Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Tale of the Tooth...

Once upon a time...

(Be warned this is incredibly LONG... and in case you don't want to read the whole thing... the conclusion is, I need a root canal.  Now fill free to read all of the details ;) LoL!)

So, I am sure most of you are already familiar with my teeth problems.  It has completely consumed my life.  Looking back, I was trying to find previous posts about it but I only have one.  I guess I just don't like complaining about things and even though this pain has been on going and constant--I would normally focus on other things.  The other post was written earlier this month (long paragraph in the middle)... that is when the pain was SO intense that I was almost crying during the day at school.  And I really have a high pain tolerance... so to have me be in that much pain that I can't sleep, or even function during the day--something was obviously wrong.

I was getting really frustrated because nothing seemed to be helping and I didn't understand why no one could figure out what the problem was.  I had some people ask me if the pain was just in my head... no--NO!  It was so intense... there is NO way I could have made that up.  But dentist after doctor after etc we were getting zero answers....

Well, to make a long story short, I really do need a root canal.  Now for the long version of that...

So around last February--plus or minus a month-- (seriously this has been a problem for basically the entire year) my teeth started hurting.  I didn't know what to do and decided to try to wait it out.  Sometimes I just have pains but the normally work themselves out and normally it isn't a huge deal.  The body really has a wonderful way of healing itself.  Well, the pain continues to increase so much that I can not handle it any more.  Casey calls our home teacher and he comes to give me a blessing.  That helped some.  Luckily though, our home teacher's wife is a dental hygenist and she actually has ideas as to what it is.  She recommends us going to the dental college in Orem because it is so much cheaper.  We decided that sounds like a good idea and so we make an appointment and go in.  I was so grateful that Casey went with me!  I am so deeply blessed to have such a loving and supporting husband through this on going nightmare!!!!

Well, when we go in for the emergency pain exam--the dentist could not find anything wrong with my teeth.  He took extensive e-rays (he was teaching of the college girls how to do complicated ones) and didn't even charge us for them.  That honestly was a blessing!  He did various different taps and could find nothing wrong.  He concluded that it must be a sinus problem and wrote a prescription for an antibiotic.  My personal opinion is I really did have a sinus infection at this point in time.  The antibiotics worked almost instantly and life was just wonderful again!!

While the dentist was searching for any possible problems, he found a loose filling up in the front that needed replacing.  I never really felt good about this but decided to trust the dentist and have it replaced.  So I go back a little while later to have it worked on.  It was a tiny filling in between my front teeth.  Since it was in the front, they obviously filled it with white colored stuff.  I knew something was wrong with this from the beginning but I didn't know what to do.  I would call my mom often and tell her this dumb filling was causing problems and it hurt and I just wasn't getting used to it.  She would keep telling me that fillings take some time to get use to, that everything should be fine, to just keep waiting.  So I did that.  I didn't know what else to do.  Looking back now, if I would have gone back to the dentist right then, everything could have been solved instantly.

Finally, I don't feel like this white filling hurts any more.  But it was still weird.  I had never had a  space in between these teeth before but now there was.  I just felt like something was wrong but let it go because everything should be fine.  I just knew inside though that it wasn't.  I didn't want to go back to that clinic because I was afraid they would cause more problems.

I wasn't pain free for long though (maybe a week or so).  The pain came back.  It wasn't like the sinus infection pain though.  It was different.  Well, I knew (or thought) it wasn't teeth pain because I had just had everything checked and had a cleaning and didn't have any cavities.  During the 4th of July, we wandered around Freedom Days and found a booth that was offering free 5 minute massages.  That seemed to help relieve the pain.  So maybe it was stress/ tension/ neck muscles problems.  This theory didn't seem like the best possible answer because it was summer and I wasn't stressed out at all.  But we went with it because by now neither of us are sleeping through the night very well.  I would wake up and just lay their crying the pain was so intense.  Casey couldn't really sleep with all of the commotion.  He would try to go get me over the counter medicine but nothing was helping.  I would take it with no effect.

Because we thought it was a tension problem, Casey urges me to go to a chiropractor.  I had never been before and didn't really see the point but was willing to try if it helped.  Well, I thought it might have helped the first time but as the weeks went on, I would be in so much pain driving to the place and leaving that I knew it wasn't doing any good.  It was expensive and we really received no benefits.

Well, thinking that the sinus infection must have come back, we decided to go to a Ear, Nose, Throat doctor. Unfortunately, our insurance doesn't cover it but Casey wanted relief for me.  So we head off there.  He can't find anything wrong either.  At this point, I was normally only in pain at night--again a symptom that through off the doctors.  With our persistence and relating the story of the first sinus infection, we convince him into prescribing a strong antibiotic.  I had to promise that I was not pregnant and would not become pregnant for several months after completion of the medicine--it was that strong.

I started taking it but didn't get the immediate results like last time.  Eventually it started working and I guessed the sinus infection was really just that bad.  Knowing the outcome now, the only reason this medicine started working is because my tooth was infected.  It eventually helped with the bacteria growing in the same place where the filling was placed.  It didn't kill it though--I needed a dentist for that but didn't know it at the time.  I have since learned that the white fillings, if not done 100% correctly can cause the tooth to die and to need a root canal.  Even if it is 100% correct, the body for whatever reason may never accept the white filling and the tooth still might die.  For more information read this article... it is the best I have found explaining what the dentist told me yesterday.

This relief lasted for a short time.  It was great being pain free again.  I thought that it really must be a sinus infection and was so grateful that the pain was finally gone.  It didn't last forever though.  I was so disappointed when the pain came back.  And I was getting so frustrated.  I began begging Casey to have dentures.  My teeth would just hurt so bad--I was miserable.  Again it was worse at night but was beginning to have occasional day hurtings too.  The medicine had no effect.  I was not a happy camper.

One night I am in SO MUCH pain, I seriously thought I was going to die.  I couldn't put up with it any more.  I hadn't slept for many days in a row and this was in the middle of student teaching.  Casey calls our other home teacher and he comes over around midnight to help give me a blessing.  I was deeply blessed that night--it was the first time I had slept in many days.  I was so grateful to be blessed to be able to fall asleep.  I woke up and the pain came back but at least I slept through the night.

Around this same time, was when my teeth all began to hurt during the day too.  I would just sit at school and hold my face the pain was so intense.  My mentor teacher probably thought I was a wimp.  I could not do anything though because when it would cycle and start hurting it was to the point it was all consuming.  Seriously.

Casey scheduled me a dentist appointment (this is what I blogged about earlier) and nothing.  Nothing.  I couldn't believe it!  How could I be in SO much pain and still be getting no answers.  The whole situation kept going from bad to worse.  It was an on going nightmare!!!  I would really like to go back to this dentist and tell them to look at the x-rays they took better.  There is no reason that they should not have been able to see the nerve decay on all of the pictures they took.  This was a random dentist in Provo (because I didn't want to go back to the college).  They were expensive and I honestly, I am really kind of irritated with them.  They should have seen this and solved the problem then!!

The next few days after that dentist, I feel like we are back to square one.  We are trying to consider what our options are and which form of medical treatment we should seek next.  The ENT is so expensive but Casey scheduled me an appointment while I was at school.  I just didn't feel good about that.  As I would pray for guidance, I just felt like I needed to schedule a dentist appointment with the dentist I went to before I was married.  He is *amazing*!!!!  But more than that, he hopefully would be able to compare x-rays with the ones from the past and see if there is any slight variation at all.  I canceled my ENT appointment and scheduled one with my childhood dentist.  Casey thought I was crazy.  I didn't know what I was doing either--I just felt like it was right.

I was trying to schedule an appointment earlier in the month (meaning this month) but because of my crazy school schedule, the earliest I could come up was yesterday.  I was trying and hoping for something earlier but nothing was fitting.  While I was waiting this month out--the pain began to focus in on one tooth.  It was a complete change.  The tooth was the one that I had that dumb white filling replaced earlier.  And then the strangest thing happened, it just stopped hurting.  I haven't had any pain for a couple of weeks.  I thought it was because of the blessing.  Life was getting better.  I was tempted to cancel my appointment with my childhood dentist but just felt like I should go visit him.

I am so grateful I did.  This entire time I have been in extreme pain, my tooth has slowly been dying.  Someone (especially the dentist we saw in Provo) should have known this.  Apparently most people it takes a month to die.  I am weird (and unfortunate) that it has been such a long time for this to happen.  When the pain finally stopped it is because the nerve is completely gone.  No feeling.  No nerve.  Dead.  Yesterday, he drilled into my tooth and said there was no blood.  If it was alive at all, it would have bled when he drilled in but there wasn't a single drop.  I didn't even need the anesthetic apparently (but I am not complaining I got it).  The dentist started a root canal for me by putting in some bacteria cleaning stuff and a really temporary filling (it is so rough to the tongue...).  I go back the day after I finish student teaching to get the whole root canal done and then a week or so later for the crown.  As much as I don't want to have a root canal/ crown, I really like having answers and knowing that I won't have to be in this awful pain ever again.

Anyway, I highly doubt any one will actually read this whole thing... it is long!  If you made it to here, I would love to know...

The end!


Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

I am sorry you were in so much pain. My husband had a root canal this week also. He is glad the pain is finally gone. He had a filling 2 weeks ago and that is what caused it.

Lorelei said...

I read the whole thing! I'm so grateful that they discovered the reason for the pain and it is resolved! And I'm SO sorry that you had to go through that ordeal for so long! And I'm glad that you have Casey and others to give you blessings. And that you listened to the Spirit to go to your childhood dentist. Yay! ILY. --Lorelei

JandS Morgan said...

Made it! Crazy. What a pain to go that long without answers.