Monday, May 5, 2008

Down In The Mouth

Recovering At Last. Thanks To Antibiotics And That Mind-Bending Mistress, Vicodin

Been out of the loop for the last few days as I had my second, and thankfully (hopefully) final round of gum/bone graft surgery last Thursday. I wasn't expecting it to be quite as intense as it was, thinking it would be more like the first round the previous week.

I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

While the previous week's work was palliative, this past week's surgery was the fix, the repair. I thank God my dentists are caring enough folks who take the time to talk with me and numb the area enough so I couldn't feel the pain from the pretty intensive job they were doing. Which basically entailed cutting open my gum, cleaning HARD around the affected pocketed area, putting in a synthetic membrane, then filling the gap with a bone-like polymer, letting that set a bit, then closing me up with sutures and applying lovely, custom-cut, in-mouth bandages I must somehow manage to keep on for two weeks until my follow-up. Again, there was no pain during the surgery, but I could feel the pressure of the doc and his hygienist doing hard, knuckle-cracking work in my grille for nearly three hours.

If you've ever had a fire in your home, you'll know the way fiirefighters in their quest to save lives have a tendency to bigfoot around with heavy steps, ripping this and that out, in search of flames and heat. Well, my mouth was a house afire, and it was only after they were done and I felt the numerous shots wearing off when I began to feel the effects of their going in hard and putting out my fire.

You know you're in for the shit when minutes after you're out of the chair (and spitting out what looked like what Dick Cheney would spit out if interrupted while eating a baby) they hand you a Vicodin and say. “Take this NOW.”

I'd kinda scrimped on the painkillers after Round One of my oral pain-a-palooza. Not this time. Thursday was bad. Friday was actually worse, as my lower right jaw swelled a little after having been sliced, diced and julienned and then having foreign substances—the membrane and synthetic bone put in at last. Didn't eat really until Saturday. Grits and scrambled eggs, chewed on the left side of my mouth—oh, so enjoyable. And of course, the prescriptions. Antibiotics, Vicodin, Peridox gargle. Lovely. But I am getting better. My body is still adjusting to the new stuff in my jawline, but things have stabilized considerably.

And best of all...after being told that I could not drink anything hot (or eat anything hot, spicy, or overly chew-intensive...which is everything that is yummy), today I had my first cup of coffee since Thursday.

And I love a good cup of coffee. My brother had gotten me a bag of South American beans, roasted on the day he'd gotten them himself, and we were on the final bit of that burlap bag of Brazilian bounty in my house for the weeks leading up to me getting my jaw sawed the fuck open. I was missing my Java and since the supply was dwindling of the good stuff at the house (It's gonna be hard goin' back to Dunkin' Donuts joe after this stuff), I had my wife set aside a bit of the last of the whole beans.

Today...I had some. And what sweet ambrosia it was. Ground 'em up m' self and made a big, steaming cup—which I carefully drank, still keeping mostly to one side of my mouth. But, ohhhhhhhh...

The bag, the bowl, the Brazilian Bounty still to be a' ground. Mmmmmmmm!!

So incrementally, I'm getting better. Thanks to all of you who wished me well and sent me good health vibes. Papa LM is recovering—even if the gauzy veil of Hydrocodone (Vicodin) makes the thought processes a little difficult of late. I swear, I don't know how people can pop this stuff recreationally. Fuck a “trip”. It sends me on scary voyages. The reflexes? Please. I couldn't quick-draw a salt-pained slug. I found myself waiting for the bus the other day—a long wait—watching the cars go by, and got entertained when they appeared to be going in slow-motion. I thought I was musing to myself on the taffy-pulled vehicles (that's what they looked like to me) when I noticed a woman who had been standing near me at the bus stop moving away from me.

Apparently, my dreamy “La-la-la-la”-ing I thought I was doing in my head while watching the Fantasia-esque parade of cars was actually being pharmaceutically vocalized.


So, that's why I've been away. The old judgement and common sense centers are still just a tad off. But they are getting better as I wean off this “stuff”. Coming backatcha, people. Coming backatacha!

Just do me a favor, though. If you notice me going “La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la” in a post, promise me you'll be kind and just hip me in comments and NOT cyber-back away from a brother, okay? Thanks!