Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stupid Tooth

Can you tell what is in MY future?  I'll give you a clue.  It doesn't involve EATING veggies. I'll probably be "wearing" them, though, on the side of my face next week.

Today I headed on over to the oral surgeon to have my consult for my upcoming dental surgery.  My cracked and infected molar has to come out and then I'm facing a dental implant.  I'll be honest with you.  I was terrified as I headed over there and it was only the consult, not even the surgery.

The nurse looked over my completed paperwork, took some xrays, and then started to go over the procedure for the first surgery.  Oh, first she had me sign and initial the waiver with all the things that can go wrong with surgeries like this.

"You can go ahead and read all of that," she said, "but seeing how nervous you are about this, you might not want to."

I couldn't have agreed more.  In fact, I told her she could just give me the abbreviated version of the surgery.....the REALLY abbreviated version, like....they put you out, remove the tooth, and wake you up.  That was good enough for me.  I'm really squeamish about hearing details.

The doctor came in and we chatted a bit.

"I understand that you're a bit anxious," he said.

"I'm terrified," I replied.  "I'm particularly terrified of the IV.  I don't want to feel any anxiety when they insert that IV.  You've got to give me something to take before they do it so that I am really relaxed, OK?  The last person who tried to put an IV in my arm screwed it up and I ended up curled in a fetal position trying not to be sick to my stomach.  They had to grab the anesthetist from the surgical suite to come and get it inserted."

"That's not a problem," he reassured me.  "I can prescribe some Valium for you to take before you come in that day."

"Listen, " I said. "They used to give me Ativan before my chemotherapy and my adrenalin was pumping so hard that it didn't even phase me."

He looked at me.  "I'll have you take some Valium before you go to bed, too," he amended.  "I'll even have them give you a whiff of........before they insert the IV.  We'll pull out all of our tricks."

"That's exactly what I need," I said.  "Hit me with everything you've got."

"Normally we only have the patient put under for the first operation," they told me, "but we think we'll recommend that you go under for the second surgery, too, hearing how anxious you are.  The numbing injections into the upper palate tend to be rather painful.  That way, you won't feel anything."

"You aren't going to get any argument from me," I agreed.

And the kicker is that this whole thing is going to be drawn out over a six-month period.  They do the first surgery to extract the tooth and then I have to wait three months for it to heal.  Then they go in again and insert a screw thing into my jaw and that has to heal for another three months.  Finally my dentist makes a tooth that is screwed onto the thingy that is implanted in my jaw.

Oh, but wait, there's more.  For my first surgery, they'll have to pack some bone graft stuff into my jaw and it comes from cadaver bones.  If I can remember my vocabulary correctly, we're talking dead people's bones.  Oy!  They also will be doing a "sinus lift" or something like that.  I have a very enlarged sinus cavity and they don't want it to droop down when they pull out the tooth.  I should have asked them to throw in a facelift while they're at it.

I guess I shouldn't be complaining.  While I'm worrying over one tooth coming out, little Spud is working on getting a whole set of teeth to come IN.  Little guy, don't be in such a hurry.  At some point in your life, those teeth are going to turn on you.  And THAT'S a real bite in the ......well, it's not a happy time.

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