Well, this morning, my mom took me to the dentist to have my other lower left molar permanently deleted, and a bone graft put in the socket. But through the grace of nitrous oxide and SomaFM’s Drone Zone (via internet radio app on my phone), I got through it OK. I kind of dropped the ball yesterday, though, by not making me some ice baggies — A sandwich baggie half full of water with as much air as possible removed before sealing it, then lying it on its side in the freezer. A viable alternative to those who don’t care for peas.
I had to make do with a baggie full of chunky cubes, which I put in the freezer after they melted and I had deaired the bag.
I had to take one antibiotic (amoxicillin) for five days prior to the extraction because mouth bacteria might enter the bloodstream during dental work and wreak havoc in my new knee or my new cardiac stent, or my old heart valves. Now I’ve got another antibiotic (cephalexin) to take to keep my mouth bacteria from infecting where the tooth was. (Apparently, the animal bite most likely to become infected is a human bite.)
To get the maximum benefit from antibiotics , you have to maintain a constant blood level. That means you’ve got to take them like you have OCD — obsessively take every dose compulsively on schedule. Both the antibiotics the dentist prescribed were “four times a day” which for me work out to 6 a.m., noon, 6 p.m. and midnight. Because I have a tendency to get wound up in what I’m doing and then realize I’ve missed a dose, or else think I’ve taken a dose when I haven’t, that means an alarm clock app on my phone and each day’s dosage in a snack baggie, so I can see at a glance how many I’ve taken that day (as a more viable alternative to dumping the bottle out and counting how many pills are left).
Oh, and my dentist doesn’t prescribe narcotics for pain because (demonstrably) 600 mg of ibuprofen and 325 mg of Tylenol (acetaminophen) taken four times a day for three days works like a charm. He was preaching to the choir in my case, because I did just fine after total knee replacement surgery on nothing but IV Tylenol.
I’m supposed to be on a very soft diet at least for today, so I’ve been taking my meds with a bottle of High Protein Ensure to maintain adequate nutrition and so I’ll have something on my stomach, but about noon I started jonesing for some of that frozen breaded shrimp that you bake in the oven. Seriously jonesing. Sigh.
I go back at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning for the dentist to check things out. I’m getting a dental implant, so it’ll take months for the main bone graft to take, and months for the regraft around the post to take, which means I’ll be chewing right-handed for the foreseeable future.