Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Joy of Mouth Stitches

Nine days ago, I had my third mouth surgery.  The first surgery which I wrote about HERE, was to graft skin from the roof of my mouth onto two of my lower teeth.  On a pain scale of 1 (being the least pain) to 10 (being the most pain), I would have to rate my first surgery a 25.  The surgery was agonizing, the pain and discomfort was horrific and the recovery was slow and heinous.

I vowed to never allow anyone with a scalpel near my mouth ever again.

Last summer, a lump appeared on the roof of my mouth and it did not go away.  I ignored it for a few months but the darn thing refused to disappear.  In the fall, I went to my doctor, who recommended that I go to my dentist.  A few days later, my dentist took a look and sent me to an oral surgeon.  Two hours later and with no preparation,  I found myself lump-free but with a mouth full of stitches and gauze pads.  The procedure was quick and easy - I didn't have time to worry about what was going to happen, the oral surgeon was reassuring that the lump was benign (it was), and the Novocaine worked perfectly.  Recovery was no picnic - it's hard for me to stay quiet for too long and stitches on the roof of one's mouth impairs eating, drinking and general merriment.  I'd rate the whole recovery a 6.

I knew I had broken my vow, but I figured I could pick off where I left off and never allow ANOTHER scalpel near my mouth ever again.

Fast forward three months.  The surgery site hadn't really healed.  Or if it had healed, it left a larger lump in it's place.  Where the last lump felt like a hard bead stuck under my skin, this lump feels more like a sandbar in the middle of the ocean.  It's raised, hard, flat and huge.  One day, it starts to hurt.  


I went back to the oral surgeon expecting to be told that the site was infected.  I expected to be given some antibiotics and sent on my merry way.  Instead, I was told that the tumor had come back - that a salivary gland has become blocked (perhaps again, perhaps anew) and formed another lump for me to enjoy.  The surgeon had a full schedule that morning and so we scheduled the procedure for the following week.

That gave me one week to think it through, freak out more than a little and worry non-stop.  Lucky me.  

It also gave me time to prepare:

Josie and I made some of my favorite potato, leek and kale soup:

... which I put in my freezer.

I also stocked up on Naked drinks, yoghurts and applesauce.  

I prepared myself physically, but mentally was a different story.  I hate waiting for pain and discomfort and I hate having things that I dread hanging over my head.  I went into the surgeon's office on my appointed day, with my shoulders slumped and my spirits low.

I was (and am) so very tired of problems with my mouth.  

Procedure Number Three was much longer than Procedure Number Two.  The surgeon removed the lump, but he also removed a lot of tissue and there was scrapping and bone filing involved.  There was also one particularly gruesome crunching noise that I will never forget as long as I live, but I made it through, my mouth was stitched 10 times and I was sent on my way.  I'd rate this latest surgery an 8.

For days, I couldn't talk.  I feasted on those yoghurts and fruit juices:

....soups and applesauce:

It was a long, long week... until I, desperate for something sweet, started thinking outside the box.

On Day Four, I realized that cookie dough is soft.

and pancakes!

The soft foods are helping.  The swelling has gone way down and the pain is less severe.  The stitches have not fallen out all the way, so that's still annoying but I am able to speak with some volume and scold my children when warranted.

I go back to the doctor on Thursday and I'm hoping that everything looks fine.  And I'm really hopeful that this will be the end of it.  

I took the first photo of this post an hour or two after the latest surgery.  I thought I might write a blogpost about my misery and thought it needed an accompanying picture to illustrate my swollen-ness and annoyance.  As you can see, I'm  not very adept at taking self-photos - the result of my effort cut my mouth out completely... which is funny, when you think about it.

Take that mouth!  Continue with this nonsense and I'll remove you completely!  ha!  that will teach it!


Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Awww! I hate having any work done in my mouth so I cannot even imagine how miserable you must be/have been!! I hope it heals properly and soon!!

Martha said...

Thank you! It's been miserable, that's for sure.

kc @ genxfinance said...

That sounds horrible Martha. The whole thing that you went through. I can't even begin to imagine it. You are strong and I hope that it was all behind you now. Praying for your full recovery soon.

Anonymous said...

Martha I had no idea.
I wouldn't have made that ordeal!
Please let me know if I can help you with anything.


Martha said...

Thank you for you thoughts & prayers, kc. They are appreciated. I'm happy to say that I can talk now and am healing nicely!

Martha said...

Trish - thanks so, so much. That's so kind. I'm on the mend but I have a few more dr's visits ahead of me. Hopefully no more surgery, though!

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