Friday, 12 February 2010

Day one- Apicoectomy, Song - Blue

It felt as though he was scraping out a piece of my skull, and I suppose he was. Not that I had any real reference point, since against the advice of my sister, I had refused to educate myself with You Tube's vivid images and explanations of an "Apicoectomy". I hear you can view most any surgical procedure on You Tube. No thank you. I don't want to glimpse the carnage. Recently I had expressed my professional distaste for the internal and excremental side of patient care. For some reason some people think that nurses ought to enjoy every aspect of patient care. It's our wonderful 'calling'. How dare we admit aversions.... While I have cared for both pre- and post-operative patients, professionally I have steered clear of the OR and trauma areas of hospitals and eventually found my niche in Adult Medical Day Care ( i.e. the Happy Place). Since I've been a nurse for 25 years, having worked in various areas, I can claim to have seen 'it all', but am no where closer to feeling comfortable with surgery and I even less inclined to be interested in visualizing my own.

Back in '96 I had one of these procedures, but was put into a semi-conscious state. This time I had no insurance and didn't want to pay the added cost ( about $300) to be anesthetised. My sister had the same procedure weeks before and reassured me that it was
"NOTHING", Funny. I had reassured her of the same prior to her wakeful surgery." Little did I know. Unlike my barren self, my sister has birthed 5 children, NATURALLY, and the last baby weighing in at over 11 lbs. What does she know about pain? Everything. Enough to be able to deal with the sights, sounds and sensations of a simple Apicoectomy. She must take after my mother who refuses to take Novocain prior to having a tooth drilled.

Suddenly, the pressure and internal sounds of scraping were hardly bearable. Soon he was packiug something into what I surmised was a huge hole left above my number 13. Soon the packing process stopped. This was followed by what felt like suturing. Then quiet. I opened my eyes. The surgeon had gotten up and left the room. An x-ray was taken, and they waited, the three assistants, for the surgeon's return. I sat there quietly with a gauze in my mouth, and asked the muffled question: "So, he is done? It is all sutured up?"

"Not yet."

Bad question when the stitches are yet to come.

So he came back into the room. Said everything looked good. No fractures. Hopefully the apico would save the tooth, clear away the infection. G

I closed my eyes and went back to the happy place. He said the word "little sutures" and I put the music on in my mind and tried NOT To envision the process. This was followed by a sudden shot of Novacaine (long lasting anesthesia) and 2 Advil. He told me that he wanted to see me in 2 weeks. He said I'd wake up swollen and feeling as if I were punched in the face.

I was told to get my prescriptions filled and go home to rest and ice. Because I felt no pain, I took care of my other errands and came home. Baked cookies. Checked out internet. Made dinner for Dad and Mom. I have not rested yet, or applied ice, but I will, right now. Tomorrow, Day 2.

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