Third kick of the can?

Yesterday’s appointment is still weighing on me so to help me work through that, here’s a public blog post.

To get to present day I want to share how I got here. 5 years ago I had a lower left molar removed. It had to removed because there was only about half left, the rest had cracked and who knows where it went. So an oral surgeon was tasked to help me. Since dental work is expensive I opted for just freezing, it remains the single worst thing I’ve ever been through that’s after 30+ surgeries. It wasn’t the doctor’s fault, it’s just how my jaw is. He couldn’t take out the whole thing, he got the roots out but to this day there are bits of that tooth poking out. The healing from that wasn’t great, took a long time and was pretty painful.

About a year after that he took out my sole wisdom tooth. I got fully knocked out with that and that was so easy. Healed well and with little pain. I went on my merry life. Throughout the years my teeth have shifted and with each time it’s been painful.

That pretty much gets us to present. A about a month or so ago I started getting pain in the area where that tooth is. It was low key and I just dealt with it, it got worse, and again I ignored it. It got to the point where it was pretty swollen, really painful and I couldn’t open my mouth enough to put a cracker in. Eating became a challenge, and I finally decided to get some help.

I tried to make an appointment with a new dentist who ignored me. However knowing me, my jaw and from past experiences a regular dentist wasn’t going to help so I didn’t get too angry. I decided to try the surgeon who had taken the tooth out that I felt was giving me problems. His staff is just as great as he is and let me come in. He took a look and said he needed a CT X-Ray to determine if he would be at risk for breaking my jaw in the attempt. Got a script for some heavy painkillers and amoxicillin and waited until I could get this scan done.

CT X-Ray, 4 views of my jaw.

The scan was yesterday. It was quick and easy. The amoxicillin has done its thing and has greatly reduced my pain. The painkillers are a no from me. Tried half a pill and, nope.

I sat across from him, he looked at the scan and I knew from the look on his face he wouldn’t be able to help me. Those with disabilities will most likely understand that look, we tend to get passed around like a hot potato. It’s why I don’t seek help very often, because I either hear “I can’t help you” or “no, there is nothing wrong” in either I feel like I’m a bother, what was the point in even trying.

The doctor I saw yesterday wanted to help, I appreciate that he admits that some things are beyond him. It’s not a money grab for him. But it didn’t surprise me, it didn’t even frustrate me. He did ask me about the last reconstructive surgery, which was in 1996. I won’t go in to a lot of detail about it, but it failed. It was the second attempt and with this one I lost a lot more than I gained. The comment/question he asked is if I would want to try again.

That one question has been rolling around my head since yesterday afternoon. Do I want to try for a third time? Do I want to go through the pain, the recovery, for what?

I haven’t had a lot of success with major surgeries. Most times I get some sort of infection or complication. As I reflect about my times in the hospital it would explain why I seemed to need way more time in hospital than other people. I’m getting older and I assume that you don’t heal like you did when you were young.

I think it would be nice to be able to eat without as much trouble as I do now. I don’t much care about how it would change my appearance but I would welcome any positive changes it would have. It I’m realistic, the chances of having a positive outcome would be low.

With all that said I will be going to the doctor he is referring me to and I will go with an open mind but with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Wish me luck.

Death Positive

I was in the progress of writing another post related to this one but I really wanted to dive in to this one. So the other one is safely in my drafts folder to be completed at another time. I also feel that people who follow me on twitter and/or Facebook might think this post is dealing with a recent rant, it’s not. But since there is interest in my views on that subject, guess I will go down that rabbit hole…..eventually.

TriggerWarning: this post is about death. If this is something that isn’t your thing, please continue to read. I hope that it will help you. But in all seriousness I won’t be offended if you don’t want to read this post. But if you do, I don’t want any negativity.

DISCLAIMER: I’m fine. This post is not some secret post that I’m doing that references my imminent demise. I just want to share my thoughts and hopefully help others. Pretty much the whole point of this bog. So don’t read between the lines, there are NO lines!

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I am no stranger to death, if you’ve read my posts before this isn’t surprising. A Disney movie wasn’t my first death experience as it is for a lot of kids. Death has been my constant companion. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of people I’ve lost. Death is a part of life.

On the flip side, I don’t want to die, I’d be cool to live forever. Im not afraid of dying, I think. Im curious about life, I want to know what the future has in store. Will humans stop killing themselves in pointless conflicts? Will we explore more of space and colonize another planet? Will we meet other intelligent life? You get the picture, I just really want a time machine to see how or if this story ends.

I’ve never had to plan anything for someone that has passed. All my experiences with death have been with going to services. The most profound experience was with my Aunt June, who passed 11 years ago this past June. I had visited with her a number of times prior to her passing. She HATED hospitals and wanted to die at home. My Uncle Denny called us to advise she passed, he came to pick my mom and I up. We got to their house before the funeral home. I got to say goodbye to her. Other than that we were not involved she was taken away and we just hung around and were there for each other. It was an odd night and I don’t think I will forget the way my Aunt looked. That’s not a bad thing, I’m glad I was able to see her and say goodbye.

flower garland

The idea came for this post came from a YouTube channel I recently discovered. I don’t know what video I watched for one of her videos to show up in my recommended but whoop one day it was there. I didn’t click on it right away. Like most people I shy away from anything death related. But I’m SO happy I jumped right in.

Let me introduce you to Caitlin Doughty.

Her YouTube channel goes by the title “Ask A Mortician”. She is delightful. Brings the conversation of and about death to an easy to consume thing. She is an advocate for death positivity. before her I’d never heard those two words together in the same sentence. It’s about time that everyone thinks those two words belong.

I’ve learned a lot. I learned what adipocere is. I’m not going to ruin that for you. Google at your own risk.

I also learned that you don’t HAVE to be embalmed. I could see myself believing a not so great funeral director who said it’s the only option. I’m not a fan of confrontation and during a stressful time such as loss of a loved one I’d be apt to go with whatever.

From what I know about funeral, they are COSTLY AF, What I learned is that they don’t have to be.

Having a plan and having conversations about what your wishes are is super important. My sister and I have had fairly informal conversations. I love that we’ve even had that. So many people shy away from that. I will be making sure that I have a plan written out that I can share with the people I trust and I hope you do as well.

At the end of the day however you feel about death is ok, what I hope by writing this and helping people find this amazing channel is that people will get more comfy with just having that conversation while we are healthy.

Here is a link to a great video of hers to jump in to. You can find her on Facebook.

Caitlin has also written a bunch of books, all of which I hope to get.

What do you think, what is something you are or are not comfortable with when it comes to this subject matter?

What do you want me to write about next?