We’re deep into my peak recovery days (4, 5 +6) now in my Wisdom Tooth Recovery series! If you’re just now tuning in, make sure to check out my previous blog entries on My Teeth and Consultation, Pre-Extraction Prep, Extraction Day + Recovery Day 1, and Recovery Days 2 + 3. Hopefully, this chronicling will be helpful in providing an example of one woman’s experience through the extraction process and to help demystify the recovery process.
After waking up from one set-back day of getting behind on my pain meds, I immediately went to the refrigerator to retrieve my morning Glucerna shake, took my morning doseages of main medications and sat for a moment to allow them to take effect. Once a little time had passed, I brushed my teeth, rinsed my mouth with the recommended salt water rinse and sat on the couch for what would be a secondary day of intense pain. James helped me count hours between dosages on this day and set alarms on his phone to alert us when it was time to take a new dosage.
For lunch, James made mashed potatoes and I remember eating all of them in one big meal. I napped off and on this morning to some extra episodes of Cupcake Wars. I still had a noticeable difference of swelling and pain when I was on my feet versus off, so I spent most of the day sitting. I did make a point to rinse my mouth with the salt mixture after each meal on this day, as was recommended in my recovery instructions.
I think my cats began to notice something was strange by this day and they snuggled up very closely on the couch (either this or they really wanted to be near the heat of the laptop). I’m going to assume the former. It was another day of very soft foods with mashed potatoes, oatmeal and Glucerna as my main meals. I did try my red bean ice-cream today, which tasted wonderfully in the moment and felt very gross just moments afterwards.
In an earlier post I’d commented that I think the key to avoiding any gastro sensitivity was to make sure I ate at every medication doseage; I’d also add that a key component was that I ate substantial foods that would coat my stomach. Later that night before bed, I was also able to nibble my way around a soft burger bun.
Day 4 Review:
Pain Level: High; I could feel within 30 minutes of when my next dosage was due on my lower right side.
Energy Level: Low; I sat all day, otherwise the swelling/pain increased.
Cognitive Functioning: Low; Drowsy and slow. Motivated to just enjoy mindless TV.
Discomfort Level: Medium (When the Advil began to wear off, there was noticeable feelings of swelling)
Embarrassment Level: Low; Just sleepy.
No Visible Bruising
Day 5 was an improvement over Day 4 as far as pain management. Even though I remained regular on my pain medication, I noticed that I had more inflammation-related pain (managed by the Advil) than I did sharp pain (managed by my Tylenol) on my bottom jaw, specifically towards my bottom right side. I still wasn’t able to conceive of the idea of stopping one med or the other though. I very-much still needed both meds to continue to manage the pain on the lower right side of my jaw. I also still felt a difference when I was on my feet compared to sitting so after I brushed my teeth and completed my morning saltwater rinse, I spent Day 5 on the couch with my feet up as well.
Day 5 happened to be a Saturday. Although James was working on this day to catch up on some of his outside projects, we did stream Love It or List It from HGTV onto our TV and engaged in a season-spanning marathon on this day. Day 5 was also on the 4th of July in the US so my newsfeed was flooded on this day of cookout photos, fireworks, beach trips and general Americana which was entertaining.
After a lot of insistence on my part, James finally made himself some turkey burgers with bacon and brown mustard that I had bought for him to celebrate; He’d originally turned these down on Canada Day out of solidarity for my soft-food situation. (I repeat, my husband turned down high-quality Stemmler’s bacon for me; This is insanity!) I was able to gum my way around a soft burger bun to celebrate with him though. Concerning other foods, I did mainly stick to my staples of Glucerna, mashed potatoes and oatmeal. However, I did have a Belvita soft cookie later in the evening with a little scoop of red bean ice-cream.
Day 5 Review:
Pain Level: Moderate-High; The medication managed the pain once taken, but I had noticeable discomfort around the time another dosage was due.
Energy Level: Low; An improvement fro previous days, but still low.
Cognitive Functioning: Low-Normal; Not as drowsy, but not back to normal. Still needed reminders and help double-checking the count on doseage hours.
Discomfort Level: Medium; Similar to the day prior, I could feel within a range of when the next doseage was due.
Embarrassment Level: Low; Relaxed, sitting, boring.
No Visible Bruising
Day 6 was a night-and-day improvement in jaw pain compared to Day 4, and a moderate improvement on Day 5. By this time, my upper extractions felt sensitive, but very-much healed. I, overall, had minimal swelling or pain from these two areas anyway, but my main focus on Day 6 was my lower right side of my jaw. Some minimum swelling was noticeable from the left side of my lower jaw, but the majority of my pain management was on the right side. I’d accidentally missed one of my overnight dosages of Tylenol by 2 hours, but was able to take it as soon as I awoke and caught up on the pain by midday, a big improvement from my previous missed overnight dosage. I did have a few anxious thoughts on this day about pain medication and the light at the end of the tunnel. I was quickly running out of Tylenol and I knew that the next step would be to fill a stronger, secondary pain medication that I didn’t necessarily want to take. I could tell that my gums were healing, but when would they be healed-enough to wean off of the medication? On Day 6, I finished my antibiotic prescription so there was one less med to worry about. I took my Tylenol regularly and my Advil regularly.
I stuck to my typical morning routine of a Glucerna shake with meds, then brushing my teeth and rinsing my mouth with the recommended saltwater mix. Then, I made mashed potatoes to eat throughout the morning and midday. I also ate some oatmeal, another burger bun, a Belvita soft cookie and a little scoop of red bean ice-cream. On this day, I also considered the always-sexy option of adding in fiber to my diet. James went to the Pharmacy and bought some Benefiber along with more Glucerna.
My mental clarity came back to me on this day and I was able to chat with James off and on all day about artificial intelligence, cultural norms of a dystopian future and potentially emerging issues – otherwise known as what we regularly chat about while sitting in the living room. In spite of this conversation, I did made a concerted effort to talk much less on this day in order to give my jaw a break.
At dinnertime, I was able to eat some basic penne noodes with a little bit of Parmesan sprinkled on top. Before I went to bed, I completed my nighttime routine, took my Tylenol and decided that I would attempt to forgo my Tylenol the following day; At that point, I only had 4 left and the oral surgeon’s office and pharmacy would bot be open in case I needed to be checked out for further pain management. So, I would be attempting a full day ahead of just Advil, salt-water rinse and me.
Day 6 Review:
Pain Level: Moderate-High; Medication managed the pain well on this day.
Energy Level: Low; Still of my feet, grew tired quickly when walking between rooms.
Cognitive Functioning: Normal; Didn’t feel slow or fuzzy. Just relaxed.
Discomfort Level: Medium; Discomfort due to noticeable feelings of swelling around time of next due dosage.
Embarrassment Level: Low-Medium; Strange yellow bruise on my chin and had to talk fiber needs with my husband.
One visible yellow bruise on the left side of my chin.
Stay tuned to read on about my final days of the recovery slope, Days 7 + 8!