Friday, May 20, 2011

Post surgery update

So, I am 3 days post-surgery and today am feeling a bit better finally. Honestly, I feel a bit out of practice from surgeries, as this time the pain and healing after has surprised me at how rough it is! Maybe its because I am older, or maybe its because I have 3 kids to take care of now (one of them a baby), but its been hard. I am praying I am on a downward incline from this point out but who knows really.

Tuesday morning rolled around bright and early, as we had to be out of the house by 5:40 am. We got to the hospital and I registered and submitted all my medical paperwork, then went up to the 5th floor for same-day surgery. They did the usual stuff, then took me back. I admit I did freak out briefly when they put the mask over my face to put me under. I am claustrophobic and for some reason it hit me hard this time. They told me to lay back and they put this band around the top of my head (to strap me down) and then the anesthesiologist put the mask over my face and I lost it, I started to cry and panic big time. Then I saw one of my doctors come up and hold my hand, and then I felt better seeing a face I recognized. Next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery.

They said all had gone well. My doctor was pleasantly surprised to see how much bone I had in there when they opened up the area. I am so happy for that, as we worked SO hard for it (multiple bone grafts later, grrr), so that was a big plus. They didnt need to take a bone graft from the roof of my mouth, which made me so happy to only have ONE surgical site to worry about. They did have to debride the area (remove old dead tissue from previous surgeries) and then they placed a small metal plate that screwed into the bone to try to stabilize that area better. Admittedly I am still freaking because there is a lot of movement in there from the teeth still, but they said its probably because its my old acrylic denture and not the permanent one, and hopefully the permanent teeth will fit better after all of this mess. I have to say I do worry that maybe this didnt work, but they JUST did the surgery, so I still have some hope that it will all work out in the end. All I can do is pray that this was a good fix, and that my body heals the way its supposed to.

Post surgery has sucked a bit. My lips hurt really badly from being stretched open for so long, so they got incredibly chapped and cracked and painful and still are. Its almost as painful as the actual surgical site. The skin is peeling off them like crazy and I have a lot of "dead" skin which has turned brown around my mouth that I have been trying to get off a little each day. I am SO hungry too, and at times feel so starving I get cranky and irritable. I still cant open my mouth wide enough to fit a spoon in there, so all soup and stuff has to be basically eaten off the tip of a spoon, and I am sooooooo sick of liquids. My diet consists of Ensure, water, coffee, tea, ice cream, and different kinds of pureed soups. Thats it. And, there is a lot of pain still so after I eat I hurt for a while. My right cheek is the worst with swelling, although today it was down quite a bit, but it has swollen so far inwards that its pressing up against the denture and my inside of my cheek is FILLED with canker sores from the pressure of it. Its like one big canker sore! I am just so ready for the swelling to go down in there.

I had to quit taking my Vicodin because it was....leading to other issues lol. So I am taking the 800 mg Motrin they gave me from the procedure before this. It works, but doesnt take the pain away completely, and near the end for the last hour before I can take it again I am in SO much pain. Last night I just wanted to cry, and ended up taking it an hour earlier than I was supposed to. I think I may have iced the area a bit too long last night before bed or something, because it was just all of a sudden I was in a TON of pain after icing it. So, yeah, Motrin isnt exactly cutting the mustard for pain relief, but I am praying I am nearing the end of the bad pain period, and then it should work just fine.

Finally, I seem to have caught my son's cold so I have a stuffed up nose and a cough. I knew I would, as I had a tickly throat before surgery, and when I started taking the antibiotics I knew I'd get it, as I always get sick either during or after taking antibiotics. The coughing is awesome, since it loosens up blood every time I have a bad coughing fit. Ugh. And, when I feel a cough coming on I cant just COUGH, I have to, like, control the cough because it hurts so bad, so it goes on and on and on, if that makes sense. It sucks big time! Praying it passes soon too.

So, that's my sob story for now! Please pray for continued healing, and that I manage to evade an infection this time around. The worry of that consumes me, so I will be so glad when I am healed in there.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Facebook link

I started an ameloblastoma group on FB, if anyone is interested in joining. The yahoo health groups dont send to my email very often, not too sure why, so it'll be easier to keep up that way!!/home.php?sk=group_154326351301307&ap=1

Pre-surgery rituals :p

Have already begun! I know its weird, but after you've had as many as I have, you just get a routine in. Plus it helps with the stress and keeps my mind off of surgery for a bit. I have already changed our sheets (put darker ones on for post-surgery bleeding, just in case), and started laundry. I like to come home to no laundry after surgery! I stocked up on groceries and freezer foods so my poor husband can feed the kids for the next couple of days if need be. Packing my daughters clothes so she can go stay a few days at her grandparents. Making notes for my mother in law for watching the boys. Re-filled my daughter's meds prescription so no one has to worry about that for the next few weeks. Also all day long I will drink just water, and take NO medicine or drink alcohol or anything. And I cant do my last evening before surgery ritual, which is usually eat whatever meal I want, since its normally the last meal I can eat for a while. But, since I still cant chew, I will have to skip that one. :(

Then tomorrow morning I will wake up one hour early, shower, shave, and blow dry my hair out. Why, you ask, do I do all that before surgery? Because if I end up having to stay there overnight I am at least clean for the first night! Hospital showers = NO bueno. *shudder. Plus, the showering and shaving thing is a weird ritual that makes me feel "clean" for going into surgery, if that makes sense. It just makes me feel better going into it I guess.

The morning of surgery is always the worst. I feel sick to my stomach while I am getting ready, from anxiety. Then we leave at the butt crack of dawn (really just 6 am), and drive there, normally in silence since I am so anxious. We go to anesthesia (4th floor) and wait...then they call you in. They take you into a small room and weigh you, talk to you about what's going to happen, etc. Then they take you back into a kind of communal room where everyone goes before their surgeries I guess, and pull the curtain so you're in there with just a small bed. You sit on it and wait...they bring you a gown and slippers, those net underwear (which are SUPER fun!) and a net hat for your hair. You get dressed into that, they give you a bag for all your clothes. Then you wait for them to come start an IV, which for me always takes a couple of tries. That usually gets my anxiety through the ROOF and I always start to cry. Theyll have me say goodbye to my husband, then wheel me into the operating room. Its a white, sterile room with a huge light overhead, and a table with all kinds of scary metal instruments on it. They have me move onto the bed that's in there, and cover me with warm blankets. Then my drs start to filter in (theres quite a few of them) and some residents, since its a teaching hospital. I normally start to shake around this point, and my main dr will come and talk to me, pat me on the back and say "why dont we give her something to relax her?" and then I normally am waking up from surgery.

Thats it, in a nutshell.

Anyway, talking about this is stressing me out so I am going to stop here. Wish me luck! I'll keep you all posted.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Surgery Tuesday

Just got the call, I will be the first case so we have to be there by 6:30 am, surgery is at 7 am.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another surgery :(

So, I just got a call from my oral surgeon. They decided they need to open up my gums around the area where my implant is to see what the issue is. Because my whole lower jaw is made of titanium, X-rays throw off whats called "scatter" so they cant get a perfectly clear picture of what's going on in that area unless they go in and open it up. :( So, they said they need to see if the area has enough bone to even support the teeth, and, if not, take a bone graft from the roof of my mouth to put in the area. If they think the bone looks ok they will place a small metal plate in that area to bridge the gap so the teeth and that implant have more stability. I'm terrified to say the least, and hate that they gave me less than a week to get ready for major surgery; it always triggers my anxiety. And, I'll be without teeth for a while as well because they wont want to put the teeth back on over a surgical site. I just want to be done with all of this. I feel so conflicted inside, part of me is glad maybe this will be a more permanent solution to the problem but the other part is so terrified, because every time they have to open me up I get an infection it seems, so I will have that anxiety over me as well. Not to mention I always worry they will find another ameloblastoma when they get in there, too. Please pray for me, my surgery is Tuesday morning. I am so afraid.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

More issues

Sorry I've been MIA. Pretty much I have still been having issues with that right implant, and its been incredibly stressful. If you remember, they had placed 4 implants and one did not integrate. Well, the one we lost was pretty much the "partner" implant to the one on the far right. So, I have two on the left, a big gap, then the one on the far right. The denture seems to not be able to stay attached to that implant and continues to loosen. In the beginning it was a gradual thing, and I could go a few months with it being ok. They also thought it may have been due to my pregnancy, so we had high hopes it would all pan out after my baby was born. Then it began to loosen almost instantly after being tightened. After going about this way for quite a while, my dr finally decided to remove the teeth and check all of the abutments. This was only a couple of weeks ago. Turns out that the abutment was completely stripped on that implant, so he replaced it, tightened everything and said all was well. We were worried the implant itself had loosened but they said all seemed well (and, quite frankly, its very rare for an implant to fail after integration has taken place). Well, I lasted one week, then the screw snapped off in the abutment again. GAH!!!!

Now, let me tell you something. When you have been through as much as I have, you would do damn near anything at this point just to get some teeth that a) WORK (as in, letting me EAT) and b) will just stay tightened so you arent returning to the teaching hospital your drs work at every week, and spending hours there waiting just to get them tightened, only for them to come loose again! SO, yes, my diet had been liquids and very very soft foods. In fact, after it had been tightened I was so paranoid that I barely chewed! And, it still snapped- when I yawned, no less. Obviously I need to be able to yawn and chew even soft foods to survive, so this just ISN'T working.

The tentative plan now is to go back in remove the teeth, re-take impressions and re-work the hardware under the teeth. My dr says it could be that the bone has settled again in some places and is no longer the way it was back when the teeth were first placed. So, the bone will have changed but the metal obviously would still be the same, and it could be causing stress at certain points underneath when I chew or even just open my mouth. I am hoping they can let me use my old denture (the one I had from my other surgeries back before I got this permanent denture) which looks exactly like the one I have now except it is acrylic, so they can change it to fit my mouth again if need be. I know it wont fit right because its been a very long time, but praying they will not leave me without teeth during this process.

I get pretty beside myself t the thought of them taking th eteteh off. In fact, my poor d has taken to sedating me withvalium before even trying tot ake the teeth off, because my anxiety gets so sky high that I cry and tremble and he says I make himt oo nervous to work on me. Its awful. But, it tatke sme back to the almost 2 uyrs I went without teeth, with peopel poingint gn and staring at me every time Ilft the house, and I just cannot deal. I know that sounds weak, but its where I;m atnow.

Anyway, prayers please that this is the "easy" fix that we are looking for. I am so afraid we will be at a loss if this all doesnt work.

Oh, and a new picture of me these days, with my "baby" who will be 10 mos old in a couple of day! Not so much of a baby anymore already *sniff.