Why I Had Every Right To Be Frustrated
If you have read my previous blog post about my grafting experience, don’t worry, this one is not as grossly detailed. This story, however, is about my surgeon's carelessness with informing me about my recovery.
Let’s pick up where I left off in my last blog post. While I am standing in the rain waiting for my dad to pick me up, I am also having to use my tongue to keep this plastic bandage in place. This is where they took a piece out of the roof of my mouth. The bandage ended up not fitting, so they had to force it into my mouth and on my top teeth. When asked if it would fall out, my doctor told me “only if you keep talking,” which was not in a tone you’d want to hear from someone who just cut your mouth open.
This was all he told me about this piece of plastic he had shoved into my mouth, other than when (after I asked) when I could take it out or if there was a certain amount of time I NEEDED to leave it in.
Fast forward, it had been about a day and a half since my procedure and I decided to take the plastic out because it was making it harder to eat and that area of my mouth wasn’t in pain anymore. After taking it out, I threw it away. I did this because my doctor had made it sound like it was just a temporary bandage.
A couple of days later, my stitches started to fall out, which is normal for mouth surgery because they are dissolvable. I, being a little paranoid because they were falling out early, wanted to know if I needed to be concerned or not.
After telling my mom, she asked if the surgeon had given me a paper with recovery instructions. I said I didn’t think so because he didn’t mention one. This only instruction paper he, and the nurse, had talked about was a list of how much medication I could take. When then looking at this paper, I saw that the medication part was only half of the paper.
After reading through all of it, not only did I learn that the stitches falling out was completely fine, I also learned that the plastic bandage was something I was supposed to KEEP, wear when I ate, and bring with me to my post-operation in case I need to have another operation.
This then quickly led me to fill my day with searching through bathroom trash cans, bedroom trash cans, and our large dumpster on the side of the house because I couldn’t remember which garbage I had thrown it away in. I ended up having to sift through old yogurt, burgers, potato peels, and soggy mushrooms.
I was not upset at the fact that I had to go through multiple bags of trash, I was more upset at the lack of information coming from my surgeon. Removing that piece of plastic and exposing that area could have led to the wound becoming infected.
Were there some things that I could have done better? Sure; I could have asked more questions, and I could have looked at the paper as soon as I got it, but I had assumed that my surgeon had verbally told me everything I needed to know. That was where I went wrong on my part as a patient.
Needless to say, I will not be going to this place again, and I am really not looking forward to my post-op. When he asks about the bandage, I will tell him my dog found it and chewed it up.