Right now I’m lying on the couch with my head in a pretty white “ice helmet,” as my dad likes to call it, wearing hospital-issued grippy socks, watching some football and recovering from oral surgery. Yesterday I finally had my wisdom teeth extracted – all SIX of them (I like to say: two of them were why I pretty much skipped the majority of my senior year of high school, two get credit for my honors Bachelors degree, and the other two got me a magna cum laude JD). I probably would’ve left them in forever if I hadn’t developed a cyst in my lower right jaw that has been causing me some pain over the last few months. Plus, I guess they’ve served their purpose. That is, unless I ever actually go back to school again, which I think I’ve been talked out of.
Anyway, I’ve been avoiding it because I’m a huge baby. I HATE needles, blood, doctors offices, etc. I knew over 15 years ago I had impacted wisdom teeth. My dentist (now brother-in-law) just told me it was my choice whether to get them out or leave them in, and there are many people who leave them in without ever having an issue. So of course I was NOT about to have elective surgery! No Way Hozay. Hospitals and I do NOT get along. I’ve been super lucky in my life to have only had one other hospital experience, and that was a tonsillectomy at age 19, after spending my freshman year in college on an unlimited amoxicillin prescription and perpetual sore throat. To this day I can tell when someone else has a sore throat just by the sound of their voice. My mom used to know even before I did when I was getting sick. Getting my tonsils out shouldn’t have been a big deal, but, man, I have horrible memories of the experience and not just the pain, which was deadly. It was rather simple outpatient surgery but for some reason I was totally traumatized by it.
This time I was in the hospital for a little over 14 hours because, according to the surgeon, I had some pretty severe surgery. They wanted to monitor my pain & thought I might need a hit of morphine (or several) once the local anesthetic wore off. When I woke up from the general anesthesia in the (thankfully empty!) recovery room, the first thing the surgeon told me was, “hey kiddo, we’re going to admit you & keep you overnight to manage your pain.” It took all of thirteen seconds for me to wake up completely and start blubbering & crying. The nurse asked what was wrong and I just garbled, discovering my mouth full of gauze, “Iwahwahohhommme.” Yes. I wanted. To Go. Home. The nurse and surgeon both said that if I was doing okay later on, they thought I might be able to. Hurray, I had hope!
I was conscious enough to know I had to collect myself before getting up to my hospital room so my parents & husband didn’t freak out because I was crying. I wasn’t yet in pain and didn’t want them to worry about me. As I was wheeled in the door I saw my dad join up with us behind my bed and I looked at him, flipped the bird, and mumbled “Uck. Iss.” and pointed to the room. For a minute, he thought I was flipping him off, but soon enough I was able to clarify what I meant. My text to my brother reiterated the point something along the lines of, “yeah, so they think they’re keeping me here overnight but they can SUCK IT!”
I was told immediately that the local anesthetic was supposed to wear off in 6-8 hours. I added that to the time I saw on the clock when I first woke up, 11:33, and planned my escape for 5:30.
My parents went to lunch, then came back & let Rick go to lunch and check in at the office. I chatted with my mom like everything was fine all afternoon. When Rick got back I wanted to hear all about the flopped closing he was dealing with at work, and generally I kept up a great spirit. I didn’t hit the morphine button even once (and at discharge totally tried to negotiate with my RN to unlock the machine & let me take the vial with me. Afterall, I’m pretty sure I bought the damn thing and could at least try to get my money back on Craigslist or something. She was sympathetic and I almost thought I had her!)
Because I wasn’t feeling any real pain yet at 5:30 I decided to wait another couple hours, thinking I was probably still numb. I mean, if I was supposed to need morphine then the pain was probably going to be epic, right? Still, by 7:20, nothing. On a scale of 1-10, a 2 or 3. I’ve had migraine headaches that I’d categorize as a freakin 12, and I medicate those with OTC meds. Finally, Rick & I decided we were ready to go. It took the hospital staff about an hour & a half to administer my discharge papers and give me an initial shot of steroids & pain relievers through my IV. During that time I’d removed the “ice helmet”, sat up, started to get organized, went to the loo, and unpacked the last round of gauze. The IV came out smoothly & painlessly, much to my surprise (I told you I’m a baby) and I got dressed. I had to wait another 15 minutes or so for a wheelchair driver to arrive, and then navigate the 3 floors down & out of the hospital. By that time the pain had increased to about a 4 or 5, surprisingly. I waited a bit for Rick to pull up the car and finally we were headed home.
Pain – 6. Uh oh, had I made a mistake in leaving the hospital too soon?
We got home and I knew immediately I needed one of my prescription pain meds, but the dosage instructions said they could cause nausea so I was supposed to take them with food. I hadn’t had anything other than a few “see, I’m fine, ready to go home” spoonfuls of green jello at the hospital, so Rick heated up some Kitchen Basics chicken broth I had conveniently opened the night before to make the most delicious chicken marsala EVER (is it just natural law that the last meal before a fast is the best meal EVER? Because I might have to blog that recipe.).
Anyway, I quick popped half a pain pill, then drank the warm, remarkably tasty broth, slid on the ice helmet and laid back on the couch. Ahhh…. relief. Within ten minutes the pain started going back down. And I was SO glad to be home.
Rick ran to the store for jello and left me with my dad, who had come over to watch the dogs after he & my mom left the hospital around 5:30. He chattered on excitedly about a bunch of random stuff, the dogs and their new stick, the two dinners he fed them, and the bottle of our great new Dreaming Tree wine he drank and LOVED, and I could tell he was feeling a huge anxiety release that I was finally home from the hospital and feeling okay. He eventually told me how upset he was during my surgery that it took a lot longer than the surgical staff initially estimated. But he kept laughing about my “Uck this” initial remark and I promised him I didn’t mean it at him. I tried to tell him I couldn’t talk much because one of my stitches was irritating me and he told me, “I KNOW! I tried to tell you to shut up all afternoon!” LOL! What a riot.
My mom was nearly insistent that Rick call her to come over for my midnight dosage of pain meds and said she was going to stay up late putting up her Christmas decorations anyway, so we might as well call! My parents can be crazy sometimes, but they’re the best under pressure.
So despite the surgeon’s prediction that I’d need to stay overnight, I was lucky enough to sleep soundly in my own bed, next to my own personal nurse who fed me & kept me comfortable all night. Rick doted on me like you wouldn’t believe. He seemed to enjoy himself immensely – and so the “in sickness” vows have been met, and after only 3 months! <3 Swoon <3
This morning I woke up fairly early to take my next dose of pain meds, slipping silently out of bed so as not to disturb Rick (I felt quite fine, actually). Then I lied in bed thinking about – of all things – FOOD.
OF COURSE!!! I mean, it’s CHRISTMAS! I have three parties to bake for in the next few weeks and each of them are different. I was also thinking about different clear liquid things I could have Rick make for me today, and gradually-increasing solids. More chicken stock, with a scrambled egg mixed in, a’la egg drop soup. Banana-yogurt smoothies with nutritious Grade B maple syrup. Mashed potatoes… I must be feeling well if my appetite is this fierce less than 24 hours after surgery.
So, back to the dessert plans I have to make: next week is Rick’s family’s big Christmas party. I’m considering making a Yule log, but I don’t own a jelly roll pan and don’t have anywhere to store one if I were to buy one. I also thought of gingerbread cupcakes with orange-zested cream cheese frosting like I made last year. Or red velvet cupcakes with cool whip in lieu of frosting.
The following weekend is my girlfriends’ dinner party. That menu has me totally geeked: beef tenderloin, greenbeans almondine, roasted root vegetables, homemade dinner rolls, and some amazing desserts.
Oh, yeah, so what I wanted to show you today was this flub:
Failed dinner rolls. And I was SO excited about this recipe from How Sweet it Is. I mean, look at it, aren’t those pictures just amazing?!?!
I cannot for the life of me figure out what I did wrong. The dough mixed up perfectly, rose like a charm, (and if you try to tell me the cranberry-vanilla-orange martini had anything to do with the fail, try again)
On the second rise, they stuck to the dish towel I had covering them and when I pulled it off they deflated. I didn’t have time to let them rise again (and didn’t actually consider that as an option until a friend mentioned it later on), so I just put ‘em in the oven and though what the heck, they might turn out…
While they actually tasted pretty decent, they were super hard. We ended up eating a few, but then I crumbled them up to serve as a sort of dressing or biscuits with turkey & gravy on top as leftovers. That wasn’t half bad.
But I really want to impress my friends with these as a side dish in a couple weeks. I WILL TAKE ANYONE’S SUGGESTIONS. Ready, go: