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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

In the Waiting Room of Wisdom

wisdom-teeth-impactedThe age of wisdom is said to be 18 when one’s wisdom teeth erupt. Petya is on the cusp of it and the day arrived for all four wisdom teeth to be removed.

He had not been having problems nor pain. However, the x-rays showed that they were already beginning to press from the sides under the gumline. His oral surgeon, the father of a tennis buddy, came highly recommended. After the initial consultation, we set the date.

Driving him in, we went in two cars. I had to stay during the surgery, while his father left and returned. IMG_2113Just over an hour, we parents texted back and forth (“Is he out, yet?”, “No news”, “I’m on my way.  There in 10.”), while I fidgeted in the waiting room—reading my book, flipping through a magazine, reviewing my calendar, praying. My eyes memorized every aspect of the waiting room—chairs, glass reception window, diplomas.

And as soon as it began, it was over. He was in recovery and the two of us parents were summoned. We talked meds with the nurse, and changing gauze padding, and eating cool, soft foods. Petya was drowsy, and out of it, and his cheeks stuffed like a “belka” (squirrel), as we say in Russian.

IMG_2114“Kiss those cheeks for me,” a friend texted me after it was over.

“Would you like to see the teeth we extracted?” the assistant asked.

“No- no- sure,” came our three simultaneous responses, leaving me odd man out.

“Can I take a picture of them?” I asked.

“Yes, you just can’t take them with you,” she replied before going to get the gauze filled with bloody teeth and bits of flesh.

Oh well, there went my new necklace.

A young man now, I hated to see Petya drugged out of it, but vowed to take care of my big baby.  The mildIMG_2117 drip-sedation (different from anesthesia) was wearing off.  Benedetto took one car and left to fill the prescriptions, while I brought the other car around to the rear exit, so as not to scare the next patients in the waiting room. The nurse walked him out the office door, and I opened the car door, wondering if he could climb up into the SUV. He did fine, we buckled him in, ice pack velcroed from his chin to the top of his cheeks, just like Scrooge’s Marley returned-from-the-dead.

At home, I ensconced him in the family room attached to the kitchen. They had warned us not to have him DSCN1065lay prone in bed, lest he choke on the wadded gauze in his cheeks, swallow it, and die. He sat in an overstuffed chair, dozing on and off as I changed the gauze every 30 minutes, also placing the ice packs for 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off.  He had slight pain and it hurt to open his jaw.

After four hours, he had eaten some pudding and yogurt, still not feeling his lips and having a hard time of it, but able to drink water and become rehydrated. He had an antibiotic to prevent any possible infection, a prescription-strength ibuprofen for pain, and finally, percocet in case the pain grew more severe over the first twelve hours. After six hours home, he requested the stronger pain medication.

Only having a few hours’ sleep myself, I could have used a nap, but needed to monitor him. Finally, at night, I had to go out to a meeting, and left Benedetto in charge.

“This is how you fold the gauze,” I showed him, fold in half, fold again, fold the third time.IMG_2123

“I was there,” he reminded me, while unconvinced, I wrote down which meds were scheduled for what time.

Returning home, I asked if our youngest had washed the dogs. She had been out-of-sorts seeing her brother half-out-of-it throughout the day.

“No,” my husband answered, “she wanted to take care of her big brother.”

Taking a look, there was Petya in the same soft chair, covered with a blanket and holding one of her stuffed animals she had placed in his sleeping arms. Sweet.

That night, I awakened my son a couple of times to take meds and eat a little something. The gauze was out, the pain had lessened, and we were on the road to recovery.

Another milestone passed with relief. Older, wiser, closer as a family, thankful to the surgeon and the Lord.


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