Sunday, February 4, 2024

What's Up NOW, Doc?

 Been home about 10 days, and feeling much, much better.

So what happened, or more accurately, what did I let happen this time?

Well.....I have an aversion to Dentists. It probably comes from the Dentist I had from "first teeth" until he retired. He was the brother of our Family Doctor (good old "GP"), and was a Navy Dentist. He didn't use any local numbing, so I had to sit there for cleanings and cavities. Sometimes it felt like that scene from "Marathon Man".

So, I just "let it go". BIG mistake. All four molars (18, 19, 29, and 21) in my lower left jaw went nuclear overnight. I woke up that day, looked in the mirror, and my eyes got about as big as dinner plates. I was having problems swallowing, and my neck under my jaw looked like I had a muffin on one side, and a biscuit on the other. So I got cleaned up, hit the "MAYDAY!" button, and had SLW take me to the ER. A dentist wouldn't have touched me, Urgent Care would have told me to scoot off the ER, so we saved some time and went straight there.

SLW dropped me off at the ER at 1100 local, and went on to one of her Doctor's appointments. I was checked-in, and seeing a Doctor in about 20 minutes. A staff person came in, and started two IV lines, and then sent me down the hall for a CT Scan of my jaw area. Then it was off to a room in the ICU where I gowned up and  waited for the Surgical Team to assemble.

The Doctors were quite concerned they wouldn't be able to get an airway into me for breathing gas, and they went through the procedure for a Tracheotomy with me. They would prefer NOT to do so, as it adds another layer of required medical care. I told them to do what they had to do, and gave them my consent, signed a form (by now I was getting really out of it due to the infection), and told them they had my complete trust, which seemed to break the ice, and we moved forward.

They put the mask on, I took some deep breaths, the Fentanyl came next, and it was lights out. The operation was completed by 1900 local, and I was out all night. I barely remember SLW being there, but I was drifting in and out of consciousness. And I was pretty out of it the next day, too. At least they were able to get an airway in, so I didn't need any holes put in me. I could barely talk the next two days, and was using a dry erase paddle to communicate. I told SLW I should have helped her get her Morse Code speed up past 5 words-per-minute so we could converse, and she cracked up.

The Oral Surgeon said he'd never seen FOUR teeth abscessed so bad. He said it was more of an "excavation" than an extraction, and he was amazed at the amount of "stuff" that was suctioned out.

I was getting a vial of Ampicillin every 3 hours, and an injection of Prednisolone (a powerful anti-inflammatory corticosteroid) about every 6 hours, along with so many blood draws and finger sticks that I lost count. I was on a liquid only diet for four days, as the swelling was so bad that my epiglottis wasn't working properly, and there was concern I'd get some food in my lungs that I couldn't expel. Then I was on a "Minced and Moist" (pureed, actually) for a couple of days, and then the "Soft and Bite Sized" diet for the last two days. Just about back to a normal diet, but still haven't tried certain foods. Plenty of pasta, rice, meat sauce, Jimmy Dean sausage, scrambled eggs (SLW makes killer eggs!), and a couple of 30g protein shakes a day. I have to mix the protein drink with about 40% milk to be able to comfortably get it down as it's a bit too "Clingy and Coating" for my taste. The mixture also makes very good soft-serve from our little ice cream machine.

So far now, "That's All, Folks", and I'm feeling a couple of orders of magnitude better than when I went in.

And I'm getting pretty good at finding things in my little Bible........

8 comments:

  1. Damsel and I had no idea how bad it was for you. Hope the nightmare is over for you now. Wishes for a long-lasting spate of good health for you, drjim.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The consensus varied between "I got there in time", to "I got there just in time.

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  2. Consider seeing a cardiologist. Dental disease has a nasty habit of causing other problems....like endocarditis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were watching my cardiac functions very closely, especially sine I had the "Cardiac Insult" last August, which resulted in my developing "Takotsubo cardiomyopathy", aka the "Broken Heart" disease.

      Delete
  3. You do have a habit of pushing the envelope. don't you? Glad you made it through this episode!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HaH! This hit me so fast I couldn't believe it. The last time something did that to me was in high-school when I had a "Strep Throat".

      Delete
  4. Prayers answered. Thank you, Heavenly Father!
    God bless.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda. My wife's best friend, the minister who married us, had her congregation say a prayer for me.

      Delete

Keep it civil, please....

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