Yesterday afternoon, I felt something in my mouth. It was bits of grit and when I got it out, it looked like bits of charcoal. I figured it was from my Brita and thought nothing of it. Last night, one of my lower right molars began to hurt. And then it hurt some more.
My bath over, I got ready for bed. I was prepared to go to sleep earlier than usual because today was the day for the BRAVO placement. Cuz would be here at 6 to take me. I was to be at the surgical center at 6 Central time.
The pain got worse. I rinsed my mouth with salt water. It did no good. I stirred up a stronger solution and rinsed again. Nothing. Pulling the ground cloves out of the spice drawer, I put a good half teaspoon in a glass and added warm water. That helped. It helped for about five minutes and then the aching and throbbing was back.
Not one to get headaches or back aches that I can’t handle, I don’t have pain relievers in the house. I used to have some ibuprofen but the expiration date on it was so far gone, I garbaged it. I prayed and asked God what to do.
It was like a light was turned on. I looked in my little chest of essential oils and there was the vial of On Guard beadlets. I tapped some into my hand and crushed them on the tooth. Ah! That was better. It didn’t last long, though. I did it again. And again. And again. I have no idea how many beadlets I smashed onto that tooth.
Looking online, one of the suggestions was for putting ice on the cheek next to the tooth. Well. I don’t HAVE ice except for some ‘way in the bottom of the freezer and I didn’t remember that until today. Looking in the refrigerator freezer, I spied the reusable cold packs. I wrapped one in a washcloth and I was in business. I alternated beadlets and cold.
For a long time, I sat in Mother’s chair and dozed. I finally went to bed with the ice pack. The cold would relieve the pain for a few minutes and then it was back. I broke down and cried, it hurt so badly. At 1 a.m., I’d sent Cuz a text to forget trying to go. I was going to call the dentist’s office as soon as they opened. I knew she wouldn’t get the message until she checked her phone after she got up but I didn’t want to chance her coming clear from where she was when there was no need.
It was well after 3 o’clock when the pain eased off and I was able to sleep. A couple of hours later, the timer went off. I stayed in bed for a little while longer, then got up to check my email. Cuz had gotten the message.
The people get to the surgery center very early. I waited until about a half hour before my appointment time and called. I explained what was going on and that I was seeing a dentist if I could be worked in. The lady told me to do that and then call back to reschedule when I knew more.
The Dental Center has a Facebook page plus a web site. I’d “liked” the page but I hadn’t made an effort to go in for work since they don’t take my insurance. This was it and I’d have to go no matter what. With prayer and faith on my side, I printed off the new patient forms and filled them out.
I got dressed before I called and was ready to go out the door at a moment’s notice. After conferring with the others, the receptionist told me to be there in half an hour. I made it with five minutes to spare. I didn’t have to wait long.
The dentist is an elder in the church so I waved at him as I went by to my assigned chair. The assistant xrayed the offending tooth and the image was immediately on the computer screen. It didn’t look good and that was to an uneducated eye.
Coming over, the dentist took a long look at the x-ray and told me there were several options. He said the first was a root canal but he couldn’t guarantee it would last. The next would be to extract the tooth and leave it as is. The third would be to bridge it. The fourth would call for a partial and the last one would be for an implant. The implant would involve both the extraction and the partial before I could have the implant seated. Lots to think about.
He left me to my musings and when he came back, he asked which I would definitely not want to do. I told him the root canal. It was iffy and I don’t like iffy — especially when it costs only about $500 less than an implant. I wanted the tooth out of there TODAY and I’d think about the others while it healed. So…I have about 6-8 weeks before I need to decide anything.
That decision was fine with him (the customer is always right?) and he went to work. In the past, I have had to have nitrous oxide to undergo any traumatic dental work but the approach of the huge silver syringe didn’t freak me out when it was in his hand. He shot me full of whatever they use now (is it still Novocaine?) and left me to wait for it to take effect. Then he came back and shot me some more.
While he was waiting for that to do the job, he reached for a pamphlet that shows three different tooth replacement options. I asked him to put it with my purse and hand me my coat. Was I cold? He could get me a blanket. He came back with a pile lined one and covered me up. He laughed and said sometimes they have polar bears in there.
Warning me that the tooth might break while being pulled, he took the instruments in hand and I braced myself. I literally didn’t feel a thing. The assistant sprayed and suctioned and it was over very quickly. He packed the cavity with gauze and gave me a prescription for pain.
On my way out, I stopped and relieved myself of $192. I was given a ziploc baggie with 2x2s and instructions for post-extraction.
The pharmacy was in the next block but I didn’t feel like walking. I had a longer wait for the prescription to be filled than for the wait at the Dental Center. And there went another $9.56.
The Catz met me when I got home. I had to retrieve two of the bowls that had been knocked off the railing. I fed them and came in. The first thing I did was take the bloody packing out and rinse my mouth with salt water. Then I read the instructions. Uh-oh! I wasn’t supposed to rinse.
The bleeding has outlasted the gauze pads. I’ve looked high and low for the ones Cuz gave me to pad my ears but I can’t find them. I thought I’d found something I could use in the first aid kit but they turned out to be bandaids.
I hadn’t eaten breakfast when I went to get my tooth pulled. At the end of the visit, I was told not to eat anything that had to be chewed — not even soft foods. Smoothies and yogurt were mentioned. Around 5:30, I was hungry so I blended up some Fordhooks that were left over and had some thinned out mashed potatoes with Bisto (both also left over).
Chewing being out, I wondered how I could manage some Tums since my stomach was burning. The mortar and pestle were sitting on the counter so I wiped it out and crushed the tablets up in it. Food is in my stomach. I took a pain pill to get ahead of what was starting to smart. My jaw is swollen and I look like a chipmunk.
For a day or two, I’m not to do anything other than rest. Since I got very little sleep last night, I won’t have any problem in the near future.
On the plus side, the tub drained last night and I was able to flush — and clean — the commode this morning. And for everyone who has been praying for me, thank you and God bless us every one!