Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lauren v. The Desire for Meat

So here I am, it's been a looooonnnnnngggggg week.  (Did I drag that out enough to signify how long the week has been for me?)  I spent a glorious weekend with my fabulous cousins up at our cabin again and returned home Sunday to see a dreaded date looming on the calendar.  The following day my wisdom teeth were coming out.

I should preface this by saying that I despise dentists (not personally, just professionally).  I am terrified of them and have been for quite awhile.  Restraints have been suggested for me during routine exams (I've been known to flinch as soon at that sadistic hygienist pulls out that creepy pick/hook thing).  I just don't handle it well.  Now pair that with a blinding fear of being put under anesthesia (it may have something to do with the vomit phobia).  Surgical procedures are not my friend, dental surgical procedures are my mortal enemy.

Upon looking at the calendar, I immediately started to panic.  I started crying and trying to tell my husband goodbye.  I gave him my social security number and my life insurance information.  I went back and forth six or seven times about whether or not I was just going to cancel the appointment and essentially let my wisdom teeth just continue to push my teeth together.  I laid on my bed, clutching my dogs, sobbing and telling them "mommy loves you".  Needless to say, I didn't sleep well.  Okay, I'm a little dramatic.  A little.

The day arrives for the surgery and my nerves were in full on hyper-drive.  Okay, I was a fucking basket case.  I was shaking and I kept saying things to Jon about ice and how I was positive that Gina was going to need her ice cube trays back before I went in for surgery.  It probably didn't help that my best friend took my face in her hands that morning and told me she was trying to remember a "before image".  I cleaned the living room, did two loads of laundry, circled, paced, and continued to drive myself absolutely insane (at this point Jon would interject with "short trip", but he's not here.).  Then I met someone new.

My new friend's name was Valium and he was the wonder drug of the decade.  I popped the pill will a small sip of water (and then pondered if that small sip was too much water and it would then cause me to aspirate during the procedure - a LITTLE dramatic) and fifteen minutes later I didn't care what happened.  I was as calm as a Hindu cow.  Jon could have driven off a cliff and I think I probably would have still been petting my purse and talking a mile a minute.

We arrived at the office and I motor-mouthed my way through the building.  I checked in and had a seat.  I proceeded to jabber-jaw nonstop in my husband's face while he ignored me and played words with friends on his phone.  We sat.  And we sat.  Then we sat some more.  And then some more.  Then, I noticed something happening.  I was sitting there in the lobby for such a long time that the Valium was starting to wear off.  I was becoming aware of exactly where I was and exactly why I was there.  Just as I was about to hightail it out of the office, perhaps leaving a Lauren shaped hole in the wall, they called my name.

I followed a nurse down the hall, positive she was leading me to slaughter (certain death? right this way.)  She was super nice and understanding with the thirty-two year old infant she was now dealing with.  She attached the monitors to me and spoke to me in soothing tones (trying to make me docile, thus assuring that I didn't bust through the second story window a la Helen Hunt in Angel Dusted)(80's movie about PCP where she jumps out of a window).  Then she asked me to uncross my legs and proceeded to attach me to the chair with Velcro straps.  Um, no.  I didn't sign up for restraints.

Midway through the strapping me down, the doctor came in and started my IV.  Being me though, he had a hard time finding a vein.  I'm a notoriously hard stick and he was clearly frustrated by it.  So, welling up, I'm apologizing to him.  He laughed at me and told me it wasn't my fault (seriously wonderful people at this office) and with that, he found a vein.  They shoved some thing in my mouth and strapped down my arms and I remember nothing else.

I woke up in the chair sans restraints and they made me get up and walk ten feet to a little room with a bed in it.  At some point, they got Jon to sit with me.  I did not have the mind numbing, stomach churning nausea that I had with my gall bladder surgery.  Nor did I have the dry, itchy, sore throat that I had with my tonsillectomy.    Nope, I just had a mouthful of gauze and a really bad taste in my mouth.  I was in and out of consciousness for what felt like hours (turned out to be about fifteen minutes) and then they sent me home.

Jon waited until I was in the car to tell me that I wasn't supposed to sleep as long as the gauze was in my mouth and that the gauze would be there for about four hours.  WHAT?!!  I was just pumped full of drugs to make me sleep and now I'm not allowed to?  Ooooh, I was mad at that.  This transformed me into miserable, whiny Lauren.  I laid on the couch for a couple of hours just whimpering and whining to my poor husband.  He ignored me and patted me on the head, and he let me sleep for half hour intervals.  During this time, he pulled out old gauze, shoved new gauze in my mouth and told me to switch sides on my ice pack.

I'm now day five post op.  Everything seems to be healing nicely, I don't have much pain, and only ended up taking two of the thirty Vicodin I was prescribed.  I've been getting by on Advil, as needed.  I'm actually pleased with the way the surgery went and turned out.  I expected it to be much worse than this.  My family  and best friend made me soup and mashed potatoes, Jon's been an excellent nurse, and I needed a little time off work.  There is one thing that sucks beyond comprehension though.

I can't eat real food.  I've been eating soup, italian ice, homemade applesauce, ice cream, and noodles (that I just swallow) for DAYS.  It's making me insane, especially when watching TV.  It's the holidays, so there are a thousand and one commercials about candy and cookies and turkey dinners.  Upon going out to the store today, every restaurant featured something I was hungry for (even stuff I won't eat)(I salivated passing a Long John's Silvers for goodness sake).   Jon briefly teased me with the idea of eating Five Guys in front of me and I had to overcome the urge to stab him.  I'm an Italian girl and a carnivore, I need real food.

I probably could be eating somewhat normally, just being careful, but alas my hyper-paranoid nature rears it's ugly head again.  With wisdom teeth extraction, there's a little complication known as dry socket.  When you tell people about having your wisdom teeth removed, very few people tell you the fun, lighthearted, I was fine in four days stories.  Nope, they all tell you the dry socket stories.  Given the fact that the oral surgeon cannot give me a time frame that I have to clear before I can stop worrying about it, I'm just playing it ultra safe.  Until I'm over this particular bout of insanity, I'm making myself insane with craving a gigantic filet with mushrooms from the Glass Lounge (seriously, it's on a seductive level now).  Enjoy your dinner everyone!


  1. Ok first let me begin by saying you know me too well. It's creepy, really. I did giggle about the title before I even read your blog and when I saw that you knew that; I fell apart. Again, creepy.

    Second, I crave meat everyday (but I haven't met him yet) and you don't see me whining about it. Ok, you do, but not daily. Ok it is daily, but you don't see me blogging about ...oh never mind.