November 15th, 2008

buffy hurts

Ouch and more ouch

Friday morning I had all four of my impacted wisdom teeth removed. It was a... mixed experience. Once they had me in the room, they hooked me up to monitors that tracked my vital signs, complete with dings and beeps and the squiggely line machine doo dad that tracks your heart rhythm. They also had to hook me up to an IV, which was difficult. Two weeks ago I had a physical at my GPs office and it took them 20 minutes to draw two viles of blood since they couldn't manage to find any veins in my arm. They ultimately drew from a vein in my hand. The nurses at the oral surgeons had similar problems. At once point they made the tourinquets around my arms so tight that I later found purplish bruises ringing my arms. When I finally said I didn't think they would find a vein in my arm, they got one in my wrist, toward the side, that hurt like hell when they put the needle in. The nurse jiggled it around a bit, pushing it this way and that. When she finally taped it down, she insisted on pressing on it several times asking me if it hurt. I really wanted to shout. "Yes, it fucking hurts! Stop poking it, you sadistic bitch!"

When everything was hooked up, they then left me to sit and stare at the wall for about 15 minutes unattended. The hand that had the IV in it was shaking and my hands had gone ice cold. It was frigid in the room. I think I was tearing a little bit, trying my best not to freak out. When they came back in, they put an oxygen mask over my nose and wedged a block between my teeth. I remember the nurse saying she was injecting the anesthetic, about 10 seconds of blinking and then... nothing. Thank God for small favors. I think I woke up a little toward the end of the procedure. I vaguely remember lights and the doctor and nurse standing over me, working on my mouth. The next blink and I was sitting up in a chair, hunched over, bloody gauze hanging out of my mouth. A nurse asked me if I was awake. I nodded and then drifted off again. The next time I opened my eyes, the nurse sat and talked to me and then got me into a wheelchair and asked that I try and stay awake.

I was alright for the first hour or so, but then my jaw got very stiff and it started to hurt like hell. It took a long time for the pharmacy to get the codeine prescription filled. When I finally got home and took it, it didn't send me into euphoric la la land like I was hoping. I was very much aware of the pain and discomfort. I wonder if I didn't take enough or if the pain would have been that much worse if I hadn't had it at all. To compound that, the anesthetic didn't wear off completely for about four hours, which made it difficult to swallow or to feel my lips/face. I tried eating yogurt and missed a couple of times. There are also may have been drool involved...

Every few hours I have to take a combination of codeine, aleve, and amoxicilan and am on a regiment of ice 20 minutes on/20 minutes off to reduce the swelling, which is significant. I look like I have a fat suit on. There is also some green and purple bruising along my jaw line. Three times a day I also have to swish with salt water. I feel exhausted constantly having to keep my eye on the clock. Eating was also a bit of a challenge yesterday. I mostly drank broth, soup, yogurt, and blended eggs. Today I upgraded to heavily food processed chicken and carrots the consistancy of baby food. Mmm, that was good.

I haven't been able to do any writing since most of the day I have to hold ice to my face. No hands to type = no way I can write. Poo. It's also difficult because the pain comes and goes in waves. I'll have a good hour and then a not so good one. I think this mostly revolves around swelling.

A before and after picture for your amusement. *shudders*

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