Today I am home feeling sickly, I have the head cold thing that seems to be going around. As I work my way through an entire plantation's worth of tissues infused with an entire something's worth of aloe vera, I thought a blog post was in order. Earlier this year, I had my wisdom tooth out. I say tooth because I only have one wisdom tooth, the other three had never actually formed, and it chose this year to make itself known. There are a lot of photos in this post, by the way. Let's not forget the backlog I need to get through!
My mother had her wisdom tooth out a few weeks earlier. She had it done under local in the chair, and was pretty much fine straight away. I made her some soft food for the first couple of days, but then it was business as usual.
Green and Yellow Split Pea Soup from 1000 Vegan Recipes. Definitely use the option sliced vegan kielbasa! Seeing as we don't have vegan kielbasa ere in Australia, I just used a packet of Sanitarium sausages. They make a nice addition.
Autumn Medley Stew from 1000 Vegan Recipes, which is delicious - seitan, chickpeas and awesome vegetables with some pasta. It is also fantastic for breakfast the next day on toast!
So, when it came time for my wisdom tooth extraction, I was feeling calm and zen. I elected to have mine done under a general anaesthetic because I have a severe gag reflex, the tooth was impacted so would require sectioning, I do dental extractions on cats at work and know it is a brutal business at times, and I am a great big wimp. I had it done on a Thursday and had the next three days off. All would be right, right?
On the plus side, the anaesthetic was delightful! Propofol induction and sevoflurane maintenance, I did not feel groggy or gross at all afterwards. Hurrah! Also, I had a nasty cat bite on my hand from work the day before that was red and swollen and infected, and the IV antibiotics I had really knocked that on the head and it was heaps better even by the time I woke up! They also had vegan jelly for me when I woke up. The downside was the local anaesthetic they gave me that was meant to least for 12 hours wore off about an hour after waking up, which led to one of the most horribly painful half hours of my life until my trusty Nurofen Plus kicked in.
That night, I was meant to eat cold food. So my mum had made me some soup.
Chilled Carrot Soup from 1000 Vegan Recipes. Which is nice, but to be honest after an anaesthetic and having to fast from 5am that morning, it so wasn't hitting the spot I needed it to. So I had some leftovers.
Roasted Cauliflower and Shallots with Millet from 1000 Vegan Recipes. OK, so this photo is not from that night, it is from the night I actually made it. I had served it with marinated tofu and salad. It is really delicious, who doesn't love roasted cauliflower? Also great for a breakfast snack. However, on post-op night I just had a little bit of the millet stuff, warmed just to take the chill edge off, and then smooshed with my fork to break it up a bit more.
The next day the swelling had kicked in big time, and I was loving my good friends Paracetamol and Nurofen Plus. Not to mention the awesome ice pack head wrap the hospital had given me to keep ice on my swollen face. Here are the dinners I made in those first few days.
Orzo, White Beans, and Tomatoes with Lemony Spinach Pesto from 1000 Vegan Recipes. This was delicious, and also small and easy to eat for someone who couldn't use one side of their mouth and couldn't open their mouth open further than about 1cm.
Millet, Chard, and White Bean Casserole from 1000 Vegan Recipes. This is all kinds of awesome. If you have this book, go and make it. Again, it fits the easy to eat post tooth removal criteria.
Rice and Pea Soup from 1000 Vegan Recipes. This is lovely and creamy and has a really subtle flavour. You can either just enjoy the flavour as is, or sprinkle with some nooch, or alternate. My mother was particularly in love with this dish!
Barley and Winter Vegetable Stew from 1000 Vegan Recipes. This was made on the day I was meant to go back to work. I say meant to, because I did not. My face still looked like I had been punched and I couldn't really talk and I was still relying on trusty codeine, which makes me happy but sleepy. As luck would have it, I had the following two days off as well because my brother was moving overseas (more on that in the next post), which gave me some extra time to heal.
Yellow Dal with Spinach served with Chapati, both from 1000 Vegan Recipes. This is lovely, though I found the dal only really made about three servings.
This was almost a week after my operation, and I was finding that while to tooth pain was fading (even though my sutures had pulled through a few days after the op - gross), I was developing a burning pain in my throat. To the point I was dreaming that I was being strangled. A quick exam into the back of my throat explained why - I had ulcers all around my soft palate and on the end of my uvula! Thus started the longest and possibly most painful two weeks of my life.
Things I tried to dull the pain: Savacol mouth-rinse, alcohol free Savacol mouth-rinse, Difflam mouth-rinse, Difflam sore throat spray, lignocaine, xylocaine viscous. The latter is normally super expensive, but thankfully we have some at work so I was able to get a little from there. It is revolting, but was the most effective thing at numbing... though only for about ten minutes. Gah!
And what does a girl eat during this time? Not much, to be honest. Pain is great killer of hunger. Ice cold soymilk, lukewarm peppermint tea into which I dunked vanilla biscuits until they were smoosh and I could suck them, icy smoothies (rockmelon, soymilk and a little soy icecream) and soup... lots of soup. At slightly warm temperature. Soup that did not have anything spicy or acidic in it. Mostly made by my wonderful mother!
Golden Potato Soup from 1000 Vegan Recipes.
Cream of Broccoli Soup from 1000 Vegan Recipes.
Creamy Potato-Chard Soup from 1000 Vegan Recipes.
Carrot Soup with Ginger from 1000 Vegan Recipes.
Cream of Cauliflower Soup from Vegan Cooking for One.
Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie from 1000 Vegan Recipes. I needed a change from rockmelon.
All these recipes were good, but I don't have too much to say as I was in pain, my throat was temporarily numb, and I was just happy to be getting something with actual nutrients into me! Originally I had seen a doctor near work who said there was nothing to be done but ride it out, but eventually I made an appointment with my normal doctor, who is awesome. She got me to make a mouthwash using dexamethasone, and that stuff started to do the trick and healing finally began. Sweet relief!
So what does a girl make the first night back to real food after weeks of sore jaw and sore throat?
Tempeh and Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie with Roasted Zucchini and Tomatoes, both from 1000 Vegan Recipes. A delicious return to solid foods!
Pear Gratin with Cranberries and Pecans from 1000 Vegan Recipes. Because dessert is awesome and nothing says 'farewell nasty ulcers' like some nice crunchy nuts.
(1000 Vegan Recipes blogged: 2.9%)
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post
For making it all the way through that post (or maybe you just flicked through the look at the photos), I give to you Prince in his papoose! Prince is a gorgeous old man, he was a Singapore street cat who was brought over to Australia by his mum. She's had to go back to Singapore for work, so Prince lives with one of our nurses and comes in to the clinic to say hi when she comes to work. He travels in his little papoose. How cute is that? None of my girls would ever sit in that. He just really enjoys being carried around, and I think being super close and snuggly to Pip, who does the carrying. Despite his many health issues, Prince is still going strong and is a much loved little kitty by many.