…and that’s the TOOTH!

This might end up being kind of a downer of a post, but that seems to be the majority of what I post these days anyway, doesn’t it?

I’ve got some health stuff going on.  Over the past year or so I’ve written occasionally about having what I think have been nocturnal seizures.  Haven’t had one of those (that I’m aware of) since January, but I have been having frequent migraines.  Migraines that impair my vision and send streaks across my sight for 15-30 minutes every time they happen…and that’s usually how they announce themselves.  No other major warnings other than “I don’t feel quite right…” then my vision goes funny, I pop a couple Excedrin, and I wait it out.  It’s been happening about weekly.  My last one was on Wednesday, with light sensitivity following on Thursday.

Before anyone tells me to go to the doctor, believe me I’m planning on it.  Back in January when I went in to an Urgent Care they did a scan of my brain and it came back clean.  No masses or tumors or anything like that.  So it’s nothing like that, and the $200 I spent to find that out was worth it.  (Even though they *told* me it was going to be $100, then billed me three months later for a second deductible for the MRI visit…but whatever.  Medicine’s a scam.)  I’m not too worried about finding out I’ve got something serious, because I already know what it is…it’s my teeth.

I’ve got bad teeth.  I have for years.  It’s mostly because when my wisdom teeth came in, I didn’t treat them (ouch) so all four (ouch) came in (ouch) with no medication and three (ouch) of them impacted.  The one that didn’t impact has (ouch) since broken.  So…if it was JUST those four teeth, it’d be a lot, but the lack of treatment at the time has taken its toll on the surrounding teeth as well.  So I’ve got a bunch of decayed, fractured molars and such.  Sometimes they hurt.  Sometimes they don’t.

I noticed as far back as ten years ago that sometimes when there’s extra pressure in my mouth (swelling and what-have-you) they’ll make me dizzy or even a little disoriented.  But it passes and I move on.  And I’ve noticed in the past two years that each nocturnal seizure of which I’m aware (3) have been preceded by oral issues.  And I’ve noticed that I’ve had more frequent pain on the right side at the broken wisdom tooth before each migraine in the last month…I really think the last one was caused by me simply “chewing wrong.”  I am certain the teeth are causing the migraines.  And I think they even caused the seizures.  I’ve read up on migraines.  They can cause seizures.  I think that what’s happened to me is that I’ve been asleep, a migraine has come on, and my brain didn’t know how to process it since I was asleep, so it gave me a seizure, instead of just wonky vision and a subsequent dull thud behind my forehead.

So…why haven’t I gotten it fixed.  It’s not fear.  It’s not even money (although it’s a **little** money).  And I’ve gone in to the dentist a few times.  In fact roughly this time last year, we were taking about doing some of the needed extractions and I left it with a “let me call you to schedule it later” and I just plain didn’t.  Because of the time investment.  Because I’m going to have to miss some work.  Because I’m going to have to take time between surgeries to heal and learn how to eat with missing teeth.  Because I’m going to have to figure out if partial plates or whatever need to go in and what kind of time investment THAT’S going to take.  And because…believe it or not…up until now, it’s been BEARABLE.  It hasn’t been comfortable, but it’s been a nuisance from time to time that I’ve been able to largely ignore.  But now the headaches are making me nervous to drive.  So I’ve got to get this taken care of…and I’ve been trying and failing to do so.

I like my dentist.  He’s an old family friend and a good dentist.  Which is why I delayed at least one week before calling…  I’d gotten sick just after the funeral I posted about in my last post (with a running nose, cough, and 101.2-degree fever) and I didn’t want to cough all over him.  The cough persisted for longer than expected and I’ve actually still got it a little, but I can mostly stifle it.  So I waited that out.  Then I called…and he was on vacation.  Then I planned to call yesterday and realized I’d waited too long and his business hours were over.  Then I called today and found that he closes at noon on Saturdays and I was calling in the afternoon because I sleep late on Saturdays.  And now he’s closed Sunday and Monday, per his regular hours.  None of this is his fault…it’s just been bad timing.  But man…when it rains, y’know?

I’m going to get something on the calendar on Tuesday.  And I’m going to go in and tell him which tooth has been the worst offender and he’s going to pull it.  And I hope that stops the migraines at least for a while.  Then I’ll go back to get other teeth pulled, but I know for some of them he’s going to bring in an oral surgeon because he doesn’t think he can get a couple of them himself.  I think I’ll ask to be knocked out for those.  I’m not scared of the dentist…but that sounds scary.

And I’m hoping that at that point I start to feel better.  And I don’t just mean the headaches.  And I don’t just mean the seizures.  I mean that from the moment my first wisdom tooth came in in 2006 (possibly earlier–can’t recall)…I haven’t felt good.  I’ve been in pain for at least 11 years.  I haven’t ever said it that way, and probably no one realizes it…but I genuinely can’t remember the last time I went a week without flinching at a tooth pain or feeling lightheaded or feeling disoriented or feeling grumpy because of oral pressure or feeling nervous because I don’t know when the next tooth problem is going to happen.  11 years of that.  For some reason it took me that long to choose to feel better.

I wonder who I’ll be after that…

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