Posted in dental adventures


Friday morning, I had a tooth pulled because I felt it was the only option I had. Truthfully, if I was a millionaire, I might have tried an expensive implant or other cosmetic surgery to make my bite complete again, but as it is, I could barely afford my portion of the tooth extraction.

For some reason, the insurance would not fully cover anesthesia, so I opted out. Don’t panic, the surgeon used a local, but it would have been his preference (and the preference of most) to be put under for the surgery.

The surgeon, who is really good at his job and has years of experience spent twenty minutes trying to talk me into taking the anesthesia. I don’t blame him. Still, $350 for something that may or may not be needed was a bit much for me, so I declined.

Turns out, I didn’t need it at all. I meditated and about the time I had blocked out everything in the room, he’d pulled the tooth. So I saved myself $350 and I didn’t have to find someone to come get me.

I spent the weekend on some lovely narcotics but was very sluggish still on Monday morning. I’m happy to report, though, that I had absolutely no bruising and right now I am in no pain whatsoever.

The molar of the story is – go with your instincts and pray really hard before you get a tooth pulled and everything will work out okay.

Posted in dental adventures, health


First, the good news: I found a free standing Arby’s in front of the new Target on Westheimer and I had to explain to the guy at Home Depot that I knew the difference between spackle and joint compound. I like going to home improvement stores and showing off.

Now onto the other news:

I got little sleep last night as the pain pills did very little to knock back the pain. Fortunately, I think the antibiotics are starting to work, so there’s hope that the pain will subside soon.

I loved the endodontist I saw this morning. He was very honest and talked me through what the problem really is. He could have just done the procedure, collected his money, and I’d be home taking big pills and talking to inanimate objects, but instead he gave me some options to think over instead.

I could clearly see on the x-rays where the infection was in the bone and why it’s so painful and how my roots curve under (digital x rays on the computer and they were so clear and it was so cool). I could see where the previous dentist had not penetrated the root fully and where the crown he made was too short and was letting stuff in to get infected.

My options are:

1) a complete reworking of the root canal and crown, very expensive out of pocket and not guaranteed to work. He said 50/50 chance and even then he would do it if I decided to, but he really, truthfully wouldn’t recommend it.

2) a very, very expensive implant which he said still might not be a great idea.

3) pull the tooth.

I’m leaning toward #3, but I have a week to go in taking the antibiotics, so I have a few days to think it over. I stayed home rather than going into work to take more pills and rest and try to decide what I’ll do.

Posted in dental adventures, quoted, random


Sometimes pain can make me as silly as when I’m on nifty narcotics. Two quotes that popped into my head while I was writing and concentrating on trying to not scream out in pain while waiting to see the dentist:

“If I could put it into words, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

And, trying to explain my pain: “There’s tolerable pain and then there’s OMG. Fix. This. Now. I think I’m at OMG. Fix. This. Now (expletive)!!”

It’s amazing what an hour and an additional Tylenol 3 makes. Some tips for those under the influence of some pretty nifty narcotics:

It’s easier to wash the pan with the lights on. That way I can see if I actually came close to getting it completely clean. Now that I’ve seen I missed an entire side… it might be time to sit down.

The warnings on the bottle of the nifty narcotics are there for a reason. Standing up slowly is a great idea and I will try it next time.

No matter how much pain I’m still in, it is inadvisable to take a third Tylenol 3 at this time. Make mental note to not be a sissy about it and ask for the lovely vicodin next time no matter how nauseous it makes me… but I didn’t want to feel fuzzy alone. I guess that’s why I didn’t do it. At least now I’m somewhat lucid and making some sense. Right.

Posted in dental adventures, random


I have taken a second Tylenol 3 and have decided to blog under the influence. I guess we’ll call it Writing Under the Influence.

So much for my tooth pain just being allergies as I’d hoped. My allergies often cause me enough sinus pain that often my teeth hurt, but usually it’s a dull annoying pain that is manageable with ibuprofen. I’ve been at that point for about a week now.

When the pain moves beyond that to a sharp pain in a specific place I know I may have a tooth going critical and need to see the dentist to make sure that it doesn’t get any worse. Severe pain hit me at 5:30 yesterday morning and woke me up and then hit me again at 3:30 yesterday afternoon.

I didn’t waste any time making an appt. since I let something like this go once (because I’m so tough you know and have probably let this go long enough as it is) and I no longer have that tooth and there are enough hillbillies with no teeth in my family as it is – kidding, dear family.

I was able to sleep a couple of hours last night before I had to get up and take more ibuprofen… which is now as of this morning useless against the pain I’m feeling. Thank goodness I kept the reflexology book and it’s not illegal to mainline oral analgesics.


Let’s start with the good news. I went to the dentist today and she said I take incredibly good care of my teeth and I have no new cavities! It’s a miracle (feel the sarcasm).

The other (but not necessarily bad) news is that I have to see a specialist tomorrow morning to redo a root canal I had in 2004. My teeth, like everything else involving my health, are the exception to the rule. Always the anomaly. I have crooked roots (from too many teeth growing in a small mouth when I was little) and apparently there are times when root canals can become reinfected. I feel so special.

The other good news is that my insurance rocks and I should be able to pay the balance off in a couple of months rather than 18.

I most likely will not be at work at all tomorrow depending on what they do to me. BUT I just took some antibiotics and a second Tylenol 3 (with codeine) and in an half hour I probably will be feeling better. Much, much better.

Still, I think I should have asked for vicodin. I don’t think I will be as much fun on Tylenol 3. lol

Will post more if I am able.

Posted in dental adventures, health


I went in to get my teeth cleaned last Monday. I told them I thought I had a broken tooth. The next thing I know I am getting a root canal. Love those things. I’ve yet to have one go right using the “drill the canal out” procedure. The only one that’s gone right so far was when the dentist used the surgical root cut method.

You see, I have funky teeth. Small. Unusual. My mouth is small. I usually expect that a routine procedure isn’t going to go smoothly.

Therefore, when the dentist was halfway through my root canal Monday, I was not surprised to hear, “we’ve had a little setback. Your canal is bleeding and I can’t continue.” He put me on antibiotics and told me to come back Thursday.

And I still hadn’t had my teeth cleaned.

Thursday, I had to take the whole afternoon off to finish the procedure. Yes, complication number two reared its ugly head when the dentist either a) accidentally touched a nerve beyond the tooth’s root, or b) the solution that kills the tooth’s root hit a bone. Either way, pain shot through my whole cheek and I demanded something for relief.

After another shot for the pain, he continued. The dentist was mortified. He was so upset that I was in pain, and I knew it was an accident and tried to assure him that I was not surprised, nor did I blame him.

Finally, after a botched tooth mold (for the crown) that we had to redo, and a hasty tooth cleaning, they let me go with a big fat prescription for hydrocodone. By the time I got home, my face had swelled considerably.

That night, I called my boss and told her what had happened, that I was taking the pain meds and that I wasn’t sure what would happen in the morning. I took the hydrocodone and babbled that I was “fuzzy” at my roommate who had been in my room for HOURS getting rid of some nasty viruses on my computer. I’m glad she is compassionate and doesn’t charge me.

Anyway, she finished with the computer after midnight, and the medicine had helped, but I wasn’t asleep. Finally, I did sleep, but then at 4 AM rolled over onto the grapefruit-sized cheek and I took another pain med and fell asleep. I did not hear my roommate leave for work at 8:20ish. She called my boss and told her I was out and perhaps, if I could, try to come in at lunchtime.

At lunchtime, I was still dizzy and nauseous from the pain meds, so it was no workie for me. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but I am helping prepare for a major conference at work that starts the Wednesday after Easter. Not good. (Let’s just say this made today a very busy one).

The swelling started to go down Friday, but the fun was just getting started. I now have a purple mark just to the right of my upper lip that looks like the thumbs up on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. A light green patch runs between the thumbs up and the area just over the base of my throat, where I have a silver dollar sized bruise.

Good thing my self-worth isn’t wrapped up in my face. I had all my friends at work look at my mood ring face first thing this morning and got it over with. Though it still hurts somewhat, I am thankful I’ve overcome the issue of having to look my “best” at all times. Three or four years ago, I’d have never ventured out of the house with my face looking like this. This weekend, I was taking pictures of the evolution of my mood ring face.

Last night, while sitting in church, the setting sun shone through the stained-glass window and my entire face was covered in a myriad of colors and shades, blending my wounds with other beautiful colors. Nobody seemed to notice my mood ring face, even after the sun went down. All they saw was the light inside me.

I am not as I once was. And that’s very, very good.

Posted in dental adventures, health


Hallelujah, I’m back from the dentist… one filling, one root canal and two crown fittings later. Thank God for insurance and interest free payments, otherwise, I would have had the equivalent of a car payment for a BMW for months.

I’m hungry, but still numb, so I’ll wait and then see what I’m hungry for… but the office manager made me promise that I wouldn’t eat anything sticky or chewy until my permanent crowns are on.

That leaves my choices for the evening as… SOUP… or SOUP. 🙂

Addendum: The Roomie let me eat some of her pancakes. What a pal!

Posted in dental adventures, health


My teeth are throbbing. There could be several reasons:

a) My sinuses (I’m so congested) are pressing down on the nerves in my mouth. This has happened before — long before my current tooth problems.

b) The tooth that’s broken and in need of a root canal has finally gone nuclear.

c) both A & B

d) The temporary crown is covering a tooth that might need a root canal.

e) both A, B, and D.

Really, I have no idea. All I know is — chewing is an adventure. I have invested in a tube of super Orajel that will numb just about anything. I use it before bedtime so I can sleep. I don’t know what will happen with the teeth issue, so therefore, I’m going to let things run their course and go from there. I can’t worry about it anymore… 🙂

Posted in dental adventures, health


What a day…

First of all, my temporary crown has been bugging me… so I’ve had trouble sleeping because of the pain. Therefore, last night I got about two hour’s worth of sleep. When I woke up this morning, I was really groggy, but I made it to work okay. Thursday is my day to file and find a place to work wherever I can. Usually, I use the conference room across the hall and carry my 2′ stack of filing across the hall along with my “office in a box” — a filing box that has pens, paper, sorting stuff, etc.

I get everything sorted into the starting piles and WHAM! I spilled my coffee all over the conference room table. I splattered only one piece of paper, but otherwise, made a big mess. Fortunately, I stopped the puddle from leaking onto the floor or the chairs (my biggest concerns). One of the angels from housekeeping helped me mop up.

So, new cup of coffee in hand, I settle in to file. At 10, I went upstairs to distribute the mail and when I came back… my piles were gone. Turns out the lady who schedules the rooms forgot I was in there and told another group they could use it.

Of course, I was frustrated. #1, all the piles I made were picked up haphazardly by a stranger who didn’t bother to ask if it was okay to move any of it–I mean, whenever I go in to use another office, I always ask if it’s okay to move things and believe me when I say I use half of this conference table — so it’s quite obvious that the room was being used. #2, I always use that room as an office unless something else has been scheduled in that room and as of 8 a.m. nothing had been.

I don’t blame the scheduling lady. I just didn’t think you could schedule office space (nobody else does), so that’s why I never did and in over a year, this is the first time something like this has happened. It’s just always worked out that if that room was scheduled, one of the other ladies was out and I used her desk. So, to ensure this doesn’t happen again, I am going to schedule the room as my office from now on for Thursday so there will be no further conflicts… and everything worked out today because one of the ladies was leaving for a meeting, so I took over her office until 2. Still, it was a huge disruption after a bad start to my morning.

Oh, and if it just ended there…I would have been in a great mood… but it didn’t…

I called a dentist recommended to me (cost wise/payment plan) for a root canal (my dentist doesn’t do them). $765… though I could possibly pay it out over 12 months. No problem, right? Well, considering I’ve only had full time hours for 6 weeks after nearly a year of barely making ends meet… and I’m now having to go back make up for a bunch of stuff and my salary really isn’t competitive, it’s not like I’m “liquid” you know?

AND… Because I don’t have benefits yet, I still have to budget for those holidays/days off I don’t get paid for and for the time off I have to take to go to the dentist for the other issues. I’m already paying payments to my initial dentist, so I’m all paymented out at this point.


So, of course, being all emotional at this time of the month… and being extremely tired, I sat in there and cried for a while. I had to let off some steam, you know? Not only was I tired… I was frustrated, and my tooth was bugging me. My benefits/full time status was still in limbo and I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be able to hold onto this tooth without a root canal.

Finally, I got a grip, pulled it together and kept working. Then, during lunch, as I’m telling my peeps how my day has been going, one of my friends says, “hey, at least it’s not raining!”…and then… (drumroll please)


Everything touching my tooth, air, cold water, etc. nearly made me cry. I get an appointment at 4 so I don’t miss too much work. One of my co-workers finds an empty ziploc bag in the bookstore to put the crown in and I go back to work.

The pain gets progressively worse. I used to have an enviable pain tolerance, but pain definitely bothers me more, much more than it used to, but I suck it up and keep working … filing… trying not to inhale through my mouth. I finally used the pain as a motivator and I got an audience with the director of personnel and ask her where they’re at with getting me benefits. She says that since I work for three depts, all three parties have to commit to saying they want me long term. One party is on board, the other dept head keeps thinking it’s taken care of but apparently it wasn’t and then the personnel director says if I can get her on board, she’ll take care of the third person involved.

I leave her office, call party #2 and leave her a message… and find out later, she took care of it. Whew… so I don’t know when I’ll get benefits, but we’re one step closer.

As I drive out to the dentist in my car with no a/c (it was very warm and humid today), I’m more than uncomfortable. I take ibuprofen once I get to the dentist. I hand her my temporary crown and she smiles and says, “the cement will be cold.”

Well, I closed my eyes and went to my happy place. I nearly ripped the arms of the chair off, but it wasn’t worth getting a shot, because I would have had to wait a long time and the shots don’t work on me like they do for “normal” people. So I grip the chair and suck it up. It actually wasn’t so bad… meaning the chair is still in tact.

I ate very soft food for dinner and right now, there is slight pain, much like when I first came home with this crown last week. Never fear. In an hour or so I’m taking two MIDOL (yes, it’s been a GREAT day) and then, I’m going to bed.

Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow will be better…

Posted in dental adventures, health


OW!!! Well, not enough of an OW to take any major meds, but this very sensitive tooth beneath this temporary crown is driving me NUTS.

This morning, I had to be at the dentist at 7:30. AM…just after sunrise. You know, the time when all the vampires are hopping back in their coffins! Anyway, I got my temporary crown and we are still watching the other two teeth that need root canals (I’m shopping around for cheap root canals) while we play roulette with whether or not I’ll be able to tolerate the pain (though slight, every day it gets more interesting) until I can get insurance. I go back in mid May to get the permanent crown.

This being my first crown, I did not anticipate the annoying sensitivity to cold, hot, pressure, inhaling air across the tooth… basically any activity in my mouth at all (had soft spaghetti for dinner). Ibuprofen is my friend and I can take more soon, and I still have some teething gel left. I should be able to sleep.

Oh, but the most fun part was after I left the dentist’s office. You see, there’s this kolache shop next door. I stopped to get a cup of coffee and a ham & cheese kolache. I am not blonde enough to actually try to drink the coffee while my face is numb. What the dentist is learning about me is that my mouth and face gets the most numb long after I leave his office. It’s a curse I have — high tolerance for meds. They take longer and usually a higher dose to get the desired effect most normal people experience…but I digress.

I put the coffee in the cup holder…I knew it would cool sufficiently as I drove and I wasn’t going to try to drink it while cruising down I-10. The kolache… well, I was hungry! I didn’t eat breakfast (sometimes I have tummy issues when someone drills at such a high pitch) and my blood sugar was low. So I bit into my kolache and chewed on the side beaing my broken, in need of a root canal, tooth.

Well, the ham in this kolache is in little pellets…and I’m a mile or so down the highway when I realize my, uh, breastial shelf is covered in little ham pellets. Thank God I wasn’t trying to drink the coffee, huh? lol

All morning, it was as if my brain was also numb. I could hardly function while I was numb… and let me tell you, the height of numbness didn’t come until 10 a.m. After that, my brain functions began to improve, but then I started to feel the annoying pain. I say annoying because my pain threshhold is pretty high and this hurts, but I can live with it.

It’s nothing like my episode from last year… see archives Shae’s trip to the dentist so I’m pretty happy all things considered…

Posted in dental adventures, health


I now have a second broken tooth… on the opposite side of the other broken tooth. Part of this tooth broke last night while watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — no chewing involved — and the rest while eating chips & salsa this afternoon. Two crowns will cost $1200. I have lived with the other broken tooth, because, while annoying, it has been tolerable. This tooth, however, is sharp and jagged and is rubbing my tongue. So far, the only pain is the jaggedness. I am going to try to cover it with a temporary filling until I figure out what to do.

I know of a dentist who will let me make payments, but at my present employment status, I cannot afford the payments. So, here are two prayer requests… a job and help in the meantime.

I guess I’m back to mainlining orajel and eating soup and oatmeal. Until next time! 🙂