Monday, March 28, 2011

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.

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