Wisdom Tooth 1.0

November 15th & 28th, 2016

I still haven’t made up my mind about when I want to officially leave Taiwan, and since I am still thinking about it I figured I might as well get a few things done before I leave. The one big looming thing I want to do is get all my wisdom teeth removed. So, I started on the venture of attempting to get them out, and boy, what a process it has been.

Through three different trips to different dentists and the oral surgeon department at China Medical in Taichung I was referred to the Fengyuan Oral Surgeon Department. Now, I am not a fan of the Fengyuan Hospital, but I was given a solution to my problem and I wasn’t about to pass it up. I went to the hospital, scheduled an appointment and later in the evening I was speaking to an oral surgeon. He just so happened to be from America and was back in Taiwan for a year, so his fluent American English was putting me at ease. He told me that all of my wisdom teeth were going to be difficult to remove, so I could remove them one at a time or do one side at a time. He offered to take one out right then and there. Being very naive about wisdom tooth extraction and taken aback at the swiftness of the offer I replied, “sure”. I couldn’t feel anything, but I was awake the whole time. Since I was just laying there I was pretty bored, but was very calm, surprisingly. Once the tooth was out he gave me some gauze, a small ice pack, and a prescription for pain meds and antibiotics and then sent me on my way. I was feeling fine until the novocaine wore off and then I was in so much pain I woke up in the middle of the night.

I went through three more days of miserable pain and unsolicited opinions from co-workers. The two of these combined, plus a looming period, was leaving me in tears by the end of everyday. I knew my next procedure I wanted to be put under and get all three out at once so I would never have to go through the same experience again. With Alice’s help I attempted to make that happen with no such luck. It isn’t common in Taiwan for people to go under general anesthesia and I would have to make all these extra appointments that I didn’t have time for in order to make it happen. I quickly gave up and had Alice schedule me an appointment with the oral surgeon and just deal with being awake while I got my other wisdom teeth out.

I took a half day off and went in on a Monday afternoon to get the rest of my wisdom teeth out. The following scene is what happened:

I got there and checked in and then they had me come in and talk to the doctor from America that took out my first wisdom tooth. I was chatting with the nurse and him and then they were like oh you were supposed to be here in the morning. I’m like no, I am not, I have an appointment for 3pm. I pull out my sheet and then they are like ohhh you are with a different doctor (that was sign #1 that something was wrong). To push the dagger in a little bit more the doctor was like you should really learn some Chinese…it will make life easier…gee thanks doc no shit. I wait for a bit more. By the time I have finally gotten in the chair I have probably been there for 30 minutes, but that is no big deal. Then this new doctor that I have never seen before looks at my teeth and then my x-ray and does that three times. Then he was like how many teeth do you want extracted. I say 3. He was like well since they are all hard to get to I can’t do it for you. You have to see an oral surgeon (mind you all of this is kind of through Google translate so I am already a bit confused). I am like why can’t you do it. He tells me he isn’t an oral surgeon (In my head I’m like holy fuck you aren’t an oral surgeon but you just asked me how many teeth I want extracted!! What the hell Taiwan!) Then he proceeds to ask me when I want to make an appointment. I’m like why can’t I see one today because I made an appointment for today and took off work. Then I got explained to three more times why he can’t do it so I need to schedule a different appointment to see the oral surgeon. So we are looking through the calendar. They are trying to schedule me and asking me when I am free. I am like I work everyday all day (like a normal fucking person!! I am just screaming in my head by this time). Finally, we get through the annoyances of scheduling me again for January 17th. I asked three times if I will actually be seeing an oral surgeon on that day and actually get my teeth out because I need to take time off of work. They are like yes you will. (I still secretly don’t believe them). Then he was like I don’t know if you will be able to take three out though. Usually we only do one side first. It is like dude! You think I want to go through this 3 more times! By the time I leave I am so mad and frustrated I start crying and then I just go back to work because why not teach my last class and make money and tell them I can actually be there the next day. Stupid stupid stupid. Then I have to explain everything at work. Ugh! Oh the best part is they tried to schedule me for Dec 6th and I get on a plane on Dec 10th. NO way! All the pressure on my face would have been the worst. So many things could have been worded differently, but it is what it is. The positives of all this is I can still eat. Woohoo! haha That I will be seeing an actual oral surgeon and not someone who looks like they are 19 years old. And I now have a lot of ice cream in my freezer that I can still eat.

As you can see I was pretty upset and frustrated over the whole ordeal. I knew that if they could speak better English or I could speak better Chinese the situation would have been much easier to navigate.

Despite frustration after frustration my first wisdom tooth hole has been healing very well and I will be able to properly eat when I go home. I also have a new appointment for January with the correct oral surgeon.

If anything good came out of this ridiculous story that is my life, it is the cost of the whole procedure, $5USD. So ugh, but also thanks Taiwan!


Here is the insane tape that Arasan put on my face to help with the swelling.