Wednesday, December 22, 2010

FarmGirl's Continuing Adventures In Advanced Dentistry

Longtime readers probably know to what I'm referring, and if you don't, ask someone or go look it up, I don't feel like doing a recap.

Last week I broke a tooth. Since it was Friday night, I wasn't going to get in to see my dentist till Monday at the earliest anyway, I decided to go ahead and go for Tuesday, which I already had scheduled off. I could suck it up that long.

Called in made the appointment, requested the chill pill that keeps me from running screaming from the building a projectile vomiting all over the parking lot... and got told they can't call in a script because it's been too long since they've seen me. Call my GP and get the script. I got this information Monday afternoon (because I sleep during the mornings since I work nights) and would have to leave for my appointment Tuesday morning no later than six am.

Yeah that wasn't going to work out on the whole happy pill thing. I know my dentist. I like my dentist. I figured I could reach down and grab a pair and get through a crown or an extraction with him, if I had to.

Then I got there, and he looked at it, said "that's gotta hurt" took some xrays and basically said I have an infection in all of my back molars, both sides. Tooth had to come out.

Now, the last time I was there we wound up with one dentist sitting on my chest and the other doing some kind of voodoo dance to extract some of my teeth, because the roots are *strong*.

In the interim, my favorite dentist has had a heart attack, his son (the one who did the voodoo dance last time) wasn't in the office Tuesday, and he basically said "I can't do it. We're sending you to an oral surgeon."

That totally helped my whole "don't freak out" mantra.

So after five minutes or so in the parking lot trying mostly unsuccessfully not to hyperventilate we headed over to the oral surgeon's office. Where we waited. And waited. And Waited.

Actually we waited less than an hour but to me it felt like forever.

The nurse came out and explained to us that the surgeon, after looking at the pretty pictures of my teeth and hearing about how I was behaving in his waiting room (pretty much like a scared rabbit, shaking in my seat with occasional leaps to the bathroom or outside) had decided that deep sedation was the best way to go.

It's expensive, but it's best, she said. You're more relaxed and things go better, she said.

Looking back I think the surgeon was afraid I was going to wind up backed into a corner and biting. Which may not have been all that far off the mark.

So yeah, I got knocked out, and I gotta say, as far as minimizing stress and keeping me from freaking the hell out in the middle of a procedure when I haven't been given a mild sedative, it's the way to go.

The worst part of the whole thing was the waiting, and the groping for a vein for the IV. Apparently I have difficult veins, which I didn't know before this because I'd never had an IV.

He wound up going in the back of my hand which actually hurt me less than the playing around he'd been doing in the crook of my arm.

Then he pushed the "mild" sedative and I approached that state of "ok doc you can cut my head off now just put it back when you're done"... then he pushed the knockout drugs and the next thing I knew, they were waking me up telling me I'd done great and it was time to go now.

Best. Drunk. Ever.

On the flip side, stitches in your mouth feel really weird, my stubborn nature will overcome not sleeping in over 24hrs, then being knocked out for an hour and woken back up, because I have to do Christmas shopping damnit!

Oh, and I look like I took a bat to the right side of my face... no surface bruising but it's swollen like crazy.

I plan to say only "you should see the other guy" when people ask. From the sounds of things I'll be seeing the OS at least once more, and I don't know whether he's going to just sedate me or knock me out for that one, but we'll see.

Meanwhile, vicodin is my friend.


I have a whole new reason to love the oral surgeon aside from the "lets just knock you out and when you wake up it'll all be over with" bit... a few moments ago my phone rang, and it was his office number. I figured they were calling to make sure the pain meds were adequate and I was right... except it was the surgeon himself... "How you doing? Pain medication doing enough? No excessive bleeding or swelling? Any questions now that you're not doped?" .... Yeah, I officially approve of this guy.


Jennifer said...

I hate dental stuff. I'm just as bad as you. Plus extra compulsive brushing before the regular visit just so my gums look nice and inflamed.

Ambulance Driver said...

You have great veins. If they stuck you more than once, it's because they're rank amateurs.

FarmGirl said...

The one inside my elbow blew, apparently... but he managed not to bruise the hell out of me at either site so I'm counting it as a win.

Don't tell me they're rank amateurs I have to go back at least once more and I don't need any help being nervous about it....

Ruth said...

I'm a firm believer in the "knock me out and wake me up when its over" thing. Doesn't matter what it is, I don't want to be awake for it, just put me out.

And don't worry about them not being able to find a vein. I have great veins, everyone and every doctor tells me so, yet somehow it always takes at LEAST 3 tries to get an IV in me. Go figure.

Laura said...

this is exactly what i insisted happen when i had to get all of my wisdom teeth removed. aside from the upset gut afterward it was easily the best dentist visit ever.

Fargazer said...

Congratulations on finding a good doctor! It's rare to find someone that will invest their time on follow ups.

Old NFO said...

That's great news, glad it went well!

phlegmfatale said...

OMG! Poor lamb! I'm glad someone did the right thing and put you out of your misery! Have a Merry and Pain-free Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, dental work always reeks.

The Old Man said...

God bless. I got the same treatment from my (older-than-me) oral surgeon. Not only did he call in person, but insisted that I come back due to excessive bleeding (he took out 4 wisdom teeth simultaneously) on SUNDAY NIGHT! (Chewing on tea bags didn't work.)
Helped me survive, and it sounds like your guy helped you...

TOTWTYTR said...

Calling patients for follow up seems to be an oral surgeon thing. My wife's doctor did the same thing, only he got me because she was out cold from the meds. For the record, I had no discomfort.

I'm sorry to hear about your tooth problems. They are never any fun at all.