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Friday, June 21, 2024

Thank you and a lengthy update

To all of you who reached out to me via email this week, THANK YOU! Your words of encouragement and prayers have been a force for healing. I really appreciate that you would take time out of your day to tell me that you're thinking of me, praying for me, or to relate your own surgical and health issues. So again, thank you.  I am sometimes surprised at how kind this group is. And I'm grateful that you sent some of that kindness my direction.

For an update -- as I told those who reached out to me, my surgery was Tuesday morning. It went well. I was awake, using what the surgeon calls conscious sedation. I took medication that made me drowsy (and clumsy, could not walk to the car by myself afterward), but I could respond to questions and ask my own questions. For some folks, this kind of medication causes memory lapses of most of the procedure. Not for me. I remember just about all of it, although at some points a little bit hazily, as if I were in a dream, but not a dream, if you know what I mean. Curiously, I was curious during the whole procedure. My doctor filled me in on everything she was doing, which was extremely interesting. I had watched online videos of the procedure in advance. So to hear about it in progress in my own mouth was fascinating to me.

So, for what I had done -- it's commonly called a sinus lift. There are a few different kinds of sinus lifts. Mine involved surgically lifting the floor of the sinus, by entering through the gums above the tooth line, cutting a window in the bone above and pushing upward, then adding donor bone to the space created. The surgery took 1 hour. They were able to increase my jawbone in that spot threefold. In order to go the dental implant route, I needed much more bone in my jaw to hold a screw. I'm very small-boned and needed a lot of new bone in that area. After the surgery was completed and sutures placed, they took 3-D images and showed me the new bone area. It was perfectly placed and in an appropriate amount. Now, I just have to wait for this donor bone to integrate with my own bone.

I brought Advil and Tylenol in the car with me that morning, along with a bottle of water. Immediately after sitting down in the car, my husband handed me the OTCs and water. By the time we were home, the carbocaine had completely worn off and the pain began to set in. Because of the sedative I took earlier, I was advised to not take the heavy-duty rx pain killer for a few more hours. I don't like the feeling of these heavy-duty pain meds, so I was okay with having some pain while using Tylenol and Advil. I also had to keep ice on my face for 2 days to reduce swelling and help a little with pain. Despite all of the icing, I still swelled up pretty badly. I'm very, very bruised as well. My husband says it looks like someone took a baseball bat to my face. The swelling will gradually go away and so will the bruises. For now, I think I look pretty scary. I'm taking pain meds and antibiotics around the clock, eating a soft diet, and trying not to talk or yawn (both pull on the stitches, causing pain). I have my first follow-up visit this coming Tuesday.

Over the past several months, I went back and forth on what to do about this dental situation. There was really no good choice, just one choice that was slightly better than the rest. However, Tuesday night when I was in so much pain I wanted to cry, but didn't because that crying would just cause more pain, I doubted my choice. I'm still in pain but improving. I pray that the choice I made was the right one for me. I'm limited to what activity I can take part in for the next several days. So I'm counting on my family to take care of the garden, the house, and shopping.

Anyway, thank you so much to those of you who reached out to me, as well as those who kept me in their thoughts and prayers privately. I know that my healing has been prayed for.

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. Thank you for explaining. That sounds like quite an experience. I was thinking about you on Wednesday knowing you had the procedure already but waited patiently for this update. Don't doubt until there is a reason to doubt. I remember a saying about things will get messier before it can can better. Like construction, that it gets bad before it gets better. Will keep you in my prayers.

    1. Hi Alice,
      Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers! I knew that many were keeping me in mind this week, and I really appreciated that.
      And thank you for being patient in waiting for me to return.

      Wishing you a bright and beautiful day, Alice!

  2. Glad the surgery is over and went well. I've been praying extra for you, and will continue to do so. I'm sorry you're having to deal with so much pain. Our bodies are amazing in the way we self-heal (thanks to our Great Physician creator!). Hoping you feel a lot better real soon!

    1. Hi Jo,
      I so appreciate your prayers -- thank you!! I think the same thing about how wondrously-made our bodies are. It amazes me that skin that has been cut can "reseal" itself. Or that our brains can find new pathways to function when a former pathway is compromised. Praise God!

      Have a wonderful day, Jo!

  3. I've been thinking about you and praying for you this week, Lili. Thanks for the update. I'm glad to hear that surgery went well and you are starting to heal. There is no need to spend time wondering if this was the right thing to do because its not something you can take back. However, I know when you are in pain, it's hard to have any kind of rational thinking. Hopefully, soon, you can just look forward and think about how in the long run, you are going to be much better. Here's to feeling better every day.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers this week. I really appreciate it.

      I know. Even if this was not the right choice, I can't undo it now. But I still may have regrets even when I make a choice that can't be undone. Things are better now, and I'm just taking this whole thing one step at a time.

      Thank you for your positivity, Live and Learn. Have a great rest of your day!

  4. I'm late to the party, but know that I have been praying for you. Thank you for the details about your surgery. It is amazing what can be done to correct your problem, but it sounds miserable to go through. Hoping you have the outcome that you are wishing for. I also hope you can get some rest, which may be hard to come by with all the discomfort. Hang in there.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I'm so grateful for your prayers -- thank you! Things are getting so much better. I am resting a lot, sleep is longer and unbroken, and the pain is almost unnoticeable today. I haven't taken anything for pain this morning.

      It is amazing, isn't it? I don't know the how and why, but my paternal grandmother had all false teeth by the time she was my age. She died just a few years older than I am now. Had she lived in my time, not only would it be possible that most of her teeth could have been saved or restored, but her life might have been much longer.

      Thank you again for your thoughts, encouragement and prayers. Enjoy the rest of your day, Kris!

  5. You are a better woman than me, I would have had to be knocked out. Hope the pain ends soon and you feel better.

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      It wasn't bad at all, so I'm not that brave. This is how I looked at it -- my twins were born c-section. I was completely awake (no tranqs or anything medicinal to relax me) with the c-section, just numb from waist down. I did fine. This spring, I had 3 crowns placed and 1 filling drilled out and replaced, again no sedation, just numbing. This surgery took less time than any one of my crown preps. So I knew I'd only have to get through a relatively shorter time. And, I was given a sedative which made me slightly groggy and very relaxed. Plus, I used laughing gas. The whole thing went quickly. The most painful thing that happened was that tight band they use for blood draws. The blood draw itself didn't even seem to faze me. That's how relaxed I was with the sedative and laughing gas.

      So, I'm not brave. I just chose the level of anxiety mediation that was right for me. But that's key -- what was right for "me". What someone else would be comfortable with is up to them. I'm grateful that my surgeon allowed me options.

      Thank you for your well wishes, Cheryl. In return, I'm wishing you a beautiful rest of your day.

  6. I'm so glad it's over for you. Nice to be on this side of it, isn't it? Prayers for your speedy recovery. This is, indeed, a kind and thoughtful community.

    1. Hi Ruthie,
      Thank you so much for your prayers. Yes, this is such a relief to have this over, and now I can look forward to a pleasant summer.

      Have a lovely rest of your evening, Ruthie!

  7. Lili, you prepared as much as possible. This was a lot to go through, and you braved it so well.

    My husband had a tooth that was bothering him and saw the dentist on Wednesday. You were on my mind as I feared a diagnosis that was more involved. He has osteoporosis so I didn't know if that could complicate treatment. Fortunately, it seems so far a filling is helping to relieve the pain and sensitivity, but as we get older I think dental care will be more complicated and arduous.

    Have a good rest and take care,


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