Maybe I'm naive (probably), but when I go to a professional I typically think they know what they are talking about and they are probably trustworthy. I tend to give their opinions a little more weight when making a decision. with that said...let's begin our journey.
I went in to the dentist for my 6 month cleaning in March. She said my teeth (which are VERY porous and sensitive) looked good. However; an old filling looked like it could possibly be leaking and she wanted to replace it. OK, that's cool. I came back 2 weeks later and she did so.I told her my bite didn't feel right. She took a look, said it seemed fine and that I was numb and probably wasn't biting right. She also told me that it had been leaking and she had to drill a little deeper so my tooth might be sensitive to heat and cold for up to 2 weeks. OK, fine. My tooth was fine...a little cold sensitive, but not much. Come the beginning of May I started to complain that my tooth was sensitive. It had been about 2 weeks since the "replacement". The pain seemed to spread to my lower jaw by the end of the weekend. so naturally I thought I had cancer in my jaw. (what hypochondriac wouldn't think so?!). Of course I stressed about this rather than going back to the dentist also hoping that it would go away on it's own...I just don't have time for dentists.
FINALLY, on the 14th I went to the dentist. She said the bite was off ("well no crap lady" was my first thought...I told her that a long time ago). She said that it was the same as punching yourself in the same place on your arm for a few weeks..."eventually your whole arm and shoulder would also feel the after effects; which also explains why your lower jaw hurts". Dr. L fixed the bite by grinding down my tooth and sent me on my merry way with the good news of full recovery in a week. By the next day my tooth still hurt, but it was a different kind of pain. I decided to give it until Monday. Sunday after I got home from church and the spa I started to walk up to Big Bear Cafe (plug) and read. I didn't get far. I WAS SOOO COLD. I decided to go home and lay down. I took my temp. and it said 97 so I figured I really was just cold. I laid in my big comfy chair reading and eventually fell asleep.
I woke up off and on with sever pain in my mouth and shaking from the cold (despite how many blankets I had on.) I automatically assumed I had the swine flu and I once again was going to die...or that the cancer had spread...either way I was going to die (How's that for dramatic Mindi...if you even read this). I finally got up (shaking) and took my temp again. 101.3. So now I have a fever and chills and my mouth is in so much pain. What does any grown woman do at this point? I start to cry :) and of course I called my momma.
Monday I went back to the dentist. By now my face is swelling (actually Chirine said it looked swollen on Saturday night...someone else just said my face looked fat Saturday night...hmmm). The dentist got me in for an emergency appointment. Of course she doesn't come into the office until 1:30 on Monday's so I sat at home with fever all day Monday waiting to go find out what the excruciating pain was stemming from.
Right off...she says those two dreaded words "Root Canal"...NOOOOO!!! First of all, I thought they were only for "old" people since my parents both recently got one. secondly i heard they were expensive, but third and most importantly...I heard they were painful. She wants to get in the tooth and clean it up for the "pre-treatment". She tells me that the swollen area is an abscess and that the Novocain will hurt 10 times more than usual because of the infection. LIAR!! It was more like 20 times worse. My mouth did not fully go numb because the abscess was blocking the Novocaine...but since my root was already dead I lost the argument and let her drill as it was. I did not feel a thing, so evidently she does know what she is talking about sometimes. When I left her office, she had put me on vicoden (I told her i was allergic to codeine and percocet) and an antibiotic for the infection in my gum. I still had fever off and on t
he rest of the day. The vicoden made me a little nauseous and I felt like the
swelling was getting worse by the end of the day. Tuesday morning I woke up sick to my stomach, dizzy, nauseous and vomiting. When I finally had the strength to get up I glanced in the mirror and started to cry. My face has swollen up worse. I stopped taking the vicoden. Called
my Dr. for a new prescription and to update her. She said the antibiotics would take some time to get into the infection and make a difference...the infection may get worse before it gets better. If the swelling gets worse she wanted me to call her and she would send me to a oral surgeon. Becky, my super awesome sister in law (Krystal, you're totally awesome too) came over and made me food which was perfect since I couldn't stand up for more than 3 seconds without getting dizzy. Stefanie brought my new (non-vomit inducing) pain meds over after work and Chirine came down and cleaned up my kitchen and did my laundry for me! Thanks!! By now I am trying to make the most of this bad situation...like sending my own pictures to friends asking if I looked ok...haha. I look like Chunk from "The Goonies", but it was still funny. I fell asleep thinking everything was going to be better Wednesday.
2:30am Wednesday morning: I am in so much pain (my cheek/ mouth) that I cannot sleep. I have fever again and now I'm truly scared. I had sent Mindi my pic as a joke and saw that she text and called while I was asleep saying she was worried about me. (She's an ENT in Tulsa..
.and normally tells me to suck it up; so now I am worried). I don't want to wake up Mindi, so I send Dr. LoLo (she's working nights at Johns' Hopkins) a picture text of my face asking her if I should go to the ER. She replies that it looks bad and I should indeed go to the ER...now I'm freaking out as to how to get there. I don't want to go walking around my neighborhood at 3am (but then again, I look so monstrous that I really don't think anyone would want to rob me...definitely not rape me!), but my face had swollen even more. So I resort to what any grown woman would do...I call my mom crying (LOL, my poor mom). She has a way to calm me down. I hang up and call Heather for a ride. (Praise the Lord for Heather and Jenny Sigler!! thanks for getting up Heather; Thanks for letting her take your car Jenny!!).
In the ER they took pretty good care of me. They injected an 1 1/4" needle to the hub into my upper cheek just below my eye to numb the main nerve. That didn't even hurt...what REALLY hurt was when they injected the needle only 1/4" of the way in to the roof of my mouth where it is essentially all bone. THAT WAS PAINFUL!! They sliced open the abscess on my gums...if you can call it that. My gums no longer existed. the cheek met my "gums" right at the tooth line, everything else was so swollen it had protruded all open space in my mouth. and suctioned out the infection that they could get to. They changed my antibiotics, said what I was on "wasn't the best choice for this type of infection" and wrote me a prescription for a different painkiller that shouldn't make me sick (that's what they all say).
They also refer me to an oral surgeon who does root canals for the hospital and can probably get me in TODAY!! What a blessing that would be. I double check that this Dr. does root canals...YES!! So I cab home from the ER in the only DC cab that had NO SHOCKS. my mouth felt every pebble we drove over (does that make me a princess? oh wait that was a pea...never mind).
I fall asleep for about an hour and a half, wake up, call the ER Dr. and they want me to come in right away!! I get there via the 80 bus...thanks crazy bus driver for hitting every pot hole and jumping the curb at 3rd and H ;) I fill out all kind of paperwork, wait an hour with confirmation that the Dr. CAN get the "procedure" done today!! It's almost too good to be true...He gets me back to the room, pokes around in my mouth (ouch!!) and tells me "yep, I can get 'er out"...WHAT?! I don't want you to pull my tooth out!! I need a root canal..."we don't do those here, young lady. We remove teeth". So apparently the ER Dr. at GW didn't have all his facts either.
So once again...I went outside sorely disappointed that he could not do my procedure and started to cry. I am in so much pain. I haven't had a good nights sleep in 5 days now, I still have a low grade fever, my face hurts and I look more like "Sloth" the ugly guy the Fratelli's had chained up in the basement in Goonies rather than Chunk. My sister in law came and picked me up. We filled my new prescriptions and she took me off to the adorable suburbs to rest in peace and quiet. Her neighbor's husband is a dentist, so we called him and got a recommendation for a specialist...Dr. Meza got me in this morning at 11am!! Timing was perfect. I was able to wake up nauseous, at 4am, lay in bed dizzy all morning, eat, shower, throw up in the bushes in front of Becky's house and get to my appointment. The root canal went well. The infection is alarming to Dr. Meza so he did open up my cheek and try to scrap out more infection. That is the painful part I am dealing with now. The tooth itself seems to be fine and isn't very painful. I am still dealing with a some dizziness from the medication I was on last night...but slowly flushing it from my system.
So with all that said, thank you do much to everyone who has been praying for me! I also am so blessed by all my friends who have cooked, cleaned and carted me around. I am also very thankful for all the encouraging texts and e-mails and all of the offers to come and take care of me!! Thank you all so much! I am feeling better, but still off on my balance and still REALLY tired. I'm going to go lay down now...
and PS...I didn't proof read this...I'm too lazy right now.