Saturday, August 11, 2012

Warning: Not for the Squeamish!

Here's an update on my dental situation. My root canal was scheduled for a week ago Thursday. After two hours of having my jaw hyperextended and of having the endodontist work strenuously on my tooth, I got the bad news: my molar has either three or four canals (now I can't remember how many), one of which she could not open. That meant I would have to go back a week later to have it finished. So she filled the tooth with an ointment to soften the canal, then put a temporary filling on top of that. I wasn't happy, but figured eh, stuff happens. Well, by Saturday I was in a world of pain. The pain extended all the way to my front teeth on both my upper and lower jaws, which I couldn't understand. In addition, the prolonged hyperextension of my jaw caused pretty severe TMJ and ear pain. Not being able to take pain meds really stinks sometimes. I cried all weekend, which is so not like me. On Monday, I called the endodontist and went in, but had to see a different doctor. I couldn't open my mouth very wide so she couldn't do much other than grind down my back two lower molars (without novacaine) so that my upper molars wouldn't rub against them and cause more pain.

So I donned my tough girl attitude and hung in there until Thursday when I saw the first endodontist again. She and the endodontist I saw on Monday concluded that during the first part of the root canal the novacaine needle hit a nerve in my jaw that runs all the way to the front teeth. Apparently this very rarely happens, but is anyone really surprised that it happened to ME? I'm not! So at least that explained the pain but there really wasn't much to be done about it other than take ibuprofen which wasn't helping at all anyway. She said it will eventually get better as the inflammation recedes. Fortunately, she was able to complete the root canal, though I did have a tense moment or two when she was able to open the last canal and it, in her words, "erupted" from the pressure of the infection. Good thing blood doesn't bother me. She was confident that everything would quickly improve from there. 

Then came Friday morning. The original white spot that started this whole journey was still there and the pain had worsened. So back to the endodontist I went, seeing the third partner. He poked at the white spot, which was now all red and inflamed, and told me it was hard and was most likely a piece of bone. Next step? See an oral surgeon. I tried calling, but the oral surgeon's office wasn't going to open until the afternoon. In the meantime, the part of me that is sooooooo like my dad (and is the same part that makes my mama shake her head at me) decided to take a closer look at this spot. (Here's where you might want to check out if you're squeamish!) I sterilized a tapestry needle (which isn't sharp, just rounded) and poked at the white spot. Whayda know~it was hard like bone. So then I sterilized my hands and reached in there to get a good feel. I'll leave out the gory (but most fascinating) details and just say that I removed the "bone" with my fingernail. Wanna know what it was? Well, do you? Get this: about two months ago, a small piece chipped off of the molar adjacent to the tooth that just had the root canal. I must have been eating when it happened, and somehow the tooth chip became completely embedded in my gum near the root canal tooth. I noticed the chipped tooth, but it was small and not bothering me so I figured I'd get it fixed over the summer, and at that time I couldn't see or feel anything in my gum. That little piece of tooth stayed hidden for quite some time before it started to fester (fester is such an awesome word that I couldn't resist using it, so sorry for the icky mental picture I just gave you) and was trying to work itself out. It seems to me that this is what may have started the infection which spread to the molar and caused me to need the root canal in the first place. ARGH! Anyway, I dug that nasty little thing out and after a second (but much smaller) eruption I cleaned it all up. It's less red today, my symptoms are improving, and the doctor put me on a second round of antibiotics which starts today, so I'm not worried. But here's what I really don't get: I saw four different doctors within nine days. Why is it that none of them thought to try to remove this white fragment? Why did I have to do it myself? Frankly, I think they should all being paying ME. Just call me Dr. Burns, LOL! 

This biggest bummer about this is that I had to cancel my trip to Seattle. I was supposed to leave this morning to spend a few days with Lesly and see my brother, SIL, their kids, and their grandson. We are going to reschedule for April, but I am deeply disappointed. So Lesly, Dave, and Kristin, please accept my apologies for bailing at the last minute. 

Just so I don't leave you feeling nauseous after reading all of this, here are a few sweet photos of you-know-who. (I promise not to sneak in a photo of the tooth fragment!) These are all Brittany's photos which I totally hijacked.

Remember that Brittany and Emma gave Papa a "beach day" for Father's Day? They finally got to go.
 Other people made this giant sand Triceratops and told Emma she could sit on it. How cool is that? 
Emma's mommy took her to Davis' Farm. Emma keeps saying she wants to be a vet. I believe it~she LOVES animals of any kind. 
Miss Emma found Mommy's boots. I'll really feel sorry for Brittany when Emma becomes a teenager! Ha ha!
That's it for today. Come back tomorrow for a post about Venice.

Happy Saturday!

1 comment:

Christy Lynn said...

I did send you a dental get-well card...well, not really dental, since it didn't have teeth on it but you know what I mean. I'm wondering what's up with the mail lately, it took over two weeks for my friend Missy to get something from me and it'd been inspected by customs. And there was nothing illegal in it either, just a bunch of candy!

That is one giant and impressive sand triceratops. And if Emma wants a bunny as a pet, they're not too bad--I had one when I was a kid. The main problem was keeping the cage clean, rabbits poop a lot! And I don't think you can really house train them either, or maybe it was just the one I had...