April 16, 2012

Bloody Hell !!!

It started early October last year when I had to visit my dentist for the Root Canal treatment for all the Almond Rocca / Nutties I had so enthusiastically devoured.

Next rude shock – My wisdom teeth (all four) were impacted and to make matters worse, were growing horizontal in my tiny jaw, hurting the nearby teeth, inaccessible by the dentist tools easily since I had a small jaw, needing immediate surgery to arrest/address any tumor growth.

After lot of haggling (yes, I haggled with my dentists :)), the month of December was decided.

December 3 was my singing event in the Indiranagar club. So I cancelled that date (and eventually my program was also cancelled).

December 10 was our company event in Chennai so I asked for postponement to Dec 16th. Since Dec 16th fell on my now rescheduled singing event, I then requested my doctor to postpone it by a day.

I had been reading about all post –op complications and was all nerves and getting jittery. Come Dec 16th, en-route to the singing event, I met up with an accident while driving. I was spooked. Drove on and went and wrapped up the singing and cancelled my surgery with hocus pocus reasons.

And the week that followed at work was chaotic, and needed me on top of things. I gave justifications to myself that cancellation of my surgery was indeed a good decision.

Fast forward to April and I have shooting pains in the right side of my jaw. Since this happened around the time my grandma got admitted to ICU, the doc said it could be tension, stress, and improper eating.

Pati, rock-star that she is, gave everyone of us relatives / family members, the bird and came out of the ICU after a highly tense weekend, alive and kicking, and got moved to the regular ward. My happiness knew no bounds. I mean all her questions and need for answers I could tolerate but not her unconscious state. Now, I am ecstatic, but my pain remained.

Another visit to the dentist confirmed my worst fears. I needed the surgery and that too immediately since there were too many risks. And at my age now, I could heal well than when I hit the 40s and 50s.

Thursday, December 12
I had been going to work without any interruptions. I just wanted to keep busy and remove all negative thoughts.

But I lost it. I broke down on the phone to my friend and Darsh. I could only think of the worst – facial paralysis (since the tooth was very near to an important nerve), lifelong chronic pain, numbness and death (as per some reports I had read)
I am such a vain person. All I could think of was what if I stopped looking the way I now looked and was left paralyzed at my face.

Friday, December 13
I am calm today. I have decided to face whatever had to happen. I went to work for the first half of the day. On my way back, I went to see my grandma in the ward. She recognized me, called me by my name, took her blessings and left for my surgery.

Dr. Rajanikanth is my surgeon of the hour. I had my friends and colleagues ribbing me about this and I had a good laugh myself.

The victims were the tooth on right side, one on top and one on the bottom. I had decided to take the local anesthesia over the general anesthesia since there were apparently lesser complications. On hindsight, I should have gone general.

Phones are switched off. Mom and Mil come and wish me luck like I am going to die on the chair. I am suffering panic attacks. And the torture begins.

It is excruciating because I know what they are doing, hearing it all, experiencing the pressure the doc’s tools are putting on my teeth, and the mental image of this all makes me cringe, hold my hands tightly, move my restless feet, sweat (a new one for me) and have my eyes a little less than brim.

The top tooth is removed easily in one-piece and I relax, thinking 1 down, another one to go. The bottom tooth turns out to be a terror (I am giving profanity a miss here).

The doctor keeps thanking me for my cooperation, my patience and will power when in my head, I have twisted and broken his neck and am in half a mind to sink my remaining healthy teeth into his finger which he has placed in my mouth. Lucky him, I didn’t give into that tendency and the only reason for that was, he had vicious tools in his hand especially the flat bread knife sort of thing he kept forcing into my cheek to keep it open for his ease of accessing my tooth. That bloody thing tore my lips and cheek lining and I have this ugly red ulcer rash and my smile is now an exact half. It’s like a curve on my left and a straight line on my right. I could have given the Joker in Batman, good company with my new look.

His further mention of 25% complete, 35% complete while he breaks my tooth with his highly loud drill into many pieces is not reassuring. It’s bloody annoying because I just want it getting over and his numbers are increasing as fast as Bangalore is getting cooler.

He did a good job but his assistant, kept receiving phone calls and I could hear her, make new appointments on the call while multitasking providing proper suction and irrigation at my socket (yes, I did learn a few words along the way). I was ripping her head off more viciously than for the nicer doc.

And then it got over. Tears did stream down my eyes but they were from tiredness and the severe headache I had) having to keep my mouth forcibly open like an alligator, clamped on some rubber thing for an insane 3.5 hours. My head was ready to explode and I could feel severe pain in my jaw and along my entire right side.

The first thing that vain me did after getting off was to see my face in the mirror and tag a name accordingly. Well, it looked like I was having a little orange stuffed in the right side of my cheek. I could have looked a lot worse.

Saying so, I pacify myself, pocket the one tooth that came out in whole and put into my bag as proof of my warrior struggle :)

All the time the doctors are praising my will power and pain tolerance, I want them to tell me what food I can consume, because I am bloody starving and could have eaten a dinosaur. Ice-creams, soft food, juices and non spicy food is the menu - I am so screwed. I want to eat Pasta, Pizza and what not. Sigh... well it’s not be for a long while

On the way back home, D picks up potato buns and a croissant, rips open the cover and starts to wolf it down this throat. The smell of it wafts into my nose and I am again getting ferocious in my head. Sigh..

Back home, I struggle opening my mouth to eat some stupid cold yoghurt and pop the pills. Extremely sleepy, extremely tired, swelling and pain, I doze off.

Its day 4 - 84 hours post the procedure, swelling, fever and headache persist. I hate being this helpless and not working...

And this is just the beginning ……… this needs to be done again in 2-3 months for my left side of the teeth.

Wisdom Tooth, my foot