Saturday, August 2, 2014

How Did My Dental Surgery Go?

Ugh.  And ouch.  I think that about sums it up.

But if you want to know more, well, first of all, I was exhausted on Wednesday because Monday night Cayenne kept me up a good bit of the night puking and then Tuesday night I was too anxious about the surgery to sleep well.  So I was exhausted.

I did not take Isaac with me, for two reasons. 

One, it's my understanding that medical people generally don't want a dog in the room when they are doing surgery because they want things to be as clean and sterile as possible.  Now, this was dental surgery and it was done in the same room I had my exam the previous week, not in an operating room, but still, the dentist and the assistant wore masks and gloves and you can't put a mask on a dog.  It is allowable under the Americans with Disabilities Act to exclude service dogs for this reason.  However, as soon as I got there the assistant asked me where my dog was and assured me it would have been no problem having him there.  Well, now I know for next time.

But the other reason I didn't take him was because it's hard to talk and give commands to a dog when someone is performing surgery inside your mouth.  I did not feel comfortable trusting Isaac to hold a down stay for an hour without needing to maybe tell him at some point to lie back down.  And I didn't trust myself to be able to pay enough attention to him, either, to even notice when he was starting to get up or something.  I knew I would be very focused on what was happening in my mouth and on dissociating from what was happening in my mouth, and as smart as Isaac is, he is also aware of when I'm not paying attention to him and is not above trying to sneak in a sniff of something he's not supposed to sniff or sneakily soliciting a pet from somebody.  I definitely did not want my dog distracting my dentist while he was operating on my mouth!

So I didn't take him.  I did take my weighted blanket.  I always feel sort of weird settling into the dental chair with my blankie, but you know, whatever it takes to get through it.  I explained to the assistant what it was and how it was supposed to help with anxiety.  She was not familiar with weighted blankets but said she liked the idea.  She said she likes to be under very heavy blankets. 

The actually surgery itself was not bad.  It took less than an hour and he gave me tons of novacaine.  I did not feel a thing.

Unfortunately, the tons of novacaine began to wear off when I was almost home and by the time I got inside my apartment, I was in tears.  As I'd feared, the aftermath was worse than the actual surgery.  The pain was really bad.  A lot worse than my dental surgery last fall.  However, unlike the surgery last fall, it didn't trigger flashback of having my arms stapled.  The severe pain did cause a lot of anxiety, though.  Panic, really, I would say.  I cried a lot.  I wanted to sleep but was in too much pain.  I also felt feverish, although I took my temperature and it was actually slightly below normal.  But I was freezing cold; it was 78 degrees in my apartment and I was only warm enough when I was under two blankets. 

Fortunately, I felt a lot better by the next day.  Now, three days later, the pain is pretty minimal most of the time as long as I don't try to eat.  At times it starts to ache a lot but Tylenol is sufficient to reduce that pain.  But eating... I am starving.  I've been living on protein shakes, mostly.  I had some tomato soup yesterday and today I had broccoli cheddar soup from Panera, although I didn't eat much of the actual chunks of broccoli.  I can eat yogurt but honestly, I lot some crunchy stuff in my yogurt, but that hurts too much to eat right now.  I also really like chia seeds in my yogurt, but those tend to get stuck in my teeth, and there is no way I could floss right now.  Today I baked some diced apples with Splenda, cinnamon and nutmeg, and I cooked them until they were really, really soft, and that was yummy.  But I'm still hungry and wish I could eat actual food.

I've been napping a lot the past few days.  Recovering, I guess.

The periodontist said he was surprised to find nothing abnormal or unusual during the surgery.  He thought he might find some sort of debris under the skin of my gum, like a tiny food particle or even just a lot of tartar buildup.  But there was nothing.  So he did a biopsy.  It will take seven to 10 days to get those results back.

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