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What a tool

What a tool

“With my tool in your mouth, I will make it beautiful!” Those were the last words I heard before slipping into the deep sleep before my mouth operation last week.

The surgeon who was going to be performing the osteoplasty for the aggressive periodontitis I have been experiencing was a good looking doctor, who spoke to me in English, with that sexy French accent that I have always loved!

Unfortunately, the smile I had before going to sleep, was certainly not there when I woke up an hour later.

I had ice packs, which I’d usually only see in a summer picnic box, strapped to each of my cheeks with a strip of cloth. The pain was really strong, despite there being an element of numbness too. I felt removed from myself, while also being acutely aware of where I was. There was certainly no smile.

I was ferried back to my room, where another woman was already lying there looking like she felt as rough as I did. Every few seconds she moaned or groaned aloud.

The bleeding from the double extraction on my lower jaw refused to stop bleeding so a gauze was shoved into my mouth to soak it up. I lay there, looking at the ceiling, trying to work out what I was feeling, physically and emotionally.

Meanwhile, the woman in the next bed started trying to talk to me. Understandably, she spoke slurred, quickly and in French. She kept pressing her button to summon the nurses, to tell them she had just spat some blood.

The surgeon came in to tell me everything had gone really well and he was pleased with everything. I remembered that my dentist had said for me to ask how soon after the operation she could start taking impressions for the dentures; I tried to speak: a small squeak came from my throat and he was gone.

As they took the gauze from my mouth, I felt the stitches pull. I then did something I have never done before in my life: at the grand old age of 46, I took a selfie: A bold move to assure the kids that I was done and fine.

After a short while, I have no idea how long, I was brought an apple compote and a caramal. If I ate that okay, I was free to go home. Neither of these appeal to me on any level, but I was hungry, having not eaten for almost 24 hours, and I did want to get out of there.

The operation was at 5pm; by 9pm I was in the car, back to spend the night at the kids’ dad’s house, having been told I was not allowed to spend the night after surgery alone.

The kids were pleased to see me and chattered at me all the way back. Despite it being late when we got back, we had a cuddle on the sofa for half an hour, before heading up to bed.

The week since has been a bit of a blur to be honest: For the first four days I clock-watched, wishing away the time until I could take my next lot of painkillers. I don’t really have mirrors in the house and, as I have said, am not a selfie kind of person, but I feel like I must look like a grumpy bulldog; all wrinkles with a jutting out lower jaw.

I’ve been wearing a pashmina-type scarf to cover my mouth when we go out, which has led to many people assuming I am full of cold; which suits me just fine, because “fairing the bisous” is a really rather painful thing at the moment. I even bumped into my dentist at the supermarket, just three days after the operation, who asked if I was “rhume”!

Food is still very much a sore point, quite literally; even the likes of mashed potato seems to gravitate towards the holes in my mouth and removing it plays havoc with my stitches.

The kids keep telling me I sound like my mom when I talk, but still sound like me when I laugh. And on the upside, DD4 told me I was lucky because it wouldn’t take me so long to clean my teeth any more.

And so there it was… gone. Nine teeth extracted; an upper jaw filed and repaired; and “a beautiful shaped mouth” thanks to the skill and expertise after a French man put his tool in my mouth.

A. Mommyness

(Mum's the word cover picture was drawn by one of my children)

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