Kimberly (kimberly_a) wrote,

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Gum Graft Surgery Is Done

Gum graft surgery today.

The surgery itself was totally relaxing, if you can believe that. I actually fell asleep a couple of times, even though we were only using a local anesthetic, like when you get a filling. I was just lying there with two very friendly people I totally trusted with their hands prying my mouth open & poking around. There was one time when I raised my hand to say that my mouth was so dry that it was uncomfortable, and another time when I raised my hand to say that he was doing something that hurt (this was when he was trying to get one of the sutures between two of my teeth, apparently, because some of my teeth are extremely close together), but the rest of the time I was just hanging out, listening to my current favorite playlist on my iPod & dozing off occasionally.

Unfortunately, the aftermath is not so pleasant. I'm having quite a lot of pain now & have been for the past 9 hours or so. I dozed on the couch a few times, though, so I've had some relief that way.

Even though the pain (and exhaustion) started not too long after the surgery was finished, I had a really nice visit with Debbie (How weird is that? I totally enjoyed spending time with her, despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, probably mostly because I don't see her often enough.), who came to pick me up & very kindly drove me around afterward to run a few errands before taking me home.

After the surgery, the periodontist had told me—much to my surprise—that I should only eat frozen things today. Only FROZEN? I'd figured I wouldn't be able to eat or drink anything hot, since it could stimulate bleeding, but a 100% frozen diet is pretty frickin' limiting!

I was feeling put-out about the "only frozen food for the rest of the day" rule (especially as my 2-hour surgery finished around 12:15 & I'd only had a light breakfast beforehand, as instructed), so I decided to go to Ici to get myself a pint of some kind of extra exciting ice cream as a bit of a consolation. Ici is one of the few ice cream places I've ever encountered that often has savory ingredients in many of their ice cream options, but their flavor menu changes every day, so I had no idea what would be available. Since I knew I'd be living exclusively on ice cream for the next 11 hours or so, I was really hoping for something a bit savory that would give me at least a tiny break from the sugar sugar sugar.

It turned out that Ici had my absolute FAVORITE flavor on their menu today: honey curry. It sounds weird, but it's amazing, and it's also a bit savory. I bought a pint. Then Debbie took me to the pharmacy to pick up my pain med. (Yes, I get to take a second pain med—some kind of Vicodin variant called "Norco"—in addition to my usual Tylenol #4—and boy am I glad about that right about now! This one also has acetaminophen in it, so I have to be careful not to take too much each day.) Then she took me home. I wish Debbie had been able to come in and keep me company for a little while, as I was feeling pretty vulnerable and desirous of coddling, but that wasn't possible for complicated reasons, and so she just dropped me off & waited to make sure I was able to get inside the house before heading off.

On my doorstep there was a package, so I brought it in and opened it, and it had excellent timing. Inside the box was a big stuffed Totoro and a set of woodless colored pencils, sent by my friend Katherine (my former former former ... heck I can't remember how many "formers," because my brain isn't working very well right now, but we lived together, then we didn't, then we lived together, and now we don't, so she's my former housemate a couple times over). Talk about the perfect moment to receive a stuffed animal! Totoro snuggled with me during the nap I had after finishing my honey curry ice cream, and then I played with the woodless colored pencils when I woke up. Because Katherine rocks. Thank you, webmacher!

And yeah, I said I "finished" my honey ice cream, because I came in the house and promptly ate the whole pint. It was delicious and comforting and perfect.

I'm supposed to take it very easy for the next two days, and so I probably won't be going out much, if at all. I keep stressing about my gums. There's a sort of flexible bandage on the sutured places—it's made out of a sort of paste—and it keeps feeling like it's coming loose. And my gums hurt a lot after I used the prescription rinse for the first time & I worried that I had moved my mouth around too much when I was "swishing." There is no real gum tissue left in the places where the grafts were done, and so the donor tissue is actually sutured to lip tissue. I worry that this means that moving my lips moves the site of the grafts. Maybe I should email the periontist surgeon to ask him about this. He totally encourages patients to contact him by email or phone with even the slightest question or concern. He rocks. His name is Filippo Cangini, and he's terrific.

Since I got home, I've been having a tough time taking it easy, which is always the case when I'm sick. I keep thinking of things I want from upstairs or such, and have trouble sitting still for more than a few minutes, even though I'm exhausted & would love to just sleep.

I'm also supposed to be putting an ice pack on my face pretty much constantly. 10 minutes with the ice pack on, then 10 minutes with the ice pack off, then repeat over and over and over until I go to bed tonight. (It makes me think of The Karate Kid: "ice on, ice off, ice on, ice off") I haven't been accomplishing this very well, but I'm trying to at least ice really frequently. I'm supposed to ice frequently tomorrow, as well (though Dr. Cangini didn't specify the 10-minute thing for tomorrow), and then the following day I'm supposed to apply heat packs. I've also been instructed to expect for my face to develop some really impressive bruises over the next couple days.

So right now my head is hurting & my mouth is hurting & I'm really really tired, but I had some excellent time with a much-beloved friend, received excellent gifts from another much-beloved friend, ate some much-beloved ice cream, spent some time (and received some excellent food from the grocery store) with my much-beloved husband, and so the day has not been all bad. Not by a long shot.

I go back to see the periodontist surgeon in 1 week, and I'm supposed to rest and recover until then. A whole week of resting: quite a challenge. I never notice how active a person I am until I'm instructed to rest.

I should go downstairs and put an ice pack on my face. Ice on, ice off, ice on, ice off...
Tags: central nervous system, debbie, gum grafts, gums, headaches, ice, ice cream, katherine, meds, meds-codeine, meds-norco, meds-tylenol, meds-vicodin, pain, pain meds, shannon, surgery

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