September 2010

Lessons Learned From Biking

by admin on September 19, 2010

I spent quite a bit of time biking this Summer. Because of all my trips, I have had many successes (including going farther than I thought I could) and failures (getting off course and injured).
Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned:

1. Falling off a bike hurts as much as falling down stairs
2. Never go to an unfamilar area without mapping it first
3. A distance can be a lot further than you think
4. Hills are difficult, but coasting down makes them more fun and easy
5. One can built endurance without too much difficulty
6. Repeated treks don’t make them easier, but more manageable
7. It is posible to go extremely long distances many days in a row
8. Taking 10 days off for a trip and the week after was a bad idea
9. There aren’t nearly enough flat roads where I live
10. Hills are still difficult, even after all my experiences with them


Tooth Debacle Part 2

by admin on September 1, 2010

I had my first tooth Debacle of February 2010. Two weeks ago I had another one happen, but this time it was worse. Last time, I had a painful tooth that I told the dentist about during my cleaning. This time I went in without an appointment because I had a wisdom tooth with a lot of pain. This is exactly the tooth the dental hygienist said would probably the next one to go at my cleaning in July.

Two weeks ago, I biked over to my dentist to get the tooth looked at. I was hoping it would be simple as last time where he would give me a referral to an oral surgeon and I could get it out within a week or so. My dentist threw me for a loop when I eventually saw him (after a long wait) and he said that he could take it out himself. I was very surprised by this, but let him go ahead and pull it.

It took a while to let the drugs kick in to numb my mouth and lip as it did last time. Once I was numb, he went ahead and tried to get the tooth. It was much more traumatic this time because he couldn’t get a good hold of the tooth. Once he finally did, with the help of two assistants, and got it out I heard a loud crack. That’s never good! The dentist told me that they had a small issue and the tooth split when it was being pulled! After that happened, they quickly worked to find me an oral surgeon near by that would take me on short notice. They were willing to drive me over since I had my bike, but told them I could bike home (3/4 mile) and then drive over with no problem. Since I was still numb (which the oral surgeon was pleased with), it was important that I get there as quickly as possible.

So, loaded with gauze and numbness still in my mouth I biked back home, grabbed my purse and headed out to drive to the oral surgeon. At this point, I had already been at the dentist’s office for a few hours and this whole process still wasn’t over! Once I got there – to a surgeon just four miles away – they had me fill out some paperwork and took me in right away.

Once I got in to the exam room, there process went very smoothly. They numbed me up more because some had worn off and pulled out the remainder of the tooth with no problem. The assistant went through the recovery process and gave me gauze, Gatorade and an ice pack to take with me.

After they got it out, they had me stand for one of those nifty full mouth X-rays like I had last time. The dentist took a look at the X-ray and saw a little piece of something there, so after I was set to leave they had me go back to the exam room to look at my mouth again. They checked and saw that everything was out, so I was good to go. Unfortunately, the surgeon charged me a hefty charge for the extraction, but fortunately I did have the money to cover it.

I then headed off to Walgreens to get my prescriptions filled and after that was filled and paid for I could FINALLY go home and stay there. By this time it was about 3 p.m. (and this all started in the morning) and I was starving! It always very interesting to try to eat when your mouth is numb, but it went well. I ate lunch and had some Tylenol, Oxycodon and lots of liquids.

NOTE: The second half of this post is now “take two.” I finished this whole post via my Blackberry and after I “saved” it, everything I wrote disappeared. Sigh…

As in the past, the Oxycodon really knocked me out so not long after I had to take a nap. About an hour later I woke up and it was just in time for one of my Twitter friends to begin his live recording for his podcast. However, it was clear that my stomach had other ideas. I started feeling very light-headed and drowsy again, but I was also feeling nauseated. I ended up throwing up, sat on the bathroom floor for a while, trying to function and eventually throwing up again. It seems that everything I ate and drank was no longer in my body (sorry if that is TMI for you). 😉 I realized that although I took the entire prescription of the Oxycodon last time, it was not going to happen this time. That was not a pleasant few hours to make it through.

Finally the drugs wore off and I just continued with only taking Tylenol and drugs for the infection. I made it through the day and night somehow and before long it was the end of the day. I had some cooled down pasta for dinner and the rest of my eating for the day was fine. I slept well and had no problems during the night. All that changed in the morning…

In the morning, I woke up with quite a bit of mouth pain. I wanted to alleviate it as quickly as possible, so I took Tylenol first thing. I went into the kitchen and started cooking my breakfast. As my eggs were cooking, I started to feel really light-headed and not good. I managed to cook my eggs properly, but I spent some of the time on the kitchen floor sitting and trying to get my bearings again. After they were ready, I put them on a small plate and was determined to be able to make it to my recliner and just sit and recover.

That was my plan, but it didn’t work because as soon I got to the living of the living room I fell/fainted right down on my face! A few moments later I came to, surrounded by my own blood and a broken plate. I sat up and cleaned up the floor and myself. I have hard-wood floors, so the cleaning up process was not difficult. I had a good wound on my chin and my arm, but I was no worse for the wear. I did eat my eggs off the floor (they weren’t dirty!) and moved on from that experience. LESSON LEARNED: Never take pain meds on an empty stomach. I eventually ate some more for breakfast and after that I was fine (after I stopped bleeding of course).

The rest of my recovery was thankfully uneventful. After three days of rest I was finally able to exercise again, which was rough because before this happened I had just gotten back into it. I kept with the softer foods for several days and now over two weeks later I have fully recovered. I went to see the oral surgeon for a follow-up appointment and after a few minutes he saw that I was just fine despite my trauma.

Clearly, this whole experience was far more traumatic than it was last time. But through it, I learned a lot and hope that when my upper wisdom teeth come out it will go very smoothly with no complications…