Happy Easter everyone – I’ve taken the liberty of dragging out my laptop and doing this post in the vastness of my empty living room. I just had three of my wisdom teeth taken out yesterday, which I think I should write a little bit about.
When is the best time to remove a wisdom tooth?
This little section may or may not be useful to you depending on whether or not you have had any wisdom teeth out – but if you haven’t, or are planning to get them out, I hope my two cents help.
You know what, I have heard a billion different things from dentists, but the general consensus is “let it grow out until I see it and then we will see how it goes”. But if they say this without doing an X-ray, I suggest you run out of the dentist’s chair quick smart and find another dentist. I suspect it has to do with they don’t want much to do with your wisdom teeth as they are generally tricky to remove and can’t deal with the consequences of an infection (you’d be surprised okay).
Basically I was duped into letting one wisdom tooth grow out – it was impacted, meaning it grew sideways. The problem with these is that it eventually gets “stuck” a la tooth beside it, meaning you have a painful flap of gum getting food in (yes, it sounds and smells gross – and each time you try to floss it, you make it worse and get it infected – it’s sort of like a lurking infection that doesn’t really affect you… and then you kind of bring it up to the surface). This not only damages the tooth next to it, it can affect you as a whole – in my case, I was always paranoid about it, and I would not eat on the side of where the wisdom tooth is.
Well okay fine, one day I was fed up with it, and my dentist did an xray scan and told me he couldn’t remove it because it was sitting on one of the major nerves, and I would need a specialist to get it out for me. That to me is fine – I know it costs more, and I will elaborate more on why a specialist is better than a dentist.
When I visited my specialist, I was pleasantly given the choice to either get my wisdom tooth/ teeth out at his actual office/ surgery, or book myself into hospital. Getting wisdom teeth out is not such a biggie in my opinion, and I opted to get it out in his surgery, which is very convenient and means little to no waiting time (hospitals are a mess and I have tried waiting hours for a scheduled operation). Also, checking in and out of hospital is a real pain in the ass since they need to give you discharge letters, and constantly ask you your name, date of birth and other ridiculous things albeit having a dog collar on your wrist with this information.
Anyway, so last time I got a wisdom tooth out and it wasn’t really comfortable but it was still manageable. I took the prescribed painkillers (which were super strong and knocked me out for 2 days, meaning I couldn’t go to work the next day) – but no real major pain. My stitches probably popped out day 3, and well, I had a lot of swelling because the stitches went from my gum to *drumroll* the inside of my cheek (yes you got that right). There are several problems with this – you can’t open your mouth fully, you have a swollen cheek, and well, yeah – seriously? I think you get my drift.
Now, one of the biggest things I wanted to kick myself for was aside from the option of where to get the teeth out, I was also given the option of how many teeth to get out. He didn’t force me to take out any or all, but I could have specified any number, but I opted to just get one out, since the other three weren’t out yet. I think that was the biggest mistake I made.
So, the other two on the other side popped out (and were way nastier than the first). I thought I could get the top one out (since they are easy) but my dentist wouldn’t touch it – sigh. I had hoped to save a little bit of money, but I guess not. So might as well get all three out at once under sedation, like I did the first time round.
This time I have a bit of bruising (but no damage to my nerve, which I am thankful for x2 since I didn’t have the problem the first time). I was also semi-conscious towards the end, since I could feel the stitches being finished up and mouthpiece taken out. But you know, this time around, I had noticed:
- The tooth that did not pop out is much more comfortable after surgery than the ones that already popped out, since the stitches stay where the gum is, and gum only. No cheek stitches. The other side – well, I have a huge stitch from top wisdom tooth, along cheek and down to bottom wisdom tooth. Yes, I am swollen, and yes, my jaw is also bruised (I had no bruising the first time – but this tooth was closer to the nerve than the previous one).
- You don’t need to take their prescribed medicine/ painkiller if the pain is bearable – I just took regular Panadol and that was enough.
- Use an ice pack in moderation. I didn’t the first time round because I didn’t think it was such a big deal, but it really helps in regaining feeling in your lips and chin (super important after surgery) so you can eat and not drool everywhere.
Specialists are good because they minimise every aspect of impact on you as much as possible. I have minimal swelling, minimal bruising (none last time)
You know what, apart from having a really terrible headache last night either from side effects, throbbing swelling or too much sleep, I feel absolutely fine. I’m only taking a Panadol or two a day for the headache, not even the teeth.
If you want my advice, and you can afford it – get your wisdom teeth taken out before they pop out and you will not experience paranoia of splitting stitches, a quarter of the swelling, and very little chance of getting a sore/ locked jaw. You will feel so much better and find it a lot more convenient. If I had the chance, I would have gotten all four out at once the last time. I know having three out is a lot right now, but the fact that I feel fine and under control is really important.
For those who don’t have any tooth decay or the wisdom teeth don’t really bother you much, or are bothering you slightly but you are weighing the cost of removing them – please just remove them. Wisdom teeth, I suspect, have been a huge factor in screwing my health over. I don’t really know 100% for sure yet, I will only know afterwards, but if my stomach problems clear then there is a direct correlation. I’m so happy to get these out (and I was excited – not stressed at all going in to get them removed) because I knew it was time to get them out! It was great timing.
Although I can’t nibble on chocolates for Easter and all, I’m glad I did myself a favour. While my advice may not apply to everyone as everyone is different, you may want to consider a few things (which I had no idea about since I had nobody to ask) since I’ve been there and done that.
In the end I did have le Monsieur drive us back – and thankfully that was the case, because it would have been such a stressful process without him. So repeat – do not catch public transport after getting your wisdom teeth out, lol. I obviously didn’t read the instructions last time, because the receptionist looked so confused when I mentioned the bus.
Anyway – mushy diet for the next two days and I think I’ll be back in business.
New Zealand Day 4.5: Zealandia
Wow, I am seriously really sorry for how incredibly delayed this post is. This was November 2014 we are talking about – and if it weren’t because of my upcoming trip, who knows how long this would have taken me to finish!
Well, better late than never.
After the Makara Beach stop, I was dropped off at Zealandia for my trek/ path climbing fix. I had this huge thing for walking trails after watching so many episodes of 1 Night 2 Days where they seemed to have so much fun along a walking trail. There are some excellent ones in New Zealand, though a bit far away (I didn’t expect my friend J to borrow a car and take me places – and I was going to base my Wellington trip on solely public transport and walking). Zealandia is one place which is really worth visiting because it is untouched (well, mostly) and well maintained. It has a free shuttle bus to and from the city (near City Square or whatever it was called, I forgot), though you will need to keep an eye on the timetable and all because spots are limited on the bus (don’t miss the last bus, and ensure you line up early to actually get on the bus).
Anyway, there is an entry fee, but I think it is well worth it. The air in there is really fresh and while it was slightly overcast, the sky was still mostly blue to my surprise. You will get a pamphlet with a map of Zealandia and a variety of walking trails for you to choose from. As I got there relatively late (around 2pm) I didn’t want to trek off onto the longest walking trail, which goes down really deep into the forest. I also didn’t want to go alone because I would get freaked out – but I just decided that I will take a popular uphill route to do a bit of exercise, and also figure out if I needed to divert onto another route depending on how much time I had.
They will do a bag check to make sure nothing falls out of your bag and ruin the grounds, so please don’t bring any rubbish with you. They have a motto which I really liked, which was leave only footsteps, and I think this is really important.
Little did I know, I ended up at the top part where the tall trees are in the top left of the photo above (yes, crazy), and it really high! This is the beginning of the trail, where there are a lot of info plaques and things to do, like read about different types of wildlife, and I even passed a bird feeding platform for you to see their native birds and take photographs. I had a crappy lens (yes, my micro four thirds which I am too cheapo to throw away/ upgrade/ get a better lens for lol) so I just had to make do, The cover image of the post actually was quite interesting – I was walking along the top of the hill and I heard a rustle. When I looked up I saw a bird, and that was such a rare sighting – took me many attempts to get it on photo, but with limited zoom it was the best I could do. But seriously, what a chance!
They have boat tours, but due to algae and all, this was out of bounds. Still a lovely and peaceful sight.
So after passing the bird feeding house ground and all I took the uphill course to the reservoir – and well, what can I say? This was the best part of the trail by far. I really liked it up here (I have mixed feelings if I should remove the two models in the photo – but then it gives this place a bit of life), but I am massive scared of heights. I walked really fast across the bridge (onto the next path which goes further up the hill towards the left) and it was soooooo windy! I give myself a pat on the back for making it across and braving it up and pretending I wasn’t scared. I think I also got a text message while I was in the middle of the bridge trying to take photos and I was like literally omgggggggg.
So along my forest/ hill walk there were some amazing sights, like this fallen tree that I assume will never be touched. It was H U G E. But still, so so amazing
I had a good time also looking up to the sky, which is amazing, isn’t it? The forest is kind of dark and damp, but the air is crisp and sky blue in open areas like this. It’s rare to be surrounded by nature to this extent. I’m not sure if I got enough!
So after a solid 4 hour walk I got back to the beginning again. I would have done it again, because the ticket allowed me entry the next day (for free) but I was flying back to Sydney – so no go. I gave my ticket away but I don’t think anyone used it.
While you’re at Zealandia I recommend you visit the cafe for some good food. The ginger tea was a godsend because I had the worst stomach problems ever (probably intolerance for dairy in retrospect – but whatever). Even if you don’t have any problems, choose the tea, you won’t regret it unless you really hate ginger. It was warm and had heat, but it wasn’t spicy or bitter. There is a great view on the outdoor deck of the cafe, but I chose to sit indoors – so do have a check out.
I did have time before the shuttle bus so I toured the internal exhibition where you could play animal sounds and see stuffed animals of New Zealand’s native birds and animals. Then I took the shuttle bus back to the city.
So now that my memory is back, Civic Square is a large area with some interesting buildings and a view of the water. I’m not sure what these were, but they were really interesting sculptures in this public space.
For dinner I went to J’s house, where he and his family generously prepared a family dinner/ bbq with a group of friends over. It was literally ages I visited any friend’s house to have a meal and it was good fun. Good food, good times – a belated thank you, if I have not already mentioned it!
New Zealand Day 5: Short and sweet
So for breakfast I visited the Capitol Markets or whatever it was opposite my hotel, and had my Pho craving satisfied at a stall called “Where’s Charlie”. I should have gotten the combo with the SJUICE + Pho (SJUICE is the juice stall next to it, and they do some really good juice – that’s where I got the juice for the Makara trip), but I didn’t really give much thought to the menu until after I ordered a simple beef pho.
Maybe not as good as the one from Tropical Green (UNSW), but still yummy none the less.
Took the bus from the city to Miramar, since it was just a short walk from there. There was a step in the middle (where the horizontal yellow line is) – I didn’t see it and took a huge step down XD It’s okay, I’m a tourist.
So yucky Gollum, lol. But yeah, after a milkshake and some wedges while waiting, I bid my goodbyes to J, probably one of the best hosts ever for taking me around and putting up with my complaining and strange antics, climbing up Mount Victoria with me despite bad knees and all. I’m such a terrible friend. But hey I had a good time! Hope you did too.
For those who were curious since it looked like I didn’t spend money at all, I put aside 1 of each NZD currency (eg. 1x $100, 1x$50 etc) and then paid part of my hotel fee with cash and remainder with card and only left about $50NZD cash spending money with me for the airport. At the duty free section I bought a small eye cream for my mum as a souvenir which was made from Manuka honey – and that was about it.
So that was the last part of my trip, and thank you for those who followed it and waited… a year and a half for me to finish writing about it :S
In less than 2 weeks (11 more sleeps!) I will be travelling to Japan. YAY! As long as I don’t get lost in translation and all there, I think we are going to have a BLAST. I’ve got a few days of the week already planned (like actually booked in stuff to do), but I’ve already let my control freak side set out which days to go to set places. It is going to be a jam packed schedule, and I will be travelling with my mum so I’m not sure how it will go down. But hey, I planned New Zealand and I packed it to the max (I think) and it worked out just as I planned, sorta.
I will post so much when I get back – so until then hope you are all enjoying the Easter break (I am enjoying mine, post-wisdom tooth loss and all), but seriously, I am feeling fine. Swollen cheek? Ain’t nobody got time for that. 3000 word blog post in 2 hours – I’m on a roll here.