Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The saga continues, but is maybe not a sequel having

So Yoda-speak am I.

I just realized that...huh...strike that (everyday I'm shufflin' (oh come on, you thought of that song too (even though it's not exactly the same words))); I can't remember what I just realized. I'm sure it was something very profound.

I haven't written for awhile - like 2 weeks which is forever, I know. In that space, I've had my wisdom tooth yanked by an oral surgeon. The dentist who did the crown and root canal originally had said he would do it for free. Except guess what? Oral surgeons go to an additional 3 years of school specializing in in extractions, bone grafts, and implanting screws.

Only Oral surgeons aren't free. So guess what? Our trip to Hawaii is in my mouth this year. Every. last. dime. Because even though I was a star patient and had healed further along at one week out than most people, the pain came raging back four days after surgery. And, (this is not Mr. O's favorite part) we still get to pay for the original root canal and crown that had to be yanked. Joy!

I broke down and finally called the TMJ guy even though I'd been told I didn't present as a classic TMJ patient. And guess what? I SO AM a classic TMJ case. And out of 6 levels (6 being the worst), mine presents as a 2ish.  A two as in 80-90% fixable. A 2 as in why didn't I just go to him first? Except that I did have pain in my wisdom tooth with percussion (when they tapped it with something metal - just typing that makes my mouth hurt again), so it had to come out because it meant the tooth had cracked or the root canal was leaking. The theory was that since the roots were so close to the nerve there was either inflammation or infection from the root canal.

The TMJ doctor said the reason I had a day of relief after the steroids my primary care doctor gave me versus the kind my dentist gave me is because they had a stronger anti-inflammatory in them. Most of this is technical junk that is boring, but I'm recording it so that I won't forget. Basically my jaw is slammed up against my eustachian tube when my mouth is closed, and that is why I have the ICE PICK feeling in my ear drum.

Finally! an explanation.

I asked him, "So technically, I'd feel better if I walked around with my mouth wide open all day." He laughed and said I would for a bit but I'd create other problems. I had no idea how many scans and tests and electrode things they do for TMJ. I snuck some pictures on my phone when they were out of the room. I felt just like a secret agent, except without all the cool gadgets - just a cellphone camera.

They also took a bunch of impressions of my mouth and their lab made a thing to hold my jaw forward. Except I just got the thing, and boy is it ever not sexy (it makes me sound like I have a tongue piercing).

Not that I think it should be, but I have to talk through clenched teeth or else I end up biting my tongue or my cheek. "We are creating new muscle memory," the doctor said, "it will take time."

Good Heavens, I've got loads of that. I'll vlog it for you so you can see how awesome it is.


radioactive girl said...

1. Just so you know, I used yoda in my post today too. I was so surprised when I clicked over here and saw that you did too. We are kind of scary sometimes with how connected we are!

I hate that you had surgery and then kind of found out that wasn't the cause of the problem! I hope you get used to the thing soon! And I hope it is working!!!!

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Yowsa! I hate any type of dental procedures - bad experience from my teenage years so I am very sympathetic towards others who have to go through any dental stuff. Glad the TMJ is quite fixable! Hope that gets better much sooner than later.

Kristina P. said...

Oh, you just can't catch a break!! I am so sorry.

M-Cat said...

Just thinking about a dentist skeeves me out, I can't imagine.

Waiting for the vlog...... : )

Tebbs Family said...

2012 is going to be your year for many good things... I just know it!

Emily said...

I'm glad to see that you are at least getting some answers, and hopefully going down the right path painful/pain in the butt- path. When it rains it pours for you, Corrie. I just know there's got to be a Hawaii trip somewhere in the future, girl.

Hold on.

Loralee and the gang... said...


La Yen said...

Hooray for medical progress! And I am sure that your Oral Surgeon will send you a pukka shell necklace from HIS trip to Hawaii.

Anonymous said...

i hate going to the dentist--or anything to do with my teeth. it's no fun at all. i feel a lot of anxiety a week leading to my regular checkups. i'm sure my blood pressure is high when i sit in the chair. hope you're feeling better soon.