Friday, 19 July 2013

Fourth of July weekend!! or, the Tale of Four Wisdom Teeth.

Here is a wee story I would like to share with whoever is listening.

Before we moved to the States, I had long wanted to enjoy a Fourth of July weekend. Being an avid reader of "the Baby Sitters Club" when I was a child. I was well aware of the awesomeness which occurs on this public holiday. 

In my mind, I have the Fourth of July on a pedestal, a mighty pedestal. On top of which, sits bowls of watermelon, cold beer, brisket, fire works, bunting, funnel cake, hot dogs, salsa, margaritas, music, happiness, kids running through fountains, patriotic hot pants, corn on a cob, pretzels and American flags.

We moved here in February, and in the months following have had several invites to parties, cook outs and concerts for the Fourth.  I have always politely declined, because I had been waiting so long to celebrate the Fourth of July, with my dear friend Stephanie and her family.

The weekend before the big day, we organized what we would need to cook and bring with us to the party that, to me, would end all public holiday patriotic themed parties (less beer than Australia Day, less hangi than Waitangi Day).

Nek Minnit. Wisdom Teeth.

A rush trip to the surgeon illuminated the fact that my wisdom teeth, had taken on a life of their own, and were starting a coup against the rest of my body. Their first tactic was to attempt to push all the other teeth out of my mouth. Rendering my ability to eat, useless. Who knows what their next steps to domination would be. It was like District 9 in my mouth. Yes, they really did look that bad on the x ray. I am only a geologist, but I do believe that teeth do not generally grow horizontally. Please let me know if I'm wrong, but the litttle bastards had to go.

Surgery needed to happen ASAP, and yep, that meant.. The 3rd of July.

Surgery highlights:
-The dental nurse liked my cat shoes.

-As the anaesthesia began to work I recall meowing out loud and saying that the cats didn't want this to happen.

-Waking up several times during the surgery and trying to put my hands into my mouth. The same dental nurse kept having to restrain me. (I would later learn that the reason I was waking up is that they were torturing a giant nerve which would come back to seek revenge later.)

-As I started regaining consciousness I asked the nurse for note paper as I couldn't talk. I wrote that I hoped she was having a nice day, and thanked her for her part of the surgery. If nothing else, I was a very polite, stoned and toothless, cat shoe wearing idiot.

-Speaking of polite, I promptly burst into tears as they helped me into a wheel chair to be on my merry way. As I had a sudden extreme paranoia that I had made the surgery difficult for them, and felt terrible. The lovely receptionist tried consoling me and telling me I had done nothing wrong. But, I was inconsolable. I literally cried the whole way home. I hope that was a reaction to the drugs. I'm sure it was... 

-Oh, and in order for me to stay positive before the surgery I had worn one of my favourite vintage dresses. Post surgery, the dress was a little worse for wear. But hey, a scattering of of chipped tooth and drool can really upcycle a dress.

Me, post surgery, smiling, kind of, because the good pain meds were still working, and I was positive I would be able to go to the Fourth of July cook out!

We stayed at Stephanie's house, and I hoped that in the dark of the night a miracle might occur. Would I wake up and be all healed, could I indeed eat corn on the cob, brisket and watermelon, while running under water sprinklers and pledging my allegiance?
No. No, that did not happen at all.
I woke up with a face like a bubble, drool everywhere and feeling what some would describe - absolute fucking excruciating pain. Oh well! You win some you lose some. I spent my day on a sofa with both heat packs and ice packs wrapped around my head, and the only things I could get in my mouth were pain killers, and mushed up ice blocks. While Steph was at the cook out I wallowed in a lucid, pain killer daze by pinning every single image I could find on the Internet. Some would say this is a waste of time. But I was not in a rational state. I was missing out on the Fourth of July. Sad, sad poppet.

A slightly disgruntled and dozey poppet who could not go to the party.

Bless her heart, Steph bought back some treasures from the cook out. Rob feasted on turkey, brisket, potato salad, and banana pudding. I ate some beans. And when I say ate beans, I actually drank them. It was just so good to get something savoury down my gullet.

Okay, well. There is no real conclusion to this story I suppose. 

The pain is still there, but not as bad as it was. I am still having the dressings changed.I still cant chew.. two weeks later :s

I wanted to share a couple of lessons learnt from the whole experience:

- Having fun things to do helped. Rob hates craft stores, but, bless his badger heart, four days after the surgery he came for a drive with Steph and I and told me go on a shopping spree at hobby lobby. Yay! And you could kind of tell that I was smiling. Well.. to be honest, it looked like I was constipated. But I felt much happier. 

-When you have a numb face, do not eat (or attempt to eat) foods with a lot of dressing or sauce. I attempted a hot dog in Chicago while my face was still numb. (Hey, its Chicago. Its kind of compulsory, and yes, if you want the image, I looked a lot like a duck trying to get it down, because I still couldn't really chew). Bottom line was that after 10 minutes of getting very weird comical looks, and some people out right pointing at laughing. I turned to my darling husband and asked him if I had something on my face. From his expression, and by expression I mean he literally tripped over laughing, I surmised that there was something amiss with the situation. Indeed, I had at least an ounce of mustard, and a couple of onion strands across my lips and chin. Winning Sarah. Winning.

-Maybe people shouldn't put holidays a pedestal, but if you want to (cos I'm still gonna) just remember they will come around again next year.

-Hot sauce and open wounds (even ones with stitches) are not a happy combination. Just don't do it.

-Don't try and save your liver with not using the painkillers. Hey, they just took four teeth out of your skull. That is not a good time.

-It really helps having a great husband and a loving best friend to look after you. And hey, you gotta laugh at yourself. Even if it hurts!

-Most important lesson - wear cat shoes.

Better living everyone.


  1. Love the shoes
    Hate to admit it, blame your mother for the horizontal teeth

  2. And drugs are never bad if used in random order with adult supervision

  3. Hahaha, that is soooo funny!!!! (not what happened to you, although anyone pain other than your own is mildly amusing) but the way you wrote that was fantastic! You have a real talent there Sarah, keep it up!

    1. Thanks Phil! haha you have to see the funny side of life right :P

  4. Okay. Yes. I feel so bad for you.... But that doesn't mean I didn't laugh. Forgive?

    1. Haha I still laugh thinking about it. The mustard all over my face was tragic.


Let's chat! I love getting comments and sending replies!