Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My stupid oral surgery is finally over.

Playing on the iPod: Jonn Serrie, "And the Stars Go With You"
Meters swum today: Zip. Banned from the pool until tomorrow at the earliest.

Sorry for lack of blogging but I spent most of Tuesday unconscious, most of Wednesday asleep, most of Thursday feeling sorry for myself and the majority of today trying to snap the hell out of it. I had the surgery. It wasn't bad. I'm a little sore and I have to take meds and antibiotics for a few days but I'll live. I don't even remember much of it, except one time when I became aware that somebody was pounding something metallic on the inside of my mouth. It didn't hurt but it was loud. Another time somebody poked me to open my mouth for one of those X-ray bite wings. That's about it until I came around at the end. I was still covered up with drapes & stuff so I apparently woke up a little early. There was a heart monitor across from me, beeping away, and I discovered when the heart rate dropped below 50, an alarm would go off. (I remember doing this when I was a kid in the emergency room once. It's not all that hard, just breathe veeeeery sloooooowly, exhale for twice as long as you inhale and think about something relaxing, like a sleeping cat.) After I did that twice, the assistant shook my shoulder and told me to cut that out. Just when I was having fun, too.

So why so gloomy, you ask. Well, I hate being messed with. Pounding something metallic on the inside of my mouth qualifies as messing with. I hate missing workouts. (I haven't been to the pool since Monday and the chlorine content in my blood is getting low). I hate pain meds. Yes, they're sometimes your best friend, but I never react well to them; they either upset my stomach, make me dizzy, make me fall asleep every five minutes or, in this case, all three. Percocet is the sole exception - I can function close to normally on that stuff - but doctors hate prescribing it because it requires that three-part controlled substance prescription and probably the pharmacists call the DEA as soon as they fill the order; "Psst! Yeah, it's me. Doctor X just wrote another prescription for Percocet!" Which is funny because lots more people get addicted to Vicodin. Ultimately, though, I am a creature of routine. Mess up my routine and I just don't know what to do with myself.

Am I inflexible? Maybe, a little. What I also am, is a large nebulous mass of free-floating anxiety. Yes, there are medications for this and yes, I do take one, but medicine is a mere splint on a broken arm. You still gotta go to physical therapy, keep the cast dry, keep from bearing weight and refrain from sticking anything in there. My swim team works out on Saturdays and about every other Saturday, I haul myself in at seven in the morning when I could still be asleep. I don't think this is dedication so much as a hedge against the long span of unstructured time that weekends can become. Yeah, unstructured time is nice, but when you're a large nebulous mass of free-floating anxiety, what you want to do is structure that time.

So here's the routine; get up at an ungodly hour, go to the pool, get dressed, go to work, work, come home, make dinner, do some household chores, relax for a while, maybe get on the computer and write something or take in a TV program, go to bed. Repeat the next day. I don't swim every day, it's more like every other day, but you get the idea. I'm also pretty standard about my approach to food - I have Issues With Food which is why I'm in OA - and my meals don't vary much from day to day. Two of my primary food groups are fruit and lean meats, and at the moment I can't eat either one of 'em. Lack of teeth. Or rather, a lack of functional teeth.

Today marks Day Four of my routine being messed up. In addition to not getting to the pool, my work day got interrupted by one of those instances of forced socialization that we call the Employee Christmas Party. A fine three perfectly billable hours got dumped down the drain in this exercise, in which there was good food, some door prizes (I won one) and a lot of pretending to have a good time. It's not that I don't like my colleagues - I do, for the most part. I just don't wanna like them for any more hours a day than is actually required and definitely not from the other side of a very small table. To say nothing of there being tons of food I can't eat (chew) and tons more food I probably could eat but don't because I have Issues with Food (see above).

Well, anyway, I finally have the all clear from my dentist that I can get back in the pool tomorrow, provided I don't experience any pain or popping noises in my right ear (or, I guess, the left ear, but he only mentioned the right ear.) So things should be improving directly. This is a great relief, not only to me but to Joan, who's had to put up with me for the last week. A patient patient I ain't.

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