Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Doctors Appt Update Part #1

For those of you who don't know - I have serious TMJ problems. Caused by stress, teeth clenching, a car accident, and adult thumb sucking (although I refuse to put that last piece of information on any doctor, dentist, surgeon, counseling or any other form). At first I was told just to go get braces. I didn't like that option and then I got pregnant so I did nothing. After my daughter was born, I had more problems and went back. Because I had waited so long, and things had gotten worse, I now had to go a longer route. I started with wisdom teeth out, followed by porcelain appliances. Then they told me I'd need jaw surgery - the break your jaw, wire nearly shut, can't talk 6 weeks type. So I went to the State School of Dentristy where they told me about this new bone anchor screw procedure. Takes a bit longer, but it is outpatient. Much less risky. So I go that route - even though insurance doesn't cover it. Around Thanksgiving I have two screws (like the type you buy at a hardware store) drilled into my upper jaw bone - they stick out my gums. Then I wore a porcelain/plastic appliance with wires and springs that looped around the screws. It slowly pulled my jaw into place. Worked good. Today (6 months later) they took the porcelain/plastic appliance out to make it removable.

I was so excited that we were removing my appliance. I was still going to have to wear it, but it would be a removable retainer type that I took out to brush, and I'd use rubber bands - not springs. So I get there expecting them to use some sort of solvent to dissolve the glue/cement/bond that is holding the appliance to my teeth. Nope, they just take pliers. The assistant I had was wonderful about explaining things before they did it. She said I would feel some powerful pressure, hear some awful cracking noises, but that it would only last 10 seconds. So the ortho comes over and starts. It hurts SO SO SO bad. As they are pulling, my head is coming up off the chair, so one dental asst on each side hold my shoulders down and head still. So not a good thing with me. I was sweating buckets.
So the thing pops off and I am gagging from the cement pieces. I'm trying to get up, they are holding me back saying "we'll get the suction." Finally they let me up to go rinse my mouth. So back into the chair where they say "good news, most of the glue/cement is still on your teeth instead of the appliance, so we'll have less grinding to do to the appliance." WTF - how is that good news? I'd rather you grind the appliance than scrape my teeth. So, they get pliers and other torture devices and start prying the cement from my teeth. The first asst is very nice and tries to be really gentle, takes breaks, suctions often and talks to me. It still was horrible. But I was surviving. Then she couldn't get some, so they bring over the other asst. who pulls harder. And again when my head comes up off the rest or I flinch in pain, or shake with panic, she holds her arm down over my forehead to hold my head still. I think I --- okay I know I --- dissociated there for awhile. Then they sat me up all of a sudden to go brush. Well, between the panic and all of a sudden being upright, I started to sway. A woman I know from the gym who works there noticed and asked if I was okay. I blamed it on low blood sugar (which I'm sure was part) and she sat me down and got me coffee with a ton of sugar. Also took me to a different room where the AC was on high.

So I am done with that. I then discover I do need braces for twenty six months at a cost of over five thousand dollars. My mouth is now worth about twelve thousand dollars -- seriously. So I leave there and grab a set of spare clothes at a store (hey shopping is cathartic right?) and go to the YMCA to shower because I stunk from all the sweating.

Then out to coffee with J where I find out my ob faxed her a report. I had asked him to confirm what medications were okay while trying to conceive with J and with my regular family doctor. BUT contrary to what he told me in his office, he wrote to her that xanax and lexapro are NOT okay to try to conceive. So he told me in the office they were okay, but now they are not. I was stunned. It shouldn't bother me considering DH & I haven't slept together in over two months. And I know that I'm not ready mentally (or hell financially at this point) for that. But dammitt that is the one freaking thing my body does right and I don't want that option taken from me right now. So I'm pissed and I just want to cry.

I've got an appt with regular doc at 3. I'll update again after that.

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