Well, THAT was fast. The surgery was a good 10X faster than my last oral surgery, which you can read about (complete with after surgery pictures) HERE. (It’s actually one of my more popular blogposts, having been viewed several thousand times. Apparently people don’t share pics of themselves much, and there is a high demand for such personal recounts.)
I also got to see a copy of my pathology report from the last surgery. “Squamous epithelial lined cyst with acute & chronic inflammation and histiocytic inflammation with focal cholesteral cleft dispostiion & woven bone formation.” “Consistent with radicular cyst” ( site devoted to radicular cysts … gorey pictures of someone else’s removal HERE). I didn’t get a chance to write down the diagnosis, though. A few types of thingees were ruled out. I kidn of want to get a copy of that.
cyst in my left mandible removed before. I’ve had 40+ fillings. But no pain compared to this, not even when the lidocaine wears off and I can feel them drilling my tooth. (I no longer need lidocaine, which is really weak, because my prolapse mitral valve got better). I cried out twice, and tears filled my eyes instantly. (NOTE: I have a high pain threshold and generally win pain games like “see who can touch the bottom of the sink the longest while it fills up with hot water”.) Granted, my eyes ALWAYS tear up the second the needle goes into me, but this was waaaaay above that level. They would have streamed down my face had I not wiped my eyes 3-4 times. Having 4 injections in the roof of your mouth (which I had in the past) SUUUUUUUUUUUCKS ASSSSSSSS, but I would have rather had those 4 than the 1. I think I was injected about 12 times or so, but I couldn’t even feel the last 6 or so at all. And she started digging in RIGHT AWAY. A tug of war with my head and everything. I saw something come out that I thought was my tooth, but nope… I got to keep my 2 teeth. For now.
She said it came out all in one chunk — UNLIKE my last one. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but it made for a quicker and cleaner surgery. It definitely still hurt a good deal when she REALLY DUG IN THERE and sraped next to the nerve. But fuck general anesthetic. People die on that shit. People go to sleep and never wake up. You have to have someone drive you home. And you have to fast (ironically, I haven’t eaten in 20 hours, mostly due to losing my appetite due to the pain).
The cost was $135, and they knew that right away. UNLIKE Dr. Pell+Kaiser Permanente, this Aetna-based clinic knew. I didn’t have to fight them for 6 months to get a $1600 bill reduced to $1200 reduced to $600 reduced to $135, like I did with Kaiser. The office was OPULENT in comparison. Let me say it again: If you’re given a job offer, and the job has Kasier-Permanente for insurance: TAKE ANOTHER JOB. Take a 20% pay cut to get off Kaiser-Permanente if you can. It’s not worth the risk of dealing with incompetent assholes.
So anyway, I am scheduled to return back the following monday after X-Day to get biposys results. Depending on what they are, they may go back in and scrape out more, and then I will lose the 2 teeth (that i’ve paid close to $4000 out of pocket since 1997 to try to keep… That’s $400 a year, or $200 a year-tooth. With 32 teeth, if they were all that bad, I’d be paying $6400 a year just to keep them. FUCK THAT. In the UK they performed experiments where they injected stem cells into the gums of adults who had losts their adult teeth — and they grew new teeth. At a cost of about $1000; cheaper than a root canal+crown. The lower-end dentists should want this, because the new teeth will continue to need fillings, and business would shift from high-end braces/false teeth/implants/dentures to low-end mom-and-pop just-do-fillings dentists. Of course it was pioneered in the UK where people have really shitty teeth.)
Perhaps the aneshetic hasn’t worn off.. but… I am actually in less pain than before the surgery. During the drive there, THROBBING started… I much prefer a constant pain to any throbbing pain. And the referred pain made my upper-left teeth hurt, and as of today was going all the way back to my left ear. I asked her about it, saying, “I know from my previous surgery here that it can hurt a lot after surgery. But it hurt a lot before, and that would have relieved the pressure, right?” And she confirmed my suspicions, “Yes, you’re trading one kind of pain for another.” GOOD. I could deal with constant pain if it simply moved to a different spot on my body every 24 hours! What I can’t deal with is constant pain that never changes. For lack of a better reason, it’s just boring (and mentally distressing) to hurt in the same way.
Will I have the crazy ‘nerve attacks’ that I had last time? Maybe not. My nerve was not scraped as much as my cyst removal with Dr. Pell. When he did it, it felt like someone held a 4th Of July sparkler next to my face, and sparks were hitting it. I didn’t quite get those same sensations, so I don’t think the nerve was affected. Which is good. The nerve attacks are twice as maddening as post-surgical pain. I remember saying, “I want my pain back!” Teeth falling asleep is a weird sucky feeling that made me rub paper towels into my teeth franticly for an hour at a time, just to make them FEEL something other than the prickly needles of a leg waking up.
I’m supposed to do cold compress, 20 min on, 10 min off, but I have never been able to keep up even 1 cycle of that in my life. Fortunately we have some cold packs from Peapod’s grocery delivery service. They don’t make a big mess like ice cubes, and don’t occasionally leak like a bag of frozen peas. Though I have to say, a bag of frozen peas works amazingly for a sore knee, as you can contour it to the shape of your affected area.
No new drugs. I have Darvocet for pain, which I’ve still only taken 1/3rd of a pill of. I crushed it into a powder and put directly on affected area as somewhere I read this might work. And if it doesn’t, since it’s metabolized in the liver, it will still get into my system when I swallow it. But the first time, I spit out the Darvospit, and still felt num in the area. But only for 5 minutes. Meh. I read the stuff is weaker than Vicodin. Whatever. I don’t like painkillers, but I might have to resort to eating one at some point. I’m on clindamycin 150mg 4xDaily until those run out. I can’t drink alcohol / smoke / eat hot food / whatever.
I don’t remember what they told me to avoid exactly; I simply remember the medical value of Wendy’s Frosties. When unable to use a straw, you can’t really drink a milkshake for nourishment. Frosties are thick enough to spoon into your mouth. Since I’m not good at applying cold to the affected area for 20 minutes (how can I type? I’d prefer to bleed longer! And I like the taste of blood anyway), so I will “eat” my Frosty by putting a spoonfull of it on the affected area. The cold is very soothing, and as it melts, it’s delicious!! And you get to eat too. Medical + Food + substitute for laziness with the cold compress, all solved by one magical “food”: Wendy’s Frosties. So I immediately went to Wendy’s and ordered 10 chocolate Frosties for $20.90 or so. They tried to talk me into having 6 chocolate and 4 vanilla, but FUCK VANILLA FROSTIES! I went inside and waited the extra 5 minutes. I had to rearrange the freezer to get them all in.
Well… I haven’t eaten in 19 hours — I’m guessing that the jaw pain made my hunger pains imperceptable. I wasn’t sure if I was supposd to fast, but based on Angel’s comment, I guess I didn’t need to. Post-surgery, I’m actually hurting less (UNlike last time), and now I’m hungry. I bet those Frosties are more frozen now (they were a bit runny when I got home). I can hear them calling my name…
Oranjello was playing foosball … now he’s playing with my pill bottle. Junkee kitteh! Hey! Come back with those! Okay.. note to self. Next time I have an empty pill bottle, throw it on the ground for Oranjello.
Music: D.I. – Guns