I’m beginning this on Thursday, within two hours of leaving to have a tooth yanked. I’ll finish this blog on the weekend, fates willing.
The appointment is late in the day, which I wouldn’t have chosen. Cause I’m a wuss and a worrywort and just want it over with.
I’ve been busy blogging and doing other things all morning, but suddenly I’m out of distractions. I’m not as nervous as I expected to be. Yet.
I did wake at 3:00, counting, “Twelve+ hours to go.” Hated that and knew I’d be keeping count all day. But I stayed in my warm bed, made some very fruitful meditations, and by the time I’d reached, “I’ll be home from the dentist in 12 hours,” I actually experienced a kind of ecstasy that hasn’t left me since.
Ecstasy? A comment on my last tooth-related blog noted I might feel ecstatic after the relapsed root canal is gone. But before? On the day of?
Doesn’t make much sense to me, either.
I opted out of even pill-level sedation despite expecting this to be a difficult extraction, and some of the potential difficulties are … unpleasant. I’ll be on nitrous oxide, which, as I remember from having it decades ago, is so pleasant I won’t care if the surgeon decides to cut my head off. Still, nervous.
Then today, suddenly, almost a kind of joy.
At that moment, the surgeon’s office called and asked if I’d like to take an earlier appointment. Like in half an hour.
You damn betcha. But would Neighbor J., my “responsible adult” be up for the change? Yup. A few minutes later we hit the road. There was no hope of making it in time. J’s an old hot rodder who still has a classic muscle car in her garage; she can move. But we simply live too far away. Then we got caught in slow traffic. And snow. And, once we got to the Big City, we hit every yellow light. Ain’t that just the way it goes?
Still, long ahead of the original schedule, I was in the chair, attached to monitors, and unable to move thanks to the nitrous mask holding my head down. But no nitrous flowing yet. Damn. I had what seemed like a long, sober time to contemplate the surreality of the situation.
“In an hour I’ll be on my way home,” I told myself (failing to be comforted by the thought).
Won’t go into the gory details — though there were lots of them. It was, as I suspected, a difficult extraction. I came home with a mouthful of stitches, bleeding that didn’t stop for hours despite constant pressure with gauze, and a prescription for Tramadol (complete with two-page, state-required printed lecture on the eeeeeevils of opiods including a warning not to sell my whopping seven Deadly Little Pills on the black market).
The experience was grim. Nitrous is nice, but I discovered that … well, let’s just say that when things get weird, you can panic while inhaling nitrous oxide. It’s not the banishment of all cares I remembered.
I panicked calmly, mind you. Once the surgeon explained the complications he’d encountered and what he was doing about them, I was fine. But some jobs are beyond nitrous.
Oddest thing, though. Just as I felt ecstasy before the procedure, I felt extraordinarily good afterward.
By the time the bleeding stopped that evening, I was ravenously hungry. I’ve been eating voraciously for two days.
And I’ve had no pain. Seriously, NONE, despite all the gouging and tugging and slicing and grinding and stitching. I took a precautionary ibuprofen the first night, but never even came close to opening the Tramadol bottle. (Gosh, will the state now think I’m going to become an eeeeeeevil seven-pill opioid dealer since I had no use for the drugs? Nope; those capsules are going straight into my emergency kit.)
The doctor predicted I’d have bruising clear up to my eyes. I got one tiny patch on my jaw that began fading within the day. Swelling? Very little.
What’s going on here?
What’s going on here is — I’m assuming — vitamin C. With a supplemental immune boost from monolaurin.
I was slow to recover from the plague a few weeks back. But once I did (with more than a little help from my friends), I started building up my dosage of those two supplements And I started feeling better than I’ve felt in years. I think that was at least part of the source of the strange pre-surgery ecstasy. I simply felt HEALTHY.
A day before the extraction, I started megadosing the C every couple of hours and taking the maximum dose of monolaurin for the day. Since the extraction, I’ve doubled the amount of C to about all my system will tolerate.
Am I 100% certain the vitamin C is responsible for pre-surgery contentment and painless recovery? No way I can be. But believe me, if you’d have been “resting” in that chair being wrenched on as I was, no way you’d expect such an uneventful aftermath.
In other med-related news
From a totally different corner of the medical world, I thought you guys would like to hear about this outcome. Remember Jeremy Aal? He and his partner B were entrusted with MamaLiberty’s corgi Laddie when she knew she was nearing death. When Laddie wouldn’t accept their other dog after more than a month of trying, they — with your financial help — drove nearly 2,500 miles to deliver the dog (along with the extra funds you gave) to Joel, who had just buried Little Bear on Boot Hill.
Anybody who reads Joel’s blog knows how much he adores Laddie — in his crotchety hermity way.
Later Jeremy set up a GoFundMe to help him get to appointments at four med schools around the west. The GoFundMe wasn’t going anywhere fast until the readers of the Living Freedom blog found out about it. Then … zoom!
Jeremy was able to visit all the schools that interested him. And just this week I learned he got into Washington State University med school — the program he most wanted. WSU is only a few hours from where B and Jeremy live, so he’ll be able to return home on weekends.
His plan now is to finish school, then cover all or part of his tuition through practicing for few years as a doctor to some “disadvantaged” population. Once he’s cleared his med school debt, he aims to be an old-fashioned country doctor, practicing in the rural Montana county where he lives.
And you, Dear Readers, are grand for helping him get this far.
And you’re pretty damn grand for getting me through plague, tooth-wrenching, and general immune-system issues, too.