May 22nd, 2001

Surgery in Detail

Sunday night I took a valium (diazepam) to help me sleep before the surgery. It didn't. I still tossed and turned most of the night, thinking about my precious gum tissue getting sliced up. An hour before the surgery I took two more valiums to help calm me down.

I thought I seemed pretty calm going to the surgeon's office. I was actually trying to concentrate on not freaking out about the whole ordeal. And I probably seemed quite relaxed until they put me in the chair and hooked the monitors to me. My heart rate pinged along at around 140 bpm. Soon I was surrounded by nurses, hygenists and my surgeon. He started messing with my left arm, and tied something very tightly around my upper arm. I looked away. He asked me to make a tight fist. Then I felt something very cold on my skin. He said, "This ought to slow that heart rate down." And that's the last thing I remember.

The next thing I recall is supporting myself on a rolling shopping cart at Raley's, biting on gauze. "Ice cream?" Okay. "Pudding?" Okay. Can we get ice cream? "We already did." Okay. "You have to sit down now. Sit down. Sit down now. I'm going to get your drugs from the pharmacy." Okay. They got me more pennicillin, some sort of steroids and precious vicodin. Once back in the car I instantly fell asleep. After we got home Julie wouldn't let me carry any of the bags of groceries. I think she was afraid I'd fall over. Once in the house I passed out again. When I woke up it was past 4 pm.

I was pretty comfortable the rest of the day. I was still numb until around 6 pm. My upper wounds don't seem to hurt at all, but the bottom one which was all crazy and sideways hurts from time to time. The teeth near it hurt also. They call it "sympathy pain", and it's supposed to be temporary. At the rate I'm going, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to go back to work tomorrow.

Right now, I think I need some pills. I can't believe I have six perscriptions. That's probably more than my grandfather takes. Hopefully this will be all over soon and I can just enjoy the rest of my summer.
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