Friday, September 02, 2011

On "being a champion"

 I had my wisdom teeth removed today. I know that's not a big deal for most people, but I've got a phobia and a half about medical procedures, so this was a big challenge for me. The fact that it turned out well (so far) has been a pretty awesome thing, so I thought I'd share it here...both by way of giving an update, and by way of encouraging any readers who have similar fears. Because you can DO IT! Even if it seems scary and impossible! 

Anyway, here's the update e-mail I sent to my family about the experience. 

Hello family!

Funny that Dad just sent an e-mail telling you about a surgery that DIDN’T take place, since I’m sending a quick e-mail about a surgery that DID take place! But don’t worry, it was just wisdom tooth extraction.

That’s right. After many years, those babies have finally been taken out. School starts on Sept. 12th, and I’m off Mom’s dental insurance on Sept. 30th, so we decided to bite the bullet while we still could. Which meant that I called the oral surgeon my dentist recommended YESTERDAY, and they scheduled an appointment for TODAY. Which is good because it only gave me about 24 hours to freak myself out. Which I did a decent job of anyway, but I survived!

I was pretty scared…I’ve got a pretty severe phobia of medical procedures still, but I’m using a lot of different techniques to overcome and move forward. I spent about 80% of my thinking time last night/this morning saying to myself “I-can-do-this-I-can-do-this-I-can-do-this.” And every now and then turning to Jacob and saying “I don’t know if I can do this!” But he stuck by me and helped me through, like the encouraging and strong man he is. =) So after a Priesthood blessing with the help of Jordan, and somewhat tearfully explaining to everyone at the office that I would just need to be talked through things, I got an IV with anesthesia, and I DIDN’T PASS OUT, and I DIDN’T THROW UP, and I DIDN’T DIE. And the next thing I knew, I was waking up and my face was numb and my teeth were in a box in Jacob’s pocket. (They’re still there. I think I’ll make a necklace out of them…)

Apparently, coming out of the anesthesia, I kept repeating (or slurring), “I’m a champion! I did it! Jacob helped me, and Jesus helped me, and Jordan helped me, and I did it!” I only remember about half of that. (I also apparently said something about raccoons trying to get into the tent—interesting that another phobia would manifest itself at that moment.)

Anyway, the doctor left me with a few dissolvable stitches, a sheet of post-op instructions, and prescriptions for dexamethason (steroids to keep swelling down), amoxicillin (to avoid infection), and hydrocodone (for pain). And how I am home with a trash can to spit blood into (gross, but I’m trying to avoid swallowing too much), some Gatorade, and movies.

I feel pretty decent…the anesthesia wore off easily, and now I’m just pretty sleepy. And kind of weak. But that’s also because I had to fast for 6 hours before surgery, and now I can’t eat solid things. And my jaw sort of hurts now that it’s not numb, but the drugs take the edge off. Three cheers for modern medicine!

So just wanted to give you all an update. =) Thanks to Mom for helping figure out insurance stuff and giving me words of encouragement, Jacob for helping me through the rough spots, Kristi for helping Jacob bring me home, Jordan for the Priesthood assistance, everyone at the Oral Surgery office for their patience and expertise, God for strengthening my heart, Shakespeare’s Macbeth for helping me get over my fear of blood, Dad for sending me the e-card (even though I still haven't seen it because it's refusing to load), and Dr. Paul Janssen for inventing intraveinous anesthesia.

Love you all!



Bobowhee said...

If you keep ice packs on your cheeks and jaw (right about where they were taken out) and wrap some "throat coat" tea bags in gauze (to avoid breaking) and gently bite down on them where they teeth used to be, it really REALLY helps. The day after my teeth were taken out you wouldn't have known. Except for the fact I was a little loopy from the pain meds :)

Paul said...

I'll have to tell you about my own experience sometime. Give you something to laugh at.

Liz-a-nator said...

Paul - Yeah, Jacob told me later more about the things I said coming out of anesthesia. I think that will be its own post.

Taylor Thompson said...

I am so glad that you have a husband to report the funny things you said while coming back into consciousness -it made my day. You ARE the champion!

When I had the same procedure done (I think I was 19? Maybe 18...) and was being wheeled out to my mom's car, I kept telling my mom how cute the assistant was, and did she think he would ask me out. Found out later that day, he was the one pushing my wheelchair. Too bad I had to go back for dry socket, and he was the one that packed it. :)

Damon said...

great post