Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Pros and Cons

So, I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that my teeth are no longer my teeth. I think coming out from under the Vicodin haze has something to do with it. Well, that and not being in the kind of pain that makes people snap on their near and dear.

The worst part of the day I had it done was the bleeding. I was bleeding like a stuck pig and I couldn't keep up with it. I spit out as much as I could, and swallowed the rest, but it was just gory. Mamaw needed to hit Sam's Club while we were up there so I just stayed in the car and let the diazepam work on me. Of course sitting in a car by yourself in a parking lot draws a bit of attention, especially when you look like you're gorked out, which I was.

That attention can be neatly deflected if you don't give a crap about any of the people who are staring. I just stared vacantly (I couldn't have put a focused look on my face if I had wanted to) out the window in the direction of the stares, smiled as much as I could with my top lip numb, and bit down just enough to let the (fresh, bright red) blood squeeze over the front of my new teeth and run down to pool at my bottom lip before dripping over and running down my chin.

They decided it wasn't polite to stare.

Things are starting to heal up, and I'm starting to perk up. So I decided to make a list of the things that are good about this. And of course, with the good, comes the bad. And, since I'm still battling to eat more than a few bites of anything but pudding, I threw in a few pros about being this far along in the healing process.

Pro: The big one, stopping the whole nerve damage thing before it became less an issue of dentistry and more an issue of reconstructive surgery.

Con: I don't have my teeth anymore, and I have to go through the healing process, although thankfully only once. And along with the not having my teeth thing comes the nightmares about things like getting bucked off and them popping out. I'm not talking "oooo that would suck" bad dreams, I'm talking waking up in a cold sweat with tears running down my face nightmares. *shudder*

Pro: The bleeding has pretty much stopped, which is good for my stomach.

Con: The blood has been replaced by the same kind of fluid that comes out when you scrape your knuckles. You know the stuff that gets yellow and crusty? We always called it protoplasm, but I don't know what it really is. Of course inside the mouth it doesn't get crusty. Noooo... it mixes with the saliva to become something around the consistency of snot. Which I have to spit and rinse out. Just farking ew. Of course, putting a foreign object in your mouth puts your spit glands on overdrive anyway, I've been drooling like a St Bernard on a short chain in front of a honey ham.

Pro: There's no such thing as a hard to reach place on my top teeth anymore.

Con: I now brush my teeth with the bathroom door shut and locked. Even when no one else is around. I'd do it with the lights off if I could.

Pro: No more hot or cold sensitivity.

Con: I'm having to learn to talk all over again. S's, K's, G's and D's are particularly difficult. If I don't concentrate, I sound like a slightly "challenged" drunk trying to say her ABC's. If someone asks me to say "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" I'm going to have to hit them.

Pro: Perfect teeth.

Con: I have to wait a month before I can have truly perfect teeth. The temporary plate is nice and even, but apparently I have a short upper lip, and the dentist wasn't satisfied with the amount of "gum" that was showing when I smiled so he altered them and brought the "teeth" up higher. It's an amazing job considering he did it in fifteen minutes in his own little lab there, but it's not "perfect." On the permanent plate I can design my own teeth, if I want. That ought to be interesting.

Pro: The swelling is going down. When it was done, I had a ridge of swelling all the way across my face. It looked like my cheeks and under my nose were stuffed with cotton. As it's progressed it's gone from that, to just looking like someone decked me, to just looking a little puffy.

Con: The swelling in the gums is going down too, changing the way the denture fits. And while adjustments are free (I love my dentist) they're also three hours away. Which frustrates him as much as it does me, he would like to have me in every day to tweak the fit so that it doesn't cause sore spots or get loose enough to fall down and embarrass me. But then, that man is a genius fitting a denture anyway. I went in yesterday with a couple of spots that were bugging and he looked at my mouth and saw five more that weren't bugging yet but were going to, went back to his little lab, and came back in ten minutes with what felt like a whole new denture.

That's all I can think of right now. The swelling will be under better control since I'm on 800mg of Ibuprofen instead of the Vicodin... but until the bleeding was under control the Ibuprofen wasn't an option. I'm still taking the Vicodin at night, but once I get to sleep I'm able to sleep all the way through the night without getting up to take another pill. Of course, I drool in my sleep and because eight hours is longer than I go during the day between rinsing I get that lovely snotty goo running out the corner of my mouth, so I have to sleep with a tea towel over the pillow, but it's still an improvement over the first couple of nights. I ruined one of Farmmom's pillows with bloodstains, even with the tea towel.

If I'd had a choice, I wouldn't have gone through this, but once I'm all healed up and I can eat and talk again, I think I'm going to be able to be glad I did it.