Wednesday, December 7, 2011

a dreaded dental procedure (lyn)

I wake up anxious after a fitful sleep.  It's a rainy, very-bad hair day.  Gail and I meet at Weight Watchers; it’s the start of a new program and if I were tracking, I’d be down 3 points (like all of us who are at the lowest point level).  Since returning from my weeklong Thanksgiving food fest, I've lost the 4 pounds I gained. I'm 121.6.  Gail did even better.  She lost three pounds in just a week.  Surprise. The program really does work. 

Following Weight Watcher successes, Gail takes me to lunch at Brasserie where we eat it all back, or so it feels.  We are in a rush and don’t even look at the menus.  We just order: fresh orange juice, a latte, a mini croissant, eggs benedict with thinly sliced potatoes, and fresh fruit.  It’s the perfect 5,000-calorie breakfast.  

We talk about everything except my upcoming surgery that is minutes away.  We leave the restaurant and I immediately feel sick.  But Gail keeps everything upbeat; I don’t tell her that my stomach is churning and I feel light-headed.

Lunch (more accurately, lunch time)
We arrive at Dr. Lupovici’s office at noon.  The staff is welcoming and kind.  My doctor is on time and adorable.  Aside from the stellar recommendation I got from my own dentist about him, Dr. Lupovici’s online reviews are incredible.  Either he has a very big family or he is a miracle worker.

The doctor takes a panoramic x-ray, exams me, and recommends the following: bone graft and tooth extraction today; the implant in a few months (after the tooth heals).  I agree. 

Because of my near-breakdown experience on the same tooth six years ago, I am petrified.  I also know I am in the hands of the best.  Two Novocain injections and nitrous oxide.  I float away and in minutes (or so it seems) I’m done.  The doctor says, “Everything went fine.  There was a tremendous amount of infection around that tooth but we got it all out.”  I’m just glad it’s over.

Gail has insisted on waiting. She's an amazing friend, and would have made a great doctor.  Her husband is a brilliant surgeon and much has rubbed off on her.  She takes me home in a cab that is miles in the other direction of where she lives.  I'm home by 2:15.

I  fill my three prescriptions: vicodin (which I doubt I'll need), 600mg of ibuprofen for the next 12 hours, and an antibiotic for a week.  I sit with an icepack on my face all afternoon and wait for the pain to kick in.  It doesn't.  I’m just a little sore.  I'm fine with pain, as long as I know its source and know that eventually it will end.

I have a few food restrictions: no nuts, no popcorn, nothing spicy, no steaming hot foods and no very cold foods.  I should only eat on my right side.  By eight I am starving.  I eat a small fat-free yogurt with peaches and two Entenmann’s black and white cookies.  Probably not the best meal, but tonight I don’t care.

The doctor calls to make sure I’m doing okay.  I am doing great.  Very little pain.  No swelling.  And relief knowing that part one of this long process is over.  Parts two (the implant) and three (the crown) will come much later.

Thank you Gail.  And thank you Dr. Lupovici.  I love you both.

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