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Random Blog Journey-2-Peace: two words: oral surgery

    Trish Monaco.
    singer. songwriter.
    dog walker.
    human. living.
    loving. laughing.
    in Los Angeles


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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

two words: oral surgery

Okay, so I clench my jaw, grind my teeth and I had a thousand dollars of dental work done last year to prevent any future damage.

I'd been having ear aches and headaches off and on for years. I take advil and massage my head, jaw and face.

The other night (Friday) I was struck with this gawd-awful raging pain in the entire right side of my face. From neck, to ear, to jaw, to temple, to eye to head. Not just any pain. Throbbing, stabbing, constant agonizing pain. I was moaning and groaning with involuntary tears streaming down my face. It took two hours for the vicodin to kick in. By the third hour, I needed more pain killers.

I finally learned to alternate between vicodin and advil every few hours to stay ahead of the pain, because when I forget (like during the sleeping hours of the night), I am struck with the most intense pain I've ever experienced. Worse than menstrual cramps. And I've done long-term research with those.

So I worked all weekend, on the final day of shooting (pick-ups) for the student film. Most of the time I was hopped up on drugs or I was flat on my back, writhing in pain on set.

Stay ahead of the pain was (is) my motto. Thank god for the work because I'd have gone stir crazy tossing and turning in bed all weekend.

So I went to the emergency dental clinic Monday morning and was there till 5pm. After seeing student doctors and teaching doctors, in two different areas of the clinic, I was referred to yet another section (TMJ doc) but they were already closed by then.

I'm still not exactly sure what's going on with my mouth. I know one of my crowns is suddenly too high and every time I try to bite, I get a shooting pain through all nerves in my face. I also know I have a third molar that is growing under my skin, pushing against my second molar, probably pushing the other teeth forward, causing them to rise, shift and basically make my life miserable. I guess that could explain how I noticed two of my front bottom teeth seemed to be overlapping one day.


So I need full extractions on two 3rd molars. I need a minor extraction on another one (because it has erupted through the skin already). But I can't afford to get them all done right now. I can hardly afford to get the aching one done but I have to do it.

Unfortunately, the oral surgeon can't fit me in till next Tuesday afternoon. That means I have to ride the pain for another week before I'll receive even a hope of relief. Sucks having no insurance. But I'm grateful for the teaching clinics. I'm on a wait list in case there's a cancellation. Let's hope.

The surgery will most likely be complicated. The x-ray shows just how impacted the molar is. Growing at an angle, against my back tooth. The roots of the impact are growing toward the back of my jaw, toward my ear. This explains my ear aches. They'll have to cut my gums and break the bones of the tooth to remove it. Nice huh?

It's too expensive to get an IV and go under. So I'll get local anesthetics and nitrous (I've never had nitrous, but I've heard great things about it).

In the meantime, I'm waiting to have a prescription filled for pain killers that hardly work. I can only imagine how much they will cost without insurance.

I had to practically beg and demand to get a pain medication. What is it with some doctors? I was writhing in pain in that chair. She knocked my teeth to see where it hurt. Tears and more tears. And still she was hesitant with her scrip pen. She finally parted with 12 pills. Hello. They won't get me through the week.

No one understands this pain. If you haven't had dental pain, you don't know this pain. There's no break. No relief. No waves of pain. Just constant, agonizing pain -- until the meds kick in.

Like right now. I'm in some light pain. And I have vicodin and advil in me. Normally I'd be three sheets to the wind with this diet. It's awful.

And don't get me started about what it's doing to my intestines. It took me four days to finally ... pass go. And even then, it was very anti-climactic. I'm about to start a steady prune diet. Blech.

Ahh the joys of life today.

Comments on "two words: oral surgery"


Anonymous Lady McGyver said ... (6:13 PM) : 

What a story- write a book of short stories - or a novel - you do a good script! And the best bit.. It will pay the bills!!
Meantime I have a hammer and pair of pliers :-)
Best of Luck


Blogger Heather said ... (9:47 AM) : 

Ow, Ow, Ow. I have not had any dental problems, but even I'm writhing in pain with this. Ouch. (((((((Trish))))))) Many hugs to you right now. I have some extra vicodin--I'll send them virtual for ya ;)


Blogger gigi said ... (1:55 PM) : 

Thank you for the intestinal update. We were concerned; your profile pic looked a little constipated.

But oh, honey ~ I'm sorry about all that pain! Feel better... :(


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