Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Pain

Being in pain is tough. Actually, it sucks! And I'm in pain. I had an oral surgery one month ago to remove some excess bony growth in my mouth, under my tongue, basically the entire floor of my mouth. It hurt, as the surgeon had to slice along my teeth in order to fold back the tissue to get at the bone. Thankfully, I was asleep for the procedure. With pain meds, a lot of ice, salt water rinses, Tylenol and Advil, I got through it. It took about a week for everything to calm down.

On Tuesday I returned to the surgeon's physician assistant for a follow-up. I was concerned, as I had developed a sore below my teeth on the inner surface of the left side of my mouth. Turns out I had reason to be concerned. There was dead bone pushing its way out through the tissue, much like a sliver works its way out through your skin over time. Why was there dead bone?? I don't know. But apparently it was kind of a big deal, as the PA sent me down the road to the surgeon's office right then and there.

The surgeon's resident checked me out and informed me he'd basically have to re-do the procedure on the left side in order to remove an entire ridge of rough, dying bone. Okay. I had no idea what I was getting into! Remember, I was asleep for the initial procedure. This time I was awake. I'll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say the procedure was very rough! The number of and amount of Novocaine injections was enough to begin my barely contained panic, and it only got worse from there.

I survived, and left feeling relieved and numb. I wasn't too worried, or maybe I just didn't think about what would happen after the Novocaine wore off. Two hours later I was in agony. I dealt with it as best I could with Tylenol, Advil and ice, but within a few hours I was back on the phone to the PA. I have never in my life requested pain medication, but I couldn't believe how much pain I was in. Not only did the surgically traumatized area hurt, my entire jaw, the left side of my face, and my neck were aching beyond belief. I could feel my heartbeat in my jaw! I was awake during the procedure so I think I tensed the muscles into oblivion! I could barely open my mouth.

Well, the PA politely refused to prescribe pain meds. Instead she prescribed a Lidocaine rinse (which tastes like rubbing alcohol and numbs the tissues for about 30 minutes!) and prescription strength Advil (whoopee!). Since I'm only supposed to rinse with the Lidocaine solution every 3 hours, and since the Advil and Tylenol do absolutely nothing to relieve my pain, I've been in utter agony for 5 days and counting! With the exception of rupturing my L4 disc a couple of years ago, I've never experienced this much pain!

My mouth is now full of canker sores and basically feels like one big open wound. Eating and drinking is a tortuous experience. I can carefully slurp down yogurt or drink protein shakes with the right side of my mouth, but even that is excruciating. I guess this is one way to lose a few pounds. I had to leave work early on Wednesday, took Thursday off, and only worked part of the day yesterday. I can't think. I can't concentrate. My mood is, at best, slightly cranky, as my mouth hurts all the time!

I talked with the PA again yesterday to voice my concerns. She assured me it will get better. Of course it will, but geez is this amount of discomfort really necessary? I'm frustrated, and in pain, and concerned.

I'm scheduled to run a half marathon with my brother tomorrow. I'm not sure how that's going to go. Instead of a fun return to the event, it may be more of an uncomfortable slog. Not exactly what I had hoped or planned for, but I'll do my best. Being in pain sucks. I'm counting the minutes until I find some relief. And I don't think I'll allow anyone to take a scalpel to my mouth ever again!

1 comment:

Camille said...

Ugh! That sounds horrible! I'm so sorry you're in so much pain. Honestly, I feel like the opioid epidemic has gone a little far. People who genuinely need prescription pain meds are having a really tough time and suffering unnecessarily. I pray for healing and that God would remove your pain and help you focus on the joys. I pray you would be able to return to work soon, for no further complications with this surgery. Hang on and take good care of yourself. <3



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