Archive for February, 2009

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

It’s been a little over a week since the extraction. Day-to-day report (warning: I may play some things up, but not much):

Thursday, 12 February — Day of extraction

My dentist had called in another doctor (whose gigantic physique reminded me of Kirby) who was supposed to “help” with the extraction but who actually ended up pulling out both my teeth. The extraction itself didn’t hurt too much, but heck, it was traumatic. After two shots of anesthetic to the base of the tooth and a few minutes of waiting (to make sure I didn’t respond to it with a seizure), he started pushing, rocking, and twisting my diagonally-impacted right wisdom tooth with all his might until, after much squelching and cracking, it was out in five minutes. He dropped it on my tongue, though, and I had to be careful not to swallow it.

The left tooth was pretty balky, though. After all, it was impacted horizontally, snuggled halfway beneath the bone line. The room was warm and humid. I heard his scalpel scraping against the tooth as he opened up the gum. I could taste the blood at my throat. Then the forceps again. I lay tense, hoping that I would get to keep my jaw, listening to the exquisitely calming noises of crushing bone, tearing ligaments—and CRACK. A mumble of dismay from the dentist. What’s he doing with a drill? Alas, it was already in my mouth, gleefully splitting my tooth and my sanity asunder. Even so, it took him another half-hour of sweating before the tooth was out, much of which I never got to see.

I was patched up, still bleeding, and got two more shots of anesthetic so the dentist could refill two of my molars with resin (they’d previously been filled with amalgam). With an entirely desensitized lower face and drooling like a dog, I was sent home with antibiotics, painkillers, and my 1.7 teeth in a small plastic bag.

My mouth reeked of blood. But I was swallowing it because as gross as it was (it’s actually self-cannibalism), I preferred that it stay at the back of my mouth instead of all over my face. I don’t remember if I had any dinner. The tooth didn’t hurt much.

Ah, the wonders of brushing.

Friday, 13 *gasp* February

Swallowing all that blood was not a good idea. I guess the blood had congealed overnight and was encrusted all along my esophagus, because it felt as if I’d swallowed a leather strap.

What was worse, though, was the painful, swollen glands in my throat; the anesthetic, whatever they use at the dental office, doesn’t agree with me. Maybe I’m allergic—the same thing happened after my root canal procedure in Chicago, and I was in too much pain to fall asleep. I’ll have to ask my dentist if he has a different anesthetic he can use.

I skipped my Japanese class for the day. I soon became sick and tired of porridge.

Saturday, 14 February

I ate peanuts, which was stupid because the pieces made themselves at home in the partially open left socket; ouch. Playing the violin was… meh.

Sunday, 15 February

The sutures over the left socket broke out of the gum, and the opening became even wider. The pieces of peanut came out. It was annoying and slightly painful to have food stuck in it, but I found a way to rinse it out without a toothpick (it’s not that easy).

There was mild swelling on the left side of my mandible. The molar next to the once-impacted left wisdom tooth was sensitive to pressure (e.g., when chewing, I thought it would fall out), but the pain was probably due to the swelling under the gums. For some reason, though, the swelling was slightly worse on the right front side.

Monday, 16 February

The *glargle* chlorine *pfft* hurts! Why is my coach making me swim the butterfly? *arphff* Why aren’t my arms exiting the water like they used to last Wednesday?

Tuesday, 17 February

They should keep the rooms cooler at HIA where I get my Japanese lessons. It’s hard to study Japanese for two hours with a throbbing head and stiff jaw. I also found that the open socket is sensitive to cold night air.


The left socket is starting to smell bad. What’s up with this? I hate it! And the taste! I can’t really describe it… I guess it must be blood or pus that’s slowly leaking out of the socket, though I’m not noticing any strange fluids. Bad odor is one symptom of a dry socket, but I’m not worried because I’m not feeling the “extreme pain” associated with the condition.

Back to the dentist on the 24th.


My Colemak — 72 wpm!

I posted earlier that I would reach 60 wpm by the end of February. Well, it’s been almost a month, and the typing tester on tells me that I can type at 72, so it’s all good. :)

It’s too bad that I didn’t measure my QWERTY speed before switching to Colemak, because it’s horrible now.

Next: 95 wpm by the end of March.


It was decided that I should have my teeth aligned a bit. My bottom teeth are fine, nearly perfect, but I do have a slightly misaligned upper molar. My upper lateral incisors aren’t in line with the rest of my teeth, either.

So instead of braces, the dentist recommended that I get these transparent things called Invisalign that cost about the same. Appearances aside, one reason that this is a better solution is because we leave for the U.S. soon. Braces need to be adjusted periodically by the dentist; it’s a long-time commitment with one traumatizer. With Invisalign, though, I get a set of 20 or 30 aligners that I switch out every two weeks and wear 22 hours (minimum) a day, something that can be done on my own. Plus, maintaining good oral hygiene is really easy because I can take the aligners out whenever I want! Of course, once my teeth are aligned, I will have to wear retainers for a while.

I think I get my teeth imprinted on the 24th, and the aligners are shipped here from the U.S. five weeks later. I guess I can look forward to it. It’s difficult to ignore the ¥480,000 (at the time of writing, about 5,200 USD) price tag the dentist offered, though (not that braces are any cheaper).

2009 AMC 12 A

This was just not my year. I forgot to bring a watch to the test site (first time ever that this has happened). I found myself half-panicking, skipping several problems lest I miss a chance at an easy problem at the end.

It didn’t work, of course. On #14, I chose C) 1/6 instead of B) -1/6. I was just stupid on #17. Numbers 15 and 19 were very easy but I didn’t try because they looked hard. Spending two or three more minutes on #25 would’ve gotten me the answer. I don’t know why I failed #16.

Goal: 114–132
Result (unofficial): 100.5

How in the world did I pull off a 139.5 AMC 10 and 7 AIME two years ago, back in 8th grade?

Edit: Took the AMC 12B at home (i.e., unofficially) and got 121.5. *wallbash*

Chemistry and LaTeX with mhchem

There is a LaTeX package called mhchem available that makes typesetting chemical equations a lot easier. Sure, you could be lazy and type it all out in math mode like this (sorry, I don’t know much chemistry yet):

[text{C}_6text{H}_{12}text{O}_6 + 6text{O}_2 xrightarrow{text{heat}} 6text{CO}_2 + 6text{H}_2text{O}]

or in text mode:

C$_6$H$_{12}$O$_6$ + 6O$_2 xrightarrow{text{heat}}$ 6CO$_2$ + 6H$_2$O

But that’s ridiculous. Writing it is a pain, and fonts become inconsistent (math vs. normal text). With the mhchem package, however, I can do this:

[ce{C6H12O6 + 6O2 ->[text{heat}] 6CO2 + 6H2O}]

Thank you Martin Hensel, who developed this!