Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Adventures at the dentist

Like it or not, I had to go to the dentist today. It was for an assessment of what work is going to be needed, so that a biopsy of my mouth would not add pain on top of pain in my mouth. There are five teeth that will need to be pulled, but thank goodness the front ones will be saved. The good news is that this can wait until after the biopsy is done. He was going to be calling Dr. Naidu this afternoon with his report.

That was the general information. Now to what all is going on. One of the autoimmune diseases that I have is Sjogren's (Show-grins) and one of the effects of it is dental decay, and I mean it happens fast. First, I had several root canals one right after another. The dentist that did them asked if i ate a lot of sweets. Nope. No known cause, and then the dry mouth came to light. It was not long before my teeth, one by one, started turning black, and breaking off even with my gum line. Hey! What gives. I've never had perfect teeth, but I've always had *good* teeth.Not pretty, but *good* ones. Now look at the mess in my mouth. My dentist said I needed to go to a diabetic dentist. Okay. Haven't made it there yet, but my teeth have stopped breaking. Wonder if it is the moister mouth due to the side effects of the Mestinon for the MG? Timeline is just about right for it. It's a good probability isn't it. Let's go with it!

Van's secretary called and asked us not to come until about 2:00 because he would have to help Jim get the wheel chair inside. Since we were all ready to go, we figured we could wait in his office as well as right here, so we went on up there. Uh oh. No way could we get into that building, even with our wooden ramps. They would be too short. I just felt like I could walk that distance with my walker, so we went back to the house to get it.

Ahhhh..... Look at me..... Just walking along, singing a song..... nah, I didn't really sing, just feel like singing now. But I did make it out, and up the steps, and barely to the first chair in the waiting room. I could feel my legs beginning to give way just before I sat down. That was the most welcomed chair I have ever seen.

I go back to the exam room. Ease my way down on the comfy looking lounge chair (remember my view of things tend to be distorted since I am in a hospital bed 24/7 ;). Van comes in, Jim explains what is going on, and he takes a look at my mouth, and then does some cleaning. He explains I have five teeth that need extracting, but is not urgent, and we can approach it slowly.

Van was getting ready to smooth down a sharp tooth that was irritating one part of the inside of my jaw. The glasses were to protect my eyes. He told me before he started that it was going to be a little bit loud, and my smart sweetie, said he thought..... but did not say, "She won't hear it, she's hard of hearing." Since he did such a good job of taking pictures, I'll let him slide, and get by with that this time. He's right, though. It wasn't loud at all to me. It was great to get that tooth smoothed; I was raving about it as we left the clinic!

After Van got finished doing what he needed to do with the teeth, he said he wanted to take a couple of x-rays to make sure he wasn't missing anything going on beneath the surface. No pictures. Jim had to step outside the room for that. Well, if I had realized just how extremely important these pictures were going to be, I would have insisted that he put on a lead apron, and get shots of Van putting the little x-ray thingies in my mouth, but as usual, I didn't think. ;-/

After taking two shots of my mouth, Van said he wanted to do an x-ray that goes around my head. Problem. It was about a ten foot walk down to the little room where that machine was located. Could I make it that far? Um. It looked like it ought to be okay as long as there was a place to sit down as soon as I got there. I had made it into the building, albeit just barely, then had the rest on the nice comfy chair, so my legs had had a rest.

Let's go for it! Off we go with me using my walker, Jim on my left side. It was not long before I felt myself beginning to get into trouble, and I told Jim we needed to do our two o'clock waltz, so he put the walker aside, and then took both my hands. I took a few steps, then realized I was losing my legs, so I started giving it everything I had. No good. I told Jim, then, that I was not going to be able to make it, and started going down, with him increasing his hold on me. Van was on my right side. Slowly I crumbled to the floor in a heap, going down like an accordion. We had traveled no more than about half the hallway when that happened - the legs totally giving away.

I cannot remember how I got from the hallway into the little x-ray room, but there I was on the floor. * Jim said he an the dentist literally drug me by the upper arms with me trying to keep standing on my feet to walk - no go!* I have a way of getting up off the floor here at home, and I was so confident it would work. SPLAT! All I ended up doing was hurting myself really good. Again. The same phrase..... I didn't think. I'm not used to wearing shoes here at home, and use my feet, I guess for traction, and whatever. I had on these clunky sports type shoes that yielded to nothing.

Jim went home to get me a lollipop, and I managed to get up against the wall, close my eyes, and just rest, rest, rest. . . . I could feel some muscle restoration, little though it was. My mouth was the first that I noticed.

Strange. We do not live far from the clinic, but Jim had been gone long enough to have been there and back two or three times. Where was he? What could have happened? Then I heard him coming down the hallway, and he was saying, "I got the old wheel chair out of mothballs . . ." and then he comes through the door with the old manual chair. He had a plan. A very good plan. One thing I *had* been thinking of was of needing something in front of me, with him behind me, and I could get up that way with him to push from behind me. We have had to do this at home. There was nothing there in that room though. Aha! There was now! Lock those wheels, and we are set to go! We got me up off the floor so quickly, I think they were still rather amazed when we left, with Van helping Jim getting me down the front steps.

Technology is good (I'm all for it!), but nothing or anyone could get me to give up my powered chair, however, I owe a lot of credit to the simple manual wheel chair tonight. That floor was getting harder the longer I was having to sit there.

Something I learned from that experience today. I absolutely cannot walk. Sometimes I go through a spell of thinking maybe it is all my imagination or something like that, and that I really could walk further than a few steps if I would just do it. Where would I have tried, though? And where could I have tried it with the determination I had. There were onlookers, I surely didn't want to fail before them. Never could I have tried to walk any harder than I did today. With my doubts, and my reluctance to accept the reality of this disease, I needed the validation. Well, I guess I got it good and proper!


Striving for a world without Myasthenia Gravis

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