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Monday, May 03, 2004

The Surgery and Movies... 

I went in the Washington Hospital Center at 9am on Friday to prep up for surgery. To clear things up based on comments in KT's blog...I went to an oral surgeon, not to a dentist. My case was pretty complicated. I shall describe here what my case was.

Back in November, I went to see a dentist for a routine semi-annual teeth cleaning and I was complaining of pain on my left jaw. After x-rays were taken, it was discovered that I had a cyst surrounding my lower right wisdom tooth, which was upside down. The wisdom tooth in my lower left jaw was starting to come out and needed it to be pulled out. It was recommended by the dentist to go see an oral surgeon to have all my wisdom teeth pulled out.

So, I immediately went to see an oral surgeon. She was a little Asian lady but the dentist had told me that she was one of the best oral surgeons in the city. I walked into her office and you could tell that pulling teeth were not the only thing that she did. She also offered services for Botox and other beauty avenues. She explained that it would be best to pull all the wisdom teeth out. She told me that the one on my lower right jaw was risky because the tooth and the cyst was on one nerve. The risk was that I could end up with numbness on my lower lip, tongue and lower right jaw. It's usually temporary, which can take up to 2 years to recover. If past 2 years, then I would know that it would be permanent.

Anyways, I came back for the surgery appointment. Got knocked out and then woke up. Found out that only my tooth in my lower left jaw was pulled...the one that was causing me pain at that moment. She told me that she struggled with pulling this one out. (It was supposed to take her 1 hour to pull all 4 of them.) However, it took her 1 hour to pull just that one. She said that she realized that I needed to be under stronger anethesia, which she didn't have. So, she recommended me to go see another oral surgeon.

At the point, I had asked her if it was safe for me to hold it off until the new year because I was just starting to deal with my mother's ordeal with cancer. She said I could til Feb. So, I put that whole thing on the back burner while I flew home and spent time with my mother. (By the way, she was a good surgeon, I hardly felt pain...just a bit of soreness.)

After my mother died, I went to see another oral surgeon. This time, turned out that the cyst and tooth on the lower right jaw was now on 2 nerves...which is even riskier. Plus, found another cyst near the upper left wisdom tooth. So, it was like...I need to get them all out. This dr. had a bit of an ego as he proclaimed himself to the best oral surgeon of all in DC. This office offered services on facial cosmetic surgeries. This dr. told me that this anethesia is so strong that my body and my brain would forget to breathe and that we would be "sharing" a mask that if I don't breathe, then he will breathe for me. Oh, not only that...I would be awake but just numbed. I was like..."oh fuck!" Plus, he wanted to insert a bone graft in my lower right jaw. See, that's how complicated my case was.

Well, turned out that it was expensive. I had to shell out some money for the first surgery. This second surgery...I would be shelling out 2K for just 1 tooth. I was like...yikes. But, you see, I was only using my dental insurance. I was talking to a guy via AIM. (We've kept in touch on AIM since I was a Gally student.) He suggested that since I have cysts, why not use my medical insurance. So, I thought I'd give it a try. Turned out that my medical insurance will pay for the whole thing. I was like...yes!

So, with bullshit with red tapes and all that, I was able to land a surgery appointment with WHC on April 30th. Yes, I was told that they would pull out all 3 remaining teeth. Was told that it would take 2 hours to do the surgery. So, I went in to the Admissions dept. These people! First, the day before, I had called and they asked me if I wanted a terp and I said yeah. So, I get there and they tell me that the terp is late. So, they called some guy to bring a TTY. I was like...what for? Oh, they wanted to set up a TTY so that we can "communicate" back and forth the usual admission questions. They were struggling to set it up. I was like...why not use paper and pen? They were like...oh, yeah...why not? Duh!

After all that, I was led downstairs to the prep room. I stripped and put on the hospital gown and robe. Then was led to a bed. Hopped on and laid back. KT showed up a few moments later, after I got an IV needle inserted in me. The terp finally showed up. This was the same terp that interpreted for Hassan's memorial service. He seemed like a nice guy. Anyways, I was rolled away to the OR with the terp besides me.

I kept telling myself...to remember when I closed my eyes when they injected the anethesia in me. Last time, when I was having my gallbladder removed, they inserted the anethesia and I didn't remember falling asleep. So, I told myself...remember! Well, they inserted the anethesia and the terp said..."how do you feel?" I said..."woozy". And then that was it. Dammit! I wanted to remember closing my eyes. Oh well...

Woke up and I was just still out of it. I could really feel the right side of my jaw but not the left side. Turned out that they only removed 2...the ones that had the cyst. The surgery took almost 4 hours. See...complicated! For the one in my lower right jaw, they had to go into the jaw to get the tooth and cyst. So, my jaw is practially broken at this point. That's why the need for soft food diet for the next 6 weeks. I cannot chew! The one in my upper left, they struggled with it and decided that the one on my upper right should not be bothered with it. They don't predict any problems with it.

So, I have been at home, relaxing and drugged up from the medicines. Dammit! I didn't get the Percocet. Only got the generic one. Just finished that medicine today. Still taking penecillin (sp?). It's amazing how after a surgery...how much your body needs to sleep. I stayed home from work today. Just woke up from taking a nap. I know I'll be napping some more today.

Right now, my face looks like a squirrel who has stuffed 1 month worth of nuts into his mouth. Really, the left side of my face isn't so bad. It's my right side. It's sticking out and looks like it's sagging. I need an extreme makeover, right now!

Awww...KT has been a wonderful nurse with all these things he's done for me. Some of these services have been really awesome!! (woof, woof) He's a thoughtful guy...as always! Love you, babe!

I wanna thank Witch for keeping in constant touch with me, via pager, all through the weekend. You're really thoughtful! Big hugs to you!

While I was recovering, KT and I saw a few movies. Kill Bill vol. 1 is awesome! Very vee'ing! I vee'd how they were doing these blood splatters...that was just so funny! I love the first fight scene where these 2 ladies were fighting and then they hid the knives behind their backs as the girl was returning home from school. That was just too funny!
I can't wait to see vol. 2!

The latest version of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was gruesome. There were a couple of scary parts. I told KT...gosh, that girl that escapes...for sure a lifetime of therapy! Imagine if you had to experience something like that shit. You and your friends go somewhere only to be met with a "serial" killer and you see all your friends die and you escape and live to tell about it. Therapy!!
Many people think that this is a true story. Not so. It was INSPIRED by a true story. The real story was based in Plainfield, Wisc. This happened back in the 1950's. You can Google about the story...just type in the following: true story behind Texas Chainsaw Massacre They said that this story also inspired the movies Psycho and Silence of the Lamb. There were a few parts in the movie that did remind me of the latter movie.

At the end of the Texas movie, it said that the killer has not been found. It reminded me of a real story...the Zodiac Killer, in which the killer, to this day, has not been found. This happened in the late 60's in California. I remember I bought a book, when I a teenager, about the Zodiac Killer. I remember reading parts of it, like at 1 am. I remember being so freaked out by it that I couldn't sleep and had to have all the lights in my bedroom on. You can also Google the Zodiac Killer or click at this link to get a gist of the story.

We also saw Timeline, which didn't impress us. Not worth seeing it. We just watched the cartoon version of Lord of the Rings, this morning. Gosh, the drawings were awful. The movie didn't finish the whole story. It's like missing the last 30% of the story. I was like...maybe there's another disc. Nope! Wha???? Fucked up!

Anyways, this is a long entry and I better stop. I will be going to back to the doctor tomorrow for a follow up visit on my surgery. Hopefully, all turns out well.

Have a great day! ta ta...