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I'm having some minor anxiety problems, no doubt partially caused by the emotional stuff that's been coming up (as described in other recent entries in this journal), but also probably caused by the fact that my mouth is hurting.

For the first 3 days after the gum grafts, the whole lower part of my face ached & hurt quite a bit if touched. It was a little swollen, and a funky bruise developed outside/below the location of the graft on my right side, but it got a little better each day. On the 4th day (Tuesday) I had very little mouth or face pain at all, if any. It was great! I was all, "Woo hoo! My healing rocks!" (The headaches were still hanging around, of course, but that wasn't a surprise. We're old buddies.)

Then yesterday I woke up with mouth pain again, gosh darn it! It's a different kind of mouth pain, though: sharper and more localized, just at the sites of the grafts, and they hurt significantly when I talk. (The first day or two after the surgery, my mouth would hurt if I talked too much, but now the graft sites are noticeably hurting pretty much any time I move my mouth or lips.) There are still these funky "paste bandages" covering the graft sites, so I can't see what's happening under there, but there doesn't seem to be swelling or bleeding, so I assume everything is peachy keen.

I emailed the periodontist (regarding this and other questions, which I may get around to mentioning in a moment), and he wrote only a sentence or two in reply, just saying, "Continue as you are until I see you on Friday." Well, yeah, obviously, dude. I was asking you questions, not threatening to go eat a bag of tortilla chips or something.

I'd been rather hoping that he would email me back to say, "Oh, this is totally normal. First you get the achey face, then you get the lack of pain, then you get the localized sharp pain, and then you're all better! This is all TOTALLY according to plan!" I didn't get that, but at least he didn't say, "Oh my god! Go to the emergency room! Your mouth is going to fall off!" so I guess that's good.

I'm just sort of fretful that my mouth hurts again, and the pain is constant, whereas before my face mostly only hurt if I accidentally touched it. It ached gently most of the time, but didn't really hurt, and so I mostly wasn't aware of it. Now the graft sites hurt. Pretty much all the time. Every time I move my mouth at all. I'm surprised how often I move my mouth when I'm not talking or eating—like ... do I walk around randomly grimacing and making fish lips and stuff without realizing? Sheesh! I guess it's just even the smallest move, like when you subtly gather saliva in your mouth before swallowing, or when you smile at something you read, or whatever. It's not an excruciating "my head is exploding with these headaches" kind of pain (though they sometimes occur simultaneously, of course—fun fun), but it's not pleasant, either. It's making me hesitant to eat even the soft stuff I've been having lately. I had some soup for breakfast, but I only consumed maybe 1/2 cup before I had to put it away in the fridge to be reheated later. I mean, you have to move your mouth even to consume soup.

[whine whine whine says my Mom Voice]

I'm also a bit nervous about the fact that Dr. Cangini said—right after the surgery—that I had quite a bit of bone loss at the graft sites. He made it sound like he'd discovered more than expected while performing the procedure. This makes me concerned about the other 2 sites. See, when I first saw Dr. Cangini for our consult, he said that I had 4 places where my gums were severely receded. 2 of the sites were really bad & needed gum grafts immediately, but he thought for right now we could just "keep an eye on" the other 2 spots. I'm concerned that the stuff he discovered during my procedure last week might affect his advice re: the other 2 recession sites. And these first 2 gum grafts cost us thousands of dollars. We can't just keep coughing up thousands of dollars over and over again. But, you know, I don't want to be coughing up teeth, either. But it makes me a little concerned about our finances.

So I'll be seeing Dr. Cangini for our first post-op exam tomorrow afternoon. I'm not making any good or bad assumptions, just gathering questions for him. In the meantime, I'm taking my Norco/Vicodin pills (there's only 1 tablet left in the bottle, though, so I hope today goes well) & I guess I could apply some ice. I don't think I have swelling anymore, but maybe the ice can numb the graft sites or something. Maybe if I had very very tiny ice packs I could put them inside my lips & numb those spots directly. Or, I guess I could do that with ice cream. In our freezer at the moment, we have coffee ice cream, chocolate ice cream, red bean ice cream, honey curry ice cream, and 2 flavors I can't eat because they have chunks of stuff in them (I can't remember what they are, because they are not on the menu). It's an ice cream buffet bonanza!

I also have the Richest Chocolate Pudding Known to Man, which I can only eat about 2 spoonfuls at a sitting. It's Trader Joe's "Belgian Chocolate" pudding & it tastes like they just took a very expensive, very rich dark chocolate bar & melted it down & put it in a plastic container & sold it as pudding. I keep wanting Shannon to try it, but he is very hesitant to eat anything in the house that is mushy enough for me, like he would be stealing my mush. But sometimes it's nice to share your mush, when it's particularly tasty mush! (Now I have "On Top of Spaghetti" stuck in my head, because the mush was as tasty as tasty can be...) I made Julia try the honey curry ice cream from Ici when she was here yesterday, and she declared it "interesting," then rushed to point out that she hadn't meant that the way it sounded. I totally understood, though, because honey curry ice cream is delicious, but "interesting" is definitely another appropriate adjective.

I haven't put any thought into what I want to eat when I can chew again. There's no sense getting my mouth watering for something I can't have & may not be able to have even next week, since the periodontist has been unclear about exactly when he's going to okay me for real food. Another thing I've been fretting about. But when he gives me the All Clear, I'll try to figure out what I want to eat to celebrate.

But not yet. I have no interest in taunting myself. I'm fine with a mushy diet. I don't feel deprived. (Remember: ice cream buffet bonanza.)

Anyway. My mouth is hurting. Owie.

I'm also still very very (very) tired. I think I'll go follow an "ice cream followed by napping" plan.

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