I shouldn’t do PSAs about drugs. I enjoy them too much.

Since we last met, I’ve had dental surgery.  So…here’s how that went.

I was nervous going in–more than I’m proud of, in fact.  It was less the dental surgery itself than it was the anesthesia.  I read years ago that Peter Faulk (TV’s Columbo) went into a coma and then died following being put under for dental surgery.  And I know there are very small odds for that kind of thing to happen. But every time it doesn’t, those odds go up, and I guess I was feeling lucky.  (Spoiler alert: I’m not in a coma.)

Dad drove me to the appointment, because I was going to need a ride home.  We sat and talked about nothing for a bit in the waiting room, then I was taken back for the surgery.  They asked me some preliminary questions, confirmed I had a ride home, etc.  I asked a few questions, all of which were answered with the totally committal, “it’s different for everybody” bullshit…  Then they put an oxygen mask on me and left me sitting with a blood-pressure reader on me for probably 15-20 minutes.  Eventually they wheeled in an IV that was going to be putting me to sleep.  And I watched my pulse and blood pressure go up a little.

When the doctor came in, he seemed to be in a weirdly good mood.  Told him I was nervous and he said, “we get a lot of that.”  Then he explained about the IV and prepared me for when I’d feel “a little pinch” at it going in.  Then it went in.  I said, “I apologize in advance for anything I say when I wake up…  I mean, I think I’m a good person, but who knows?”  And the doctor said, “We get a lot of that, too.”  Then they put a thing in my mouth that was designed to keep it open while he was working…  And then I woke up.

Okay.  They say that you wake up without knowing you were asleep.  That’s bullshit.  I had no concept of how LONG I’d been out and no memory of anything that happened or anything like that…but I KNEW I’d been out and I knew the surgery was done.  They led me to a comfortable chair for recovery and brought my dad back.  My memory of that is in and out.  I know they were talking to him about the prescriptions I was going to need and told him I did well and they used less anesthetic than anticipated, so we’d be getting some money back.  At one point, I remember pointing to the poster on the wall behind my dad and saying, “Is that the Beatles?”  He said yes, and I said I saw four of them and two of him…  And that’s when I realized I was stoned off my ass.

I have limited experience with drugs.  We’ve all made mistakes and smoked or swallowed something handed to us by a friend…but I don’t regularly partake in anything these days.  I haven’t even been drunk in five years come May 27.  So this was an interesting experience.  And I’ve got to say it’s one I could get used to.  (So I’m not taking the narcotic pain-killer they recommended.)  Colors looked brighter.  It was raining, but it felt sunny to me.  They gave me an ice-pack to put on my face, and I’m pretty sure it was what Jesus must feel like.  Drugs are neat.  Don’t do them.

Went back to Dad’s condo, where he could keep an eye on me for a bit.  As the drugs wore off and some pain settled in, I got pissy and so forth.  Eventually, I was feeling normal enough to go home, so Dad took me home and I’ve been there recovering ever since.

It hasn’t been too bad.  I can feel a ***little*** bit of swelling in my gums.  But I haven’t had any significant visual swelling and not a ton of pain.  My jaw is a little stiff and I’ll get an occasional shot of pain if something touches the wounds.  Also, it on and off feels like I’ve got a mild sore throat…  But all of that’s normal.  The swelling is slowly going down and I’m getting used to the missing teeth.  I had four molars removed on the left side (two wisdom teeth, two not).  It’ll take a bit to get used to, but I don’t need any partial plates or anything like that.  Just time to heal and soft foods to eat for a little while.

It’s been a long journey since my first dental appointment in 2011.  Here’s what the damage was like then:

my_big_fat_mouth

That’s a mess.  My grill was so banged up, it looked like I just hit a deer.  There’s still more to do, but here’s where we are now in 2018…  The red marks are extractions, fillings, and so far one root canal:

 

my_big_fat_mouth - EDITED4
It’s interesting how we’re leaving in the sideways one on the bottom, isn’t it?

 

Whew…

As I’ve stated elsewhere, I hope the extractions from Thursday (that whole field of red Xs) will help with the migraines I’ve been having lately.  We’ll see…but so far I’m already feeling the benefits within my mouth.  I’ve been in pain for 10-15 years since the wisdom teeth came in.  With them out, there’s a lot less CONSTANT pain.  I think the reason it seems like I’m healing so well is that when you’ve been in pain for 15 years and the source goes away, the pain of the surgery wounds healing is really no big deal.  If nothing else (sorry this is gross), today marked the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long that I’ve brushed my teeth and didn’t spit out blood.  So that’s kind of a good feeling.  As is the fact that my left cheek is actually healing up now instead of being constantly accidentally bitten and slashed by broken, jagged teeth.  There’s been a swollen section to that cheek for YEARS that is receding this week!

I’ll be going in to see my regular dentist in about a month to make sure everything’s healing okay and to presumably do more work on my remaining issues.  But the worst part is over for now.  So yay!

I’ll let everybody know when I’ve eaten my first post-surgery steak.  All this soup and mac and cheese and stuff like that is getting boring.

 

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“Well, whenever I’m confused, I just check my underwear. It holds the answer to all the important questions.” – Abraham Simpson

Well…no better way to start the new year than by writing the same kind of post I always write…so let’s get a Simpsons quote in the title and do the random thing.

  1. Happy new year.  I didn’t do anything at all on New Year’s Eve/Day.  I don’t really care for it.  It’s just an arbitrary passing of the clock that exists mostly for tax purposes and nothing makes January 1 any more unique than September 7th or whatever.  No need for the hubbub.
  2. I did go to Vintage Vinyl on New Year’s Eve during the day with my brother…but that didn’t really have anything to do with the holiday.  I hadn’t been in Vintage in a while and enjoyed the trip.  I ended up buying a hoodie and the Motorhead cover-album that came out in 2017 (which would have been ineligible for the top ten, as all of it was previously available elsewhere except for their baffling cover of Bowie’s “Heroes.”)
  3. Dave published his top ten list, by the way. You should go check it out.
  4. I’ve been spending a lot of time playing around with my Nintendo Switch.  So far I’ve got Mario Odyssey, WWE 2K18, and Shovel Knight.  I like all three a lot.  I spent most of today playing the WWE game.  I’ll have you know my create-a-character Adorable Dingus McGee is climbing the ranks and is already the NXT champion.  Meanwhile, newcomer “America’s Sweetheart” CHAD is making a name for himself in the heavyweight division.  It’s a lot of fun.  Mario, of course, is breathtaking.  And Shovel Knight is exactly what you’d expect a game called Shovel Knight to be like.  It’s nice to be back into gaming.
  5. I have a dental surgery scheduled for January 11th.  I know it’ll be the best thing for me, but I’m (understandably) nervous about it.  I’ve only been sedated twice in my life.  One I barely remember, but I remember being VERY out of it and confused.  The other I remember waking up and not thinking I’d been under, then Mom decided it was a perfect time to go to K-Mart and do some shopping with me pushing the cart.  (A+ parenting, there.)  So I don’t know what it’ll be like, really…and I’m nervous about the pain/recovery and the probability of facial swelling.  But hopefully it’ll be the answer to my migraine problem.  (They’ve still been occurring semi-regularly.)
  6. If I didn’t have the surgery scheduled, I might take a couple of days off just for vacation time.  I’ve been exhausted lately.  And I could use the time to work on stuff.  But I’m planning to be out of the office for at least the 11th and 12th with an ice pack on my face.  So that’s probably about as close as I’m getting to a vacation.
  7. I’m hoping to go see Rufus Wainwright in February.  But I don’t know anyone who likes him other than me…  He’ll be playing with the St. Louis Symphony and it sounds like something I’m going to love.  I think I’m just going to buy two tickets and then try to talk someone into it after the fact.  But I’m going to wait until after the surgery to do it (at the very least).  If nothing else, I’d feel kinda guilty buying concert tickets knowing that I’m about to have an insanely expensive dental procedure done.  If I wait until after that money’s spent, I’ll probably be better able to convince myself that I’ve been through a lot and I deserve it.  🙂
  8. After the teeth are out and the headaches are gone (assuming that happens), I need to get back to being active at doing things.  I’ve been lazy lately.  Friendships, church attendance, and even musical practice has been very much on the backburner for the majority of 2017.  As much as I don’t care that it’s 2018 now, it would be nice to have something resembling a social life again by this time next year.
  9. Also in 2018, I’ll be putting out the “It Could Be Worse” record.  I need to do a photo session before I can put it out though…which I imagine won’t happen until Spring.  It’s colder than a witch’s tit out there right now.  (Side note: I’ve never been sure what makes witches tits so cold, but I like the expression.)  I think “outdoor” shots will be necessary for this record, so I’m thinking it’ll be after the thaw.  The vocal tracks are all recorded and I’m deep into mixing.  It’s not done-done yet, but it’s close. More to come.

I think that’s all I’ve got.  Happy blah-blah.  I’m sure I’ll blog about all of my dental fears and such later.

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Current Listening: Assorted Talking Heads and also some Elton John.