Pain Management

Woof. Y’all, it’s been a tough day. Admittedly I am also being a big whiny baby, but letting myself indulge in whiny baby-osity has provided more relief than any of these meds, so I’m not apologizing. Apparently it’s totally normal to feel more worse on the third or fourth day after surgery, which is a fun fact of which I had been unaware until very early this morning. After waking up to pain that felt like someone had been digging for lost items in my empty tooth sockets, I turned to Google to confirm, via totally reliable and indisputable anecdata, what I suspected – that I obviously had an untreatable infection which would cause my jaw to fall off any second. Once I came to terms with my imminent demise I spent the hours of 2-4:30 AM mindlessly trolling the internet and commenting on strangers’ blogs with reckless abandon (ok, I commented on two strangers’ blogs, but as someone who is not inclined to initiate human contact with strangers that felt pretty reckless). Eventually I gave up, took a second oxycodone, and fell into a half-sleep for a few hours; I woke up to a dog nose snorfling my face around 7:30.

Still in pain, grumpy as hell, and pretty delirious, I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t getting back to sleep, so I grabbed my phone to check my email – and with that little ding of new messages came a slap in the face from Bank of America and a stark reminder of one decidedly un-fun aspect of unemployment: my checking account was overdrawn. You guys, I fucking lost it. I mean, I know I’m not raking in a surplus of cash right now, but I was not expecting a negative number, and it hit hard. So, because I am an emotionally well-adjusted adult, I curled into the fetal position and sobbed for a while. Effective problem-solving!

Eventually I managed to pull myself together, but I’ve spent the rest of the day in pain and in a funk. I doubled the recommended dosage of my painkillers, which didn’t eliminate the pain but did leave me woozy and stumbling, so when I finally emerged into the daylight to walk Murray, blinking and disheveled, I’m sure I presented quite the image to all the stay-at-home parents and retirees cheerfully enjoying their coffee on their front porches. I successfully made a smoothie without losing a finger or causing a banana-explosion, and I managed two short, fretful naps. On a more productive note, I started my application for subsidized health insurance (thanks, Obama!) but I had to put that on pause because there were more steps than my feeble brain could handle today. After my “dinner” (a protein shake of dubious flavor), I treated myself to a beer, prescription warning labels be damned. I’m celebrating the little victories today. Here’s hoping tomorrow holds less pain, and maybe even solid foods.

Pain Management

Funemployment Tip #2: Have some major oral surgery!

Ok, obviously that’s not really a tip. Unless you actually need oral surgery, or you have some very questionable hobbies. I’ve been avoiding getting my wisdom teeth out for years because of a not-entirely-rational fear of oral surgery, but since I lose my dental coverage tomorrow and it’s not like I have to take off work to recover, this seemed like the time to do it.

The actual surgery part was a breeze, because I was asleep. The parts before and after were and have been miserable and I would really like for someone to knock me back out and just let me come to in five days or so. My arm is bruised and I look a like a junkie because it took three different nurses poking me with needles to find a vein for the IV; and I’ve learned that I am apparently immune to the nitrous oxide that was supposed to “take the edge off” while said vein-poking was occurring, as the edge was very much still on. The best part, and of course by “best” I mean the part that had me openly weeping in the surgeon’s waiting room, was when I went home and tried to change my blood-saturated gauze, and my jaw got stuck. Stuck. I absolutely could not close my mouth. The loopiness leftover from the general anesthesia combined with the fact that even on a normal day I don’t have much in the way of a feelings scale between Totally Fine and Everybody Fucking Panic meant I was ill-equipped to deal with this gracefully. We drove back to Dr. Surgeonface, who came to my rescue and managed to move my jaw back into place with minimal pain (probably due to lingering numbness) but now I have to wear a spectacularly unflattering face wrap as a “gentle reminder” not to open my jaw wider than I need for a sip of water. On the bright side, it has these little pockets on the side so I can ice my face while I wear it; once I recover, I might just wear it around and store snacks in there, like a squirrel. Squirrels have the snack game all figured out.

I have to add that I am immensely thankful to Cody – Boyfriend, Temporary Chauffeur, and Purchaser of Ice Cream (he’s having business cards printed up) and also to pain meds and Valium. I also want to give a shout out to my dog, Murray, who has dutifully sacrificed his normal daytime napping location of the couch to nap with me on the bed. He is so noble.

Featured image[Edited to add this super-fly shot of my squirrel headband, because fuck it, I have no shame.]

Funemployment Tip #2: Have some major oral surgery!