As the summer respite from college drew to a close, my daughter learned during the course of a routine dental checkup, that she would need to have her wisdom teeth extracted before the end of the year. The window of opportunity for such oral surgery was limited to either before her early return to campus, or Christmas vacation [or to be politically correct “holiday break”, a perfectly meaningless term, lest we offend anyone’s fragile sensibilities]. The new norm is to remove all four wisdom teeth, instead of removing two on one side of the mouth, and then some months later removing the other two.
She opted for oral surgery prior to returning to sorority life and academic studies, or perhaps I should reverse the order [actually she’s quite scholarly]. As Anjelica observed, “Who wants to spend Christmas without eating any cookies?” Point taken. We set out early for the oral surgeon’s office the Monday before she had planned to return to campus. By then, she had heard friends’ tales of woe regarding wisdom teeth extraction. Yes, she would probably swell in the cheeks; yes, she might become nauseous from the pain medication; yes, she may resemble a chipmunk for several days.
What unnerved her most was the oral surgeon’s caveat of perhaps nerve and/or sinus damage could occur. The IV was inserted and within an hour, Anjelica emerged from the surgery minus her four wisdom teeth and dazed from the anesthesia. A nurse and I helped her into our car, and we sped away to Panera’s for a low-fat peach smoothie, the first of many for the next 10 days. After 10 days of mega-pain medication, low-fat smoothies, Chobani Greek, sugar-free Jello, chocolate pudding, smooth applesauce, and the occasional vanilla milkshake, my child’s face morphed into its usual shape, she was at last headache and relatively pain-free, with the additional bonus of having unintentionally dropped 5-7 pounds on the primarily liquid diet.
She traveled to the netherworld and back again, but at least wisdom teeth do not reproduce in one’s mouth. Now she may happily partake once again of that college food staple: pizza, like the kind we at a ristorante in the Trastevere district in Rome.
Ciao for now.