Friday, December 7, 2007

What I am Thankful for This Month

Okay with all the exciting and special things that have been going on in some of my family member's life's, what I am about to post about is probably just silly. But it has been consuming my life lately so you all have to hear about it. And it is long. So skip it if you need to. Especially you sisters who have more important things going on than to read my rant.

For the about 3 weeks I have been in some pretty strong pain.

3 weeks ago I had 2 teeth that had very large and old fillings. I needed to have them crowned so that the teeth don't break or so the old fillings will not break or fall out. I decided to get one done now at the end of this year so that my insurance would cover it, and do the other one this January when my insurance started over for the year. A few days after I got my pretty new crown, my teeth really started to hurt. It hurt half of my whole head, and down into my neck and down my left arm. I made an appointment with my dentist and we discovered that the filling in the tooth that I didn't crown had come loose and was getting an abscess in it. Since it was heat sensitive, and not just cold sensitive that meant that it needed a root canal. I was very bummed out because my dentist didn't dare do the root canal because the roots were curvy and they went into my sinus cavity. He gave me the names of a few Endodontists that he recommended. An endodontist is a specialist that deals with the nerves, soft tissue and roots of a tooth. The soonest any of them could get me in was about 10 days later. 10 days! I was in terrible pain almost all the time. I'm a wimpy girl that hates pain. I was taking 4 Advil and alternating them with 3 Tylenols way too often. I was getting sick to my stomach almost all the time from the pills. Every night I would wake up every 2-3 hours and need to take some more pain pills.

So I was trying to keep up with all my normal responsibilities at work, at home and in my calling. Oh my gosh! I am almost useless when I am in pain. I had a house to clean, I had a job to do at work, I had a room to empty in the basement, I had a work Christmas party to go to, I had Thanksgiving to deal with which included making a bunch of pies, a lesson to prepare, I had a newsletter to make, I had a Relief Society Christmas gift tags to make, and so on. It was one of the busiest little stretches of my life. Plus I wasn't in the right state of mind for talking to my family. I couldn't respond on my family site and I was too sick and in pain to even email my sweet niece who I love to talk to. These were all so hard to do when I was in so much pain, and sick from all the pills! When the painkillers didn't help anymore, I got a prescription for Lori tab. I didn't take them very often. I couldn't take them at work at all. And I was afraid of getting addicted. So the few nights I finally gave up and took one, I was a dumb jelly log on the couch all night long.

Finally the day to get my tooth fixed came along. Let me tell you how cool and talented Endodontists are. In 45 minutes, he was done. And they have the coolest equipment! They need to know when they get to the bottom of the root with their files so they don't file too far in. They way they do that now days is with an electronic continuity meter. They put a metal wire on the side of your cheek, that wire is connected to a meter. The other wire of the meter is clipped on the metal file. When that file hits the soft tissue at the bottom of your root the meter beeps. This is because the meter sends a small current that I couldn't feel. But the current runs through your soft tissue and the meter beeps when it detects it. Is that cool or what? I think they used to guess, and then take more x-rays to see if they got far enough. He also used cool digital x-rays that were ready instantly and can be emailed to my dentist. And he had an instrument that looked like a microscope on an arm from the ceiling. He did most of my root canal by looking at it through this thing that looked like a microscope.

I went home that night and had the first night in a long time with not very many drugs and not much pain. For a couple of days I felt a little better, but not all the way. Then the pain started coming back. Oh my gosh again?! I had heat sensitivity again, and a lot of pain. Since with tooth pain the pain radiates everywhere, it is hard to tell which tooth is the problem. I went into the another Endodontist because mine wasn't in. In his tapping around we couldn't decide which tooth it was. He thought it was my new root canal and it just needed more time to heal. A root canal takes the nerve out of the inside of the tooth, but the outside of the tooth still has a web of nerves that gets inflamed and swollen from the procedure. He thought I'd be fine in a while and I should give it another week or two. I could only give it 2 days. I called my Endodontist and he had me come in. He put cold on my teeth that were in the general area of the pain and when he put cold on the tooth that had my new crown on it, I went through the roof! Usually with extreme cold, a tooth will have a sharp pain, but it will go away in a few seconds. This one kept getting worse and worse with every second. He had tested that exact tooth when I came to him the first time a week before and it didn't do that. Fickle little tooth. So anyway, he gave me another very complicated root canal in about an hour. This tooth had 4 roots that curved to the back of my head.

So within 1 week I had 2 complicated root canals. When people hear about 2 in one week, they feel sorry for that. But I am quick to tell them the blessings of root canals, dental insurance, dental professionals, and new technology. One of my insurances is maxed out. So I have to pay at least couple hundred dollars. But let me tell you. I am so thankful for dental insurance. Without it I would probably be paying about $1500 dollars per root canal. And I am so thankful for the dental professionals. I am thankful I am not a pioneer woman. I don't know what kind of a woman I would have been in pain all the time. I'm sure I wouldn't have gotten anything done. I think I would have been known as the mean old lady that never smiled. Last night I went to bed with no pain. I didn't wake up once because of pain. I don't have to take any Lori Tabs any more. My tummy feels better. I am feeling fabulous! And I can get stuff done without getting distracted. And I can email my sweet niece again.


Tiffany said...

I'm so glad your feeling better Aunt Katrina! All the modern technology we have is indeed a great blessing. Although I have from time to time wished I WAS a pioneer girl.

Traci said...

Wow! Katrina, so glad to hear you survived and now things are back to normal. for you. I have never had a root canal, but I did have a sinus infection once while I was pregnant with Piper and I thought something was wrong with my teeth because of the pain!

YbsisKaren said...

I have had so many root canals (mostly in the 80's & 90's) and know exactly the pain you went thru. I am in need of more dental work myself and am lucky I am not in pain at the moment. Thank goodness for professionals and new technology. I agree. Glad to hear you are better and back to your old self. Happy Happy Holidays

Kris said...

Katrina, I'm so pleased you were able to have these root canals and be pain free. That really is amazing what can be done with todays technology - what a blessing!
I've had two root canals done on my teeth too, but not nearly as complicated as yours.

Kris said...

Nice visiual aid.

Sondra said...

I'm so sorry Sis! I had no idea how bad it was or for how long you were had to endure it! I feel badly that you went through so much and I didn't realize the extent of what you were going through. I'm so glad that you're better and I'm sorry that I wasn't any support. I love you!