Getting wisdom teeth removed

Today I took ds16 to the oral surgeon to get three wisdom teeth extracted.  I can remember getting my wisdom teeth out – also when I was 16 – like it just happened.  When I was 16 I was practically an adult; it’s strange to have a child already at this stage.

The surgeon we used has a very good reputation, which was a good thing, since his bedside manner was seriously lacking.  I timed how long the entire procedure took- six minutes for him to be given the painkilling injections, then the doc went out to work on someone else for ten minutes, then came back in and all three teeth were out within eight minutes.  14 minutes hands on time for the oral surgeon, and he had all four rooms full and was rotating through them simultaneously.  Not bad, is it?

Ds had a lot of bleeding that wasn’t stopping, and when I called three hours later, they told me to give it another couple of hours.  When I called back right before they closed two hours later, I got the doctor himself on the phone.  He told me to wrap the gauze pads around a regular (non herbal) tea bag, have ds bite down firmly, and replace it after 45 minutes, and it would stop the bleeding.  The tannic acid in the tea is the effective ingredient – I was glad to learn of it being used like that; I wanted to give ds a capsule partially filled with cayenne pepper to slow the bleeding down but his throat hurt too much to swallow even water, so the capsule was out.

Then I asked about the pain ds was having and the doctor asked if I gave him painkillers.  I told him not yet, that I planned to fill the prescription as soon as bleeding stopped and that ds was still numb, and he responded with an an impatient tone as if I was the biggest idiot in the world, “That’s why we give you painkillers, so you can give it to him before he feels any pain.”

Now to be accurate, they didn’t give me any painkillers, they gave me a prescription for antibiotics and painkillers (without verbal instructions); when I asked the assistant who gave me the prescription she said the painkillers aren’t necessary.  His tone remained impatient when I was clarifying how long the numbness, pain, and bleeding would last, and what steps to take for each (it would have been nice to have been told about this after the surgery).  The entire call might have taken two minutes, so it wasn’t like I was haranguing him. He said something that sounded like ‘that’s very dumb’, so I firmly told him that it was inappropriate to say that.

He then apologized, clarified that he was saying ‘numb’, and at the end of the conversation apologized again profusely.  Though it was my mistake in mishearing what he was saying, he must have realized that if I thought that’s what he said, it’s because it made perfect sense in the way he was speaking to me.  Some people mind this less than me, but I really dislike being condescended to or being treated as an imbecile.  Until fairly recently, if someone spoke to me like this, I would have felt angry and resentful but  just swallowed it and held that inside me.  So it was good to use this opportunity to be respectful yet assertive, and not be left with a negative feeling inside.

My husband said the doctor was very chatty and pleasant when he went for the initial visit, and he called later tonight to check on ds and was very nice.  I’m sure he was just having a rough day – we all have times where we don’t put our best foot forward, don’t we?   But if I had felt victimized by the way he acted at the office or later on the phone, I would be holding onto an impression of him as rude, impersonal, impatient, and nasty – and that wouldn’t have benefited anyone.  So nice to have a healthy perspective and just move on with life without getting stuck in the small stuff!

Avivah

7 thoughts on “Getting wisdom teeth removed

  1. “He then apologized, clarified that he was saying ‘numb’, and at the end of the conversation apologized again profusely. Though it was my mistake in mishearing what he was saying, he must have realized that if I thought that’s what he said, it’s because it made perfect sense in the way he was speaking to me. Some people mind this less than me, but I really dislike being condescended to or being treated as an imbecile. Until fairly recently, if someone spoke to me like this, I would have felt angry and resentful but just swallowed it and held that inside me. So it was good to use this opportunity to be respectful yet assertive, and not be left with a negative feeling inside”

    I had this happen to me when I was pregnant with my daughter. An apprenticing midwife made me feel like she was ignoring what experience I had as a primipara and I felt her whole tone was dismissive and condescending (“Do you know what Kegels are?” “Yes, I’ve been doing them for years” “So what I recommend for Kegels is ____” as if she didn’t bother listening to me and asking me how I do them or anything like that.) Her whole tone was one of “I’ve been by babies’ births for 12 years ” (mind you, she’s counting from the first birth she saw when she was 12!) and I could not respect someone who didn’t respect me in turn or form a mutual, trustworthy relationship.
    With a lot of courage, I spoke to the head midwife who made sure I saw her for appointments instead and it felt good to be respectfully assertive (without hurting the assistant’s feelings — I didn’t feel comfortable at that point telling her what I felt, but I still addressed my concerns in a different manner) and make the whole situation pleasant for everyone…

    1. LN, I went to the office you’re referring to once to interview them during my eighth pregnancy (they took insurance, and since my midwife didn’t, I was looking for a more affordable option since things were financially tight), and I had a similar feeling from the apprenticing midwife – there was a tone of talking down to me. Good for you for asserting yourself!

      1. The good news is that she’s not there anymore…the bad news is that I’ve been getting lots of vibes from others who use that office that the only reason they use it is because of insurance. Sad :(

  2. just to throw this out there- you may want to take action pro-actively to prevent nausea. when a lot of blood is draining, it can really upset the stomach, and the painkillers will exacerbate that. i know you use a lot of herbs, but if you would consider/need a drug, i have had very good success with zofran- make sure you ask for ODT, because the pills disintigrate in the mouth, so he won’t have to swallow anything. they come in 4mg or 8mg- try to get 8. they have almost no side effects- unlike most of the anti-nausea stuff out there… refuah shelaimah to ds16!!!!!!!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Julie! BH he’s not feeling nauseous – today he’s doing great! But I’m glad to know about this.

      As far as the meds are concerned, just taking the antibiotics is a big deal – he once had some when he was very young, but otherwise no one in our family has ever had them!

      1. How is it that you avoided antibiotics for your whole family? Is is because of healthy eating or is there more involved. I don’t eat as healthful as your family does. However, we eat healthier than many people I know, and we still get our share of ear infections and strep each winter. Thanks I am truly enjoying your blog.

        1. Hi, Jo, welcome! Though we do eat healthfully, I think the answer is probably that we rarely go to doctors so there isn’t much opportunity to have antibiotics prescribed. We’ve never had ear infections, though several times over the years we’ve had ear pain. (It was actually our Russian pediatrician who recommended that we put minced garlic in warm oil and use the infused oil to relieve the ear pain.) We’ve also never had anyone diagnosed with strep. I’m comfortable treating most low grade kind of stuff at home, and only take them when there’s something I want to check on. BH that happens very infrequently, not usually more than once a year. Occasionally I call to check if I need to bring them in.

          Antibiotics are hugely overprescribed. Our pediatrician once told me that for the concern I had brought one of the kids in to check on, she’d usually write a prescription because the parents needed it to feel like they were doing something, but said semi jokingly that “it will take a week with the prescription for the symptoms to clear, and seven days without the prescription”, and since I was comfortable not giving medication (she said most parents aren’t), there was no need for her to give us a prescription.

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