Just a little... or a lottle? I can't decide.
I've been wanting to share the story about my teeth for a while, but just have never done it. Well, after going to the dentist today I'll share and then you might be able to understand why I'm feeling the way I'm feeling.
I went to the dentist on April 4th, two days before I got married in 2007. I was still under my parent's insurance and my mom worked for the school district so dental was super cheap. I knew I had needed to go before I got married for months, but put it off. It's my own fault.
I asked Jaren who I should go to and he recommended Dr. W, who he has gone to since he was little and when I couldn't get an appointment as soon as I needed to he recommended Dr. A. I went, had X-ray's, he found one cavity - I was bummed. He told me that I should come back in after we got back from our honeymoon, that I would be fine as long as I came in in the next month.
3 weeks after we were married and I had started school and we were somewhat settled I made an appointment with Dr. W. He decided he wanted his own X-ray's (understandable). With these X-rays that had just been taken 3 weeks after my one cavity other X-rays he found 9 cavities. Count 'em, NINE. I was floored. I was panicking inside and trying so hard not to show it on the outside. NINE CAVITIES!?!!!!! Where did they come from?! I had had ONE three weeks before and one since I lost all my baby teeth.
My thoughts automatically turned to money. We had insurance but like most insurances, did not cover dental. I told Dr. W, I needed to ask my husband, because he was ready to start filling them right then. I was concentrating on not crying, so I sent Jaren a text instead of calling because if I talked to him I knew I would start to bawl. He said to get them filled.
I was given two options, fill all 9 right there, or do half now and half later. I chose to do half then and half later. I picked the porcelien because with nine cavities I knew my mouth would look made out of metal when they were done if I had chosen the metal fillings.
I was surprised at how quickly he filled 4 of them. He was a little violent with my mouth, but, he was a pretty big guy and he was drilling and jostling, it was to be expected. Right?
3 days later I went in again to get the other 5 filled. I was having so much sensetivity with the other 4, but I thought that was normal. I told Dr. W about it and he looked at them and said, "They are probably too high" so he drilled them down. He filled the other 5 and sent me on my way.
My bite was different, my mouth was killing me and to top it all off we were planning on getting me a lap top, but with this turn of events, we got me 9 white fillings instead. I was bummed.
I was told that my mouth should go back to normal a few days later. So I waited..... and waited.... and waited..... my mouth hurt and hurt. I couldn't drink anything that wasn't a teeny bit warmer than room tempurature. Or eat anything that wasn't the same temperature and it could not be harder than a hot dog.
I would wake up in the middle of the night with my mouth aching and my head killing me. My jaw would hurt horribly, too. I went in again and he thought they were still high... so he drilled them down some more.. by this time my teeth had no shape to the tops of them, they were just little bowls. One was even so sharp I couldn't run my tounge across it. I was given Valium and told to take it before bed because he thought my jaw was clenching and I was grinding my teeth.
The first night I took Valium was interesting to say the least. I took one pill - they are teeny by they way - and in 30 minutes I couldn't move. My entire body had seemed to loose it's ability to use my muscles. Jaren had to carry me to bed.
Waking up was weird, too. I was groggy and still lacked some motor capabilities. I decided I wasn't taking it every night and when I did I was cutting the pill in half. When I would take the half a pill I could at least walk and move around. It was still really hard and I didn't have a lot of strength but Jaren just had to walk me to bed - not carry me.
A month went by and I was still drinking warm water through a straw. And the water could NOT touch my teeth or I would start to cry - it hurt so horribly bad. I ate hot dogs and soup. The kind of soup you drink. I ate tons of rice a roni and mac and cheese. Bread hurt because the second it touched my teeth it was too cold. I tried to eat a chewy granola bar and about died. And when I went into Dr. W again telling him it hasn't gotten better - it feels even worse he mentioned that I might have to get root canals. I wanted to scream.
Instead he just ground them down some more.
Another month went by and I had lost a few pounds. I was still waking up with my jaw hurting and I was constantly starving. I started to take Motrin. A lot of it. I didn't realize that I was taking too much because I was in such pain. I took anywhere from 10-14 in a day. It helped a lot, though. My head aches went away when I took it and my jaw stopped aching. It even hurt to breath AIR. If I walked outside and the air was too cold it stung my teeth.
One day, my mom was at my Grandma's for I think Father's Day and my Uncle Charlie was there who is a dentist. She mentioned about how sensitive my teeth were after 2 months of having them worked on. This perked my uncle right up and he started asking questions. He told her that it should never be like that, that something was wrong. He told her to have me call him -so I did. Right away. I told him what had happened and how I was feeling, he told me that as soon as I could get to Spokane he would take a look and fix me. I finally felt like maybe I wasn't going to have to live off of drinkable soup for the rest of my life.
I don't know how to explain how those 3 months were for me..... I was always hungry, I weighed less than I had in 7 years. I was constantly getting "stung" by something too hot or too cold and I would cry because it hurt so bad. I had horrible head aches and my jaw hurt all the time. I would get really sick and I didn't know why. I even went to the doctor trying to figure out what was wrong. I told him I was taking like 12 Motrin a day and he just nodded and said, "MMM, hmm.." He thought I had IBS. So he gave me some pills. I was really tired of taking pills, by the way.
I took the IBS pills once and thought I was going to throw up for 3 full hours. I never took them again. I knew it wasn't IBS. I was pretty sure it was because of the Motrin. But I was in so much pain that I kept taking it. Finally I had a pretty bad scare where I got really really sick and I was freaking out.
I was crying hysterically and Jaren grabbed the computer and started looking up side effects of the birth control I was taking and Motrin. Sure enough he listed off the adverse side effects of Motrin and I had about all of them. I stopped taking it immediatley and have maybe taken 4 pills since.
In August I finally made it to Spokane. My uncle looked at the X-Rays I had sent to him and then looked at my teeth. He kept saying how horrible they looked and how sorry he was for me. It was his day off and he came in just to find out what was wrong. He and a guy that was buying his practice had come in just for me.
I laid there for 6 hours with my mouth pried open and hands in drilling on my teeth. I had had so much numbing things I couldn't feel my face or my ears. My uncle chipped out every single peice of filling and found holes in the fillings and under them my teeth were rotting. He found teeny cavities that Dr. W had drilled around and made huge. He took his time on each tooth and shaped them so they had the grooves of my real teeth. He and the other Dentist skipped lunch to keep working on me. I could hear both of their stomach's growling and I was grateful for them and that I shoved a huge hamburger down my throat before I had come in. Just in case.
Just 5 days after that I was able to eat a carrot. A carrot!! Oh, no one realizes how nice it was. I could only chew it with my front teeth and I had to let it get a little warm, but I was still able to eat it! I could tell a difference immediatly. I healed quite steadily over the next 4 or 5 months. Slowly I was able to eat a sandwhich, and at my 2 month mark I was able to eat a salad. No one knows how much they take their teeth for granted until they cant eat because of them.
I am forever grateful to my Uncle for taking an entire day to hunch over my mouth and fix every little centemeter of my teeth. How do you thank someone for something like that? He's a saint.
So, needless to say after all of that I have not been too excited about going to the dentist again. But I went in July of last year to Dr. L. He was very nice and said my Uncle did a very good job. He has no idea. (well... maybe he does... but really......) He said there was one tooth, (the one that caused me the most pain and was the hardest for my Uncle C. to fix) that was going to need to be watched. It was the same tooth my Uncle said might need a Root Canal someday. Dangit.
But I left there with no new cavities and I felt better. I floss and brush my teeth like no other now. I've learned my lesson and I hope you have also learned my lesson.
But. Here's the upsetting part. The last 2 months I have had 2 incidences where I have eaten something sweet and the one troublesome tooth has hurt. A feeling of dread went through me both times, but then I just continued to eat my mini Snickers and it didn't hurt again.
Today was my second Dentist appointment since my Uncle fixed me. Dr. L poked and prodded at a few of my teeth and only one hurt. The one that was sensetive while eating mini Snickers and a gummy bear. He didn't sound quite like it needed to be filled, but then as I was leaving the dental assistant said, "Alright, do you want me to schedule you a date?" I'm thinking.... in 6 months for my next appointment?? Getting aheald of ourselves, aren't we? So I asked, "For what?" She said, "To fill your cavities." Me: "I HAVE CAVITIES?!?!!!!!!!" She got a little uncomfortable and said, "Yeah... like, 2.. or 3.... or 4 or something, I'm not sure..." OH. MY. STARS. AND. GUARDERS. Again, do not cry... do NOT cry! So I didn't, and I told her that I would give them a call to schedule a time later.
I called Jaren and told him and he just apologized and said sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I cried and I'm feeling so.... sad about it. I can't understand how so quickly I went from one cavity in like 10 years to all the sudden almost my whole mouth needs to be replaced. My experience was so horrible that I just dread the dentist and I'm scared to death of having cavities for fear of a root canal or a repeat of the past. I can finally drink ice water again!! After a year and a half I can drink ice in water - but it's still a little uncomfortable. I'm sure that I wont have a repeat of what happened in '07, but I'm still scared and scarred over it. When I go back in I'm going to ask that only the one that hurt when he poked it get filled. If it's not hurting me, then I'm sure I'm fine. I take care of my mouth so I should be able to keep the others at bay for a while, right?
It just feels like a nightmare I can't get out of. This isn't even the first bad mouth experience. Wait till I tell you all about my wisdom teeth.