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.

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