Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Tooth Story

I had dental surgery three days ago. Here's the backstory.  

Growing up I had no dental problems at all, except that a couple of teeth were "cosmetically misaligned", or crooked. And my permanent molars did not form enamel all the way into the crowns, leaving deep pits. These days kids get sealant and finish the enamel process without cavities.  I got fillings.  So, that was the end of the story. My wisdom teeth were so impacted that they never moved. Until 1974 when I noticed some swelling and pain. But, in a church service during that time a pastor had a word of knowledge, a supernatural source of information, that someone in the audience had a "problem in the jaw that God was healing".  I felt something moving in my lower jaws and had no further symptoms from the wisdom teeth. Future x-rays revealed that I had no upper wisdom teeth at all and that the lower ones were totally impacted and not going anywhere. 

Until late 2009.  I began to feel an odd sensation in the molar adjacent to the right lower wisdom tooth. Felt like a little sharp pain every 2-3 days.  My dentist check it, thought it had all the symptoms of a crack and felt that the old filling had caused the crack. Before Christmas he replaced the filling, but found no crack and no other evidence of a problem. After Christmas I began to notice some swelling in the gum area--no pain.  Then more swelling and a little pain.  Then it stopped. At my last dental check up a wisdom tooth had partially surfaced.  I saw a surgeon May 13 and the news was stunning:  Wisdom tooth had moved toward the molar, causing a cyst, molar damage, bone damage and loss, and possible infection. Surgery was scheduled for May 21 to remove both teeth and do a biopsy.  

I drove to Muffin's apartment Thursday evening and ate "my last meal"--at Fuddruckers, my choice. I began the rinsing routine earlier in the week to fight infection and filled a prescription of penicillin. Friday morning, after some intense prayer for my condition went down on Wednesday morning at Bible study, I asked for one more x-ray, fully expecting a miracle healing.  No change was obvious. I tried to not be disappointed. Surgery commenced. 

I have a low tolerance to pain meds and to anesthesia. I vaguely remember being told again and again to take deep breaths. I heard them tell Muffin that it surely didn't take much to accomplish what they intended. He also got the report that there was very little sign of infection (Yea, God!) and that the site of the biopsy would be the trickiest part to take care of. Back to his apartment for some recovery with ice packs and pain meds.  Best part of that was the soaking music on my ipod that I pre-loaded for such an occasion. Cool water-no straw-Gatorade-no straw-water with antioxidants added-no straw-lots of gauze-tea bags to bite. Finally at 1:00 I woke enough to say 'Take me home' and we started back to our house, 3 hours away. I don't remember anything until Muffin helped me out of the driveway. I tried to sit up and look around, but I was zapped. 

Yesterday was better. I was awake more and managed a few hours on half doses of pain meds. One of our daughters' dear friends was in town with her new baby, named for her grandmother who was one of my best friends and who went to heaven long before her girls graduated from high school.  I wanted to see this darling baby so badly.  The Open House for them was from 4-6 pm. At 3:30 I took half a pain pill and promptly went to sleep. At 5:30 Muffin woke me and I dressed more presentably and we went down the street for the last 30 minutes.  It was so totally worth it. 

Last night was the worst of the pain and today I feel more normal, although the swelling is at its peak. I ate some Kashi soaked in soy milk with mashed blueberries.  Yum!  So much better than pureed chicken soup.  Back to the apartment tonight. Check up at 7 a.m. tomorrow, then I get to drive the car home, recover some more, and hopefully transition to Tylenol.  

Bottom line is that I know the Holy Spirit did His own surgery in my mouth and jaws. I've been asked who removed my upper wisdom teeth, so there must be evidence of "surgery" there.  God did it! And the expectation for the site on Friday morning was grim--more infection, more bone loss, etc. I'm looking forward to the visit in the morning for a full report.  God is the best surgeon there is, although I really appreciate Dr. Dugan and his wonderful staff.

Pslm 81:10  I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

No comments: