Tag Archives: surgery

Facing Your Fears: A Memoir

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Facing Your Fears: A Memoir

Hi! For those of you who recall, around this time last year I was suffering through a recovery from an oral surgery gone severely wrong. For those of you who don’t recall, I had an oral surgery last year that went severely wrong, which you can read about on the provided link! I have always been wary about the dental arts and, after such a traumatic experience, the last thing I wanted was any more people poking around in my mouth with sharp objects.

Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out the way I hoped, which was never having to go to a dentist or oral surgeon again. Especially because the surgery I had last year left me with some lingering problems that needed corrected. And, especially because I turn twenty-six this year, these issues needed sorted out ASAP before I get off my mom and dad’s insurance.

So, with a heaping dose of anxiety, I made my way to the periodontist who my mom recommended as a patient herself. After an exam, the decisions were made that 1) the doctor was very nice and 2) I would need to undergo a deep cleaning of my gums to help with the recession that was happening as well as the recession that became worse post surgery.

This past week, I had the first deep cleaning on the right half of my mouth and I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t freaking out. Last year, one bad procedure on my mouth left me drinking Ensure and out of work for a month and a half. However, I knew that all of this work had to be done so I bucked up and sat myself in the chair after announcing how nervous I was, of course.

In fact, I started crying as soon as the first numbing injection took place. Yes, I was being a baby but I just couldn’t help myself. I was traumatized by a quack of an oral surgeon and being back in an office to get work done on my mouth made a whole flood of scared emotions come out. But, I gritted my teeth metaphorically speaking because my mouth was open and had the doctor continue.

By the time the numbing kicked in, I literally couldn’t feel a thing and the doctor spent at least an hour cleaning the first half of my mouth (I’ll get the second half done this week). At the end of the procedure, my periodontist thanked me for trusting him because he knew how much I had suffered and how hard it was for me to allow someone to do that type of work on me.

I was so moved by this because I was downright embarrassed. No one wants to hear that they take poor care of their mouth and also no one wants to burst into tears as soon as a needle gets pulled out. I didn’t feel one ounce of shame after the doctor thanked me because he understood where I was coming from and didn’t take it lightly that I was even there to begin with.

After the procedure, I was a bit sore and nauseous but, within a few days, everything was back to normal. My mouth already feels infinitely better and, shockingly, I’m looking forward to getting the other half taken care of this week. The doctor helped restore my faith in those working in the field of dentistry and it also motivated me to continue taking the best care of my teeth as all of the problems I have begin to resolve.

I faced my fear in a big way and the risk was definitely worth the reward. Despite not feeling well post procedure, I felt proud of myself and strangely confident. I confronted one of my biggest fears head on and I came out on top. This is a lesson that I am going to always come back to in my life because sometimes taking a leap of faith pays off in the best way!

What are you afraid of? How did you confront that fear? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What The Sbux?

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What The Sbux?

Hiii everyone! Before my surgery, I was all about getting iced coffee from Starbucks. A venti iced coffee with cream and vanilla would be my treat on Monday morning to begin my work week. So, before things went screwy and I was still working, I ordered my usual and went off to a client’s house.

During that visit, I was drinking my coffee (without a straw, a-thank-you) and all of a sudden, my mouth began bleeding profusely. I ran to the bathroom and spent five minutes spitting blood into the sink until I realized that I probably needed gauze. I acquired some and once I thought that it was safe to remove, my mouth began bleeding like a faucet again.

After that fateful incident, I was turned off from coffee and began a green tea kick. But, now, I have grown weary of all green tea everything and am ready to try something new. So, my question for everyone is what do they get from Starbucks? I tried my iced coffee order last week when I was working and it was just not as good as I remember it being. I would prefer something that’s calorie friendly with some coffee in it but not an extreme coffee taste.

THANKS IN ADVANCE!! ❤

What is your Starbucks order? Are you a coffee or tea drinker or both? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Super Cute Stuff

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Super Cute Stuff

Howdy! As you all can tell, I have been reading a lot lately. There is nothing better than diving into a good book and I am currently hunkering down with The Innocent Client every chance I can get! With all of this reading, a super cute book mark is a must and the one that I’m using never ceases to make me smile, because there’s an adorable story behind it. Take a look and I’ll tell you all about it:

handles

On the second day out from my surgery gone wrong in December, I wanted nothing more than some ice cream from the parlor down the street, Handel’s. Their ice cream is delicious with a variety of flavors to pick from and I knew that it would feel so good on my aching mouth. I decided that I wanted the Peppermint Stick ice cream and my dad left to get it for me. But, I almost instantly changed my mind as soon as he departed and realized I wanted chocolate, instead, because I was really miserable.

The catch, is that my dad doesn’t have a cell phone so there was no way he would know that the Peppermint Stick was a no go. So, in my pain pill induced stupor, I called Handel’s and let them know the dire situation at hand. I described my dad’s appearance and my desperate need for chocolate and they said that they would pass the memo along. They probably thought that I was crazy, but I was proud to have handled my needs because I was super out of it.

I eagerly awaited my ice cream and when my dad returned home, he said that the container was already waiting there for him and he just had to pay. When I opened the bag up, I saw the darling handwritten note seen above and I was tickled. It was so sweet and I needed that, because I was hurting so badly.

I kept the note on my bedside table and it has become the perfect book mark during my reading extravaganzas. It doesn’t take much to make someone smile and, little does the employee who helped me know, she makes me smile every day!

How have you made someone smile today? What is your favorite ice cream flavor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Progress!

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Progress!

Hi! These past few months have been a whirlwind. December and a portion of January was spent recovering from surgery. While the rest of January and this month have been spent playing catch up from all of the missed time from work. I’ve been very busy going from client to client, maintaining the blog, and still working in time for skating lessons when I can. And, I’ve got to say, I’m feeling awesome!

Even though the recovery from my surgery gone wrong was a great big bitch, a lot of progress was made for my health unintentionally. For example, I quit smoking. I also quit drinking pop and my coffee intake has been very limited, too. Did I want to do any of this? Absolutely not. But, with so many open wounds in my mouth, smoking was impossible. And coffee and pop just didn’t sit well in my stomach once I was able to drink anything comfortably. There was a time when I even considered being a part of a coffee club so I could get coffee delivered regularly, but now it just wouldn’t be worth it with my current state, oh well.

Everyone knows that I am (or was) a Diet Coke fiend and I would never say no to a hot cup of coffee or a trip to Starbucks if I was asked. But, shockingly, I am very okay with these changes, because I have been too busy sipping on the tea to notice. Yes, I have become addicted to green tea and I love it so much that I’m okay with replacing one addiction with another!

During surgery recovery, tea always made me feel a little better. It was refreshing, mild on my stomach, and it put a minuscule pep in my step. And, now, tea makes me feel AWESOME. It energizes me, tastes delicious, and it makes me feel light without the heaviness of a caffeine crash from drinking coffee.

Although the changes above were far from intentional, I’m proud of that progress. Without my horrible oral surgery, I don’t think I would have ever bothered to quit smoking or drinking pop and for that I am thankful. I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t have a cigarette or two while I’m drinking. And, I’d definitely be a liar if I said that I didn’t enjoy a Baja Blast when I hit up Taco Bell. But, these every once in a while occasions are much better than every day habits and I can live with that!

Who else has made some good progress lately? Who has been keeping up with their New Year’s Resolutions? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Stingy Girl Secret

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Stingy Girl Secret

Hiiii! Okay, so before you read this post, a back story is definitely required. Because, even I have to admit, my Stingy Girl Secret makes me sound like the biggest cheapo on the planet. But, I promise you that this was the most unintentional hack I’ve ever come across. Let’s begin:

As all of you know, I had a really unfortunate oral surgery in December that left me suffering for an entire month. Although I am feeling much better, I am still having issues with beverages that are too cold. During recovery, I could only drink or eat anything that was tepid in heat because of the extreme sensitivity that my mouth was experiencing. With that in mind, we may proceed.

Monday is essentially my busiest day of the week, because I have back to back clients all day. Because of this, I like to get a little treat before I start my work day. AKA, I go to Starbucks after I fill up my car at the gas station. It has been my routine for some time now, and my day always feels off if I falter from that.

Normally, I enjoy an iced coffee to start off my work week. But, after an unfortunate incident, I just haven’t had the taste for it. (Long story short, my mouth started bleeding profusely when I was at a client’s house while drinking my iced coffee. The bleeding had nothing to do with the drink but, for now, I just can’t stomach it.)

Anyways, I’ve been on a big green tea kick from Starbucks since that happened post surgery, but I know that my mouth couldn’t handle a hot or an iced tea. So, upon my first trip back to Starbucks when I felt up to it, I went into the store instead of the drive thru, because this required the utmost sensitivity. I hesitantly walked up to the counter and asked for a room temperature green tea with anxious thoughts rushing through my head.

Is this request even possible?

Will they deny me my request for a not hot but not cold beverage?

Should I just run away screaming and never show my face again?!?!?!

Luckily, I didn’t have to run out of the door in shame and return only with a paper bag on my head, because the barista said I could do an iced green tea with no ice. An iced green tea with no ice?? My god, it’s so simple. So brilliant. So exactly what I needed. An iced green tea with no ice. It was a revelation. I paid for my drink and eagerly awaited for it down the way. Once my name was called, I reached for the cup and I couldn’t believe it.

IT WAS FILLED TO THE BRIM!!!

In my hazy post surgery gone wrong trauma, I really don’t know what I was expecting. For them to just fill the cup halfway because of the no ice request, I guess. But, no. My Trenta cup was filled all the way to the top with BEVERAGE. It was a miracle.

I really didn’t realize how little drink that I was getting from an iced beverage when the ice was actually in it. On my normal Monday morning commute, I would finish my drink on my way to work. But, now that I have a filled to the brim drink, I can sip on it happily for a while when I’m working. And, to this day, I always ask for my iced drink with no ice so that my sensitive teeth aren’t screaming at me and I can get a full whopping thirty ounces of beverage with no questions asked.

Stingy? Yes. But, this find was so unintentional and honestly so simple, it’s a bit stupid. BUT, it was literally the only highlight of the major trauma that I went through last month and I had to share it with all of you. I don’t know what I was getting at with this essay but, I’ve said my piece, and I feel really great about it – so thanks for reading! 😀 lololol

What is one of your stingy secrets? How do you save money when you treat yourself? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Surgery Story

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Surgery Story

Hello! A lot of you have shown interest and sent well wishes in regards to my surgery from hell last month and it has been so appreciated. Now that I’m finally in the clear, I figured I would give all of you a run down of what happened, because it was pretty intense! For those of you who don’t remember, last month I got all four of my wisdom teeth out as well as a gum transplant, which is when gums from the palette of the mouth get sewn into areas where the gums are receding. In my case, it was essentially along the front length of my bottom teeth. Hurray!

The first thing that I can remember about waking up from surgery is screaming from the anesthesia, which is what always happens when I come out of it. A nurse then walked in the room to inform me that I had to be quiet because other people were in the office. Then, she had me get up and go into my dad’s car to get home. Sweet! The entire car ride home, I can remember asking my dad if he was my dad. And he, in fact, was. So that’s always a plus.

Once I got home, everything went as expected and I spent the rest of that Friday and weekend recovering. Then, on Monday, I returned back to work. And everything until Thursday was going as good as it could be, despite the pain. It was about six days out from surgery that things started going poorly, and I had to leave work because the pain was getting really intense. I went home and figured I had pushed myself too hard post-op and decided to spend a long weekend recovering. At that point, I was still eating even though it was really hard and soldiering on thinking that this was all just part of the surgery drill. I was oh so wrong.

Within the next few days, the pain got so bad that I could no longer eat and I decided to take a trip back to the surgeon. He informed me that my oral hygiene was bad and to brush better. Yes, brush better even though I had seven open wounds in my mouth. I received no pain medication, left the office feeling just as miserable, and went home to try and implement the doctor’s advice. It was within this time period that I had to start drinking with a syringe, because I couldn’t stand any type of food or liquid touching the surgery sites in my mouth. I also had to cancel all of my clients for the week, because I was too weak and woozy with pain, lack of sleep, and hunger to do anything.

For EIGHT DAYS, I drank Gatorade and water from a syringe and, then, the weekend rolled around and I couldn’t stop throwing up. My empty stomach couldn’t handle the medication cocktail of Motrin and Tylenol that I was taking. So, you can only imagine what stomach acid felt like on all of the wounds. Sunday came and I had to go to the ER to get fluids, anti nausea medicine, and Morphine administered to me via IV and I was given a prescription for some liquid Codine and nausea meds to take home.

The following day, I went back to the surgeon and he told me that the sites where he took gum from the roof of my mouth pretty much bottomed out on itself and I had nothing but exposed bone up there. Thus, the extreme pain when it came to basically anything. He also treated a dry socket, during which a smiling nurse told me to be quiet while I yelped in pain as a pack of gauze was shoved in the hole where my wisdom tooth was taken out. So nice!

The only positive about that visit was that I learned what was wrong with me and that I finally was prescribed with painkillers so that I could try chugging some Ensure to help get my strength up. The surgeon told me he has never seen anything like what my mouth was doing, so that was also very reassuring. For the next several days, I was drinking up to ten Ensure a day to try and make up for the eight days where I ate nothing.

Although I still could barely sleep or do anything, for that matter, I felt like I was somewhat on the upswing, because I was taking in some calories. And, then, when it felt like nothing else could go wrong – my jaw got infected on Christmas day. Happy holidays to me, am I right? A huge, painful knot had formed in what felt like an hour and one side of my face was extremely swollen. So, another trip to the surgeon was scheduled for two days later.

At this appointment, I was given antibiotics for the infection and, although the surgeon noted my obvious need for more painkillers, I was not given any because of the opioid epidemic, so that was awesome. From December 27th to January 3rd when I returned back to work, I was in a weird limbo of doing nothing, drinking Ensure, and attempting to eat pureed food. I don’t think I started eating soft food somewhat regularly until the following weekend. You guys have no idea how good any type of food tastes after throwing back bottles of Ensure day in and day out!

It took me a while to get back into the swing of work because, unfortunately, I had to take over three weeks off. And, during my first week or so back, I got tired very easily while on the job and had to rest a lot. The only major upset I’ve experienced was two weeks ago, when I pulled two huge chunks of bone out of the roof of my mouth, which was super delicious. Other than that, things have gone fairly well, thank goodness.

December truly was a miserable month for me. Not only was the pain in my mouth so extreme, but I didn’t get my first full night of sleep until January 5th so I was utterly exhausted, my stomach was a mess because of the medicine that I was taking and the liquid diet, and it hurt to do just about anything. I had to take a lot of time off of work and, because I’m self employed, I got no type of sick leave. The Ensure was expensive. And, the holidays just felt sad and gloomy, which made me feel even worse, because it is usually my favorite time of the year.

I am so thankful to be feeling better and back to work and I am slowly forgetting about the major trauma that I went through for the duration of a month. And, obviously, I will never be recommending the surgeon who I saw to anyone, EVER! Woof.

Has anyone dealt with the trauma of a surgery gone wrong? What is your least favorite type of doctor to see? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

I’m Back!

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I’m Back!

Hello! After some grueling time away from my blog baby, Lil Red is officially back. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still in a buttload of pain but, it’s somewhat manageable now and I missed everyone too much to keep away. Long story short, after my wisdom teeth and gum transplant surgery, I had some pretty major complications. This included dehydration, exposed bone in the roof of my mouth, sockets that needed irrigated, and excruciating pain. It. Was. Awful.

But, I’m here now just in time for the holidays and I am so happy to be back in the blogging world with all of my beloved friends and readers. I would appreciate it if everyone would continue sending me the warm fuzzies though, because I’m still hurting pretty badly. And, I will see all of you tomorrow to chit chat about my December finishes! Much love. -Sarah

Unpretty

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Unpretty

Hi everyone! Ugh, I’ve got to say, it’s been a really shitty past few weeks. Since my wisdom teeth surgery. I have been in a lot of pain and I just can’t seem to shake it. My sleep schedule has been thrown off completely, as I now wake up multiple times during the night to deal with the constant throbbing, which then results in bathroom breaks, and me not being able to fall asleep again for another hour or so.

And, because I am not sleeping well, I am so damn tired upon awakening that I can’t even get myself ready for an agonizing day at work. Not to mention that it would hurt too bad to try, anyways! I legit haven’t done my hair or makeup in well over a week now and it’s really starting to get to me.

I always pride myself on getting dressed to the nines to go about my day. It makes me feel good to know that I truly put my best face forward and when I’m out and about on the job, the most professional form of myself is out there. So, my self esteem has taken a beating post-op because of my no makeup streak.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I live for my no makeup days during the weekend. It doesn’t get much better than sporting a fresh face after being on the old nine to five grind for the week. But, almost two weeks of being au natural is pretty excessive for me, especially when my face has been bruised and swollen for the majority of it. And, because the pain has been so bad, I’ve been dressing for comfort, which Lil Red never does! Combining all of these circumstances has left me feeling downright Unpretty, and I just want to get back to my normal self.

Reading this, I’m sure it’s easy to say that I’m being too hard on myself. And, I know I am, which is the crazy thing. But, I hate not feeling like myself and this surgery has left me feeling so broken. Even now, I feel like I’m totally rambling but, ugh, I just needed to get all of this off my chest so thanks to all of you so much for listening. ❤

How do you get yourself feeling back to normal after being in the doldrums? What are some of your natural pain relief tips? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bye Bye, Wisdom Teeth

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Bye Bye, Wisdom Teeth

Hiiiii! So, this past Friday I got my wisdom teeth removed. I now have four less teeth so, if you don’t recognize me, I completely understand! The oral surgeon also had to take some of my gums from the roof of my mouth and sew it into the bottom of my gum line so that was really tasty, too.

Aside from waking up in loopy-ville, the pain hurting like the dickens, and the fact that my face swelled up to chipmunk proportions, I’d say that I did pretty well! But, the best part, was all of the ice cream that I got to eat. The most delicious being the Chocoholic Peanut Butter Ripple from Handle’s.

Originally, I asked my dad to get me Peppermint Stick but, then, I realized that I really really wanted some chocolate. My dad doesn’t have a cell phone, so I did what any girl in pain (And also on her period! TMI?!) would do. I called Handle’s and asked them to let “the man with a mustache and flannel” know that I changed my mind. The girl on the phone was SO sweet and when my dad returned home with my treat there was an adorable note from the employees at Handle’s wishing me a quick recovery. 12/10 will FOREVER be getting ice cream from there again!

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? How about your favorite local ice cream stand? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Proceed With Confidence! Tips To Overcome Procedural Anxiety

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Proceed With Confidence! Tips To Overcome Procedural Anxiety

For one reason or another, most of us in our lives will have a surgical procedure at some point. Some may be prophylactic, designed to prevent or reduce the chances of a serious medical condition, while others may be to treat an existing condition. Whatever the cause, the prospect of undergoing a surgical procedure can be extremely daunting, particularly if we’re doing it for the first time. Procedural anxiety is a very real psychological condition, which can have incredibly damaging physical effects. In some worst case scenarios, patients have been known to refuse potentially life-saving surgery because they were so crippled by the prospect of going ‘under the knife’.

Fear of the unknown is one of the defining traits of human psychology. It’s the reason why we have learned to hide in our caves and not to tangle with saber toothed tigers. But in today’s world, our anxiety can take many forms that can be damaging to us, especially when our health is concerned. Let’s examine the anxieties that accompany surgical procedures and what you can do to combat them:

Do I Have Procedural Anxiety? Like many forms of anxiety, procedural anxiety can take many forms. While there are recognizable symptoms, they manifest differently in different people. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms when considering surgery, or in a dialogue with your doctor about surgery, then chances are you are affected by procedural anxiety:

  • Breathlessness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or stomach upset
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Shaking/trembling
  • Heart palpitations or accelerating heart rate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to think clearly or speak intelligibly
  • A sensation of detachment from reality
  • Fainting or fear of fainting
  • Fear of losing control.

anx1

Yikes!

These symptoms can be brought on by certain triggers. Most of us don’t even have to be in a hospital to start feeling them. In some cases, just the sight of blood or injury in television or movies is enough to make us feel nauseous. These kinds of anxiety are perfectly natural and more common than we may think. They affect us because of three key factors:

Loss of Control: It’s no small feat to entrust the care of our body to someone else if we are unconscious or otherwise anesthetized. This degree of trust in your surgeon is at odds with our every primal instinct to protect ourselves.

The Stakes: Surgery can lead to a better life that is free of whatever impediment the surgery is designed to treat. Often physical conditions or injuries can throw a wrench in the works of our plans for life, and surgery represents a chance to overcome that hurdle. With that in mind, it’s perfectly understandable that we’d invest our hopes in the procedure and the prospect of something going wrong or the procedure failing, which would be devastating.

Mortality: As we live our lives, we become so caught up in the minutes of our day-to-day lives that we subliminally assume that they’ll go on forever. Surgical procedures can be a stark reminder of our own mortality and make us feel fragile and vulnerable.

There’s no denying that procedural anxiety is a biggie, but that’s no reason to let it get the better of you. Here are some things that you can do to stifle your fears and go into a procedure with confidence:

anx2🙂

First, remember that you are not alone: Whatever happens, you have support every step of the way. Make sure that you make the most if it. Bring your partner, a close friend, or a family member with you whenever you feel you need some extra love. The medical staff will be there to help you and answer any questions that you may have, so voice anything that’s troubling you. If you’re worried about the prospect of something going wrong with the procedure, the surgeon, or the tools then rest assured that it’s relatively easy and risk free to get an attorney to help you.

Get to know your doctor: There can be no better way to squash the fear of the unknown than by familiarizing yourself with your doctor, medical staff, and the attending physician. Get them to describe the procedure to you in as much detail as possible (if you can stomach it). This will remind your subconscious that you are entrusting your body to a skilled, competent, and experienced professional.

Be as open with them as possible about your anxieties. You’d be astonished how understanding they’ll be. In many cases, they will work collaboratively with you, enabling you to make decisions for yourself when possible.

Educate Yourself: Knowing is half the battle, and nowhere is this more relevant than when discussing procedural anxiety. For some, having the procedure explained by a professional isn’t nearly enough and there’s no such thing as too much knowledge. Researching the procedure is one of the surest ways to rid yourself of fear of it. If possible, try and make contact with friends and family who’ve undergone similar procedures. Some people who’ve undergone surgical procedures write blogs to reassure others. Reading these can be a great reminder of what you have to gain and look forward to after the procedure.

However prepared we are, we often find ourselves overcome by fear and anxiety at times so here are some coping strategies that you may find useful:

Distraction: If you feel your mind dwelling, then it can be very counter productive. Listen to music or read a book or article in a magazine or online. Even focusing on the tiny details of a painting on the wall can give your mind a break from itself.

Challenge Negative Thoughts: We have a tendency to jump to the worst case scenario and it’s important to catch these thoughts and nip them in the bud as soon as they crop up. Use your newfound knowledge to assure yourself that the facts and logic outweigh your worst case superstitions.

Visualize: Many find it helpful to create a positive visualization to calm your anxious mind. Take yourself back to a time when you were carefree and happy and try and transpose that feeling to your future, to a time that you can look forward to after the procedure.

Remember that your anxieties are perfectly understandable and natural, but hopefully using these techniques will prevent you from letting it be the boss of you so that you can proceed with confidence!