May 12th, 2001

Health Update

I'm not dead yet. That's just about the only good news.

I think I have a much better idea of what is actually happening to me, and although I'm still in pain, it's somewhat of a comfort. My two upper wisdom teeth are partially covered with gum tissue. It's called a soft tissue impaction. As the teeth try to erupt, they create a little cavity between the gums and teeth that is impossible to clean, so bacteria can get in. This happened to my left wisdom tooth, and it got infected (pericoronitis), causing the pain. I don't really have a toothache at all... just some infected gum tissue. So, ending up in the dentists chair right away would have been a smart move, if he had done something to treat the infection. With no treatment, the infection has spread to my tongue, throat and lymph nodes and has made my life pretty miserable. I asked Dr. Tom specifically if this was happening to me and he said no. But it seems obvious to me now.

Yesterday I saw the oral surgeon. I told him about my pain. They took more x-rays. They scheduled my extraction surgery (May 21st) and sent me on my way. But again, he didn't do anything to treat me now. Even as the infection spreads to my lower left gums and some of the tissue under my tongue. The tissue around my wisdom tooth is swolen to the point where I can no longer bite without chewing into it. I told him this. He saw it.

So, last night after the surgeon brushed me off, I ended up back at the hospital. I told the whole story to the doctor, and he seemed really surprised that they would let this sort of thing go. He immediately perscribed penicillin along with an acetaminophen & codine combo. So I finally got my friggin' antibiotics, four days later than I should have. After 12 hours of treatment, I haven't noticed any real improvement, except that the codine makes me feel pretty good, but sleepy. Actually, last night I started showing the symptoms of esophagitis, which means the infection is just working its way down my throat. That's starting to hurt more and more as they day goes on, and has me a bit concerned. If it gets worse I'll probably be back in the hospital again.

Why did the dentists let this happen to me?
  • Current Music
    Nine Inch Nails - Closer

(no subject)

When I said I was feeling depressed and sorry for myself... that was just a particularly bad morning. Maybe I'll say that again after I get cancer or MS. Mentally I'm strong and in good spirits, as always. You should save your pity and sympathy for the more deserving.
  • Current Music
    Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun