Getting My Wisdom Teeth Out As An Almost 30 Year Old

Wisdom teeth are outta here! I got them out last week (which feels like a million years ago by now) and it has simultaneously been better and worse than I expected. The actual surgery was a breeze. Nathan waited with me at the hospital until they took me away. I met the anaesthetist and told him that I had an extremely long recovery time from anaesthetic last time, so he said he’d go fairly light on things. Which ended up being a bit scary – he put the cannula in my hand in the waiting bay and I was out like a light, only to wake up for a few seconds in theatre. Luckily they hadn’t started yet, and as soon as it happened, I was out again.

When I woke up, I felt fine. I thought, why is everybody such a baby about wisdom teeth – this is a breeze! Nathan came to get me with a box of beautiful flowers, and I dribbled blood everywhere and said some hilarious things in a video interview that I cannot bring myself to post. I had a local anaesthetic after the general, so I could not feel anything from my eye level to my mid-neck.

When we finally got to come home, things started getting harder. I developed a lovely yellow bruise all over one side of my face. I ate my body weight in custard, fruche and apple puree in the first day. But the next day, the local wore off and the painkillers were making me extremely tired and sick. Every time it got within an hour of being due for those painkillers, I was not a happy camper. Nathan set me up in the lounge room with a mountain of pillows and blankets, and I slept there for maybe four nights, with my little guardian-nurse pups of course.

There was a breakthrough on the Saturday night, because it was Dad’s birthday and he was making a feast of white wine steamed giant prawns, Kylie Kwong’s fried rice, garlic spinach, pork belly and trifle. I was not going to sit there with my baby food and miss out on that – so I managed some of everything, very carefully! It was so nice to eat real food again.

Today, it’s a week and a half later. The pain in the incisions is completely gone, and the stitches are starting to come out, which is utterly revolting. The only bad result of the whole thing was that I still have some numbness in my chin, and I sort of always knew that there was going to be ongoing nerve pain in my face as my teeth spread out and rearrange themselves. It’s bad, and I’m not sure how long this will last, but hopefully it’s over soon.

So, good and bad. But for anybody who’s staring down the barrel at this kind of thing, do not be scared! My complications made it bad, but the whole thing was a lot easier than I had imagined. I’m still grateful I never have to do it again though!

Best Dogs

Posie and Rupert are the best little dogs. We took them to the rehabilitation hospital to visit Patrick and we all sat on the shady lawns together – P+R were so well behaved and everybody adored them. I always thought that Rupert would make a good therapy dog if he could just grasp basic commands and learn to not pee on anything resembling a pole. Posie loved jumping all over Patrick’s bed. How great is it that dogs are allowed in the hospital? I wish they were allowed in every hospital.

Aside from that, it’s back to the grindstone. I’ve switched my thesis from a creative piece + exegesis to a straight critical thesis, which feels like a cop out, but it’s kind of a relief. I just couldn’t find a bridge between the two parts I was working on, and neither of them was willing to compromise. The new thesis is basically an extension of the exegesis I was working on, but now I have to figure out ways to make it have finesse and be fleshy. It can be lonely devoting so much brain power to something that you can never talk about in any great depth with anybody else. Like when you are planning a wedding or having a baby or starting a new job, nobody cares about your wedding/baby/job/thesis as much as you do. That doesn’t mean they don’t care at all, but nobody is going to be as intimate with and invested in the details as you, and it can be isolating. Which is why it’s so important to stay interested in other things. I need to get my skates on and read more this year. I want to cook my way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cookinga la Julie Powell. I want to take a painting class. I want to teach myself how to use my big camera, once and for all, and I want to get some special lenses for it. I want to start running again and be one of those annoying people that brags about times. Lots of things to do. If only I had a few more lifetimes to do everything.

There is some bad news too – it looks like we will be postponing our super exciting European adventure for twelve months. I’ve mentioned it before, but this year is an absolute killer. In the next six months, I have to plan a wedding, finish my thesis, figure out my PhD application, do major renovations on the house, and a number of other things. I just don’t have the time or energy to devote to planning something amazing right now. If I’m only going to have one honeymoon, I don’t want to end up regretting not having worked harder on it. It’s a big trip, it costs so much just to fly there from Australia, so I really want to make the trip worthwhile once we actually get there. So the new plan is that next year on our 1+11 year anniversary, we’ll do it. And having had an entire year to plan it properly, it will be everything it deserves to be. And we might skulk around Bali for a little bit at the end of the year to console ourselves in the meantime! 🙂

Three’s a Crowd

Today, we have three dogs.

Rupert:

Posie:

[Missing, last seen scurrying under the sofa]

And Decima:

I’m babysitting, so it’s a little crazy around here. Deci will not stop crying, Rupert must be sitting on me at all times in a display of dominance, and poor little Posie is so out of sorts that she is hiding under the furniture. P+R are not exactly ‘doggy’ dogs and prefer their own company or to be with humans, whereas Decima has pretty bad attachment anxiety so she cries constantly and follows you like a shadow. Posie is so unsettled by Deci’s big swinging tail because it’s at the exact height to hit her in the face, and Rupert’s little internal turf wars always result in some growling. Deci cannot relax until Nathan is home, because she really relies on an ‘alpha’ male figure to feel secure. It’s not ideal. They all tend to get along a thousand times better when they are together at Mum’s house, but not here.

I would love a house filled with dogs, but even three is so stressful. Maybe it’s just this particular mix and how sporadically they are thrown together, but it’s hard work. Feeding them is like the scene from Jurassic World where Chris Pratt takes on the trio of velociraptors. I can’t even go to the bathroom without at least two of them tagging along or crying outside the door if I dare shut it. I can’t even walk around my own house without everybody getting unsettled and panicking about whether I’m going somewhere. Deci is great, but I’m really looking forward to handing her back at the end of the night and getting to snuggle my own dogs again.

Runaway

My brother is still in hospital. I still haven’t figured out exactly what to do about my thesis. I still haven’t got a haircut. I still need to weed the entire garden. I still haven’t picked a photographer or an officiant for the wedding. I am still on a weight loss plateau. Our house is still messy and unrenovated. I’m still drowning in clutter. I’m still finding that it takes all my mental energy to figure out healthy meals every day.

So, basically: BLAUEUURRGGH.

Can’t I run away to Bali already? I’m such a bogan – it will be the first time in four years that I haven’t spent at least a week there, but I really love it there. I’ve been brainstorming all sorts of hare-brained schemes to facilitate a mid-winter escape. It would be so nice to go to my favourite hotel in Ubud and lounge around in the sunshine in quiet solitude. I would actually take my laptop this time and get huge amounts of work done during the hottest part of the day, then swim for hours, drink watermelon juice and eat green papaya salad every day. I could do yoga and ride a bike through the Monkey Forest, now that I’ve decided it’s not so scary after all.

I wouldn’t have to talk to anybody if I didn’t want to. I could just write and read all day. No demands, no deadlines, no schedule other than the sun rising and setting each day.

It’s a nice daydream, but…

Must. Stay. On. Task.

Brain Drain

Apologies in advance, it is going to be a little quiet around here. Nathan and I are doing an eight week health and fitness challenge, and it is leaving me absolutely zonked. I can’t concentrate, I can’t have a proper conversation, I can’t read. It’s a little scary to see how much my body relies on eating processed carbs just to function. But I know this is a positive change and one that needed to happen – hopefully in time it will get easier.

Well, it better get easier. I have to write an honours thesis soon enough and if this is my brain’s top functioning speed, it’s going to be a disaster.

The Mussel Festival

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I took one photo, total, for the whole day – and it’s still rubbish. Mum always keeps her house way too dark that it’s too difficult to take a nice photo there, plus Rupert was trying to murder my aunt and uncle’s new puppy and had to be held the whole time, which was a total joy and prevented me from taking photos or even eating with two hands as well. Anyway, we ate: cold steamed mussels with green mango salsa and hot chips with aioli; coconut and lemongrass mussel soup; mussels in white wine with butter and parsley; and everybody else had (but I missed out) mussels cooked au naturale over a fire pit. Then of course pavlova, fruit, jelly and my brother’s homemade cookie dough ice cream which was too amazing.

I wasn’t having a great time on the weekend (coming off a two day migraine, sore ribs and some sporadic TN), but those mussels were so good. Next time, I’m going to buy an extra box for us to keep and eat on the Sunday as well. Nathan wants to experiment with bacon and chorizo and beer and tomato and chili… I’m happy to eat whatever, so long as it tastes good. Never too many mussels!

10 Happy Things

Hiroshima was pretty sombre, so let’s take a moment for something else. Here are ten things that are making me happy right now! (And back to the Japan posts afterwards, I promise)

  1. I rediscovered this ugly little beanbag cushion that I had when I was about 16, and the dogs are in love. It’s like sleeping with their head in someone’s lap. It’s so cute the way that they will guard it from each other and always seek it out for a nap.
  2. I ordered some different types of heirloom vegetables seeds, seeing as my big plan to grow tomatoes and cucumbers all summer isn’t going to happen (the nursery decided to stop sending seedlings instead of seeds because they weren’t arriving in good condition, and forgot to tell me that until I had waited 6 weeks wondering where my seedlings were). We’re getting: purple/red Brussels sprouts, a watermelon variety called ‘Moon and Stars’, French breakfast radishes that are ready to harvest in just over a month, beetroot, red spring onions and spaghetti squash. Not my ideal summer vegetable garden, but it’s still making me happy. I also have some lettuces and purple dragon beans; let’s see if I can find a spot for them.
  3. I don’t care what anybody says, Crocs are awesome. I have a pair for gardening and they are brilliant. Any dirt that get in my shoes just shakes straight out, they have a wide but light base so I can tread carefully without leaving big dips in the garden beds, and if they get muddy, I can just hose them down and leave them outside to dry. Vanity is such a stupid thing when it stops you from being practical or actually getting things done, comfortably and efficiently – I can’t believe I didn’t get some earlier.
  4. Nathan got a vinyl turntable for Christmas and it has been wonderful to play the few records that we own. I have some St Vincent (Strange Mercy, and Love This Giant with David Byrne) as well as the Banjo Kazooie soundtrack, Nathan has a few video game soundtracks and some metal. It’s utterly mesmerizing watching it go round and round, and it makes me so happy to listen to music that isn’t just zeros and ones in a file – it’s mind-blowing that a needle and a groove can produce such perfect sounds, and that it’s a technology that goes back thousands of years. Sorry, I guess this is my version of nerding out over (very old) technology.
  5. The dogs have been so good during Nathan’s recovery. He lays on the sofa and Posie curls up by his feet, Rupert drapes himself over his shoulder and submits to being hugged like a teddy bear or used like a pillow for hours at a time while gently snoring away. We haven’t quite perfected staying quiet when the mailman comes, but you can’t have everything.
  6. The dogs also got a paddle pool for Christmas from their granny (thanks Mum!) and although they aren’t totally sold on it yet, I am. A few afternoons this week while Nathan was sleeping or gaming, I filled it up under the shade of our giant oak tree, laid out a towel and brought some cushions from inside, ate Japanese kit-kats while reading with my legs in the pool. I am really campaigning for an adult-sized inflatable pool for next year, because I would use it every single day.
  7. Paul Newman’s ranch dressing. First ranch dressing I’ve tasted from the supermarket that doesn’t taste sweet like awful Australian mayo. Let’s ignore the fact that it’s 50% fat.
  8.  We went a little crazy at Bunnings last week and came away with a ridiculous number of plants, including some for inside the house. Upon leaving his childhood home, Nathan had unfortunately been conditioned to believe that potted indoor plants were unnecessary and untidy, and he never liked them… until now, and he’s finally come around to my side. I happen to subscribe to the idea that a well-tended indoor plant makes everything seem fresher, more vibrant, cleaner and more alive – less stale. We got a fiddle leaf fig that will hopefully grow as tall as the ceiling over the coming years, and I got another phalaenopsis orchid – a mauve one. It’s perched next to my other white one and they are both covered in glorious big blooms right now, with many more buds coming up soon.
  9. It’s my last week of self-imposed holidays before I begin: a) my first writing sprint of the year, and b) refocusing on my honours thesis and potentially overhauling the entire direction of the whole thing. A lot of hard work ahead, so I’m putting a lot of effort into relaxing as much as possible right now (doesn’t that sound like a oxymoron?). It is nice though to spend an entire afternoon reading and not feeling any guilt that I should be being more productive, because it will be all production all the time after next week.
  10. A special Christmas ornament arrived a few days ago, just in time to go on the tree before it all gets packed away. Wonder what will turn up on the tree next year!

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The Losing of Wisdom

Break from scheduled programming – I’ll be back with the Japan posts shortly. But for now…

It’s a right of passage that I have luckily never had to endure (fingers crossed), but Nathan has his wisdom teeth out today. The whole saga started with a bad jaw infection in October and the decision was made that they had to go. Which is when he discovered that he actually has five wisdom teeth – ridiculous. I’m sure it’s evidence of being part alien or something. Last time he was on painkillers this strong, he wrapped himself in a blanket, smiled and told me that he was a “newborn baby caterpillar”, so we’ve had some interesting conversations since he’s been all doped up. It’s his first general anaesthetic and we were both so worried. I wait by the phone with bated breath whenever the dogs get their teeth cleaned, but this was harder. It must have been disconcerting for him that his most recent example was me, having eye surgery, and recovering so badly that I got put in a private room and still needed a nurse to help carry me to the bathroom about six hours after waking up. This time around, he did much better than me. But the best part is that he’s home again with me, and I can take good care of him. I have been an incredibly diligent little nurse for him: changing his ice packs whenever they get even slightly warm, making sure he has all his pills on time, keeping all the television and air con remotes in reach, and loading him up with all the custard, jelly, ice cream, baby food and soup that he can handle.

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Diddums!

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

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When you get your hair done and it looks and feels utterly fabulous, and the sun is shining for a brief moment so you decide to walk the fifteen minutes back into town. Then you get blasted with wind and rain the whole way, but you’ve already resolved to walk and if you tried to catch a bus or a taxi, you’d still have to wait in the rain regardless so you may as well walk. Then you have to walk around with rained-off makeup and crazy hair, looking like a scruffy madwoman because you didn’t bring a hair brush. Then you have to go to three different chemists to find the specific vitamins you need. Then it’s the longest wait ever for a bus, and a woman practically sits on top of you while you are waiting, elbowing you and dropping donut crumbs all over your shoes before you can get away. Then those pesky magpies haunt you all the way from the bus stop to your front door. Then you find a slip waiting on your doormat letting you know that you missed the mailman and there is a giant package waiting for you at the post office, which you will have to carry back if it ever stops raining.

But on the bright side, your hair will look good again once it dries. Two little dogs were very glad to see you. And you found an amazing pugs-in-bow-ties print dress, and it was even on sale.

I Forgot!

birthday

Totally forgot my obligatory birthday post! On Tuesday, we turned 29 and 33 (yes, it’s on the same day). We went out for lunch, some special tickets arrived for me and Nathan bought himself a new toy. We had ridiculously expensive cheese and champagne that we could never normally justify, but when it’s TWO birthdays in one, we can justify it. Posie and Rupert got twiggy sticks and we watched Independence Day. It was extremely low key, especially compared to the extravaganzas we have managed other years. But kind of like when we got engaged, it was nice to just be at home with our beloved little companions. It was cozy.

Before we get to me, happy birthday firstly to Nathan. He always moans about how I stole his birthday; I prefer to tell the story that I’m the best birthday present he ever received. I know he would love to have a day all about him, but if I have to share with anybody, I’m so glad it’s with him. You know how you want to feel special on your birthday? I feel like we don’t just double the special-ness, we multiply it. We waltz around in our own little “why not? it’s our birthday!” bubble and always figure out a way to make it great for both of us. I love sharing the day… I hope that one day Nathan will quit being grumpy about it and realize how cool it can be.

As for turning 29 – I haven’t made up my mind about this one. I always sort of thought I would have things together by 29, but the further I go, the more I realize that nobody ever feels like they have everything together, all areas of their life working perfectly at the same time. No matter how old they are. But this new number next to my name is making me hyper-aware of new things, and I’m not sure if it’s all constructive. I’m suddenly regarding my hair, my wardrobe, everything, with a critical eye – would a ‘woman almost in her thirties’ wear that? Is that appropriate for a woman of your age? It’s a bit ridiculous, especially given that I’m always guessed to be younger than I am. If there is a limit or a threshold, I’m not there yet.

If I have to be 29, I might as well enjoy it. Bring on all the good things that will happen this year! 29 will see me finishing Honours and starting the PhD, going to Bali and Japan, renovating the hell out of this old shack, getting my groove back, and best of all, marrying my Ultimate Grand Super Birthday Twin. Our constant joke now is that if we ever have a baby, we should aim for them to be born on our birthday (because these sorts of things are totally within our control, right?). The ultimate hat trick would be to have twins on our birthday, or to have two separate children, four years apart, both born on our birthday. I think those are realistic, achievable goals!