I am 30 years old and I still have my wisdom teeth. There’s a joke in there about how they don’t actually make you smarter. Next week they’re coming out though; I just had the preliminary appointment for x-rays, prescriptions, and paperwork. I’m going to a special oral surgeon who specializes in what they gently refer to as “fearful patients.” I wouldn’t say I’m “afraid” of the dentist, I just don’t ever want to go to one because the experience is awful.
I have a condition which is called vasovagal syncope. That’s a scientific way of saying I’m a wuss, will pass out rather easily, and may experience seismic seizures during the process. For the few people who have seen this in action, I’m told it’s some Exorcist-level stuff. I also feel like crap afterwards because every single muscle in my body fired in rapid succession, emulating running a marathon and swimming the English Channel in one day. That’s what we’re aiming to prevent by putting me completely under for this procedure.
While I asked the doctor to keep all the medical info short and high-level, one really interesting bit I got came from the hygienist. She said that, given the level of decay in my wisdom teeth, there is no way I’m not in considerable amounts of pain. I found that odd, since I don’t feel like I’m in pain. She described some of the side effects of that pain (headache, jaw soreness, vision issues), all of which I’m experiencing. I believe my body has just been dealing with this pain for so long – roughly two years now – and has simply learned to not process it as pain. Bodies are weird.
Which lead to an interesting statement: “You’re going to feel a lot better after.” Again, how can I feel “better” if I’m not feeling any pain? It’s going to be a unique experience to see what my body does when the pain it has learned to manage is no longer there. Will I actually feel like pain has gone, or will I just have a general sense of wellness? We’ll have to wait and see.