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Posts Tagged ‘oral surgery’

It’s fair to say that uttering the words ‘ORAL’ or ‘THRUSH’ in public is bad enough, but when paired together, they make for a very awkward conversation. Especially when talking and showing your tongue to a pharmacist in a crowded pharmacy.

But please don’t be alarmed. I don’t actually have oral thrush. At least, according to one doctor and three different pharmacists, I don’t. Apparently I don’t appear to have anything as there are no visible symptoms. But from where I’m standing, my tongue feels like it’s licked an electric hotplate and whenever I eat I feel like that metal-mouthed Isabel Lucas character in “Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen” – but without the tan.

Of course this has all happened on the back of oral surgery and a cold sore and a week without alcohol, combined with the dairy-free diet my doctor placed me on to see if I’m late-in-life-lactose-intolerant. Part of me suspects my taste buds have just withered up and died of disappointment.

Anyway, in lieu of an actual diagnosis, I ended up trying to diagnose myself by way of google. Big mistake. Turns out the internet is littered with forums full of jolly people discussing their symptoms in minute detail with other people helpfully suggesting treatments with nary a trained medical professional in sight. These sites are obviously for the medical profession what Deadwood was for the law.

The diagnosis I ended up choosing from the veritable buffet of diagnoses on offer was that my ‘oral flora’ needed re-balancing. I mostly chose this because it gave me an excuse to shout “There’s a garden party in my mouth and you’re all invited!”, except that it’s really less of a “garden party” and more like a scene from Apocalypse Now where half the “garden” has been napalmed and Martin Sheen is smashing furniture.

According to my new online friends, the way to ‘redress the balance’ was to sprinkle acidophilus on your tongue. (Acid on your tongue? Surely that would make it worse!) I also (briefly) contemplated trying out the Candida Diet, which I had high hopes would involve playing food tricks on people in front of hidden cameras but ended up being one of those bleak diets where you’re not allowed to eat anything but leafy green vegetables and wheatgrass, which I have long suspected is just the scunge scraped from the bottom of a fish tank.

In the end, I followed my husband’s advice (often more dangerous than random online strangers) by swirling shots of whiskey around in my mouth to “kill the nasties”, also to make me drunk enough to forget that my tongue was giving me jip. But ultimately this treatment just added a slight headache to my raft of ailments.

Then to make matters worse, nine days into my lactose-free diet, I made a terrible discovery. In an incident soon to be known as ‘The People versus Paul’s Milk”,  I erroneously bought – and consumed – a carton of Physi-Cal rather than the lactose-free Zymil and now will have to embark upon my two weeks without butter again.

Mere words can not express my disappointment in life right now…

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So, it’s official. We have a NEW CAR to replace The Love Bus, now dearly departed (see “The Long Journey Home“). This is the first time I have ever experienced this NEW CAR feeling. By the time I got my license to drive in the winter of 2007, The Love Bus had already been with us for over a year, and around for at least 20 years previous to that. This NEW CAR is not only NEW to us, it’s also NEW within this decade. That’s worth the capitalisation of NEW CAR, wouldn’t you say?

My NEW CAR joy, however, has been somewhat dampened by the extreme pain I’ve been experiencing following my little oral surgery “holiday” (see “Result“). Some holiday that turned out to be. I can bet, though, that my oral surgeon is thanking his lucky stars that I have had that NEW CAR feeling to distract me. So, instead of marching into his office and kicking him where it hurts so he can experience just a small taste of the pain I’ve been in, all I’ve done has been to mutter vaguely on twitter about dropping the words “fuck” and “arse clown” into my next exchange with him (as in “I’m in fucking pain, you arse clown”).

[For the record, when I did actually ring “Dr Nick”, he was extremely dismissive about my complaints. “Oh, that’s just muscular,” he said, after I’d explained how I felt like I’d had to squint directly into harsh sunlight while being forced to smile for the camera and repeatedly slapped on my right cheek for 24 hours straight.]

[Also: I have a theory that while I was sedated, Dr Nick and his anaesthetist made me their Ventriloquist Bitch and video-taped me for hours doing a testimonial for their upcoming late-night infomercial by squeezing my cheeks together repeatedly and making me appear to say stuff like “Even when I’m heavily sedated, I am extremely happy with the services of Dr Nick and Associates”. Or that they tried to fit a whole basketball in my mouth as part of some kind of sick bet and then posted their results on YouTube. Either way, I really can’t explain the “muscular” pain, otherwise. Or why people keep recognising me on the street.]

Anyway, the NEW CAR came to us with its own name. Because it is a Mitsubishi “Starwagon”, we have rather imaginatively named it “The Star Wagon”. 

Other than being NEW, The Star Wagon has other some other qualities to recommend it:

For one thing, it is white. Just like the A-Team Van. Except that the A-Team van was actually black. Whatever.  From certain angles, it might even be taken for a “light commercial” vehicle. The Mild-Mannered Lawyer, in particular, was impressed with its “loading zone potential” and my husband and I are currently looking into buying some magnetised Australia Post signage to slap on its side when we need a handy parking spot. But don’t tell anyone. 

Also, it has “walk-through” from the front seats through to the back. I think this particularly excites my husband because the next time the kids won’t quit their jibba jabba, he can shout at them “Don’t make me come back there!” and it will actually mean something. Because he can. Go back there. Using the power of the walk-through.

It has a “vacation stripe” down both sides. 

It hasn’t broken down (yet). 

It is NEW.

On the downside, it lacks a certain “personality”. When Mistress M first saw it, she exclaimed “It looks great! But it’s not very ‘you’…”. Which suggested that The Love Bus had been “me” and made me wonder what part of “unreliable 80s throw-back champagne-coloured rust-bucket on wheels” she was referring to. And I’d appreciate it if you didn’t say anything right now. 

Anyway, as wise friend LSK pointed out, “too much personality in a car can be a bad thing.” Just as Dr Nick is about to find that too much personality in a patient can also a bad thing, if my pain doesn’t disappear by our appointment on Monday. Which, also for the record, I will be driving to in my NEW CAR.

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I think we all know by now that I should never say anything about anything. When KT first asked me about helping out with her kids, Master J and Cyclone Bella, while she was away (see “And Then There Were Five“), I said something like “Yes, yes, it should all be fine – as long as nobody gets gastro and the car doesn’t break down.”

And you know what? Both those things happened and it was still fine. No really, it was. 

Of course, I can say this now because KT is back this weekend and my first “tour of duty” is officially over. In fact, to celebrate I might just get a t-shirt made up that says “In the last three weeks, I survived three kids with gastro, a fairy birthday party, hosting mothers’ group, the death of the Love Bus and eight whole days of looking after two extra children and I’m still smiling, except I’m not really because I went to the oral surgeon’s yesterday and it kind of hurts!”. But now that I look at it, it’s a little on the wordy side and the writing would have to be really small and would probably mean complete strangers with bad garlic breath would come up really close to me just to read it. Stupid t-shirt. 

But I digress. 

“Hang on, hang on. What was all that about oral surgery, NDM?” I can hear the usual people asking. “We remember your last trip to the oral surgeon was a little, uh, trippy. In fact we’re including a hyperlink to that post in this little interjection of ours… here it is: The Monsters Upstairs.”

Thanks for the hyperlink there, people. And yes, it was another trip to the oral surgeon and I can tell you this much: I embraced the idea of being intravenously sedated so that someone could drill into my skull like it was a holiday in the Whitsunday Islands. Because it meant that I didn’t have to look after any children for an afternoon. 

But, actually, now that I think about it, with all that money I spent on oral surgery, I could have paid for a week’s holiday for me, my husband, the kids and a full-time nanny in the Whitsundays and still had change for cocktails. And let’s face it, you don’t need teeth to enjoy a jug of Mango Daiquiri. What the hell was I thinking?

Again, I digress.

My point here (there’s a point?) is that I did it. I survived all those things listed on that fictitious t-shirt of mine and still managed to crack a few jokes about it all.  It wasn’t always easy, it certainly wasn’t pretty. But I did it. 

And here’s the proof: when, on the second last day, Uncle B came to pick up his kids, I admitted to him that the “shouting [NDM]” had made a big appearance that day but that, hopefully, there had been enough of the Nice NDM in the mix as well.

Master J, who was standing next to me, piped up, completely unprompted, to say: “No, there was only nice [NDM]!”. 

Which makes me think that my celebratory t-shirt should probably just say : “When all is shouted and done, I’m really quite nice.”

No, really.

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The last time I had a consultation appointment with my oral surgeon, he told me about how one of his patients blew her nose four weeks after surgery and burst a major artery. And then he laughed. 

It’s not the kind of thing that fills you with confidence, especially when this particular surgeon’s surname resembles the noise made by a cash register as it’s opened. In fact, the only thing that was possibly missing from that whole scenario was that he hadn’t walked into the room waving and saying, in a semi-strangled voice, “Hi, everybody! I’m Doctor Nick!”.

But yes, “Dr Nick” is my very own oral surgeon and one who has apparently got a very good reputation – at least according to my dentist, who mostly likes him because Dr Nick’s charging structure makes my dentist look like he’s merely asking for your loose change in comparison.

In any case, I’ve only got myself to blame for all this oral surgery caper. It takes a Very Special Person Indeed to stoically ignore dental pain as long I did before finally taking action and one could argue that the resulting pain, inconvenience and cost justifies why I avoided the dentist so long in the first place. Except we all know that it doesn’t quite work like that and I really do only have myself to blame. Which is a shame. 

And so last week, I went kicking and screaming (on the inside) to Dr Nick’s city surgery to have him perform the second of three (currently foreseeable) procedures upon my person: one of my back molars was being removed under “intravenous sedation”, a drugged state that can best be described as General Anaesthetic Lite.  

Now, it is a little known fact that any time I have to have an anaesthetic, it is automatically deemed to be a Brown Underpants Occasion. A failed spinal block during the emergency c/section delivery of Mr Justice has somewhat spoilt the delightful practice of being stabbed to sleep with needles for me forevermore. Needles now make me nervous, and when I get nervous, I make jokes.  

Unfortunately for me, Dr Nick’s Anaesthetist seemed to have left his sense of humour at home. Either that, or he deemed laughing at my jokes a billable extra which I obviously couldn’t afford.

After failing spectacularly at raising a smile at any of my funnies, he looked at my medical history and remarked “I think I’ve seen you before.”

“I don’t know! Maybe! I can’t remember! I’m blonde!” I said a little too brightly. 

“Nobody every remembers their anaesthetist,” he replied dolefully in the kind of tone that someone might say “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.”

And then he left me in his office to wait for Dr Nick. Since I had no book or magazine to read while I waited, I ended up climbing onto the dental chair in the corner and closing my eyes – anything to a) make best use of this child-free time and b) stop looking at his impressive array of needle types and sizes. When the assistant came in half an hour later, I jumped to attention and immediately exclaimed “I was so totally not asleep just then!” in that knee-jerk “I didn’t do it!” way of mine. And you know what? I think she totally believed me. Like totally.

The dental assistant then led me through to The Chair, where Dr Nick and his Straight Man were waiting for me. Dr Nick cheerfully greeted me with some remark like “Are you ready to unleash the monsters from upstairs?” and I looked at him blankly and he and the Anaesthetist started giggling like Beavis and Butthead and I started wondering if I’d already been given the drugs already without my knowledge. Or that they had taken them instead. 

As the Anaethetist started injecting something into my veins, he explained that Dr Nick liked to refer to the anaesthetising process as “unleashing the monsters upstairs”. And it was at that moment that the wall started to behave very strangely indeed and everything went like that scene in Easy Rider when they’re tripping in the graveyard and I knew for a moment what it was like to be on the Open Road on choppers in the 1970s except that I was strapped to a dental chair in the CBD, which could well be the ‘Naughties equivalent. And then I fell asleep. 

And when I woke, after some of the Strangest Dreams Ever, my tooth was gone. But here’s the rub: apparently the bloody tooth fairy doesn’t service the over 35s – instead, she leaves you an invoice for a ridiculous amount of money. I guess she has to fund her philanthropic work with children somehow, but still… 

The moral of the story? Brush and floss your teeth, kiddies. Brush and floss. BRUSH AND FLOSS.

Else you end up at the mercy of madmen, like me. Not Cool. Not Smart. Not Safe. 

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