Saturday, August 11, 2012

Recovery: How It's Going

Best conversation yet:

Cashier: How did you get hurt?
Me: I fell off my bike.
Cashier: Are you going to ride a bike again?
Me: Nope.
Cashier: So you didn't lose your common sense.

That was Sunday. It's Friday, and strangers have stopped asking what happened to me since I'm a lot less black and blue now. I'm washing my own hair, putting on makeup and getting through a day at work without exhaustion. I don't do much at home besides cooking and dishes, and out-eating a teenage boy. Two eggs or a quarter pound of beef is a snack; either one used to be a meal. Rebuilding flesh and replenishing blood (I bled for a day when I fell) must take a lot of nutrients. I'm not wearing the extra calories--I've lost weight.

The braces are working. My front teeth are straighter than they've been since I was a kid, and I can chew a little bit, very carefully. Since the tooth that broke was narrower than an implant, I'll have to have my top teeth re-aligned to make room for an implant, and the bottom teeth re-aligned to match the top. It's going to take 18 months. Once I'm able to chew again in a few weeks, I'll celebrate with a Carl's Jr. low carb bacon cheeseburger.

Meantime, the braces are giving me a dry mouth at night. Drinking a lot of water right before bed doesn't help you get a good night's sleep. An Oramoist dry mouth patch worked well, but the texture and stickiness of it were disgusting. I've been using the old trick of rinsing with sesame oil before bed.

The wound on my ankle that the nurse didn't clean (my sock hid it) needs Neosporin and zinc oxide to heal. Coconut oil is great, but it only kills lipid-coated bacteria.

I've found the mental energy to focus on something beyond InStyle magazine. I'm reading the delightful book The Meat Fix, which Tom Naughton recently reviewed. There's a lot of bathroom humor (maybe it's not that far above a fashion magazine), but the author suffered from IBS. My own problems on a so-called "good diet" were farther north, but I can relate. I was in a lot more pain then than I've been with my accident. It isn't giving much away by saying the author solved his problems by dumping his vegan diet in general and soy in particular. (I was never vegan or vegetarian--I just stopped eating wheat and so many carbs, and poof! my stomach felt better.)

If there's a bright spot in this, I haven't been in much pain. The worst parts have been the tetanus shot, which made my arm hurt for days, and getting braces put on while my gums were still bruised. (Would you believe that braces and cuts inside your upper lip are a bad combination? Obvious, but I'd never thought about it before. Some wax for the brackets helped.) Maybe I have a high threshold of pain; maybe I somehow avoided hitting any nerves, so to speak; maybe it's something I eat or take.


tess said...

i'm glad things are better, but not being "finished" till 18 months have passed is a bummer....

i'm under the impression that a low-carb dieter actually experiences less pain than someone on LFHC, but i can't remember where i read it.

Lori Miller said...

At least it can be fixed. Long ago, I suppose they'd have just had to yank out both teeth.

I know I have a lot less (as in, zero) pain after workouts than I did when I was eating lots of carbs.