13 February 2011

Journal Jar #7

Have you ever had any operations?  What kind?

I know of three.  One was very minor...the other two were fairly involved, but all of them were out-patient procedures.

When I was in 7th or 8th grade, I had a frenectomy of my lower labial frenum.   (hahaha!  I typed "What is that thing that attaches your lip to your gums" into Google...I totally had to look up what it was called, and here is what that means).

The Labial Frenum is a little tag of tissue in the center of the upper and the lower lip that attaches the lip to the gums.  It too is not especially useful, and sometimes causes orthodontic or periodontal problems if the attachment on the gums is too close to the teeth.  If it becomes a problem, we usually simply cut it .  This is most often done on children if the attachment of the frenum is too "high" and causes a diastema (space) between the adult teeth.  The procedure is called a "frenectomy".  An interesting thing to note is that a glancing blow to the face will generally rip this structure, and a ripped labial frenum, in combination with other "recurrent" bodily injuries is considered to be a legal indication of child abuse.  (http://www.doctorspiller.com/oral%20anatomy.htm)

My lower frenum was too high, causing my gums to recede from my bottom teeth, so the dentist (?) clipped it and then cut out a small piece of my gums from the back of my mouth and sewed it over the clipped area.  I had a few stitches in my mouth that they covered with what looked like silly putty (that hardened after it was applied) to keep the area clean while it healed.  I remember that some of the silly putty stuff came off while I was playing my saxophone in band class one day...lol.  Today, you can still kind of see that I have a slight discoloration of my gums right under my two front bottom teeth.

The second operation I had was a bunionectomy on my left foot.  I was 19 years old (and had JUST met Darwin).  I was about to be booted-off my parent's insurance (since I wasn't in school and was over 18) so I had a choice to have my wisdom teeth removed or my bunion fixed.  I was to the point of wearing isotoner slippers to work (JCPenney) because all of my regular dress shoes were too painful, so I kept my wisdom teeth and went in to have my ugly/painful toe fixed.

I remember starting to count backwards from 100... and then waking up on the operating table with my arms taped to my chest!  I could see the doctors still working on my foot, so I was worried that the pain blockers were wearing off.  They weren't...I couldn't feel anything.  I was just flopping around too much for them to keep me totally "under" for the entire operation.  They tried just taping my arms down so I would quit flailing around, but decided to just reduce whatever medicine that knocked me out, so I would settle down!  hahaha!  They broke my big toe knuckle, shaved off part of it with a file, and then used two screws to hold it in place.  While they had me out, they also removed a huge cluster of planter warts from the bottom of my big toe as well.  (I told you it was ugly!) 

It took several weeks for my foot to heal.  I had to walk around with one of those lovely blue velcro shoes for quite awhile...which remember, I was 19 and still pretty worried about how I looked...so it was amazing to me that my husband still asked me to marry him...hahaha!  I lost some of my range of motion with the surgery and also the ability to drive a stick shift car for more than a few stoplights.  (it gets pretty sore if I hold down the clutch for very long).

My final surgery was when I got my wisdom teeth removed at the age of 33!  I would not recommend waiting this long to get them removed.  Not fun!  I think I blogged about this experience... let me check...  I did!  You can read about it here...4 less teeth for me

 Here are some pictures not included in that blog post.

a before shot

These are from two days later...

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