The End of All Wisdom

My youngest son had his wisdom teeth removed this morning. Casey is 19 years old, and he has always had an issue with dental work. As soon as the oral surgeon offered the choice of having the teeth removed with regular old-fashioned freezing or light sedation or heavier sedation, Casey chose the heaviest sedation. While he wouldn’t be put completely “under”, he wanted to be as far removed from the experience as possible, and I can’t say that I blame him! I had my wisdom teeth removed with sedation, too.

His appointment was for 8:00 this morning and was expected to be finished by 10:00. The first hour was spent waiting for the first level of anaesthetic to kick in. Casey was pampered with a warm blanket and the remote control for his own personal television. The nurse and the surgeon both adjusted the headrest for Casey and fetched him water when he needed a drink. Once the blood pressure cuff was placed, Casey chatted with the nurse about what was considered normal blood pressure. His Human Kinetics classes were to thank for his knowledge of such things. I sat there with Casey for that first hour and kept him company. After checking to make sure no one else was in earshot, Casey confided to me that it was a good thing there weren’t any cute, young ladies working here or they would be getting majorly hit on! I watched as a very large needle was used to inject freezing under Casey’s tongue. I watched as another needle was used to inject the final stage of anaesthetic…also under the tongue, and then it was time for me to leave the room. The surgeon jokingly told Casey that he would be home in 5 minutes. An hour later and all was done.

It would have been great entertainment to have had a film crew tag along with us from the point that Casey was finished until several hours later. A loopy Casey is a chatty Casey. He tried to shake off the nurse’s hand as she helped him from the dental chair and out of the exam room by saying, “I’m an independent man! I don’t need help.” Of course, I had already been warned that anything he said on the anaesthetic could not be trusted. He would most definitely need help. He was certain that I had only left the room for 5 minutes and refused to believe me when I said it had been an hour. He asked me the same question 3 times within 5 minutes. He asked how he got out of the room and how he got to the car. He was surprised when I said that he had walked, with help. Roughly 20 minutes into our 30 minute drive home, he was shocked to discover where we were, not even realizing that we had left Vernon.

I recorded only one brief moment during our ride home. Casey was feeling his bottom lip and didn’t know what it was. He didn’t quite believe me when I told him that it was indeed his lip. Sam and Abby were both greatly amused once we got back home and they could observe their brother’s loopiness for themselves. Casey tried to assert his independence again but had some difficulty going up the stairs. He wobbled as he stood by the sink. He dribbled as he tried to sip water. He couldn’t remember much of anything. It truly was amusing for the rest of us.

But I have to also say that Casey has been a pretty good patient today! For someone with a seemingly low pain tolerance and the typical “male” behaviour when sick, he has done very well. Of course, he is still numb and not really feeling anything yet. He is more clear-headed now. He is understandably hungry, but the only thing that seems to go down easily so far is broth. He’s had a bit of pudding, but even that is a bit too much, I guess. For a young male with two hollow legs who had his last real meal last night, he is most definitely starving! Poor kid. He’ll be eating liquid and very soft food for a while. Right now the biggest issue seems to be the numbness. It’s difficult to eat, I guess, when he can’t really feel his lips or tongue or teeth. Just wait until the freezing comes out!

Today was an easier day than I expected, but I have a feeling the real test will be tomorrow. Casey doesn’t like to swallow pills. He has a couple that he absolutely must take, but those aren’t really for pain. I can’t wait for the struggle to get him to take pain medication to begin.


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