Sunday, March 14, 2010

It All Started with a Tooth

It began with a tooth. A tooth, I'd like to point out, which wasn't bothering me one little bit.

I went to my regular six month dental check-up in the fall. Both my dentist(who I've been seeing since I got my first tooth) and his son (who is his dental practice partner) agreed that this one particular tooth had some serious issues. They said it would need a porcelain onlay (whatever the heck that is) and I would need to do it fairly soon. Even though the tooth wasn't hurting me at all, I signed up for an appointment to get this onlay on December 22 because I'd have the day off from teaching. I also scheduled a breast MRI that same day because, not only am I a glutton for punishment, I'd be leaving to visit the in-laws the next day and wanted to get it all over with.

So, three days before Christmas, I forked over $400 to fix a tooth, at which point I discovered that "porcelain onlay" is a fancy word for "tooth-colored crown." I also discovered that my neat little plan to take care of everything before we left town had just crashed and burned. They were supposed to make the crown there in the office and have me all set to go in one visit. But there was a problem with the crown, they couldn't make it right, and would have to send it off to the lab to be made. Meanwhile, they gave me a "temporary crown," which is a fancy word for, "sharp, uneven fake tooth which hurts like hell and prevents you from chewing on that side for the rest of your life." Roughly translated.

So, around comes January 12 (which, if you're doing the math like I did, you realize is more than two weeks after they were supposed to need to get my permanent crown back from the lab) and I go back to the dentist. They put the new, permanent crown on and I ask if I need to avoid anything, be careful not to chew on that side, or any other kind of warnings. Doc said, "Nope. That tooth is better than the original and should feel like you never had anything going on in there."

Right. You mean, how it felt before I let you people mess around in my mouth?

From the very first night I knew something wasn't right with that tooth. It hurt to chew there. Eating or drinking anything cold felt like needles in my jaw. Even room temperature water while rinsing my teeth after brushing felt like torture. Finally, in the middle of February, I got a frozen coffee with my mom and she saw how much pain I was in and made me call the dentist's office. I made an appointment for the afternoon of my anniversary. Glutton for punishment again, see?

They poked around, did X-rays, looked at it from every angle and then doc said that I might need a root canal. Oh goody. Because that $400 I already spent is really doing a lot for me. Doc said that the tooth's root might just be inflamed but not infected, so he prescribed pain pills (which made me nauseous), anti-inflammatories, and corticosteroids. A dose pack of Medrol, to be exact. And, here's a special treat...the label says that Medrol can weaken your ability to fight off infections, so you should avoid people with colds or other illnesses while on the medication.

Did I mention that I teach elementary school? And that I had SIX kids in my class out sick that week? Naturally, I got sick too. Despite taking Sudafed, Nasonex, Mucinex, and Netti-potting enough saline solution into my sinus cavities to fill the Pacific Ocean three times over, it turned into a sinus infection. I went to my doctor on Saturday morning (because OF COURSE I wouldn't take a day off work just because I was sick) and he prescribed Levaquin. He said it's a very strong antibiotic, but I would need it because the gunk in my head was so packed into my upper sinuses that I needed something with superpowers to clear it all out.

So, I started the Levaquin. The doc prescribed eleven days of it, just to be on the safe side. A few days after I took the last dose, I started feeling very itchy. I just assumed this was the natural feminine reaction to antibiotics, until it spread to my belly. Then my elbows. By the time I left work Thursday evening, I was covered in big, hot, itchy, red welts. By the next morning I was covered from my ears to my toes in hives. I finally broke down and called in a sub on a Friday, so you KNOW how bad it was. It's nearly impossible to get good subs on Fridays, and we'd just gotten a friendly reminder from our principal that if we were attempting to get a sub on a Friday, it better be because we were knock-knock-knocking on death's door.

I went to the doctor and got a shot in the butt of steroids. For those of you keeping score at home, those shots hurt. Badly. By that afternoon I was feeling well enough to drop by school for the last hour to see my kids do their oral book reports. But by 3 a.m. Saturday morning, the hives were back with a vengeance. I was clawing my skin off, despite the double dose of Benadryl. I called the doctor back and guess what he prescribed...

a dose pack of Medrol. To go with it.

Since when did my life become a grown-up version of If You Give a Moose a Muffin?

1 comment:

Grace said...

Hmmm . . ."If You Give a Mommy a Medol"~~ I don't really think it'll catch on, but the franchise may be getting desperate. So sorry for all the misery. Hope you're finally on the road to feeling better.