Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I'm Not Crying


My friends have my back and frequently, they suggest posts from stories they have heard. In a feat of blogger frugality, I realized it could be a Soundtrack of My Life post, too. Sweet....

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I had a lot of oral surgery. You'll never guess why...really, you won't. My dentist used to say my mouth was way too small for the amount of teeth I had. If you ever feel the need to say, "Cherdo has a big mouth," I'll stop you in your tracks with medical proof that is not the case at all. I even had a third set that had started to form on the right lower side of my jaw. You know, just in case I needed more than average.

Now, I'd never have something simple that could be done in an office...nooooo! Each procedure had to be done in a hospital, under general anesthesia and I never reacted to that well. Anesthesia made me sick as a dog and I usually woke up with a terrible headache, to boot. No one would ever read past notes, I guess, because I kept getting the same thing over and over.

The final surgery I had done in my early twenties was a painful extraction of a wisdom tooth that somehow ended up in a sinus. My theory is that right before I was born, and angel took my head off and shook it like a maraca...again, it's just a theory.

When the surgery was complete, I woke up in the Recovery Room with my old friend, the Killer Headache. There was a new twist to this, too - one side of my head was covered by a huge ice bag and inside my mouth, I had a crazy amount of gauze packing on the right side. I thought the ice bag was leaking because my face and pillow was soaking wet. Then I realized that my left eye, on the opposite side of the surgical playground, was tearing like there was no tomorrow. It didn't hurt, it just turned into a faucet. 

Major grogginess still had a grip on my when a nurse came around to take my blood pressure and check the facial ice berg. Noting the tearing, she leaned in close and said, "It's all over now, honey. There's nothing to be afraid of..."

I realized she thought I was crying. 

"Ahhmmm naw cwrywing," I said. The English translation of that mess would be "I'm not crying," if I could pronounce my words clearly with that bed-pillow-sized wad of gauze and Titanic-sinking ice bag.

It was shift change and I overheard the nurse tell the next shift, "That lady over there had a rather involved oral surgery...she is really upset and scared." Great.

Florence Nightingale walked over to the cart where I lay immediately after report. She began to rub my back and say, "It's okay...it's over...don't be scared...you're fine..."

"AHHHMMM NAHHTTT QUYING, NAARSE," I said. She smile kindly and said something like "yes, dear...I know" - all evidence to the contrary. She had no idea what I was saying but she wiped away the waterfall on my face repeatedly. 

I drifted off to sleep and as I awoke, my new nurse was telling another nurse that I was even crying in my sleep.

"AHHHHMMMM. NAWT. CWYING, MAAAAM!" No one believed me. It was irritating and I still had the killer headache. 

They decided to put me in my room and as they wheeled me upstairs, I'll bet they told me ten times that everything was going to be fine. Meanwhile, my second worst anesthesia side effect was kicking in: I was super nauseated and starting to think this would not end well. My stomach was not on my side and I knew that hurling was imminent. I had to get their attention; I didn't know what to do about all that packing in my mouth and I was really getting worried that the arrival in the room wouldn't happen soon enough. Now, I did look like a crazy person as I clawed at a washbasin as they transferred me into a bed. 

My worst fear happened. Ouch. The orderly almost honored me with a sympathy hurl. Goodbye, packing and ice bags. But at least I could say, more clearly, "Ah ahm nawt crywing. Ma ah is tearwing."

"Let us pull you up in bed, " said the orderlies. With one hand under each arm, they simultaneously put a side rail down on my hand. Yowza! That hurt! And now I had real tears running down my face as I cradled my throbbing hand.

"She's fine," commented the orderly. "She's not crying, really."

And they left.

Every time I hear this song, I think of that little visit to the hospital. At least it makes me smile when they say: "I'm not crying..." They look like they're on the brink of insanity at the end. I can relate.



Any one of these fine friends can do a better "soundtrack of my life" - so check them out, and often!

39 comments:

  1. >>... I drifted off to sleep and as I awoke, my new nurse was telling another nurse that I was even crying in my sleep.

    My gosh! How dumb can they get?

    No. Wait! Don't tell me. I don't think I really wanna know.

    That song made me laugh. Just between you and me... I think those dudes were crying.

    One line reminded me of the bogus album by the bogus band I invented years ago:

    And what’s worse, not a single vote for Yoey O’Dogherty And His Corn Liquor Boys? How soon they forget! What about those legendary YO&HCLB albums like “My Baby Busted My Heart But I’m Cryin’ ‘Cause I Sliced Her Onion” ...

    Wow! That whole oral surgery bit sounds like something from a horror movie. I spent a whole lotta hours in dentist chairs when I was younger too (including a misadventure with braces, from which I still have scars in my mouth) but you had it 100 times worse than I did.

    I can sure see how this song would fit into The Soundtrack Of Your Life!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Glad to hear from you, buddy. Sorry that you had a tumble the other day. Ouch! Ouch! Double Ouch!!

      Yoey O’Dogherty And His Corn Liquor Boys? Those dudes are real! I have the album around here somewhere...or was it a cassette...maybe an eight-track... Shoot, I need to organize things better.

      Of all the people in the world who have had to have oral surgeries, I would have gladly had them done in an office if they would allow it. Hospitals are for sick people not little mouth people. The little mouths (LM) of the world are treated unfairly. Maybe I needed those extra teeth for something. I shoulda hung on to them.

      Hope you're feeling better soon.

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  2. It's times like that in the hospital that make you feel like you are just being processed through the system. I'll refrain from comments on the song.

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    1. Awwwwww, Mike...you have to like Flight of the Conchords. It seems right up your alley. Not that I've ever seen up your alley, but you know what I mean.

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  3. Thank goodness I read this after all of my oral surgeries! My mouth was also too small but you had it more severe than I did!

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    1. So glad those days are gone! Actually, it sounds bad, but it was just something that needed done. I heal quick. My problems are only with the anesthesia.

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  4. Ugh! Brutal! I've not yet been under general anesthesia myself but I have an unfortunate resistance to the local ones. I have made sure my dentist take accurate notes on that.

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    1. I've had a nerve block from a great doctor before a surgery on my wrist. Quick, and he hit the nerve the first time. Later, when I needed another surgery on my wrist, our insurance had changed and I had to go with another doc. I requested the nerve block again and that incompetent cartoon doctor stuck a huge needle in my axilla about 17 times without ever numbing the wrist.

      This is why I'll never agree to an elective surgery.

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  5. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    I feel your pain but the telling of the tale made me laugh. Your story raises an important question about the definition of "crying": If tears fall from your eyes and Fox News isn't there to cover it... is it still Obama's fault?

    (BA-DUM-BUMP)

    I underwent a herniotomy at age 12 and remember waking up in the recovery room with a throbbing headache. Soon after, I hurled. I remember moaning a lot but I didn't cry and my eyes didn't leak water. A little later, in my room back on the floor, I was given a cup filled with ice chips to soothe my throat and mouth. Eventually the surgeon came around to see me. He assured me that the operation was a success and that I would soon be back on my feet, out of the hospital and resuming a normal life. I asked him if I'd be able to play the piano and he said "Of course!" I said "Great, 'cuz I never could before."

    I'm sorry that you required all those oral surgeries at an early age, dear friend. You are a trouper. I enjoyed your soundtrack story and the related song. I never heard that one before. I'm old and don't keep up with modern music. The most recent singer I can think of is Dinah Shore.

    Happy Tuesday to you, dear friend Cherdo!

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    1. Anesthesia is the worst. I have another tale of my run ins with anesthesia that I might do later. In retrospect, they are funny...NOW. Not so much at the time.

      My son had to have the same surgery (as you) at 5 months old. I slept at the hospital till he came home. Awful story: there was a three year old in the next room who was in the hospital because someone had spilled hot coffee on him. While he was there, his mom put a cup of hot coffee on the over-bed table and it got spilled on him again. The police came and wrote up a report, right there in the hospital room - we thought it might say "javacide." Lots of social service visits in their future, I fear (or hope, whatever the case may be). What's wrong with people?

      Take care and have a good day, s.d.knight!

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  6. Ah bless those nurses. That must have been quite the experience, I've never fancied going to the dentist and this only adds to my fear.

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    1. They had the best of intentions. :-)

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  7. I also have a small yap, but never that small that I had to have that. That would have been soooo annoying and then have the dumb orderlies do that, pffft.

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    1. How come I couldn't have extra brain cells or something useful?

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  8. Um we are sisters from another mister!!! I too have a too small over crowded mouth. My motto is : I may be a loud mouth but not a big mouth! matter of fact, I am the joke on my team right now and my dental issues is a standing joke. It took me 5 months to get thru a root canal and new crown. My last appointment was 2 weeks ago with my permanent crown. Craziness!! So many complications that it became comical. I love Flight of the Conchords. Its Business time is my favorite!!

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    1. We are psychically connected, Holli! "Business Time" is on my all time favorite list, ha ha.

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  9. MY little tale of dentistry? For the 27 years I was in the Navy, the dentists told me I didn't have wisdom teeth. I was thrilled with this because it spared me what I thought was excruciating pain to remove impacted ones. Plus, I was able to make a joke, "I don't have wisdom teeth...ha, ha, ha...now you know why I'm a knucklehead. No, really."
    During my VERY FIRST visit to a civilian dentist after I retired, I mentioned to him how I didn't have wisdom teeth. He looked at me funny and said, "What are you talking about?" He showed me an X-Ray, pointing to a little white thing just behind and wayyyy up. "Of course you do," he said. "There's one of them. The good news is that, at your age, if they haven't impacted, they more than likely won't."
    In addition to losing a good joke...AT MY AGE?

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    1. Oh, my gosh, that's crazy!

      When I first came to TN, I had a dentist who was a little unscrupulous; I used a "mall" business so I could go after work. Later, I changed to another dentist that I love. Basically, I haven't had a problem since the surgery I wrote about - I just go for cleanings.

      But the mall dentist told me I needed a tooth filled and I got it done there. I was so disappointed; I hadn't had any problems. When I got to my current dentist, after a few years that filling had a rough place on it and food would stick to it. I asked the new dentist about it and he said he'd replace it. When he removed it, it was very shallow - and there was never a cavity there. I'd been had by a tooth-shyster. You don't expect that from "professionals."

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  10. Poor young you!!

    I do anesthesia so well, a nurse once asked me if I was an alcoholic. Damned if you do, damned if you don't, I guess.

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    1. Ha ha ha...that's why they are so adamant about your "history."

      Painkillers make me sick and give me bad side effects, too. When I give the anesthetist my history, they ask "where in the world have you been having episodes with so many painkillers and narcotics?" Every surgery I ever had, man.

      When I say I don't want anything but Tylenol, they say, "Are you a martyr?" No! I've found that the pain is the better option - versus, say, pain plus vomiting or hallucinations. You know what is really painful about abdominal surgery? Vomiting!

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  11. People are shocked when I say I have a small mouth. I was told the same thing by a dentist but did not have a 3rd set growing. Your experience sounds horrible but I couldn't help but laugh at how you wrote it. Wonderful post. I know these same nurses-none listen

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    1. I'm a nurse who listened. In fact, Hubzam said nursing was gonna kill me. I've got the double dose of empathy.

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  12. Both of my children had mouths that were too small, though you'd never know it from the gray hair I have (just kidding, I'm still a blond with a little pink at the moment). We were very fortunate that the local orthodontist didn't believe in pulling a bunch of teeth. He used appliances (yes, those microwave ovens, custom kitchen delivery, we've got to move these refrigerators . . . where was I? Oh, yes, here in my house. At least I think it's mine.) to make their jaws larger, and they kept all their teeth except their wisdom teeth, and they could have used some wisdom, believe me. The Hurricane had one tooth that had to be pulled because the adult tooth under it wouldn't come through. They knocked her out in the oral surgeon's office, took out the tooth, and attached a tiny gold chain to the adult tooth. The chain gradually pulled the adult tooth out, and then we had it made into a beautiful necklace (lies, all lies, it was only big enough for a bracelet). Her four impacted wisdom teeth were all removed in the same oral surgeon's office, while we had out house for sale because we had to leave my beloved Maryland for icky Illinois because a certain dumb butt got fired. I took The Hurricane home after the surgery, and she wasn't The Hurricane. She was The Hobgoblin. I think I saw her in The Exorcist. The evening after the surgery, someone wanted to see the house. I wrapped Tropical Depression in a blanket and took her out on the deck, where she sat, looking as if someone had beaten her up. The people bought the house. I hate them. I loved that house. I never should have left. I should have just refused--absolutely refused. Favorite Young Man had his wisdom teeth removed one at a time, along with an infected tooth next to an infected wisdom tooth. I think I told this story recently. Did I tell you, the whole world, or somebody else? I still have two of my wisdom teeth. That's why I'm so intelligent. I've never had a problem with anesthesia, but we had a neighbor in Maryland who had an anesthesia headache for two weeks. He had his wife waiting on him hand and foot. Okay. That is all. Sorry for your terrible experiences.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. My doc was all about re-arrangement by oral situation. I really wanted things done in an office and they wouldn't hear of it. It wasn't till I was a little older that I reflected on it and thought, "Hey! That was a lot of cutting!"

      Magoo had braces and they did the palate stretching thing - he never complained, but the appliance looked downright barbaric. Every time I had to turn the "expander" I would apologize profusely. He was a trooper.

      There are MANY, MANY reasons why you are so intelligent....

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  13. My sister had a wisdom tooth try to make an entrance through the roof of her mouth. One of her many lovely special features. I think I'd have been motioning for pen and paper... but the way the story ended, I wonder if it would have made a difference.

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    1. Your sister was customized.

      When you only have one arm with an IV to motion with you need to be an Academy Award winner to do pen and paper (I was on my side and laying on the other arm).

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  14. Hospitals are the worst. You hate it while you're there and then when you get home you miss the attention.

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    1. I think there was only one time I needed attention as much as I got it in the hospital. In general, I like to be sick alone and uninterrupted.

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  15. Hospitals are scary if you're the patient.

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    1. They're pretty scary when you're the nurse on duty, too, just for the record. :-)

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  16. I'm no fan of dentists or medical procedures unless they give me some very good drugs to where I have no idea of what's going on or where I am or who I am.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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    1. Given the option, that would be a fine plan, Lee.

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  17. I've never had surgery (not yet anyway) but my son had his tonsils out and he was an absolute trooper about the pain. I hope I have a Florence Nightingale when my time comes. Great story Cheryl

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    1. It was funny later - I can't complain about someone showing compassion, however misguided.

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  18. First, your story... ouch. I don't even know where to begin. I don't know why no one ever figured out your anesthesia issue and change things up. This sounds like it could've been fixable.

    Second, that song. It was wonderful and terrible at the same time... if you know what I mean. The lyrics were hilarious. Where do you find this stuff???

    Third, your list of soundtrack folks... do you realize that you copied it from me, so I'm not on it and you are??? Hahahaha. Or maybe that was intentional.... ;)

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    1. I'll answer these backwards:

      3) Good grief, I'm an idiot, ha ha ha ha. I would never intentionally leave YOU, of all people, out of the loop! Put the geezer excuse on this one...

      2) I love a stupid song, and that one is wonderful and terrible - for sure. "I'm making a lasagne...for one..." At the end of the song, where they sing "I'm not crying," they look very much like two people who have lost their minds. I love that.

      1) It totally seems like it was fixable, but in true medical profession style, I think they just thought they knew better. I've ran into this time and time again. And I'm a nurse, too, Robin! I know where they're coming from on some of the stuff - people tell some weird stories when you're getting a patient history. Mine happen to be true.

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    2. ...and I fixed the list. :-)

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo