Monday, June 24, 2013

Dentists, and doctors and extractions....oh my!

And so I find myself writing from a sick bed, yet again.

Since Sunday I've had a crazy toothache on the same tooth that I have had 5 root canals on. This tooth has been a pain since I was 15 years old. When I was in grade 10 I remember it acted up and I was in SO MUCH PAIN. But it was a school day and both my parents were teachers so there was no one to call to help me. I couldn't focus in class I was in so much pain. I went out and sat in the bus loop and cried until the principal happend to come by and find me. Once he saw the pain I was in, he stopped giving out about skipping class and drove me straight to my dentist (only in a small town, eh?). That was my first root canal on this tooth. Anyways, it was flaring up YET again on Sunday. First thing Monday morning I called my dentist who was closed. Called again Tuesday, still closed. Yikes. Finally Wednesday morning they were open and could get me in that afternoon.

Also, on things that happened Wednesday I woke up and was getting ready to hop onto my bike, but as I walked out of the garage towards my bike and felt something go in my back. I still felt ok, so I rode my bike in to work, which was actually fine and I felt pretty great by the end. But as I worked that morning my back started to hurt more and more. I left work early as the pain (between my tooth and my back) was proving too much to handle while working.

I came home and slept for an hour and then headed off to get my tooth looked at. My dental office (Dr. Vincent Tai, at 57th and Victoria, Vancouver) is so great - the staff is super wonderful and so caring. Unfortunately, this time they couldn't really help me. Turns out I needed another root canal on the tooth, but with a specialist due to the nature of the infection. Ugh. So I got a referral to a specialist and set up an appointment to meet them Friday morning (probably going to cost $1800, yuck). I got some antibiotics and pain killers in the mean time. I slept almost all evening.

Thursday morning between the back pain and the tooth pain, work was not going to be an option. I finally arranged to see my doctor and she decided that probably I should be trying to get in with my surgeon. She gave me meds to help with the pain and we made a plan. Unfortunately as of end of day Friday I still couldn't get in touch with my surgeon. Ugh.

[Endodontist, Doctor, Back Surgeon, nurse friend, husband and sister]

I slept all of Thursday and was feeling  somewhat decent by evening, so I went to youth to speak on a relationship panel which was a lot of fun. By the end of the evening though I was exhausted and crashed at home right away.

Friday I got up in time for my 8:30am appointment at the endodontist - after they drilled into my mouth and began the procedure - and then shortly realized that the tooth was past repair and that it actually needed to be taken out. So they put it back and sent me on my way. Fun, right?

I called my dentist and they informed me that I wouldn't be able to get in until Wednesday. Wednesday! I drove home to try and sleep away the pain, but kept crying and crying - the tooth pain was so terrible. At this stage I must say that my two girl students were lovely - Rachel and Ana were so kind to me, making me tea and watching a movie with me and pausing so I could call doctors until I got through. They were wonderful. And finally I got back through to my dentist and they put me in touch with a different specialist and I was off to see him right then and have the tooth removed. Praise the Lord.

I had to wait an hour at the office since they were squeezing me in but I was in! The procedure was traumatic, I bawled through the whole thing but I am so glad they did it. And they were so lovely through that whole thing - brisk and a bit forceful but only because they need to. They were also sweet and kind, and the nurse rubbed my hand while they did the surgery and I cried. Little things make a difference!

I must publicly thank the awesome staff at Dr. Vincent Tai's and at Broadway Dental. From the front desk staff to the nurses and the dentists themselves, I had wonderful experiences at both places - despite the pain they were helping create! They definitely were so gracious and kind throughout my experiences with them. Dr. Vincent Tai is my day to day dentist and I highly recommend him and the wonderful staff he works with.

I came home and cried some more. The trauma and the pain was fairly overwhelming. Paul was getting ready to head away for the weekend (he offered to stay home but I wouldn't hear of it). While he packed I laid in bed and cried (I was fairly pathetic). Then I went to sleep and when I woke up at 10:30 I felt so much better. Yes, my back still hurt but sleeping that long had helped my back too. Yes, there was some mouth pain but honestly it was almost pain free! I took a quick trip to Safeway to get drinkable yogurt and soup for the morning and then went right back to sleep to capitalize on the healing time.

When I woke up Saturday morning I felt terrible. Headache, nausea, backpain. Oh man. I was miserable. I was a mess. Basically I slept all day Saturday, occasionally waking up to text loved ones and complain about the pain, take more meds, attempt to drink something and then go back to sleep. Arlene McGlashen was a hero with her support and advice. So thankful for a nurse friend! Rachel and Ana continued to be amazing supports and Josh and Ana Whitton win a runner up prize for bringing me treats and magazines to read - I was feeling the love. On top of that there was an outpouring texts of love and prayers and support and wow, what a difference that makes. Every time I woke up I would look at my phone and there would be so many texts of love. Every time! So awesome.

Finally thanks to some Gravol my sister brought over the last time I was sick, some advice on medicine from Arlene and more sleep I woke up at 10pm feeling much improved. So improved that the chips that Ana and Josh had brought over actually looked temping - I hadn't eaten much all day. Rather than eating Salt and Vinegar chips with an open wound (rookie move) I made another comfort food, that was soft and non acidic - Kraft Dinner. Oh man did that hit the spot. I went back to bed by 11:30 and slept in until 9:30am Sunday. My headache stayed away, the nausea stayed mostly away and only the back was hurting. I decided to leave the house like a normal person and took a short trip to ikea - how great to feel normal. I grabbed some frozen yogurt as I left and came back home where my hair dresser was arriving to cut my hair! Fancy, fancy.

Paul arrived home, and shortly after that it was time to pick up our new student from Quebec. After I brought her home, I took another nap as I was starting to feel worn out. At 5:45 I enlisted the help of Rachel F (our new student) and Ana (our Brazillian student) to make a family dinner - tomato basil porkloin, panko dusted potatoes, corn on the cob and a spinach berry salad - oh it was a feast. And thank goodness, I was finally hungry for real food. I laid down a lot that evening though, my back still gets testy.

This morning Paul is home from school - he has a week's break. I'm off work one last day, so I made sure to sleep in nice and long so that rest would be a priority. Then I made an easy breakfast and have been laying on the couch catching up on emails, working on some stuff for work and trying to get in touch with my surgeon (who I finally got in touch with and have an appointment in two weeks). I plan to rest, rest, rest tonight and will be at work tomorrow. With pain meds in hand, and a wonderful boss and coworker, I am glad I can get back to work - we have a big office move coming up in three weeks and we need all hands on deck!

And that, is my week.

Thank you for your prayers and support - being sick sucks so much less when you know that others are praying for you and supporting you. I am so thankful for the love you all give.

And to Arlene McGlashen who texted me this morning after a time of prayer, saying that God wanted me to know that He's "got my back". I believe it.

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