The Week of Wisdom Teeth

By: Sandra L. Churchill 

That is what we are calling this week: the Week of Wisdom Teeth. My middle child, or middle young woman as I should call her (since she is 20) is a spirited, fun-loving college student whose angelic voice fills the rooms of our house when she is home. But this week has been sadly silent, as my puffy-cheeked, weary “chipmunk” of a daughter is recovering from having four wisdom teeth out.

For family and friends, this has been a week of compassion, as I’ve witnessed extra kindness given to Brittany as she deals with the pain and dry mouth post-surgery. Everyone has given hugs, run to fetch applesauce, ice packs, pain meds or macaroni and cheese, and her boyfriend made an ice cream run so she could get some fresh air.

I had the privilege of French-braiding her hair on one of the hot, humid days, and I say “privilege” because time and schedules often prohibit any lingering to fuss with hair at all. I miss those days of trying out new styles with my girls as they got ready for school or to head to a party. This “slowing down” during Brittany’s recovery week was an incredible gift, even though the pain and healing were rough on her. Our whole family took more time to sit with her and communicate as she texted her thoughts to us, because she was too sore to talk.

My 10 year-old and I stayed home more this week to keep an eye on her and to keep her company, and this “slowing down” was a wonderful way to savor the summer days and the soothing routines of home. I was able to catch up on small tasks—sending cards, writing bills, some cleaning, phone calls, updating my calendar—that I’m often too much in a frenzy to do peacefully.

The medical care from her oral surgeon and the nurses was thorough and compassionate. They were instructive about follow-up, super-attentive to pain management, and the doctor called the night of the surgery to ensure his young patient was okay.

Brittany survived her first time with anesthesia and was a pretty cheerful patient despite the grueling process of swelling and pain in a steamy-hot August week.

Her boyfriend showed extraordinary patience and kindness in just sitting with her as she juggled ice packs and suffered silently.

We are blessed to have a nest of family, friends, and medical providers to help her through a rough process, that, however small in the big scheme of things, was a big deal for my daughter. So the Week of Wisdom Teeth ends with a surge of gratitude, for so many blessings.

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