Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Oh, the Drugs

I feel like I've lost most of the last 5 days.

On Thursday, I underwent oral surgery to remove 4 wisdom teeth.  I had "laughing gas" and an IV drug to knock me out for the procedure.

I was given Penicillin and ibuprofen to start taking before the procedure.  And I filled a scrip for demerol and phenergan.

I was nervous.  I have high dental anxiety.  Some people don't like the dentist.  I've had to work my way to simply not liking going to the dentist.  I spent years avoiding the dentist because of my anxiety and fear.

I remember being impressed that the surgeon invented the gas mask - instead of a mask that simply flows the gas into your breathing space, this has little tubes that sit just inside your nostril to direct the gas and oxygen into your nostrils.  In addition, there is a tube that sucks out the stuff you exhale.

I rarely have good IV experiences - my veins can be kinda funny.  But this woman knew her stuff.  I told her about my tricky veins and she responded by giving my arm a massage.  I thought that was a pretty sweet deal.  I didn't even realize when the needle went in!

I had my trusty old teddy bear with me.  I had joked about bringing him when I went for the consultation and was told I actually could.  So I actually did.  My old bear has been through everything with me so he may as well come along for this journey, too.

I did wake up once during the procedure.  Apparently the lower left tooth was a "bugger to get out."  All I remmeber is this intense ripple of pain that shot down my spine and woke me up.  Then I was aware that someone was hodling my hand.  I looked over and it was the nice lady who had done the magic IV in my arm.  I smiled and went back out.

I don't remember walking to the recovery room.  I just remember sitting there and Jeff was there and my friend Lisa, the surgical assistant, was talking to him about the procedure and about taking care of me.

I remember she sent him to pull the car around to a back door and I remember thinking it was a really good thing not to send post-surgery patients out through the lobby where we would most likely terrify other patients.

I remember waiting by the back door for Jeff to show up.

I don't remember getting in the car.  I don't remember the drive home.

I remember Jeff refreshing my ice packs, leaving to pick up the kids, Jeff having to buy more ice because the ice maker wasn't keeping up with my ice pack demand.  I remembering feeling glassy and melty all at the same time.  I remember eating ice cream and it felt all wrong.  I remember waiting for soreness as my numbness wore off but I had gotten ahead on my pain meds so it never hit.

I have learned that demerol is a strong drug for me.  I took it every 4 hours the first day or so and then stretched it out to every 5 hours and then 6.  When I took it, within an hour, my hands and feet would feel very far away and heavy.  If I closed my eyes, I could feel my face get softer and softer until it felt like it might just melt right off.  And then I'd go to sleep.  For hours.

And once the demerol ran out, the soreness kicked in.  Thankfully, there is no pain or discomfort in the sockets.  But that pesky bugger on my left side... that jaw feels like it got pnched in a bar fight.  So I'm continuing the ibuprofen at a higher dose for another few days.

I'm still scared to eat really solid, chewy foods.  I'm sticking to soft and swallowable stuff and using chewing gum a few times each day for jaw strengthening work.  I've got this terrible ick fear factor of getting food out of the holes in my jaw.  So I think I'll just wait a few more days before I rush too far ahead of myself.

One of the best things was the tenderness I experienced from my daughter.  With the ups and downs of her attitude these days, I wasn't sure how things would be.  But she was tender and sweet with me.  She got me water and such when I asked.  And just last night, when all the drugs had worn off and I was overcome with the soreness and had a bit of a meltdown on the floor... my sweet little girl took my face in her hands and encouraged me to "Breath, breath, breath..."

So we're not done yet.  There is still a healing process ahead of us.  I think I've gotten through the hardest days, though.  And I had the love and support of family and friends - that's the part that always makes healing the best.

Me and my old brown teddy bear, right after getting home.



Amy said...

Glad you had the demerol. I'm looking at some hefty teeth extractions and will definitely be making full use of the in-op sedation and the post-op drugs.

Glad you're to the point that you can just use ibuprofen, though. Hope things continue to get better.

Unknown said...

How are you now? I hope you were able to recover quicker than expected. Having four wisdom teeth may have been too much for me as I could only handle two at the same time in the past. The antibiotics you take after the procedure are really strong in order to combat the pain. Make sure to still visit the dentist for regular check-ups. Thanks for sharing!

Kent Davis