Pain Pills & Ice Cream Tonight!

This has been an eventful day! I had no idea when I went to bed last night that I would be having oral surgery today!

For many months I have had a small growth on the left side of my tongue. The dentist looks at it every time I go for my six month cleaning and he's looked at it at least twice, maybe three times. So we're talking a good year or more since it was first noticed by the hygienist. I never knew it was there until she brought it to my attention. I couldn't feel it. It wasn't sore or tender. The dentist took a look and didn't think it was anything to be concerned about; probably scar tissue that had developed from biting my tongue in the same spot. But he said if it turned red or white, to let him know. And if I wanted to just have it removed so I wouldn't have to worry about it, that was also an option.

The idea of having my tongue cut on didn't particularly appeal to me. And I saw no reason for needless surgery to remove scar tissue. It's not like it ever bothered me (other than when I bit it). But I did start to look at it occasionally, just to make sure it wasn't changing.

Last week I bit it in my sleep again and it became redder for several days. Then this morning I looked at it and there was a white spot on it. This was a definite change and I remembered that white wasn't good. So I called the dentist's office this morning and asked how soon I could get in for my cleaning (which was about a month overdue) and have Dr. Bishop take a look at my tongue again. I told the receptionist that it now had a white spot and I was concerned. They got me in at 8:45.

After looking at it, Dr. Bishop recommended I see an oral surgeon as soon as possible; today, if I could get in. My regular hygienist, Joyce, called the oral surgeon's office and got me worked in at 1:20. I went to Dr. Spivey and Dr. Hollis' office. Dr. Hollis was the surgeon seeing "work-ins" this week. So he came in and took a look. He also recommended removing it and sending it for biopsy. I asked how soon he could do the procedure and he said "Right now unless you'd rather come back another day."

I liked the idea of getting it behind me asap. And I have plans that include food this coming weekend. (I could have a sore tongue for a week to ten days, but it should be a lot less sore by the weekend.)

Within minutes he was injecting my tongue with local pain killer. I'm glad I didn't have a lot of time to think about it ahead of time. Anticipation of the unknown is usually the worst part. I was just a little nervous as he began the procedure. I kept my eyes closed because I really didn't care to see the needle or the cutting tool. However, I did peek just a bit when I knew we were to the sewing up part. LOL. My new tongue----->

It was no big deal at all. I felt a little stinging during the injection phase. But I had been given some topical numbing prior to the needle, so the discomfort was minimal. More like a few twinges. Not even as painful as when I burn myself cooking. For just having been cut on, my tongue looks great. He said the tongue heals quickly. And the sutures will dissolve on their own.

He told me the numbing would last about two hours and advised that I pick up my prescription and take the Oxycodone with some Advil before I started to feel pain. He also advised me to keep some crushed ice pressed against the sutures as the numbing was wearing off. I can eat whatever doesn't cause discomfort, but he recommended liquid or soft foods for the first twenty-four hours. I hadn't eaten anything today prior to my appt. because I wasn't sure if having food in my stomach would disqualify me for having the surgery. And I really wanted to get it over with today if he had the time to do it.

I picked up my prescription along with some yogurt and ice cream. I ate a small yogurt so I wouldn't be taking the pain pills on an empty stomach. But later tonight I plan on having ice cream. A bowl of ice cream. I wanted something that would melt in my mouth (nothing to chew like nuts or chips). And I found the perfect flavor. It's actually one I haven't seen before. Denali Extreme Maximum Fudge Moosetracks! It's chocolate ice cream maxed out with Denali Moosetracks Fudge. Yum.

I started feeling the incision while at Kroger getting my prescription and ice cream. So I took it as soon as I got home (about an hour ago). Even with the pain pill and Advil, my tongue hurts a bit. But it's more like an ache. On a scale of one to ten, I'd say about a three. No big deal.

I'll get biopsy results at my follow-up visit on the 15th. But Dr. Hollis said he expects it to be benign. He said that the circular spot in the middle could have been caused by my biting it recently. But the ones that are cancer usually have a similar circular spot in them. That's why he didn't want to delay removing it. Then he reiterated, "But I do not want that to worry you because I DO NOT think this is cancer. It's just better to err on the side of caution." I agree completely. I feel better just knowing that it's gone, whatever it is. And I know it didn't have a white spot in it for more than a few days. The last time I checked, which was last week, it wasn't white.

My hygienist told me that they had one patient who chose to ignore something similar and it turned out to be a serious mistake. I didn't want to take any chances. Whatever it was, it's gone now. And hopefully the biopsy will come back negative. But I will let you know soon.


Shari said…
So glad I took the pain pills right away. That "3" on a scale of 1-10 seems to be going up a little bit. I will definitely be having another pill in two hours!
tom said…
all I can say is ouch!
Anonymous said…
Thank you for the detailed write up on this as i, too, have what i think is scar tissue on my tongue from excessive biting. i'll be seeing my dentist now...