Friday, December 07, 2007

Surgery

Well, the consultation was interesting. They did panoramic x-rays, which I like because the small ones are painful and don't fit in my mouth. The big x-rays were much clearer. Disturbingly clearer. the nurse and I both said, "oh no" when we saw them. Basically, I have bone loss and my teeth are really impacted. Then, the oral surgeon came in. She's from the former Soviet Union and very direct, with no sugarcoating. She kept asking me questions like she was testing me (she's a professor), and I guess I passed. She asked me how I would treat my diabetes for the surgery. I said I would reduce my basal by 50% and not eat anything for 8 hours, which was apparently the answer she was looking for. That was that, too; she didn't want to discuss it further. I thought she was great!

Since my wisdom teeth are right on the nerves, I have to get a CT scan next week. I will also need to have a bone graft. She said she usually doesn't do it in diabetics due to poor outcomes, but I showed her my A1c (LOL). Both the oral surgeon and the nurse told me there is a significant chance I may lose two back molars. I'm not that upset about it, because one is useless already and the other isn't very useful, either, being only partially erupted. (I don't have enough room in my mouth for my teeth already.) I'd be more worried about potential complications. Also, I have to have general, which I hate, but after seeing the x-rays I didn't really argue.

The doctor agreed that I need to take my other medication (asthma, beta blocker) before the surgery, although most people don't. They also want me to take Benadryl before, since I'm allergic to Teflon and so many other things. It may also help with the painkiller. I took Vicodin once and vomited for 24 hours, so I can't have anything similar and even what they're giving me (Darvocet) may cause me to react. Some people with my reaction don't have it if they take the medication with Benadryl. I really hope it works, because the backup plan is 600mg of ibuprofen, which I already know does barely anything for me. When people who never take painkillers tell me they needed the Vicodin for this, well...

As it turns out, I will need to have surgery again next year for a different problem. They said they could do it with only local, though. Unfortunately, that surgery is mostly not covered by my dental insurance. This one is really complicated, though, so it's a lot more than we thought. So each of the surgeries will cost about...27% of an insulin pump. They're going to make a good show of billing my health insurance, but it's unlikely they will cover it, since as we all know, your mouth isn't part of your body. ;(

5 comments:

Colleen said...

As yucky as it sounds, it does seem like you have a great oral surgeon. I hope that it all goes great for you.

Lili said...

Colleen - Thanks! You're right. While I am a bit disappointed about the cost, I am glad to get such a great surgeon. Her approach might scare some people, but I found it reassuring, heh. She wasn't afraid to take my case even though I have tons of weird things going on. So it's never great getting your wisdom teeth out, but it sounds like it won't be as bad as I thought it would.

In Search Of Balance said...

I had 2 impacted teeth, one close to a facial nerve, and was put under general to have them out. When they were in there fishing around, they decided not to take them out after all, so I just got the 2 regular ones out. I find that as a doctor's kid in a small community where everyone knows you, you get subjected to quite a bit of whim and experimentation. Turns out the 2 impacted ones didn't actually need to come out, they just wanted to practice tooth extraction near facial nerves! Thank heavens they changes their minds.

I hope your surgery goes well. That sounds scary, but I know, especially if you're having trouble with them, that it will be for the best in the long run. Please let us know if there's anything you need or any way we can help!

Colleen said...

Short story - - -
When our son, back in high school - had to have his wisdom teeth removed, we went to the appointment. All was good and he said he had to go to the bathroom. He then locked himself in the bathroom and would not come out. The oral surgeon said he would not do the surgery on the kid if he didn't want it. So, I'm trying to convince the kid, through the bathroom door to come out and get it over with. He did come out, they knocked him out, surgery was done. When he woke up on the cot, covered w/ a warm blanket, he apologized to the nurse, to the doctor and told them that if anyone else was as stupid as he'd been - to feel free to give them his phone number and he'd talk them into going ahead with the surgery. He was 14 - and so cute, while petrified. He spent the afternoon recuperating watching Star Wars and drooling. I can still see him. He's 28 now.

Lili said...

Beth - How strange!

Colleen - Poor guy!