The Days Before My Wisdom Tooth Extraction

So here we go. Like I said in my previous post, my right lower wisdom tooth started hurting several weeks ago. At first I could deal with it and at times it would go away, but it progressively got worse until one night, I woke up suddenly because of the pain in my jaw almost up to the ear. I couldn’t go back to sleep and I couldn’t stand the pain.

Now let me tell you my pain threshold is pretty high. I don’t like to take medicine ESPECIALLY painkillers because I’m masochistic like that. :P

Every month on my period I’m really cranky that my boyfriend always tries to avoid being with me if he knows ahead of time I’m going to bleed soon. This is because my periods are really painful, the type where I double up on the bed for hours not being able to do anything until the pain eventually fades away. Yup that’s one good thing at least, I know my menstrual cramps last only a day at most. My bf is always insisting I take Advil or Midol or some other painkiller but I never want to. I just hate the thought of not  being able to feel the pain, because I have this warped idea that my body is SUPPOSED to feel pain to SIGNAL that I’m doing something I’m not supposed to be doing, so it’s trying to RIGHT MY WAYS. And if there is no pain, or I’m ignoring/not receiving my body’s signals, something really bad could happen to my body. So yeah, I hate the idea of taking painkillers and I try my darndest to avoid them, so long as I can stand the pain.

That night, when my jaw began to hurt, I tried to stand it as much as possible. It was 2am when I woke up but after 3 hours I had to call for help. I woke up my boyfriend at 5am and asked him if he had any pills around the house I could take for the pain. He’s a doctor and there are ALWAYS so many different pills around the house. I could be a drug dealer if I wanted, LOL. He told me where to find them and I popped one into my mouth. He also told me to rinse with Bactidol.

After a few hours it seemed the pain had become bearable and I was able to finally drift off to sleep.

I started to use Bactidol regularly after that, though no more painkillers. Still it was inevitable. I knew I had to go to the to fix my teeth.

I don’t have a dentist here in Metro . My dentist is back in Zamboanga, her name is Dr Flora Li Ledesma, and she’s a great dentist. She’s my family’s dentist and I went to school with her son back in elementary, and she knows all of my dental history. Mainly because everything that’s been done to my teeth leading up to my wisdom tooth hurting, has been done by Dr Ledesma.

So I was lost. I had no choice but to check out the available dentists from my insurance company and pick one and hope it was a good one. My boyfriend did it actually, I was a scaredy cat and actually I was the one who didn’t want to go to the dentist but my bf insisted. (Thank you bf! For making me go, for choosing a dentist, for booking the appointment… LOL sorry I’m such a baby.)

So I went to the dentist which was just right across my office, and they took a look at my teeth. The dentist starting doing the “Tsk tsk tsk” noises and right away I started feeling guilty. That’s how I always feel when at the dentist. That’s another reason I hate going to the dentist.

It’s like, HEY, I’m your CUSTOMER! I’m PAYING you to do me a service! Don’t judge me, don’t criticize me and don’t make me feel guilty!!!! Just do your job and be done with it!

Right??? And yet there they go, doing those Tsk Tsk noises and I’m all guilty-faced and mumbling excuses and shit. To a STRANGER at that. WTF?!

Anyway.

So the dentist asks me, what do I want done? And I tell her about my tooth hurting and I need her to fix it. Then she picks up her tools and gives me a cleaning. Umm??? That’s not what I asked for!!!

(It did feel good though.)

After that, I asked her how about my tooth? She says it’s impacted (means there’s no room on my jaw anymore for it so it’s in a really tight space and can’t come out fully and it’s vulnerable to infection; in my case ALREADY infected). She says BOTH my lower wisdom teeth are impacted and have got to go. And I ask her so why not do it. She says she’s not qualified. It’s gotta be done by a DENTAL SURGEON. OK that pretty much scared me, the word “surgeon”. Sounded like a serious operation.

So she tells me I have to get a panoramic xray, which I did at this place called Dentists Incorporated (how generic!) in The Link building across from Landmark shopping mall. Then she says I have to schedule another appointment for the wisdom teeth extraction which will be done by the dental surgeon. Then she says it’s not covered by my insurance. And it costs 6k per tooth at minimum, 10k maximum, it depends on how complicated the surgery will be based on the positioning of my teeth, which the xray will show them. So I was looking at 20k maximum for my wisdom teeth operation. WTF!!! Where was I going to get that money?!?!?

I was so despondent that I immediately complained to my boyfriend and moaned and moaned about my problems. I also complained to my mom and anyone who cared to listen. My mom thank goodness offered to help me pay for the operation if I didn’t have money. But of course it was my last resort. (I still owe her lots of money.)

Gim my knight in shining armor consoled me and said he’d ask around at the hospital where he works, maybe the rates were lower. Meanwhile I also went searching the Internet and found out that I could get better rates (3k-5k range) in a government hospital like the Philippine General Hospital. If I wasn’t iffy about waiting in line with hordes of other people (read: the masses). Oh how low class I really am in actuality (vs how high class I think I am, but only to myself) that I was in the position of considering getting the operation in a public hospital. (I’m not belittling the hospital/doctors because I know doctors who’ve worked at a public hospital are usually the best in the field vs those who only have experience in private hospitals. But the EXPERIENCE is belittling – having to queue up as early as 5am, waiting hours in line to get a consultation, usually there’s no airconditioning so just imagine the heat, the smell of sweat, the crowds… it’s not something you would want to experience.)

So anyway I wasn’t very happy about the idea of going to PGH but it seemed inevitable, unless I wanted to be EVEN MORE indebted to my mother.

UNTIL! Gim came home the following day and told me he can get me the operation at his hospital FOR FREE!!! Because he went and talked to the dentist and she offered her services for free since Gim was a doctor there. It’s a doctor thing. I was ELATED!!! YAYYY!!!! SOOO THANKFUL FOR GIM my lovedilove!

Gim works in a public hospital but since he made a friend, I didn’t have to wait in line or anything. He scheduled an 8am appointment for me, I wouldn’t have to wait and if I did I could wait in his airconditioned doctors’ quarters. Heehee. (I didn’t have to wait but I did visit his quarters and his fellow doctors and I was so SHY.)

All I had to do was buy my own surgical burrs, these drilling bits. I could use the ones the hospital already had but the dentist preferred I buy my own, because it was more hygienic that way. So I did. I went to Centro Dentista in Evangelista St, Quiapo and bought 2 standard sized round burrs and 2 standard sized tapered burrs. YES, Quiapo. And on a Sunday. And it was my first time there. I was terrified of snatchers. I held my bag to myself like an armalite the whole time. I took a taxi there, took a taxi out. I didn’t linger at all just bought the stuff I needed.

And that was all I needed to prepare! Of course I had my boyfriend buy lunch for the dentists’ office as my thank you (a KFC bucket of chicken), and I’m planning to bring back something special from Zamboanga next week after my short visit home, to give to the dentist who performed the wisdom tooth operation on me.

As to my experience on that actual day of extraction… again this one’s too long, another post for that! :)