WHY Did I Read That Pamphlet?

I think there should be a rule that people who suffer from General Anxiety Disorder should NEVER be allowed to read those post-operative handouts that doctors give you.  Just when I thought I was managing to calm myself down about my upcoming dental surgery, I made the mistake of deciding to read the Post-Operative Instructions that my surgeon gave me.  Big mistake!  Now I’m beyond scared.  I’m frantic!  Here are some of the things I discovered:

1.  I can expect SIGNIFICANT swelling.  Notice I didn’t say “may”.  Oh no!  The handout lays it right out there on the line and says “you WILL….”  Gulp!  Is this going to be like “tie a string around my neck and call my head a balloon” swelling?  Or “if Quasimodo’s hump was his head, that’s what my face will look like” swelling?  Add in the expected bruising and I think we could be talking a mixture of “Swamp Creature” and “Bride of Frankenstein.”



2.  Because I’m also getting a bone graft, I will most likely be spitting out bits of bone for several days AND now, apparently, I might feel bone fragments through my nose.  News flash!  As big as my sinuses are and as small as my nose openings are, there isn’t much room to play around in there.  What the heck, guys?



3.  Don’t blow your nose!  Excuse me?  I have chronic sinusitis.  If I don’t blow my nose, I don’t breathe.  I’d consider breathing through my mouth but apparently I’m going to have bone fragments swimming around in there PLUS I’m supposed to be biting down on hunks of gauze for 30 minutes at a time.  Let’s see…..bone fragments, hunks of gauze…..Why don’t we invite the whole freakin’ neighborhood, shall we?  I have a TINY mouth.  There’s no room for all this stuff.

4.  Take a decongestant to dry up your sinuses so you don’t have to blow your nose.  Okey dokey!  There’s only one problem with that.  They make my nose run.  Guess I’ll just lean over and let my nose drip onto a spare gauze pad or two.  Oh wait…..I’m supposed to remain vertical if at all possible.



5.  Avoid hot food or drink for 3-4 days after surgery.   I didn’t think this would be a hardship.  After all, there’s always Dairy Queen.  But wait…..I’d forgotten that dairy food is a no-no after you’ve had general anesthesia.  Until it is out of your system, dairy products can make you violently nauseous.  Oh joy!  Jello, anyone?


On top of all this, well-meaning friends, when they discover that I’m going to have a sinus lift in addition to the dental extraction/bone graft, have been telling me how dangerous sinus surgery can be.  Apparently if the doctor slips and nicks you in the wrong spot, fluid can leak into your brain cavity (or something like that) and you can die.  Um, that’s so NOT what I need to hear right now, guys!



6.  No drinking liquids through straws.  OK, how about just chugging straight from the bottle?

6.  Be sure to take the prescribed pain medications BEFORE you start experiencing bad pain.  What was it that The Monkees used to sing?  “I’m a Believer?”  You don’t have to tell me this twice.  I just want to know who is going to change those gauze pads for me.  After all, I couldn’t even do it for my own son when he had his wisdom teeth out.  How in blazes am I going to be able to do it for myself?

To think that the dental surgeon told me that it wasn’t going to be a bad surgery.  If I’d read the pamphlet before I’d heard that, I swear I would have leaned over and gotten right up in his face and said, “What planet are you from if you think THIS isn’t bad?  Are you a masochist?”

To paraphrase our old preacher from back home, “It’s Friday, but Wednesday’s comin’.”  Lord, help me!

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