Monday, October 5, 2009
Face time in Maxillofacial
Don't know if it's safe to be blogging right now so I better be brief.
I picked up two new prescriptions during my visit to Kaiser's Maxillofacial Surgery Department today —it's time to think seriously about building an annex to my medicine cabinet— and one of them is not to be used while operating heavy machinery. My Mac is about 58 pounds and my computer monitor must be at least 30, so I better just hit the highlights of today's visit and crash on the sofa.
As usual, I arrived for my appointment this afternoon with a long list of complaints already written out. Today's list had 12 separate issues to discuss with Dr. Yafai, the doctor/dentist who saw me today, and we covered them all to my satisfaction.
I had been anxious that today's appointment would have led directly to surgery on my jaw. So it was a relief to hear Dr. Yafai tell me that surgery on my jaw is something that should be done only as a last-resort measure: if I was experiencing pain that was more than I could bear, or if infections in my jawbone were out of control.
If Dr. Yafai's hunch is correct, surgery may not be necessary. After a good look into my mouth, Dr. Yafai told me that he doesn't believe that my jawbone is infected, but tissue in my mouth may be, and that's what may be causing some of my discomfort. So he prescribed clindamycin, an antibiotic, to treat any infection. The other med he prescribed, cyclobenzaprine, is a muscle relaxant that should ease the pain in my mouth.
I hope that these meds do the trick because jaw surgery scares the heebie-jeebies out of me. It would involve grafting bone from my leg onto my jaw, and Dr. Yafai said that it could trigger a number of complications that might only make things worse.
Before the end of the month, I'll be seeing Dr. Yafai again, as well as Dr. B1, my head and neck surgeon, and there's another visit with radiation oncology coming up as well. Dr. Yafai also ordered a CT scan of my facial bones, so I'll be making another trip to the imaging department again.
So I feel as if I'm making some progress, even though my immediate goal is managing pain, rather than recovering my voice and resume eating through my mouth.
Now if you'll excuse me, I better shut down this heavy machinery before the cyclobenzprine kicks in and somebody gets hurt.