The Hellhole

Thursday, September 06, 2012

I now have a front tooth again, though I'm minus a few molars. I have two temporary bridges so at least I look normal, or will when the swelling goes down. It was not a particularly fun morning, though - surgery lasted over three and a half hours. Counting post-surgery instructions, questions and answers, we were there about four hours. Since then I've been home with cold compresses on my jaw and chin.

One interesting thing about this ordeal resulted from the fact that, since I had a panic attack when I was there before, he'd prescribed Valium. I picked up the prescription and read the warnings. With regard to drinking alcohol (which I wasn't going to do since I'd never taken Valium and didn't know how it would affect me), it only said, "Taking this medicine with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform hazardous tasks." Okay - but the warning underneath that said, "Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice at any time while taking this medicine." So I'm only rather gently warned against mixing alcohol with this drug, but grapefruit is verboten? Grapefruit, really? Not that I particularly wanted a grapefruit, but I couldn't imagine why it was prohibited, or what there could be about grapefruit that differed from other citrus. We Googled it and it turns out that grapefruit has some chemical in it that causes the drug to break down faster, so you get more into your system more quickly. Grapefruit, the gateway fruit...who knew?

My dentist is very kind and patient. He streams Pandora into the exam rooms and allows the patient to pick their favorite channel. It's on in the room but there are also headphones plugged into the patient chair that allow the patient to adjust headphone volume, so the victim patient doesn't have to hear unpleasant things like cracking noises or the dentist saying, "Oh shit!" - which not that my dentist, who is very polite and refined, would say 'oh shit' - but he might well say, "Oh no!" or "Oops!" and who needs to hear that, honestly? Since my usual music of choice is not what one would term 'relaxing', I chose Classic Rock and apparently that's my dentist's favorite, because he sang along to a lot of the songs and patted my shoulder when a relevant phrase came up, one example of which was "such a lovely face" from Hotel California - that was sweet.

Despite the Valium (and marked absence of grapefruit), I had another panic attack, though much less severe and he was able to talk me through it. Then about ten seconds after I'd settled down and he got back to work, what should come on Pandora but Knockin' On Heaven's Door (the Clapton version). I thought, "Really, Pandora? Immediately after I was this close to thinking I was having a heart attack, Knockin' On Heaven's Door? Really?" Pandora is obviously taking her revenge on me because of my lack of an account.

I got through it and I guess it went as well as could be expected. I'm on a liquid diet for now so I had some cream of chicken soup and a few minutes ago some dulce de leche ice cream. I have Vicodin for the pain and will probably take one before bed so I can be sure of a good night's sleep; so far I've made do with some prescription-strength Ibuprofen that I already had. There is still some more work he wants to do, but the important thing is that my front tooth has been restored and I no longer look like Gummy Sue Spuckler.


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