You would think that someone with RA would know a thing or two about swelling. Swollen joints pretty much comes with the territory. Well, I got my wisdom teeth out on Friday and now, four days later, I can tell you that I still had a lot to learn about swelling.
First off, for all you autoimmune warriors, the logistics of getting your wisdom teeth out are a little more complex than for the average person. My rheumy had me stop all my RA drugs (methotrexate and Enbrel) one week before surgery to limit the chance of infection. Since RA drugs inhibit your immune system, it can lead to slower healing.
I was due to take my methotrexate again post-surgery on Monday, but due to extreme swelling, I decided not to.
At first, the thought of being off my RA drugs scared the crap out of me. What if I have a flare?? It turns out, your body takes awhile to catch up, so you’re usually OK for a couple weeks off your drugs. That being said, I’m going to start Enbrel back up tomorrow, even though I’m not fully healed.
I had to get four impacted (two severely impacted) wisdom teeth removed and the whole thing took a whopping 3.5 hours. Of which, they apparently had trouble keeping me “asleep”. (I blame my red hair.) Apparently I kept waking up and saying “Ow”.
Luckily I remember only one such occasion. I woke up and said, “What’s going on?” or something like that. They told me they were on the last molar and knocked me out again.
Well, the additive effect of 3.5 hours on three different anesthetics meant I spent all of Friday night throwing up and Saturday completely nauseous.
I thought the worst was over, but Saturday night, my face swelled up like a balloon. Silver lining? I now have photographic incentive to stay in shape. 😉
Now my face is still painfully swollen and I am forever grateful that RA does not (normally) effect your jaw.
When I was a kid, my sister used to make fun of my oxygen/prednisone “chipmunk cheeks”. Now I once again get the honor of that nickname. */Joy!*
If anyone has advice to hasten recovery and get the swelling down, I’d love to hear it!!