Monday, November 16, 2009

The skin of my teeth

The last week has been bit of a haze for me. Monday I underwent periodontal surgery on the upper right and lower left portions of my gumline. The three and a half hour ordeal was made easier by the use of copious amounts of lidocaine that rendered parts of my nose, lips and oral orifice numb for 24 hours. There's nothing so freeing as to dribble liquid unintentionally over yourself following a procedure like this. It's those little things that make the other more disgusting and painful outcomes of surgery seem somehow a bit more tenable. Thank goodness for pain medications and an attentive staff who called me daily to check on my progress. In any event, as you can attest, I did survive and indeed made it through the initial bland-and-soft-food-only days with a certain aplomb and esprit-de-corps. It's like the song "New York, New York." If I can make it there (through this), I 'll make it anywhere (through anything)." There is no doubt we take our mouths for granted. It is only in disquieting times like this when we are advised not to speak and counseled as to what we can put inside our mouths that the daily importance of smiling, eating and even kissing loom large. I can admit that the most difficult post-operative prohibition I dealt with was not talking. Oh, what would I have given to have had a universal translator or some other fictional futuristic device to aid me in my dire time of no communication! I had a pad of paper and a pen that I tried using, but given my poor pensmanship, cursive writing is a labor in futility for me. I liken it to surfing the Internet with Mosaic. It could be done, but why bother? I am so accustomed to typing for all my writing that I think in keystrokes. It probably was a good thing that I had a handful of pain medications to down at the time and help me cope. The relative lack of pain kept my spirits up and allowed me to deal with my recovery in a measured and steady manner. By the end of this past week I was talking and eating in a more natural way. I admit I was not really feeling up to writing a whole lot or chowing down on a thick steak or a box of peanuts. The last week I've had several instances where I should have written something. Disgraced former U.S. Representative William Jefferson was sentenced to 13 years behind bars and both New Orleans Chief of Technology Gregory Meffert and his wife Lisa and his computer-savvy crony Mark St. Pierre were arraigned in federal court on a variety of charges. Looks like when I finally do recover, I'll have plenty to write about. Oh, well, time to remove the sutures.

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