Saturday, May 19, 2012

May 19th, 2012 - My Surgery

Well, I am finally back and sort of ready to get back into action, though it is slow going.  At the moment I’m feeling just a little loopy, thanks to the pain meds I’m on following my surgery, but since I have all this free time, I want to write,  and so I begin with my very first experience with surgery and its aftermath…

Making Moves, Achieving Goals

I wrote in a post once that one of my goals in life was to get things taken care of, especially in the area of my health.  I vowed back then that I was going to make those phone calls I needed to make and get the ball rolling on some things that have been a long time coming.  During the April break I made two phone calls to help me accomplish that goal. 

First Up - Dental Implants and Bone Grafting

The first phone call I made was to my periodontist.  In the past two years or so, he’s been trying to get me to give the okay on dental implants that I need in the upper right side of my mouth.  In order to get the ball rolling on that, I’d have to get a tooth pulled and have a procedure known as “bone grafting’ done.  For the longest time, I was petrified of the doing it, but I finally made that appointment, which I went to last Thursday, the 10th

For those of you not familiar with bone grafting, it is something that is done to people with periodontal disease, of which I am a sufferer.  Over the years, the bones that hold my teeth in place have been deteriorating, and in order to get implants, something must be put in place of the bone to hold them in.  The procedure involved cutting my gums and inserting a cement-like substance to the bone, which will eventually act as a larger bone to hold the implants in.  It’s the first step of a year-long process and I’m glad I finally got the ball rolling on that.

All in all, that procedure wasn’t bad, and it was really nothing compared to what I experienced this week as far as pain goes.  Numbing drugs are amazing, as I didn’t feel a thing through the whole extraction and grafting procedure.  My periodontist is gentle and patient, explaining the steps all the way through so I was never surprised with unexpected pain.  So if you happen to live in the Long Island area and need a good periodontist, hit me up and I’ll refer you.


The nature of my surgery is somewhat personal, so all I will say about it is that it is something I needed to have done for a long, long time, and the doctor told me way ahead of time that there was a lot of pain involved.  I promised myself that I’d get it done before the year was out, and I can finally say it is done.  The operation was not any sort of emergency surgery, no, but it was meant to fix an issue that had been bothering me for years.  When I first made the appointment, May 16th, it seemed like eons ago, but the time sure went by fast.  I’ve never had such surgery before where I needed an overnight stay in the hospital, and the prospect left me short of much sleep for at least the past couple of weeks. 

Of course, Wednesday morning came very quickly and I approached it with as much confidence as I could muster.  I had to be at the hospital by 6:30AM and by 7 o’clock I was on a stretcher all decked out in an IV and a really short, really revealing hospital gown.

The whole experience was surreal, as for the first time I found myself in the role as patient.  From the receiving area to the holding area I went to wait my turn at the operating table.  That’s where the doctors came in with those “just in case” papers for me to sign, even though I wasn’t really concerned about just in case.  I was more worried about the pain.

As anyone who’s ever had surgery can probably attest, the operation itself involves no pain at all.  Again, numbing drugs are amazing.  I was given a spinal, or an epidural, which freaked me out a little when they told me about it, but by the time that needle was barely inside of me, I was already in la la land. 


I’m still a little fuzzy about where and when I woke up.  All I know is that I was loopy, very loopy and my pal Dit and my sister Ann Marie where there not long after I was in a room.  I’m sure my company was amusing, for it was one of the highest of highs, and I cannot be responsible for whatever it was I said.  I remember my legs being so heavy I couldn’t budge them and there was absolutely no pain at all.

That didn’t last for long, as my company left and I was all alone in the room to live through a surreal kind of experience.  I was given a morpheme pump to control the spasms of pain that would creep in on me throughout the night, which was full of ½ hour naps rather than a good night’s sleep.  My nurses were awesome, if not a little annoying with their regular visits to change my IV or take my blood pressure, and they really helped me get through it all.

That night seemed to go on forever as I’d wake up often even when nurses didn’t come to visit.  I remember the doctor saying that I had to urinate otherwise they’d have to catheterize me, and boy was that pressure!  Since I wasn’t able to leave the bed on my own, I was given a portable urinal to use, which didn’t make it any easier. 

Oh that was one of the worst parts of my whole hospital stay!  No matter how hard I tried, I could not pee lying down, so whenever I felt the urge I would carefully stand at the side of my bed, hoping to all hope that no one would come in and see me.  At least I went!

After a long morning waiting to be discharged, the orders finally came and my hospital stay ended around 1 in the afternoon.  My time since then has been filled with plenty of uncomfortableness and lots of pain.  I guess the worst is behind me, but I still can’t wait for this to be over with…  Thank goodness for the pain meds!

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