Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mashed potatoes

I guess it was about a month ago. I don't think I mentioned it here -- it was the morning that my computer first started acting weird. We had had a thunderstorm the night before, and I had shut the eMac down. It's connected to a UPS (uninterruptable power source), so it shouldn't be a problem, but if we're expecting a severe storm, we usually shut the computers down. Anyway, the next morning, when I tried to turn it on, it wouldn't come on. I tried a couple of times, but no luck. Great.

So I went off to work feeling terribly discouraged. I thought maybe getting breakfast at McDonald's would help--I thought I deserved it--so I drove through and got a bagel sandwich. I took a bite, something felt weird, and I discovered that I had broken a tooth, a molar.

When I got to work, Simon barked to welcome me, and I walked into Dave's office to say good morning. He (Dave, not Simon) looked at my face, said "Are you okay?" and I burst into tears. Not a good day.

Fast forward. Bob got the computer to start up later that day, and my tooth didn't seem to be bothering me, so I tried not to worry about either one of them. But last week, both things went bad. The computer refused to start up again, and my tooth started hurting. We took the computer in to CompUSA to be fixed on Saturday, and later that day, I was lying in bed with my tooth throbbing, loading up on ibuprofen and making a bargain that I would call the dentist on Monday if my tooth would just stop hurting . . .

I have good teeth, mostly, and I haven't been to the dentist in way too long. Bob goes all the time, and I know I should, but I just don't. By Sunday it had stopped hurting, but I knew it was only a matter of time. I called Bob's dentist on Monday and said that I had a toothache, and they said they might be able to work me in that day, but since it wasn't currently hurting, I said it wasn't an emergency, and that any time that week would probably be fine. So I got an appointment early on Wednesday.

The dentist examined me, they took x-rays, and he said that there was a "big hole" in my wisdom tooth on the bottom left. I had never had my wisdom teeth out, they had never bothered me before. But now I had a bad one, and I had to decide what to do. I had been hoping for a filling, or a crown, but that obviously wasn't going to work. The dentist recommended having all of my wisdom teeth out eventually, but obviously I needed to get something done right away with the bad one. He got me a referral to an oral surgeon, who said he could work me in, so I drove over there from the dentist's office.

The dentist had said that for just one tooth, they could probably extract it with a local, whereas if they removed all four of them, they would knock me out. But when the dentist talked to the surgeon on the phone, he said he was uncomfortable with recommending a local until he saw me. When I got over there and talked to him, he said he could do it either way, but that it was probably going to be hard to remove. He left it up to me, and I said that I was perfectly okay with being asleep for it. It didn't look like I was going to be able to go back to work either way.

So he gave me a valium, and told me to come back at 2:00 with someone who could drive me home. I guess it was about 11:00 then. I asked him if I could eat, and he said no, that I couldn't eat for six hours before surgery, that was why he wanted me to come back at 2:00--I told him I'd eaten some yogurt at about 8:00 before I went to the dentist. So I met Bob at home, took about a half our nap in my chair, took my valium, and we headed back.

We didn't have to wait very long, maybe a half hour, before they called me in. The surgeon was there, and his assistant, and they arranged me in the chair, gave me oxygen, and started an IV. I said, "Wow, I can feel it already" as the drug entered my system, and the surgeon smiled, and said, "Are you relaxing?" and I was gone.

Thirty seconds later (yeah, probably more like a half hour, but it felt instantaneous to me), they were helping me out of the chair and taking me to a couch to lie down. The rest of it is kind of hazy -- they went and got Bob, and showed him how to pack my tooth with gauze, and gave him prescriptions for pain medication, and sent him down to get the car while they wheeled me downstairs in a wheelchair.

We went to Target to get the prescription filled and to get a few things that they said I could eat. We got yogurt and soup and juice and ice cream, and then we stopped at Boston Market and got mashed potatoes and gravy and macaroni and cheese.

When we got home I took a pain pill and ate some lukewarm mashed potatoes (they said not to eat anything hot, not to drink anything with a straw, no soda (nothing fizzy), just warm or cold soft things), and went to bed, where I stayed for about twelve hours. Bob woke me up when he needed to change the gauze, replace my ice pack, or give me a pain pill. He always takes such good care of me--and I've needed it a lot lately!

They told me to stay home from work today, so I did, but I spent quite a bit of time this morning on the computer answering email and doing a few small jobs that I could do from home. I went back to bed early this afternoon and slept a few more hours.

I'm just taking ibuprofen now--I haven't had a pain pill for awhile--so I think I'll be fine to go to work tomorrow. I guess I'll take mashed potatoes and gravy for lunch.

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