Friday, February 17, 2012

Mastering the (bloody) art of recovery

After the drugs wore off five days ago, I quickly realized that tooth extractions aren’t as fun as I initially thought. When I got out of surgery I was pretty high on whatever drugs they injected me with, I felt no pain and I was in a very happy, flowery place. A few hours later, however, the euphoria began to dissipate and was replaced with a steady, throbbing pain in my mouth and head. This was compounded with endless bleeding that no amount of gauze could stop. Mauricio and Tim tried to distract me with funny episodes of Modern Family, but I could hardly focus on the screen and generated forced, weak all the wrong moments. When they realized this wasn’t just my naturally odd sense of humour and that I was not engaged in their company at all, they left me to my own devices.

Baby food = terrible idea. But kind of worth it to see Mauricio try it, and like it?!

Sometimes leaving me to my own devices is not a good idea. In my defense, the actions I took in the first 24hrs of my ‘recovery’ were NOT entirely my fault. What kind of dentist gives you specific instructions on after-surgery care while you are still high?! I had absolutely no recollection of what he told me – things like ‘avoid hot liquids,’ ‘avoid sucking on things,’ (twss) ‘take Tylenol instead of NSAIDS,’ ‘avoid smoking’ and of course, ‘avoiding any kind of exercise’ (all of which promote bleeding). So when I decided I needed to fill my belly with something, what do I choose other than two cups of steaming hot tea and a litre of hot almond milk? And when my head won’t stop throbbing, what do I take other than a bunch of IBUprofen? I topped these great decisions off with a trip to work on the day of my surgery, more hot liquids and succumbing to a sugar craving with a giant lollipop in the evening.

By the way, I was JOKING about the smoking. (Nic)

I woke up the next morning to one of the most horrific sights I have ever seen. There is nothing more shocking than turning on the lights in your bathroom and being exposed to what you realize must be your face, smeared with blood and dried up saliva. It was terrifying. What was worse was opening my mouth and seeing it filled with partially clotted blood. I felt like I belonged on the set of The Walking Dead. I rinsed things out and tried to put myself together, took a few more IBUprofen (genius!), and went to work. After working for a few hours and feeling decent, naturally I thought ‘Oh, why not go to the gym!’ and there went intelligent decision number one hundred (now I know why they call them wisdom teeth). Even though I only did a very easy bike – barely reaching 70rpms at low resistance – it was enough to get my blood pressure up and initiate further bleeding of my gums. Unfortunately, this time when I checked my mouth in the mirror I was in the washroom of the gym, prompting an ‘OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED!’ from the woman standing next to me. Woops.

When I got home the bleeding only got worse, leading me to believe that I likely dislodged the forming blood clot since it had become a bright red stream of fresh blood. I gauzed it, I iced my cheeks, I placed wet tea bags on my gums (no, I didn’t go insane, apparently this helps blood clotting. In my case it did not.) Unfortunately I made the mistake of texting my mother ‘I won’t stop bleeding!’ – and whereas my friends told me not to worry and gave me sensible advice such as to continue to apply pressure and sit upright - my mom frantically texted me back: “GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM OR CALL YOUR DOCTOR OR 911 NOW.” (Seconds later, after calling and receiving no answer...because my mouth was stuffed with gauze) “TELL ME WHAT IS HAPPENING!! WHAT’S GOING ON?!!!!”

I was ready to have a heart attack. I was already incredibly stressed that the bleeding wouldn’t stop, now I thought I was going to die and had to be rushed to emergency. I thought moms were supposed to be a source of comfort?! Mine was stressing the crap out of me! So, I turned my phone off, eventually passed out at 4am, and again woke up in a bloodbath.

At this point, I learned my lesson. For the rest of the week I pretty much stayed in one position unless I ventured out to get a frappuccino, a smoothie or ice cream (or new pillows...).

These things are amazing.

Daily nutrition

To be honest, I could get used to this. I am loving it. At the back of my mind I know that complete time off will be good for my shin, so it’s easy to justify being super careful and taking a week off of everything – work, running, cross-training and social activities. Over the past four nights/days, I have averaged 12.5 hours of sleep per day. I haven’t behaved like this since high school! It is totally awesome. The only thing that really sucks is not being able to eat solid food. I am getting pretty sick of it. Not just because I crave real food like a normal human being, but I am trying to put on some weight and being restricted to liquids adds a slight challenge to this feat. Le Blog du Rob has suggested I go on a ‘Peanut Butter and Chocolate Milkshake’ Coldstone diet for the next week, which I have to say is a pretty brilliant idea. I had no idea how many calories are in those things! 1750 in one large milkshake. That’s insane! Who consumes these drinks?! Throw in two more for three ‘meals’ a day and I’m up to 5,250 calories while sitting motionless. There’s no way I wouldn’t put on 5lbs in a week. Well done Rob, I have no excuse now. I just hope the vomiting I experience after a few of those doesn’t dislodge anymore bloodclots...

Great time for my can opener to shatter into pieces.

Thank you to the delicious Mocha Frapp for getting me through this week! I highly recommend.

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