Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oral Surgery for Friday

Saw the oral surgeon today. Will cost $589.00 to take out the wisdom tooth and the tooth it has grown on top of. There is a cavity in the wisdom tooth and the pain is horrible. So it has to come out.

He was concerned about my aneurysm because he would have to put me under to get the teeth. Even so, he agreed to take them out. I go in Friday at 9:30. As much as I dread this one, I'm tired of being in pain. I've had a flare from the broken tooth for three months. When it came out, the other side continued the flare. I could barely walk today. Even though it takes longer for lupus patients to heal from any surgery, I'm willing to take the chance to lessen the painful flares. It will be nice to extinguish the match that keeps relighting the pain and swelling throughout my body.

I'm still in shock...$589.00. Wow. I should have become a dentist.

Monday, March 28, 2011


I called the surgeon's office last Wednesday morning to check on my test results. There was a long pause, I was asked to repeat my name, then spell my name and was put on hold for a long time. Afterwards a different person came back on to tell me the aneurysm is 4.8 cm. Repeat the scan in six months. I reminded her my insurance will only pay for once a year. So she repeated one year. I asked why no one had called to tell me my results. She said, "We received the results the first of the week, put them on the doctor's desk, and he reviewed them. He passed them on to us, but we kind of misplaced them. Terribly sorry for the inconvenience. Anyway, you don't have to do anything till next year."

I am thinking, "Oh never mind I have a time bomb in my chest. Never mind I'm waiting to hear if surgery is coming. Never mind I had to call you to find out my results. Never mind my doctor may not be here this time next year." I just told her thank you and hung up. No need in saying anything else.

Doctors are frustrating when they don't seem to care. Would it be a better world outside this state? Better health care? Better doctor care? Would I have a chance at a QUALITY of life or what's left of it? I think so. I just don't have the physical help to get there. It is so hard when you're alone and have no one to help you find a place to live or help you pack boxes or give you hope when you need it the most.

So many nights I've gone to bed and prayed I wouldn't wake up to see another day of hopeless no quality life. Instead of someone who has no idea what it is like to walk in these shoes pass hard judgement on me, I can't tell you how much a kind word or a hand reaching out to help me physically get out of here would mean to me. My hope has drained to the point of brokenness.

Is there any hope left?

A New Post

It has been awhile since I posted. March has been a long sick month. A broken tooth of three months before had infection set in setting off many lupus flares. The pain was so intense I had no choice but to see a dentist. With the help of a friend, I was able to have the tooth removed on the second visit once the infection was cleared up. Now I head to an oral surgeon on Tuesday. The wisdom tooth in the far left side of my jaw (upper)grew on top of a tooth damaging it over the years. It now has a severe cavity in it causing severe pain in my jaw making it hard to eat. He will have to surgically remove both teeth. $400 per tooth.

I never had my wisdom teeth removed because my family could not afford the expense. Even though I worked while going to school, worked my way through college, all of the money seemed to go toward cost of living and tuition. Now I'm paying the cost.

With lupus comes tooth decay. I lost a tooth during my student teaching year in college. Scared me, but I went on dealing with it. It seems since my flares have increased, dental problems have also. Being on fixed income with no dental insurance, dentists are not an option. I am thankful for the help.

I see the dental surgeon on Tuesday (tomorrow). Will see what's next.

This was my experience before having the tooth removed:

The second week of February, The Baptist Association held a health and dental clinic in Dothan. Sandy and I stood in line in the sun for hours just for me to see a dentist for free, at least to be evaluated. I didn't get treatment that day, but qualified to receive treatment to remove the tooth.

And so I waited...and waited. The tooth was inflamed all week this week and I couldn't stand the pain anymore. I called the Association. The lady said, "We called everyone the week after. They saw a dentist the following Friday." I told her no one called me and I've been waiting for a month. I told her the situation I was in. She said, "I don't know what to tell you. There's nothing we can do." They looked great to the community when the services were rendered that day, but if they did a follow up, they would find out many were unable to receive the much needed care.

I remember someone telling me about a Dental Group on Murphy Mill Road. I called and found out the first visit would be $72.00. I took the last $72.00 in my account and headed out the door. He did x-rays, found a great deal of infection spread throughout my gums from the tooth, soaked the tooth in antibiotics, put in a temporary filling, and gave me a numbing shot to block the pain. He also gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and pain medication. He did all of this for $72.00.

I was talking to the assistant sharing with her my story when she said the dental care clinic follow up was held in their offices. She said they sent way too many people to their doors in one day. They were only able to see 80 people. Many were not seen because of disorganization. Many who were in pain and in need and unable to afford the much needed service. They saw 1/3 of the people who were accepted for assistance to see a dentist.

The disheartening part to me was two dentists offered their time and gifts. TWO. There are MANY dentists in Dothan. Sums up Dothan well.