February 9th, 2018

Update on my dental surgery

So far, the dental ordeal wasn’t too much of an ordeal. The novocaine has worn off now, and as yet the pain isn’t too bad. But it’ll be a bit funky to eat for a while. Soft foods today—I never quite know what that means, because even though I’ve written a lot about jello, I don’t particularly care for it (basically, sugar and food coloring), and the kind of soups I like have big chunks of food in them and I think that’s verbotan.

The dental surgeon said that things were worse in there than he’d expected, whatever that means. But that guy is quick, which I appreciate. He also has an old-fashioned tendency to call his patients terms like “sweetheart,” (I assume only his female patients). But since I was brought up in a different world, I can’t say it bothers me at all. He’s a nice guy who keeps saying encouraging things like “You’re doing great!” as he moves along at dental lightening speed. The cheerleader-ish updates have a very reassuring quality as you sit there, helpless, in that chair.

I have to avoid flossing there, avoid eating there, swish around some saline now and then there (starting tomorrow), and take the vile antibiotics (funny taste in mouth) longer than originally planned. But if it all goes well I’ll be happy.

But hey, that’s not enough about me, because you know what happened late yesterday afternoon? I was on a walkway outside, slipped on some stealth ice, and sprained my ankle. I know it’s just a sprain and not a break because this morning I managed to beg an appointment at the orthopedist in order to have an X-ray and find out.

They were amazingly accommodating. I was ushered into the X-ray room at around 9:55 AM and was out of the entire place at around 10:12 AM. That must be some sort of record. Good thing, too, because my dental surgery was at 10:30 AM, and luckily not too far away.

Actually, I was lucky with the ankle in other ways because I had gone down in such an odd, out-of-control manner (this was very slick ice) that I ended up in one of those positions I don’t think people ordinarily get into. Somehow my entire leg was bent under me, the ankle bent somewhat alarmingly at another angle, and I was sitting right on top of it. I wish I had a video of the episode so I could understand what on earth happened. But fortunately, I can hobble around with an ace bandage now, and don’t even need crutches.

The dental assistant suggested I do the ice pack on the ankle for a half hour and then switch it to the mouth for a half hour. She wasn’t kidding, either.

I know that on the scale of things this isn’t such a big deal. But I wouldn’t call it fun, either.

31 Responses to “Update on my dental surgery”

  1. Susanamantha Says:

    You are lucky. A friend of mine took a tumble down the basement stairs and has had a few surgeries on leg, ankle and foot, multiple pieces of hardware inserted, some needing future removal, others permanent. Luckily for her, her age is in her favor. She was able to pull herself, bass-ackwards up the stairs to use the facilities once she got home from hospital. No commode needed. She’s fine now.

  2. Ira Says:


  3. Engineer Says:

    Sorry you’ve had a not-so-fun, nigh onto a miserable, time. I know well that there is much worse out there, so hate to complain too loudly when I have these sorts of things happen, which seems increasingly often. Maybe because at my present age time is rushing by so fast, and it’s only the usual run of luck.

    Take care, and I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  4. Richard Says:

    Well as long as we are reading about your “problems”, how about an up or down post about your fridge, and tell us how your blog remodel is coming along.

  5. neo-neocon Says:


    I love my fridge more than ever. Every day my love grows stronger.

    In a while I’m planning an update on the blog design, which is coming along.

  6. Griffin Says:

    This might be a chance to get rid of some that mustard in your fridge.

    Mustard diet!!

  7. Charlie Rubin Says:

    Here’s wishing you a speedy and complete healing!

  8. AesopFan Says:

    Neo’s Terrible, Horrible, No-good, Very Bad Day!

    Except that some things did go right, so there is lemonade from the lemons, a silver lining on the cloud, and a rose among the thorns.

    I don’t know that I would have had the optimism to schedule the orthopedic guy just before the orthodontic guy, but it seems to have worked out okay.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery on both extremities (and the ice-pack advice is good; you are supposed to have something like x minutes on, x minutes off anyway so they will dovetail nicely).

  9. kevino Says:

    OMG. I hope you heal soon.

  10. steve walsh Says:

    Wow, tough week for you Neo. We’ve got lots of ice around here too (though it’s melting today), very dangerous.

    As for your dental guy saying, “You’re doing great!”, and “Sweetheart”, certainly both are better than a low volume “Hmmmm” or “Shoot”. 🙂

    Here’s wishing you a quick recovery, on both fronts!

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    steve walsh:

    Yes, years ago I was having a tooth pulled (wisdom tooth, I believe) and the dentist suddenly turned to his assistant and in a tone of despair said, “Oh no! What are we going to do now?”

    The tooth had broken when he tried to pull it, leaving a little nub and the root.

  12. Liz Says:

    When I had some dental work (pulled tooth, then a tooth implant), I was on the soft food diet and I had scrambled eggs, lightly grilled cheese, tomato soup, cottage cheese, pudding and the dreaded high protein senior drinks. I survived that diet, but it got old.

    Do you have ski poles? They are very good as a wintertime walking stick. I still have my mom’s walking stick stashed by the front door to use when it looks slippery outside or when my knee hurts. MY front yard slopes down so I have to be careful at times.

  13. carl in atlanta Says:

    What a way to end a week!
    I wonder whether your injury from the fall might have been mitigated by the baseline athleticism you no doubt still have from your dancing years? My brother who took a terrible 30-foot fall off a metal roof at his mountain cabin a couple of years ago but lived to tell about it (and is walking today) in part because of his years competing in Iron Man triathlons (that and the fact that some miracle he landed “feet first” on a wet earthen slope).

    Glad to see you’re already “back at work.”

  14. Steve57 Says:

    …in a tone of despair said, “Oh no! What are we going to do now?”

    That reminds me of the time I was hospitalized at 18 for, something. I still don’t know what. I was at work when I started sweating profusely and felt like hell. My manager, Tommy, said I was a p***y and just faking it. When I went blind in my left eye I decided I had had enough and told Tommy to shove it. I drove home and when I walked in the door my mom took one look at me and screamed. She took me to the naval hospital (my dad as a retired Coastie had Navy benefits) where they thought I was on drugs.

    “You can tell us now or we’ll find out and then that will be worse for you.”

    I’ve never done drugs.

    Then the DR asked me to squeeze his hand. Wrong sequence. From the way he screamed I think I broke his hand. I chuckled quietly, but it was a short lived triumph. They decided I might have spinal meningitis so they did a spinal tap. Then spilled the vial, and did another.

    I was lying in bed the next morning, head throbbing, when a DR leading a bunch of interns came by. He looked at me and said, “Jeezuz Christ, what did you do to this guy?” The DR who did it to me was in the gaggle standing at the foot of my bed and told him exactly what they had done to me. It turns out they had drawn twice the spinal fluid they were supposed to take. It turns out that was why my head hurt so bad. There was no fluid cushioning my brain. As long as I was flat on my back it wasn’t so bad. But every morning at four a.m. the corpsmen would make me sit in a chair while they changed my sheets. My mom was a nurse, so I told them, “Guys, it’s possible to change the sheets without making the patient get out of bed.”

    To no avail. Every morning, the same agony until I replenished the fluid by drinking buckets of Pepsi. Seriously, that was the prescription. They would put a bucket by my bed and I’d drain it through a long straw. It took about a week’s worth of I-don’t-know-how-many-gallons of Pepsi before I could walk out of the miserable place vowing never to go back.

    But about four years later after college I joined the Navy anyway, where the cure is worse than the disease. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, this one.

  15. Steve57 Says:

    When I finally went back to work, Tommy was a changed man. He acted almost like I was made of glass.

    “Steve, are you sure you’re OK” every five minutes.

    “Steve, do you need a break.”

    He blamed himself for the fact I spent a week in the hospital.

  16. neo-neocon Says:


    Scrambled eggs—that’s good! I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks.

  17. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Ow, Neo, jeepers. I’m glad everything’s mending.

  18. Steve57 Says:

    What Mrs Whatsit said, neo. I’m glad your visit to the dentist didn’t go like my long-ago visit to the ER. Where the doctors tried to kill me, maybe out of vengeance for the compadre whose hand I broke. But then they started working on my demise before I broke the guy’s hand, so I think killing patients was just standard operating procedure.

    Like at the VA.

  19. J.J. Says:

    An achy tooth and ankle. Yet you are able to blog. Service to your readers above and beyond the call of duty. A commendation is needed such as a “Royal Order of Blogging in Spite of Pain.” Damn the pain, full speed to the keyboard. 🙂

  20. Gary D. G. Says:

    I am so happy you didn’t wind up with hoof and mouth.
    This being Friday evening, I will light an appropriate candle and wish you a far better morrow.

  21. Gary D. G. Says:

    @ Steve Walsh
    One of the first things we’re taught at dental school is to eliminate the word “Oops!” from our vocabulary; as well as the other more vulgar variations.

  22. charles Says:

    “Soft foods today”

    Don’t know if this helps; but, I was also on a soft foods diet for two weeks after some dental surgery.

    I found mashed potatoes helped, so did some stovetop stuffing (but that needed some chewing so it wasn’t until the second week); but, what I found really helpful were cold cans of Boost or Slimfast as they seemed to be “balanced” with some vitamins and minerals. I consider them to be mostly junk; but, they seemed to help satisfy anyway. oh, they have to be cold or else they do have a VERY chalky taste.

    Good Luck!

  23. The Other Chuck Says:


    “The tooth had broken when he tried to pull it, leaving a little nub and the root.”

    I had the same happen when my wisdom teeth were removed at age 18. The bottom ones were impacted and had to be chiseled out. Several years later during a routine dental visit my dentist went into alarm mode not unlike yours. An x-ray showed a radiating opaque streak from a fragment left behind. It coursed down the jawbone in the nerve canal ending at center chin. Fearing cancer he sent me for detailed x-rays and evaluation by the surgeon. It turned out to be calcification of the jaw which I have to this day, some 50 years later.

  24. Exeter mom Says:

    Good Lord, you have had quite a day! I wonder if the odd way in which you slipped and fell had something to do with your having been a dancer? But what do I know? Use those marvelous make up tricks you sometimes post to camouflage any black and blue (did you take arnica?) and rest. Yogurt is good, as are poached eggs. You can graduate to pasta a la carbonara, sans bacon.

    So relieved to hear you came through this ordeal in good spirits.

  25. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Wow! Banged up ankle, root canal and still cranking out the blog. H/T to you boss…you must be one tough cookie. 😊

  26. SCOTTtheBADGER Says:

    My sympathies on your ankle. On Monday night, I went to Menard’s, a big box lumberyard. It was snowing, and when I was walking out to my truck, I slipped on wet ice, and landed on my new disk sander! YAY, styrofoam packaging! I am pleased you are getting better, and hope your recovery is swift.

  27. blert Says:

    The ballet paid off.

  28. Philu Says:

    As with your dancing, being a long-time bike rider helped me heal from double knee replacements; that along with doing extra therapy so I could show off to the therapists. The right attitude means everything and you demonstrate you have that.

  29. ben david Says:

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
    From everything.
    Except the urge to write.
    No cure for that…

  30. neo-neocon Says:

    ben david:

    🙂 . The urge to write is chronic, I’m afraid.

  31. CV Says:

    Ouch, what a day Neo! Pain from your head to your toes. Hope you are on the mend and feeling better soon.

    I recommend Kozy Shack rice pudding, slightly warmed up in the microwave. To me it’s the perfect comfort food.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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