Friday, March 13, 2009

The worst 24 hour period after the extraction was Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon. I would up taking another hydrocodone at 6 pm on Tuesday, another when that wore off so I could sleep, and another after that. By morning, neither the Advil nor the narcotics were doing very much, and even though I was following the post-operative instructions in excrutiating detail, I was getting worried that I had dry socket.

I called the oral surgeon's office, and was told to rinse with salt water a lot. So I did. I also stopped taking the hydrocodone entirely, toughed out the pain, got myself on an every four hour Advil cycle, and switched from ice packs to moist, warm packs. I really don't like hydrocodone. I think it does little to help with pain, it just makes me dopey. And I think it makes me need more and more Advil.

It was worth it, because I started to feel somewhat better by Wednesday afternoon. I even went to campus yesterday and taught my classes. But still today I have quite a bit of pain, and I am still taking Advil every four hours. Sometimes I have to force myself to get from 3.5 hours to 4, although occasionally I can go 4.5 hours.

A lot of people seem to have little trouble with a tooth extraction, and are fine after a day or two. That certainly hasn't been my experience. I am only able to eat ice cream, broth, applesauce, mashed potatoes and yogurt. I am not sure whether I am a wimp, or what.

I knew I would feel this way, but another issue is how unhappy I am about losing a tooth. I feel like I am in mourning. I can't understand people who are eager for dentures. I mean, I guess if your teeth constantly ached the way mine did last weekend, you might rather have them gone. And if you haven't gone to the dentist in a long time, fear procedures such as root canal, or don't want to spend the money, extraction might not seem so bad. But none of that is the case for me. I go for a check up every six months, I felt OK the day after my root canals, I have great insurance and even though I do have to pay about half, I thought it was a small price to pay to save a tooth. I am a fanatic about brushing, flossing and not eating stuff that might break a tooth or pull out a filling. My teeth have always been pretty good.

I guess I was naive, because I thought if I got a crown and root canal, I wouldn't be faced with extraction for a long, long time, if ever. Then this happened after only 18 months, but the tooth was never right, even at first. It has been bothering me since 2003, so I am not exactly sure why I am mourning. It doesn't help that the wisdom tooth on that side now seems to be making my cheek sore. I guess I will get used to it eventually. I just wish it would heal and the pain would go away. That would help my attitude.

The mourning feeling is already making me pretty sure that I am going to want an implant. The pain is making me ask, "are you crazy?" But I think not getting one could mean bad things in terms of my top tooth not having anything below it.

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