WISDOM TOOTH EXTRACTION, CANCELLED SURGERY & A ROLLER COASTER OF EMOTIONS!
Due to unforeseen circumstances (Wisdom tooth extraction drama) my private surgery had to be cancelled just 8 short days before my operation date! I am beyond gutted as I had planned and prepped for this surgery for what seems like an eternity. My daughter flew out specifically to spend time with me before my operation and house/pet sit so it’s all been one huge disaster and an epic nightmare to endure. My drama started with an impacted wisdom tooth which has been causing me on and off issues for a while now. I visited my Dentist in moderate pain which would come and go. At first they thought I might need a root canal but took X-Rays to get a closer look which gave no clue or any define answer as to why I was in pain as everything looked fine. I was sent to the hospital for a facial X-Ray and this showed an impacted wisdom tooth on the lower left hand side beneath the gum. The tooth was pressing on a nerve hence why I was suffering from on/off pain. The only option to rectify this situation and relieve the pain was to have the tooth removed. Although the tooth was completely under the gum line and not visible it was supposed to be a relatively simple procedure with minimal complications or so I thought. How wrong was I! I was a little apprehensive when my appointment date rolled around as on the day of the surgery I wasn’t in any pain at all but I knew the pain would be intermittent and return at some point and I had paid for the X-Ray at hospital and if I waited a few months or a year I would need to have the X-Rays re done so I went ahead with the surgery which is something I hugely regret now. I assumed that I would heal in a month in time for my other pre-booked surgery and my daughters visit but it was the start of a never-ending nightmare and as I type this, there is no light at the end of the tunnel and I am losing the will to live, literally! I also have to share that my one and only major fear is the Dentist. It stems from a horrific childhood visit, I won’t elaborate but it’s a genuine fear so for me to even walk over the threshold of a Dentists door is an achievement so to have to endure this physical pain is pure torture and hell for me personally.
The wisdom tooth removal was a tricky ordeal and hurt like hell. It didn’t want to budge and was basically ripped out in bits and the area was stitched up. I was given a range of drugs including antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and pain killers which I have listed on my other blog post “Medical Costs in Portugal”. I was worried that I was going to develop a dry socket but that didn’t happen. Instead I was in severe pain from day 1 of the extraction and 8 weeks on there is no improvement. The stitches did not dissolve on their own so I had to return to have them removed which was a traumatic experience and hurt a lot. Then I caught an infection and ended up taking 3 different courses of antibiotics. I have tried various pain relief medications including Cocodamol, Tramadol and other steroid drugs strong enough to knock out a horse but nothing takes the edge off the pain. So far I have returned to the Dentist a further 7 times in agony and I have endured one utterly useless visit to my local A & E Hospital. One month after the extraction procedure, I developed bone spurs which is fairly common after a tooth extraction or other dental procedure, it’s a natural process and way of the body healing itself. This bone fragment may feel like a sharp bone sticking out of your gums or an uncomfortable object creating pressure. The surgery for removal of bone spurs and spicules in the mouth is usually brief and minimally invasive. If you’re having tooth extractions done, your dental surgeon may choose to do an alveoplasty at the same time, where extra instruments are used to smooth your jawbone. The bone spurs I developed are so painful that my whole left hand side of my face is affected including the worst ear pain I have encountered in my entire life. The pain is relentless and 24/7. It runs down the entire side of my face, jaw, ear and head. I haven’t slept in over 8 weeks and as I type this I do not know when this ordeal is going to end. I have returned to the Dentist who has chiselled off the bone spurs twice but they can only take so much off as they don’t want to damage the nerves. On my last visit they chiselled off extensive amounts so I required stitches. The bone spurs grew back so rapidly that I think even the Dentist was shocked. My dentist has now recommended that they do a procedure where they place a membrane over the bone that is protruding from my jaw. I am beyond scared to have this treatment and my anxiety is sky high but it’s all booked for later today. I have a feeling my body will reject this treatment and I may be looking at pending jaw surgery in the near future. I do have an extremely low white blood count which means I take a lot longer to heal than the average person and I am prone to infections but this is getting utterly crazy now.
As I am typing this post, I’m still in absolute agony, the pain is insane. The ear pain is the worst, it’s like someone is poking a metal coat hanger down my ear canal into my head and twisting it and don’t get me started on the nausea. I know about pain as I live with an invisible disability and daily chronic pain from failed spinal surgery. I also have severe IBS so I have a high pain threshold but this pain is the worst pain I have endured in my entire life so far. it is definitely worse than my back pain and much worse than the pain I experienced giving birth as a teenager to a 10lb baby in a birthing pool with just gas and air. I feel like I’m in my very own Groundhog Day film and I debated if to share this with you all but I will as I like to keep things real. If you follow me on my Personal Facebook, CasaValhal facebook page or Instagram, you may have viewed a lot of of awesome family day trips during my daughter’s summer visit. Don’t get me wrong, we did have some amazing fun and epic mother and daughter time together but I was drugged up to my eyeballs and smiling through the pain on these adventures. The pain is always present and at least a 6/10 but there are times when it is literally 10/10 and I am crying on the floor. There were 3 occasions over the past 8 weeks where I have hid myself away in my little casa and sat on the bathroom floor in absolute tears and I feel slightly ashamed to say that I contemplated suicide to the point where I even had a plan. To head up the mountains in our car with a bottle of military vodka and as many painkillers as I can find in the house. To consume the lot then roll myself off the highest mountain top. In all honesty I don’t think I would ever be able to go through with the action but it’s the first time in many years that I have ever considered suicide which scared me like hell. In all honesty, my children have literally saved my life on more than one occasion as although they are 20 and nearly 30 now, I don’t think I could ever leave them traumatised. Sincere apologies if I have upset anyone by speaking the truth but this current health situation is pure hell and I just want it to end.
My action plan now is to keep returning to the Dentist and if the next procedure fails I will need to source a second opinion or try to be referred to a specialist, I have no idea how that works here in Portugal. In the meantime I will try to keep myself busy to distract myself from the on-going pain. On the days when I have any energy, I will try to go for a power walk or at least a fast walk as I feel a fat flump and failure for not keeping up with my regular exercise routine but I’m so exhausted. My initial visit for the wisdom tooth extraction cost a whopping €350! I have no idea why it cost so much as a friend had a simple wisdom tooth extraction and it only cost her €60 with the same Dentist. I can only assume that it is because mine was severely impacted and beneath the gum line, who knows. To be fair the dentist has not charged me for any of my further follow up appointments, X-Rays or procedures, there has only been a small cost for the multiple prescription drugs from the pharmacy and so far I have had a total of 8 visits!
I was all ready and had my pre surgery blood tests, consultation at the hospital and purchased all my hospital bag items so now I’m so disappointed as I doubt I can reschedule for another year due to Teanna’s final university year and work commitments. My main worry is that if I don’t enter my surgery with peak health being 100% and still have the infection it may lead to bacteria entering the bloodstream that could settle into the surgical areas and cause complications. I also may need future surgery on my jaw to remove the bone spurs which have penetrated my gum. My surgeon agrees that I need to be in optimum health prior to my operation. It’s a very sad time but I’m trying to stay positive. Everything is going to be O.K (I hope and pray) and I had my gorgeous girl to hug 24/7 for a whole month.
Surgery Essential Purchases
Seeing as I have already purchased my hospital essentials I thought it might be good to share my main buys as it’s very confusing knowing what to pack and not what to pack and I kind of had this post ready to go as it was supposed to be a quick Hi & Bye post while I went AWOL for my recovery. The frugal me didn’t want to buy unnecessary items that I wouldn’t use again but I had to purchase a couple of items to make my hospital stay and recovery at home more comfortable. here is what I got:
LightEase Leg rest elevating support wedge from Amazon Spain (€49.99)
Bio Oil – To help fade scars from Amazon Spain (€16)
Ridiculously long USB phone charger cable from Amazon Spain (€15) It is so very long I think it would reach from Portugal to Spain (ha ha)
Lap tray from Homa (€12.99)
Waterproof bed sheet from Amazon Spain to use at Airbnb in case I bleed on their bed (€15)
Lady Legs & A Wedgie
This pillow/wedge is awesome and it is a bit expensive but it’s memory foam, has a removable washable cover and was highly recommended by my friends who have had surgery. Due to being bedbound for weeks your coccyx area can really hurt and I had my coccyx removed so this area gives me chronic pain 24/7 so I know I’m going to struggle getting in to a comfy position. Raising my legs will take the pressure off certain areas and hopefully minimise swelling and potential blood clots and risk of thrombosis. I LOVE that you can use it in different positions. I did see a cheaper option in Homa for €17.99 but it was so much thinner and looked substandard. Hubby always makes me laugh when we visit the store Homa as I say Homa? and he always replies “Simpson” (ha ha). Sometimes you get what you pay for in life and others have raved about this pillow so I’m expecting it to be amazing or I won’t be a happy bunny. I did try to buy a V shaped pillow too for my back but the stockist wouldn’t deliver to Portugal and the frugal me didn’t want to waste any more money.
Trialing my Lap Tray
Here I am trialing my lap tray in bed with some delicious homemade Pão do Lo (cake). I can’t believe I have never owned a lap tray in my entire life. I am a bit weird as I don’t like eating in bed, I have OCD and the crumbs send me into a panic, I am also super clumsy and have white bedding so best to avoid eating and drinking in bed. I can honestly say that this tray is life changing and I can now eat and drink in bed at ease (ha ha).
Comfy Clothing & Fig Fashion
2 pairs of thin jog/sweat pants from Lefties (€12.99)
Huge baggy Disney Mickey Mouse T.Shirt to use as a Nightie from Primark (€7)
P.J’s from Primark (€12 Bottoms, €8 Top)
Dressing Gown – I am going to buy a new dressing gown/robe with pockets for the hospital stay as I don’t own one as it’s too hot here but my new surgery date has been scheduled for November 2023 and it might be a bit chilly. I only own an Oodie and I don’t want to ruin it with blood, sweat or tears (ha ha).
Please excuse my week old dirty hair and fresh make-up free face, these photos were taken before my tooth drama and I had just returned from my power walk and it was way too hot to apply make-up and blow dry my hair. I’m going for the natural look (ha ha). The Primark P.J’s were quite expensive for Primark (€20). I don’t own a pair of P.J’s with long pants, all mine are shorts as it’s just too hot here. I dislike long pants as they always ride up and all the gathered up material pisses me off during the night but I thought I needed a sensible lady like pair of P.J’s for hospital as in my shorts I expose more than I should when I bend over (ha ha). I managed to find a pair with cuffs at the bottom rather than wide flappy leg holes. Most stores now sell separate tops and bottoms which is good if you are smaller at one end like me but shops seem to add a premium to the price for this luxury. They are gorgeous fabric and so very soft. They also come with a drawstring waistband and it’s not fake! I HATE fake waistbands, what is the point? I have a small waist compared to my hips and ass, or maybe I just have a regular sized waist and a fat ass (ha ha). Anyway, I often need to pull in the waist for items to fit me well so a drawstring waist is a bonus for me. I bought a Small in the Top and a Medium in the Bottom as surgery and antibiotics always makes me swell to the size of a whale (ha ha).
The jog pants came in a set of 2 and I really wanted grey so my choice was grey & pink or grey & lime green. If you know me, you will be fully aware that I detest anything lime green unless it’s food. I debated for far too long in the shop and actually went for the lime green because the baby pink didn’t make me look like a baby, they made me look like a fat pig or Miss Piggy from The Muppets and that’s not the look I want to go for anytime soon. Hubby avoids grey as he sweats profusely and grey is not good if your a sweaty Betty as you get dark ugly patches but luckily I don’t sweat much, only when I exercise hard. Hubby said I look like a fig in the lime green pants so I’m actually now thinking I should have gone with the pink Miss Piggy option, oh well, you live and learn. The Disney T.Shirt is huge but the great news is I can also fit a whole rugby team inside with me so it can double up as a 6 man tent (ha ha). Actually everything is pretty big if I don’t use the drawstrings but I don’t care as my intention was to have room to expand in case I swell up from all the drugs or I put 4 stone on from eating too much cake in bed because I get depressed about the pain and not being able to exercise or move around. What do I do now with oversized clothing? Well with my tooth drama, I have ate so much soft Portuguese cake and buckets full of ice cream since Teanna’s arrival, I’ve probably put quite a few lbs on and morphed into a chunky monkey since these photos were taken so I doubt they will be that big for long (ha ha). Actually my weight has stayed the same. I thought I would have gained over the summer but I’ve maintained my weight exactly. Although I’ve ate what I’ve wanted to, I think the days where I couldn’t eat much due to my severe tooth pain saved my waistline. Maybe the best diet in the world is the Wisdom tooth extraction diet! A one off payment and a lifetime of pain and limited food consumption. I wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy!
I did have a funny experience in Primark which made me laugh. I tried to remove the little metal clips on a hanger so I could check if the waistband was a real drawstring or a fake and I accidentally pinged a metal clip and it flew really high up into the air. I followed it with my eyes and it literally fell on a young mans head. He was puzzled and was looking upwards to try and work out what was going on. I very nearly wet myself laughing and it’s the funniest thing that’s happened to me in a long while. Hubby luckily saw the whole event unfold so was laughing as hard as me. The poor lad had a mop of curly hair so it took him a while to find the object in his mullet. I really shouldn’t be allowed out in public as I’m a liability (ha ha).
I am off to the Dentist later for the membrane procedure. I’m am petrified and praying so hard right now. I’m signing off now and going to eat as much food as I can in one sitting as I doubt very much I will be able to eat for the rest of the day. I just hope I don’t puke on the dentist or shit my pants right there in the seat.
Mini Update (26th September 2022)
I am back from my appointment, they didn’t proceed with the membrane procedure as after further research they realised it would most likely cause more harm than good. I am actually pleased as when I tried to research it I came up with nothing. It is not a usual procedure for bone spurs, all research shows that removing the bone spurs is the only way to proceed for long term benefit. Now for the bad news, she cut off the piece of bone without any anesthesia injection to numb the area. In all honesty it wasn’t as bad as previous treatments and no stitches today. It’s throbbing at the moment and she gave me a pain relief tablet, I’m not sure of the drugs name but it was pink and I downed it like a drug addict (ha ha). I was given a 3 day course of antibiotics but no more Tramadol so I have to buy Paracetamol and survive on over the counter purchased pain relief. I’m scared that they won’t ease my significant pain but only time will tell. I was given a follow up appointment for 10th October 2022. Without any hard core drugs I’m going to have to survive on a wing and a prayer. Wish me luck! Oh, and if hubby tries to be funny with any ridiculous responses to me he can go and live in the garden shed. Often when I ask him if we have any paracetamol in the bathroom cabinet he responds “No, the parrots ate them all” he thinks he funny. I’m not in the mood for jokes.
Funny Wall Art
There is funny signage on the wall of my dentists waiting room. It translates to: If it makes you smile, it’s because it’s good for you. If it’s good for you, don’t let it slip away. I don’t really get the concept as I don’t think there is going to be much smiling during any of my visits. I think a better phrase would be “No pain, No gain”.
My last appointment was made for 2:30pm (Tooth Hurty). I would laugh if I wasn’t in so much pain. I think someone is taking the piss!
It is health that is real wealth not pieces of gold or silver. He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything! Wish me luck on my road to recovery.
What Lies Beneath – Update with Good News (10/10/2022)
Today I attended the Dentist for a check-up appointment to review my bone spurs. After my last appointment things got worse and the bone started growing back through at rapid speed but after a few days it settled back down beneath the gum line. I can’t tell you my sheer relief! Will it stay beneath the gum line? Who knows but to be almost pain free is heaven on earth! This is my final appointment re: Wisdom tooth extraction (hopefully). Time to CELEBRATE. Bring on the PARTY!
Final Update (29/10/2023)
As if by magic and out of the blue after 10 weeks of pure hell my tooth pain reduced and finally I was back to my perky princess personality. After my tooth drama I encountered eye drama! I lost the sight in my right eye and had to have emergency laser eye surgery! I’ve written a blog post about my hospital experience which was very positive. It has been a whole year since my tooth drama and I remember it vividly like it was yesterday. I never want to go through anything like that again in my lifetime. I have been fit and healthy and trying to get strong for my upcoming private surgery which I have rebooked for November 2023. 6 short weeks before my operation, hubby and I contracted Covid for the very first time! OMG I was so poorly but we have recovered and now just feel a little fatigued. I now have the battle of getting through my surgery and I think it’s going to a long, dark, painful and challenging recovery. Lets hope hubby is up to his Nurse Florence Nightingale duties (ha ha). See you on the other side, hopefully.