Daily Archives: July 16, 2009

Killing off the Undead Tooth of Terror

stooges dentist 2Yesterday I Might have taken these Guy’s Offer

The battle was brutal.  Yesterday the Undead Tooth of Terror held me in its grip more tightly than any time in the past several days.  Judy drove us home from West Virginia and last night as soon as we got back I was met by the on-call dentist and oral surgeon.  They bought me some relief for the night but I still didn’t sleep much having been tanked up on caffeine just to make it through the trip, the whole yin and yang of uppers and downers together.  This morning I got up and went in to work, my tooth and mouth in a bit of pain but not the 10.5 to 12.9 on the scale of 10 that I had yesterday.  The Undead Tooth of Terror may have been down but he was not yet out.

I met the dentist from last night as well as the Oral Surgeon who is the department head.  The people at the desk had no clue that I was coming in and were trying to figure things out by calling to the back when the dentist from last night came out, told them exactly what the plan was and had them check me in.  I was sent to wait and waiting 5 minutes a nurse came out the get me and ushered me into the oral surgery pavilion. Now you might wonder what difference there is in this and a normal dentist chair and treatment room.  So let me tell you.  I work at a large teaching hospital and this includes the Dental Department.  In fact the dentist who worked on me last night was a first year resident by you would not have known by how well he did and how considerate he was of any possible pain or discomfort that I might experience.  Anyway, back to the pavilion.  It is large with a number of oral surgery suites.  In the suite sits a dental chair. Not just any chair but one that looks like a first class airline seat and much more comfortable than a standard dental chair. The arms were a bit different as they had straps to hold down your arms as well as an IV line for the times they put someone to sleep when doing the surgery.  It looked like it could have been like a set up for prison lethal injection room.  I guess if we move to a Soylent Green end of life deal these would be in your neighborhood.  Since I had no need of lethal injection or for that matter being put to sleep for the procedure these meant nothing to me.  However when I have my implant they will do this.  The rest of the room has a good amount of equipment not seen in a normal dentist treatment room.

I got in the chair and they went through the checklist to make sure that I was me and want procedure was being done.  I was read the consent form which asked of potential complications of the surgery.  These were interesting, thankfully I did not expect complications although because the tooth was so weak there was a strong possibility that it could shatter and would have to be cut out.  Preliminaries completed I was given a topical anesthetic followed by about four or five shots into the right side of my mouth, which because of the local I did not feel.  Then they went to work.  I couldn’t see anything but could hear and feel, albeit without pain what they were doing.  Things didn’t take too long, maybe 20 minutes to remove the tooth if that.  It had come out in several pieces as they suspected, but thankfully the roots were straight and they didn’t have to do any real gymnastics to get it out.  I looked at the damned thing which was in several pieces on the small instrument table in front of me.  It was like looking at Dracula after you had staked him and before he turned to dust.  I amazement I asked if I could take it home with me and was told that I could not because it was now “hazardous waste.”  Hell I thought it was hazardous before it was waste.  I told the dentist and nurse that I was hoping to take it home so I could put it under the pillow for the tooth fairy.  The dentist said that he didn’t think that she would give very much for it but I said I thought that it was worth a try.  When all was said and done I was given an SIQ chit for two days.  SIQ means “sick in quarters” and is basically the Navy’s way of saying “Go home dummy.  Follow the doctor’s directions and take care of yourself.” I really only expected one day, but as I started hurting again some tonight I realized that I could not do my 24 hour on call shift tomorrow without making things much worse for me.   Following the surgery the site of the now really dead Undead Tooth of Terror was packed with gauze to soak up the blood.  I ended up changing the gauze three times before the site stopped bleeding.

When I got home I realized that I had forgotten to drop off a prescription for more Vicodin so I had to drive back and drop it off at our pharmacy. Thankfully traffic was light and I got there and back pretty quick and will get the prescription tomorrow as the line was huge and I was in no condition to wait an hour to get it as I had a couple left.  Once I was home I fell asleep for about 3 hours. I got up, had a light dinner and took it easy.  The pain started back up about 9 PM and so I took my meds and am getting ready to go to bed.  I expect that I should sleep well for the first time tonight.  The Undead Tooth of Terror is no more but I still bear the scars of my encounter with the beast from the pit of hell.  Patently the Deity Herself was with me through this and will take care of me tonight even if I don’t get a visit from the tooth fairy.

Thank you for your prayers encouragement and support.  Thanks especially to Judy who threw herself on the proverbial grenade yesterday to drive me home even though she was extremely tired and not feeling that well herself. I have a follow up next week for this procedure and my initial visit for the implant in six weeks.

Peace, Steve+

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