Archive for the ‘dentistry’ tag
Is how I look. And feel. Actually, I feel more then just a “little” puffy. Parts of my face are actually numb because of the swelling putting pressure on various nerves. Which is a whole hell of a lot of fun. (Not.)
The surgeon/doctor was actually pretty horrified by how swollen I was when I went in for a quick checkup yesterday, especially given (his words) “how easy and straightforward the procedure was”.
I am sure that my propensity for swelling up at the drop of a surgical scalpel is somehow related to my propensity for bruising easily and impressively. Right now I have a rather large bruise from fencing on my right bicep that is over 2 weeks old, and is just now starting to get to the yellowish-greenish healing stage. (That bruise earned me some tut-tuts from the nurses on Monday as they were prepping my for the surgery. Since I had to roll up my sleeves above my elbows for the various IV lines and such, there was no way of missing it.)
So in addition to the rest of the medications, I also now have a steroid prescription that is supposed to reduce the swelling. And I can honestly say that it seems to be working… I feel less puffy and numb today then I did yesterday. Hopefully by Monday when I have to go back to the office (thank god for jobs that will give me some sick days for surgery and recovery, and then let me work from home in my bathrobe for the next couple of days) I will be back to looking and feeling more-or-less normal.
I have my next post-surgery checkup on Monday, and will get the full deal with X-rays and everything. Fingers crossed that the swelling has gone away and that everything looks good.
I had oral surgery (again) on Monday.
There is a lot that I could say about that, but which I probably won’t because I am on painkillers and still feeling pretty woozy. (Percoset this time, which seems to work better for me then Vicodan, and has the added bonus of not making me feel frighteningly light-headed and nauseous.)
I will say that after 7 months and 3 surgeries, the fact that I am still essentially at square one in the process is pretty disheartening.
Hopefully the implant will take this time.
At least I had a good “last supper” before the surgery – John and I went to see RED (which was hilarious) and then got take-out from City Barbeque. I ordered the full rack platter (with corn pudding and hush puppies for the side dishes) despite the fact that historically, the half-rack platter is pretty much the extreme limit of what I can eat. I wanted to have the opportunity to eat as much (and as much protein) as I could before a week or so of a liquid diet. Predictably, I only ate about half of the rack and half of the hush puppies, though I finished off all of the corn pudding because I love the way that City Barbeque does corn pudding.
John had the leftovers for lunch the next day while I was doped up and sleeping off the general anesthesia on the couch while “watching” DVDs of the first (and only) season of “The Middleman”.
Right now I am just sitting at home taking painkillers and trying not to touch my face and not accomplishing much of anything at all, which makes me feel bad (because I can’t stand NOT “getting stuff done”) until I remember that the point of taking sick days off after surgery is to rest up and get better.
Anyway, I go back to work (albeit from home) tomorrow when I am down to only a dose or two of painkillers per day and will be able to (hopefully) focus on work again.
Something I am thinking a lot about as the long Memorial Day holiday weekend approaches is meat, especially grilling and barbecuing.
One of the things about my new restricted diet and my persistently tender mouth is that I have been fantasizing (a lot) about about foods that I either cannot eat or would have great difficulty eating right now. Hamburgers with bacon and cheese and dripping with ketchup. Barbecued ribs. Sausages in toasted buns topped with sauteed sweet onions and peppers. Now, in theory, I could still enjoy these things, but I would have to cut them up into little pieces first (because of the whole issue with biting into things when I still have what amounts to a less-then-half healed wound in the front of my mouth) which is less then optimal. The experience of lifting the loaded burger up to your mouth and trying to fit in as big a bite as you can is a huge part of the enjoyment. Cutting that same loaded burger up into neat little pieces (leaving aside the whole issue of how exactly to neatly cut up a loaded burger) and then carefully forking them is kind of a disappointment.
As a sort of “last supper” before the surgery, John and I went out to dinner at The Pine Club. He had known about the place for a while, and been interested in trying it out for a while, and we decided that this was as good a time as any.
The Pine Club is a steakhouse. An excellent, excellent, classic steakhouse. Sitting in it, I felt like I was in either Chicago or New York in the 1950s.
A couple of quirks to keep in mind about The Pine Club. First, they don’t take reservations. You show up, and you take your chances. We went early, at about 6:00pm, and it was already fairly busy. It was completely full when we left. And this was on a Monday of no particular importance, just a normal day. So I guess that I wouldn’t recommend trying to go there for a meal on a holiday (assuming that they are even open on a holiday). Second, they don’t accept credit cards. Cash money and personal checks only. Since neither John nor I have had a checkbook in several years, we crossed our fingers, stopped by an ATM, got a sum of money rather larger then either of us normally carry on us, and hoped it would be enough. (It was. But it still felt very odd to pull out actual paper money when the bill came rather then a credit card.)
The meal… was amazing. Meat done skillfully and without any unnecessary flourishes. John had the bone-in rib eye and I had the broiled veal chop. Each came topped with crispy fried onions and were accompanied by a salad, potato, and vegetable. The meat just melted in your mouth.
When my implant is finally in and everything is all healed and settled, the first place that we are going to go out to eat is The Pine Club. We think that it will make a nice, neat bracket to the whole situation.
I had yet another round of oral surgery last Wednesday. (Which of course I am thrilled about. Not.)
The original surgical site was persistently (despite two rounds of antibiotics) red and swollen and inflamed and painful. And the Dr did not like the look of it. So I had an appointment on last Wednesday to “check it out”. Which quickly turned to (once I was there) “let’s open this up and take a look”, and then (once I was in the chair and sedated out of my mind) turned to “this looks really bad, so let’s take the post out and put in some more bone graft”.
Basically, the implant (the titanium post) failed. Initially, the Dr had done a bone graft and put in the post all at once. And in most cases, that would have been just fine. But because I am special, either the graft or the post reacted badly, and caused a persistent infection below the gumline. So the post had to come out, and more bone graft had to be put in.
I am trying really hard to not see this “failure” as a personal failure. In theory, I know that there is nothing that I could have done to change the outcome. But I still feel (silly as it may be) that this is a personal failing on my part, and that I should have been able to do something. That’s the Type A personality in me.
Now the timeline for the process is thus:
- Bone graft (3-6 months to heal)
- Surgery to (re-)place the titanium post (3-6 months to heal)
- Surgery to place the final replacement tooth
Two additional surgeries. And odds are that this process will not be finished until sometime next year. Next year!
Originally I had hoped to have the whole process done by Ted and Sabrina’s wedding in September, so that I could actually enjoy their wedding dinner. Shit, I had hoped to have the whole process done by Pennsic!
No chance of that now.
If you are thinking of giving me some kind of sanctimonious “other people have it so much worse” pep-talk, please spare me. I am just not in the mood to hear it right now.