Monday, April 24, 2006

Adventures in Surgery

Wow. My face hurts. Okay, not all of it - just the left side. And I'm not too swollen, although my jaw is turning a lovely yellowish black and it looks for all the world like I've been punched.

Last Thursday, I went under the knife (or pliers or whatever) to have my wisdom teeth removed. They came in late last spring - I was competing with my friends' kids for teething rings. At first, I tried to go to a surgeon recommended by my dentist at home but the timing just wouldn't work out. And I have to confess that I've been stalling. I've never gone under anesthetic before and it wasn't an experience I was looking forward to, not by any means.

But, I could feel them pushing and crowding for room, and I am not willing to go through another eight years of orthodontical hell to straighten out my teeth. Not again. Nope, nope, nope. Maybe not all orthodontists are sadists, but you couldn't prove it by me.

The surgeon was recommended by a friend, whose two teenagers had their wisdom teeth taken out within a few months of each other (and me, as it turned out). There was quite a wait for the first appointment - three months or so. Once I got in there though, it was all systems full go - it was less than a month before the teeth were coming out. It would have been a week or two, but I wanted a Thursday appointment as opposed to a Monday appointment. No sense in missing an entire week of work.

When your wisdom teeth come in, there are two possible problems. On the top, the tooth can grow into your sinus cavity. This happened to my brother. At the time, I found it hilarious - he couldn't get any suction to smoke. On the bottom, the tooth can grow very near or into a major nerve - leading to complications ranging from permanent numbness to partial paralysis of your face. Just my luck, on my right side, I have both. Yay for me. Fortunately, I guess, only the ones on the left have actually broken through, so the doctor made the decision to leave the ones on the right alone and just hope they don't come in. He did leave me with the cheery news that should they come in, and need removed, nothing I'm going through this time will compare to the agony of next time. Lovely. Thank you.

My mom flew in for my surgery (and that'll merit a post on its own - she's never flown commercially before) and first thing Thursday morning, we were in the doctor's office.

Wow, they've got GOOD drugs. He sprayed this freezey stuff on my arm and I never felt the needle for the IV. I watched the liquid come through the tube and the next thing I knew, it was two hours later and my mouth was full of gauze. I remember getting into my Jeep, 'cause I had to get in on the wrong side (my jeep = I drive, except this day). Then we flash to walking up the drive to my apartment. One of my neighbors was out on her balcony and I attempting, through the gauze, to introduce my mother. Then we flash to Mom waking me up to hand over the prescription meds that she had run out and filled. Then a couple hours later, I realized that the walls and ceiling were pulsing. Note to self - we don't like the prescription pain medication. Next stop - about 12 hours later, when I finally wake up and determine that yes, the ceiling is still pulsing. Walking across the floor was like being on a small boat, in the ocean, during a hurricane. Ugh.

Friday, once I was up and moving - around 3:00 pm or so - I felt fine. Mom and I actually went walking around the town, ate out (carefully, with squishy food, on my part), and rented movies. By the time we were walking home, though, my face hurt. I spent most of the first movie peering past the ice pack.

Saturday, Mom's plane left early so I dropped her off at the airport, came back and went back to bed. Sunday, I did laundry and slept some more. Of course, I must confess that this is pretty typical for me. I (along with the rest of my family) prefer to be nocturnal. This doesn't really agree with my company's take on things, so I tend to spend weekends catching up on the sleep I missed during the week.

So, all things considered, it went quite well. Mom and I actually got along in a small space for several days. I don't really hurt, and my face isn't too puffy, and hopefully the other side won't ever bother coming in. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, anyway.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

It's Spring!

Yay! My favorite time of the year is finally here! I knew it was close a few weeks ago, when the robins arrived. I suspected it was creeping closer when the temperature hit 60 F. Now, it's here, it's here!

The spring flowers are blooming, the trees are budding, the frogs are singing, and the geese are pairing off.

And, even better, my daffodils are alive and sprouting. Our house has always had this particular type of daffodil, that I've never seen anywhere else. It has a double flower - almost looking like a small yellow peony, and is very fragrant. It's also very hardy. When I was a child, Mom thinned them out and ended up with a couple of buckets of bulbs. What she couldn't pawn off on the neighbors was finally tossed into the weeds - a couple of acres of scrub that we just left growing wild. The next spring, and to this day, that area is a blanket of yellow in the spring where the bulbs evaded the bunnies and planted themselves.

These particular blooms always signal spring to me. I can't imagine the season without them. Last year, I asked Mom for some to plant here, in my wee bit of dirt. I picked the bag of bulbs up from her at Labor Day, when she told me that she figured that she wouldn't be able to find them in the fall, so she plucked them out of the ground in the spring, right before their foliage died back. I took them back to Chicago with me, and they sat in that bag for another couple of months before I went outside and buried them in my clay. (One day, I'll get around to amending my 'soil' - poor little plantlets.) I also shared some of them with my gardening friend.

Generally speaking, these bulbs are quite early to break the ground and I've been outside looking for any sign of them for nearly two months now - to no avail. The crocus sprouted, and bloomed. Other people's daffodils sprouted, and bloomed. The tulips and the hyacinth have come up... but not my daffodils. I feared the worst - that being yanked out of the ground in the spring and banished to a paper bag for nearly five months was more than they could stand.

Then I went outside on a blustery day to start clearing the winter junk from my bit of ground and - low and behold - my daffodils had sprouted. When I went home for my birthday, they were barely two inches high - while Mom's are in full glorious bloom. I was so relieved to see them that I didn't even care (or so I told myself) if they didn't bloom this year. When I got back into town, however, the blessed little plants had buds! Every single one of them! Yay! Spring has arrived! And I love every petal of it!