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