How Are Your Sockets?

Last night, or early this morning, depending on how you view the whole sleep time chunk of hours (Scott and I go to bed very late, like midnight, so when we retire to bed it’s usually already the next morning but that’s very confusing to me so the whole sleep time, in my world, is just referred to as “last night,” okay?) Scott had some “your-wisdom-tooth-was-recently-removed” pain. That was around 2:00 am. After reading through the paperwork that comes home with a wisdom tooth patient, at 2:00 am, we (or, perhaps I should say “he” since I chose to monitor the whole situation from bed) determined that what he had was a severe case of “Dry Socket.” Dry socket is jaw pain that may or may not begin a few days after dental surgery and it’s pretty common when bottom wisdom teeth are removed. It’s also very painful and often requires a follow-up visit to the oral surgeon to determine whether infection has set in. Kinda tough information for all involved at 2:00 am. You know what I mean?

Scott took a massive combo of Tylenol and Advil and then waited, a look of deep pain wrinkling his face. He laid himself down on the living room couch to watch television until the medication took effect. “I hope this works,” he said ominously, “or this is going to be a long night.” I felt it was my responsibility, as the good wife, to watch over the situation…mostly from my bed, sure…but occasionally I’d make a trip out to the living room to make sure that Scott had not died from the horrible Dry Socket. Eventually, everyone went back to sleep.

Around 3:00 am, I awakened to the familiar stomp, stomp, stomp of Genevieve’s feet. She’d had a bad dream and needed assistance immediately. There was a long whispered discussion as we passed by the living room about why Daddy was sleeping on the couch this evening with the television on. “Is he watching a scary movie?” I noted that Scott’s eyes were closed and I was pleased to see that the grimace of pain no longer appeared on his face. Genevieve and I carefully crept upstairs and I fell asleep snuggled next to her in the toddler bed.

I awoke at 4:30 am with the strangest feeling in my eyes. I realized, as I descended the stairs slowly, that I had forgotten to take my contact lenses out before bed. No wonder, I thought. I had stared at the ceiling while thoughts gently floated into my mind and then out again, my own makeshift version of a pre-sleep meditation. I guess it hadn’t really registered (with all that mind floating) that my vision was far too clear. The intricate cracks in the white ceiling above appeared sharp and crisp.  Gone was the cloudy haze of blurred eyesight. Passing the living room on the way back to the master bedroom, I saw that the television was now off. The lights were no longer on either. My husband was still reclined on the couch, breathing peacefully, grimace-free.

It took me a full ten minutes to peel the lenses from my eyeballs. There was some cursing. I dripped some saline solution into my eyes to see if I could get the contacts to move…to slide just a bit so I could pull them off my eyeball. The problem was, I surmised, I must have had a serious case of “Dry Socket” as well…Dry EYE Socket. To have Dry Socket and Dry Eye Socket both in one night, in one household, is a really bad thing. Rubbing my dry, puffy eyes, I finally climbed back into my own bed and fell into a deep sleep…until 5:00 am when Scott returned to our bed, rustling the sheets as he climbed in next to me. I asked after his Dry Socket situation and then told him about mine. He didn’t really hear me, though, because he was snoring within seconds of resting his head on the pillow.

At 7:00 am the children awoke. I could hear the clanging of spoons against the ceramic cereal bowls in the kitchen, the multiple bangs of cupboard doors swinging shut. As I groaned and hauled my body up and off the bed, Scott asked with a long but quiet moan if I wouldn’t mind handling all the school drop-offs. He had decided to sleep in and go to work late.

“The Dry Socket really beat me up last night,” he said. “I didn’t get nearly enough good sleep.”

I responded, “You know, I had Dry EYE Socket in the middle of the night. It was pretty bad too.”


“Nothing.” I replied.

“Shhh. I gotta get some sleep. Probably have a bad infection. Stupid Dry Socket.”

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