My mouth is filled with stitches. I've been living on a diet of ice cream, mashed potatoes, yogurt, nutri-bullet shakes (which was a failed attempt to include some healthy nutrients in my diet).
Last week, I had oral surgery. Sounds like a tooth extraction or perhaps a root canal except, it was real surgery. With real anesthesia, real stitches and the real deal pain meds. I have a post op appointment on Thursday. I'm still in pain and I'm still using hard core pain medication.
The low down?
My upper jaw bone was disintegrating. I wrote about this in passing several months ago. The surgeon attempted to use what they call "bone in a jar" to perform a graft. It was a successful procedure but only to a point. The synthetic bone was able to compensate for about half of the bone loss. In other words, I still needed a second graft and it would be as extensive as the first one.
The difference? This time, real bone, my own bone, would be necessary to afford the best opportunity for success. I had a CT scan and the sliced imaging told us that my sinus had fallen into the abyss where there once was bone.
The surgery was about two hours. My bilateral mastectomy with tissue expanders and two surgeons was three hours (just as a point of reference).
The nitty gritty? I had to have a "sinus lift." Then, bone was removed from my lower jaw to attach to the area in my upper jaw where the bone was missing. THEN, three dental implants were inserted into the new bone. The graft will solidify around the implants. A temporary bridge is covering the area. It will be months before the procedure can be completed.
The bottom line? Pain. Pain. And more pain. I knew it was going to be bad when I was numb up to my eye socket and the pain was excruciating. Two vicodins did nothing. Pain management advice from the west coast (Thank You, Thank YOU) got me past that moment and I never let the pain get ahead of me.
Antibiotics three times a day which I've cut back to twice a day. The nausea was unbearable. Some antibiotics wreak havoc on my system. I can't do three times a day for ten days. I have a special rinse to use twice a day and nasal spray that is also used twice daily. Presumably, these are topical germ killers so I'm less concerned about that 3rd pill I stopped taking.
Vicodin, yes, is now a staple in my diet. By Saturday, my face was so swollen, it appeared I had a small orange tucked inside my cheek. I can only open my mouth half way. Everything is still sore, still swollen and I'm still rather incoherent from the pain meds. Yes, I'm still in pain and I still need the pain meds. The frequency has decreased and so has the dosage. I'm not a hero. When tylenol works, I'll switch to tylenol. For now, the hard core drugs are the only ones that do the trick. Disclaimer. I've always had this extreme sensitivity when it comes to mouth pain.
I expect I'll be getting a bit better with each passing day. Soft foods are on the menu for another week. The mashed potatoes and the Haagen Dazs works wonders to coat my stomach which helps with the nausea from both the antibiotics and the pain medication. I'm sure they aren't working wonders on my hips but I'll deal with that when I activate my FitBit for the Step By Step Study in which I am enrolled.
The big pay day will be several months from now when I will be the recipient of a new bright white smile compliments of the caps that will become permanent fixtures across all of my top teeth. I'm anxious of for that pay day but I suspect the oral surgeon and the dentist are even more excited about their pay day.
Yeah..... can't be sure exactly what CAUSED the bone loss but I have a few good guesses. The problem? Try convincing the health insurance company that my mouth problems are medical fallout, collateral damage. In other words, this out of pocket expense is a bloody fortune. Literally.
Last but not at all least.... a BIG Shout out and HUGE thank yous..... Sending extra love to some very special friends who knew I'd be out of it and made sure I would have a steady supply of food delivered to my door.
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