled. He told me it was the right one that he had trouble with - the right one he had to leave partially there to spare damaging vital nerves on the right side of my jaw. The left, he gave me the distinct impression, was relatively easy.
I'm guessing it's because the left was partially erupted. From the time I was 15 years old the left one had been poking its ugly head through my gums. Most of that time it had a HUGE flap of gum over it that would get inflamed on a regular basis when junk got stuck under it.
Now it's gone.
Drilled, chiseled, subjected to nuclear explosives, pliered and toss in the biohazardous waste bucket.
Replaced with an REALLY nasty THROBBING hole.
The doctor told me he could help me.
"Oh, thank God ...", I'm thinking.
He takes these little, teeny-tiny pieces of gauze soaked in this brown sh*t and starts shoving them in my socket.
He says within an hour I'll be feeling no pain.
He wasn't kidding.
Whatever it was he shoved in my jaw was potent.
It faintly tasted like certain brands of toothpaste.
However, in much less than an hour, my jaw and the better part of my tongue started to go to sleep.
Oh GREAT - I hadn't had lunch yet.
Like an idiot I went ahead and had lunch.
They say most of the experience in eating is from the smell anyway, right?
Don't bet on it.
Not with a boat load of that stuff in your mouth.
Don't get me wrong though.
When you DO have a nasty case of dry socket, losing your sense of taste is a fair trade.
MORE than a fair trade.
It's sort of like that episode of Star Trek where the doctor had to blind Spock to kill the creatures that had taken over his nervous system.
"An equitable trade, doctor - thank you."
Of course when you are healing up from wisdom teeth extraction you drink alot to help you eat, and, sure enough, one of the gauze pads floated right out of the socket.
I think I lost the other one in the shower last night.
Apparently it did the job though - looks like there is some really disgusting scar tissue forming in the socket - yellow in color.
The damn thing is STILL big enough to snag a corn kernel though.
I've been able to get the bigger stuff out once it gets in though.
HOPEFULLY this healing process will get underway now.
I mean - it was a nagging pain on that left side why I got all this done in the first place ...
Wisdom Teeth Extraction And Dry Socket Update