Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I've now had my gum procedures. My doctor was very pleased with how everything went -- I tend to do well with surgeries, since my baseline health is good -- and while I won't say the surgery was my favorite two hours, it could have been a lot worse. The most unpleasant parts were the initial anesthesia shots (lidocaine hurts going in!) and the yucky tastes in the back of my mouth: blood plus anesthetic cream, ick! None of that lasted long, though.
My pain's been minimal, largely because my doc did a very good job putting putty over raw areas. There was one gingivectomy site he couldn't cover, but that hasn't even been very sore. He has me on a combo of Advil and Tylenol (alternating every two hours yesterday, every four hours today) that's done a fine job controlling discomfort. I have some Vicodin if I need it, but he said that most people don't, and if I didn't need it yesterday, I doubt I'll need it at all.
I'm very impressed with how well he takes care of his patients. Before I left, he gave me several lists of instructions, along with a care package of tissues, gauze pads (these in case of seepage), and packets of Advil and Tylenol. "For your purse," he told me. Most doctors would just tell their patients to stock up on that stuff, but wouldn't supply it. He also gave me his home and cell numbers and told me to call him any time with questions or problems. "I'd rather you called me at ten in the evening than had a sleepless night." He called me at 8:30 to check in and see how I was doing, and emphasized again that I should call him any time. In fact, I was more eager to get off the phone than he was!
I commented that his wife must be very patient with patient phone calls, and he laughed and said, "I've done ten thousand surgeries in twenty years, so she's used to it."
Great guy. Of course, the cynical part of me is thinking, Yeah, for $2,200 out of pocket, he'd better treat his patients well!, but I suspect he'd be a great guy regardless of finances.
I can't swim until next week when the sutures come out, because pool water has a lot of bacteria in it. I can walk starting tomorrow, though.
For the first twenty-four hours, I have to eat only cold things, so I've been living on applesauce, soy yogurt, and various smoothies. Yesterday Gary made me a yummy smoothie with banana, vanilla soy milk, vanilla soy yogurt, and honey. This morning I made myself a smoothie with coffee, vanilla soy milk, and vanilla soy yogurt: quite pleasant, although I should have added some honey. I'm looking forward to being able to eat slightly more solid food beginning this evening, but I'm not going to starve.
Final verdict: the terrors of periodontal work are overstated. Thanks be to God!