In sickness and health

I didn't take photos while Brett was unwell, but this is basically what our home looked like last week.

I didn’t take photos while Brett was unwell, but this is basically what our home looked like last week.

Brett’s wisdom teeth had been bugging him for a while. He would have a few days where his entire mouth would hurt, but then it would go away. After a really bad bout of pain, he decided to head to the dentist to see what needed to be done. He found out one of his bottom wisdom teeth was infected, and all four wisdom teeth needed to be taken out as soon as possible.

After seeing the oral surgeon, he was told that because a nerve was so close to his bottom teeth, he would need to be put under anesthesia to remove the teeth. He seemed pretty nonchalant about it, but I was nervous. He has never had to be put under before. All I could think about was that he would be one of those people who would have a terrible reaction to it. (Yeah, I can have a pretty glass-half-empty outlook in these situations.)

On the morning he had surgery, I sat in the waiting room, trying to focus on reading a book. I kept sending up little prayers for all to go well. After about 20 minutes, the nurse said he was finished. She brought me into a discharge area and asked me to wait behind a curtain. Two other patients were wheeled back and given the clear to leave as I waited. My heart began to race. Finally, after about 15 minutes, a nurse wheeled my groggy husband behind the curtain. His blood pressure had been a little low, and it took some time to wake him up, but otherwise everything went well. He kept making jokes, telling me I was pretty and asking when he could eat. I couldn’t help but laugh and be relieved.

While I knew getting your wisdom teeth out can be pretty awful, I didn’t realize what an ordeal it is for the first few days. Once Brett was settled at home, I went to the grocery store to fill his prescription and stock up on soft foods. I strolled through the aisles, picking up pudding, Jell-O, applesauce, ice cream, Ramen noodles, soup, potatoes (for mashed potatoes) and macaroni and cheese.

The next few days weren’t fun for Brett. He slept upright in the recliner to avoid putting pressure on his face. Meals were bland and soft. He was in pain, groggy and very hungry. I tried to brighten up his day by making him shakes (his favorite was peanut butter and Nutella), homemade chicken noodle soup and ensuring he had plenty of blankets and pillows.

Over the last week, I have learned that it can be difficult to be a caregiver to someone who isn’t feeling well. I’ve had to be creative about what he could eat. I had to keep track of when he could take his medicine and when he could start “irrigating” his mouth (it’s as gross as it sounds). He wasn’t able to work or help out around the house for a few days, making me realize how much he helps me. I actually enjoyed taking care of him and making sure he was comfortable, but I’m incredibly happy to have my healthy husband back!


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