On Tuesday the 17th of May, I had my planned surgery, for the removal of all four wisdom teeth and, an upper right molar (which had had root canal after numerous infections). My wisdom teeth kept giving me abscesses and, a great deal of pain as well as swelling, difficulty to eat and puffy cheeks/jaw. The lone molar tooth, kept giving me shooting pains into my eye, cheek bone and was so sensitive to hot and cold foods. I also feel it’s important to say that, my upper right molar had to be removed due to an accident and, luckily, not due to years of steroids use, to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
I was in at 8 am for what we all thought would be a straight forward surgery which turned into a high risk surgery. Nobody had passed on my medical records nor my complex issues to my surgeon, as well as not letting her know I needed an xray prior to surgery in the morning! I was originally meant to be first on the list, but this had to change. I was basically stuck in the middle of not having the surgery, and being high risk of sepsis or, having the surgery, and being high risk for dry socket (due to bechets disease) and high risk of getting a bone infection, as well as risk of more jaw mobility issues. So, i decided i would rather avoid sepsis and deal with things, as and when they may come. So, I went for my x-ray and then my surgeon told me she would go do a straight forward operation before me, then hold a quick MDT with all the medical staff prior to taking me down, this way there was a lot more planning for complications and to take their time with me. Both myself and my surgeon were anxious!
Why was it a high risk surgery? So, due to my allergies, past medical history and present medical problems, it made me high risk so, for example, I’m allergic to a general anesthetic, my behcets disease (which is a rare form of vasculitis), causes A LOT of gum problems, my hyper mobility syndrome makes my jaw dislocate easily, I’m intolerant to many pain relief medications, I don’t react well to general anaesthetic and, get super sick afterwards, my GORD (also known a GERD) causes me to get extreme burning in my throat, as well as mucous in my chest, my cannulas tissue easily and my medical PTSD is something I struggle with when being put to sleep. I also have chronic pain, Fibromyalgia,chronic migraines and Pernicious Anemia which can make me feel pain much more and bruise more easily than most people, I can be more susceptible to a stroke, and get anemic easily. I hope that makes sense! It took me the entire morning to wrap my head around being a high risk surgery, as when I think of a wisdom tooth removal that is done routinely, I don’t ever imagine it being complicated.
I’m so glad to say, that the surgery was a success and, my surgeon said that my upper right molar was “in a right state and no wonder it caused so much pain!”. The bottom left wisdom was super hard to remove and the upper right molar but she managed without bruising me (bonus!). When I woke in recovery, as predicted, I was really, really unwell. It was awful and so scary. I woke to a soft voice calling my name and I instantly started vomiting and trying to cough up mucous in my chest, as well as splurting blood all over my chin and arm. The pain was indescribable. I lay there, struggling to talk whilst tears streamed down my cheeks. The pain relief made me so groggy but eventually, after a few hours, and a neubiliser, my one to one recovery nurse got my sickness and pain under control, he deserves a medal for it! I then got back to the ward and had oxygen for a few hours and IV fluids which was more precautionary for my bowel, stoma and kidney issues.
My dad then came back and sat at my bedside to keep me company which helped a lot. My first cannula tissued and so, i had to wait for someone experienced to put in a new one, which then led me to getting dehydrated, due to being too sore to drink. My dad stayed for a couple of hours then I told him to go home and get supper! Once dad left, a couple of nurses helped me get changed into my pyjamas and cleaned up, which felt so lovely and then, I video called with one of my best friends, Kate. I tried to sleep but the pain was keeping me awake, so I tried an ice pack, pain relief and watching a film to no avail. By 4am, it was decided by my on call Dr, to give me some local anaesthetic injections. She gave me 2 and it helped so much! I then managed to get two hours sleep before I was woken by others in my bay and nurses coming in for day shift.
Once I took my morning medications (I usually always self administer my medications), and was given pain relief from the nurse, I went for a shower. I was then reviewed by my surgeons team and, given the OK to go home, yay! Whilst waiting on my partner to pick me up, I went to the coffee shop for an iced caramel latte, and drank it outside, in the warm and sunny air, it was lush! Seeing Odin, Biggie and my partner was the best feeling. Odin was giggling, smiling and babbling away in the back to me, which I think was him telling me what they all got upto, whilst I was away!
We stopped past my inlaws on the way home then, got some gardening done at home, and enjoyed sitting in the garden whilst the weather was nice! It felt so, so good to recover at home! I gave Odin his supper then after playing outside, jumping in his jumperoo, I changed him into his bed time clothes, gave him a bottle and then we had cuddles, before I popped him into bed. I got downstairs hoovered, relaxed for a little while, and then got freshened up for bed, into my pyjamas and snuggled into bed.
This recovery has been extremely hard, and so far, I haven’t been able to chew anything soft. I tried some potato and leek soup, which left me in absolute agony afterwards. So, for now, it’s strained soups and yogurts until my pain reduces. I’m wakening at all hours during the night due to pain, which is odd for me! I’m relaxing as much as I can, and cuddling with Odin at every opportunity I have. I think in recovery, its important to remember that everyone’s individual journey with recovery is different, and so, I try not to compare myself to others who have had this surgery and, recovered quickly, or, have been able to not rely on strong pain relief. I can be quite hard on myself at times and, get frustrated! My partner and my dad remind me daily, how well I am doing considering my chronic illnesses, pain etc, and it helps me so much.
At three weeks post op, I’m happy to say that I have avoided dry socket, infections and can eat not too bad! Still struggling with some foods, but I’d rather this than not being able to eat at all. I’m enjoying the lovely weather when I can and, Odin has really given me focus and motivation through this surgery/recovery! I’m still a little sore sometimes but, I had my check up at the dentist on Friday and given the all OK! Thankyou to everyone, from ALL over, for all the help, love and support! It’s been amazing and you are all amazing. Family and friends have also been my main support and, I am so thankful for you all.♡