Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Poor Mary At The Doctor's Office

Well, the tooth saga conintues and while I am grateful this isn't a fatal disease or anything else like that ... I am exhausted.

After a tooth extraction and two oral surgeries to correct the root up into the sinus, er, gaffe, I was back for the third surgery when Dr. M's assistant noticed that the root of my tooth was actually still way up there in my sinuses and in fact, had not come out during the first ... and golly ... that's a problem.

The plan? Drain and repair the sinus again, close the hole between gum and sinus by ... well, that's a bit too graphic for here ... and voila! You're done. Except for the part where I have to go see the ENT, have a CAT Scan and all.

The flowers were beautiful! Remember I wrote that?

I couldn't get an appointment with an ENT until mid March ... which is when I am due to return to Dr. M. I checked both of his offices, "oh, we're just so busy." I get it. Every one is busy and health care being what it is today ... don't let me get off on a tangent. I didn't make an appointment, I decided I'd try to find someone else.

However, I am still trying to figure out how a receptionist/booking specialist can't know that if she reschedules two noncritical follow up patients, she can fit one new patient in. That, my friends, has to be rocket science because no amount of explanation helped. That was something routinely practised back in the day, when we really needed to fit a patient in. Non sick patients are typically more than happy to wait a few days or weeks longer, as long as their prescriptions don't need refilling or will be refilled during the wait time.

Over this the weekend just past, I could tell something was amiss and I waited until this morning to do anything about it because it was the weekend and any sane surgeon, dentist, doctor who didn't have hospital rounds would be enjoying their time off. Add to the weekend mix it is also school vacation week here ... they are all off skiing. Or something equally fun and exciting.

Yeah for them.

I woke Sunday to the sinus drooping again and as the day wore on, filling up because my sinuses no longer drain properly. If they ever did, now that I reflect. But. Anyway. I can't reach anyone and so I start taking my Amoxicillin prescription (don't lecture, you would too) that was left over from the original extraction last November. It was left over because Dr. M. changed the med. I have enough for five days and I figure I should at least start something so that at the least the infection is maybe being treated and at the worst ... my sinus won't explode. It's like having my thumb take up residence in my mouth. Grrr.

It hurts. Yes, I'm whining and I'm frustrated. This has been going on too long.

I called Dr. M's office this morning. He's in Vermont skiing. His secretary called my regular dentist's office. That Dr. M is in Arizona. He called me via cell phone. Promised me a rose garden and you know what? Actually came up with one. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

In the meanwhile, I assured Dr. M's secretary that I was going to get an ENT appointment if it was the last thing I did. Today. And I started to cry. The pain is awful. Add to it my pulse making it throb and, well, I'm worn out from it. Frustrated and annoyed and tired.

I said, "I know I'm an adult, but right now, this moment? I don't want to act like one, so please, just bear with me." And bear with me she did. Bless you B.

I finally located an ENT who can see me on Friday morning at 8:30! Yeah! Called my PC for a referral. No problem. Double Yeah!

Received another call from Dr. M. (the one on vaca in Arizona) ... he set up an appointment with another oral surgeon, Dr. M. (yes, that is three doctor M's -- imagine!) whom I went to see this afternoon.

He looked at my x-rays, ordered another, looked at them, looked at me and gave me the good and the bad news. The good news is, he can fix my problem. I need a CAT scan and once that determines exactly where that root is, he can do the surgery. The bad news? Under general anesthesia at the hospital. Oh joy.

But first, because I have wonderful health insurance, I need to get that referral for the Dr. M. # 3, because this is medical, no longer dental, and I need to get pre-certified to have the CAT Scan. This is not a big deal except when you are worn down from the last few months and the pain, the simplest thing becomes somehow, stupidly huge.

Paperwork in hand I headed out to my car, pulled out my cell phone and called my PCP's office. Kathy the receptionist/greeter lady was very nice and told me to stop by with the paper work and she would see what she could do. Thank you, thank you, thank you. An office that has an actual person answer the phone ... that's three in one day!

There seems to be a three theme going on in my life just now.... Could be good. Could be bad.

Weeping all the way, I drove myself to the Dr. B's office where Kathy took my paperwork and went 'down back' to Mary, the nurse practitioner to see what she could do to help. Mary called me back to her office.

I walked in, sat down and burst into tears. Again. Blubbering about how sorry I was, but I'm so dammed tired of all of this ....

Poor Mary. She handed me tissues and listened to my tale of woe through the sniffles and weeping and then got on the phone with the health insurance company referral department. It seemed in the blink of an eye the paperwork was filled out, faxed and on its way.

"You're all set, but this may take a couple of days to pre-certify the CAT Scan."

It's all good. I just need to know that this is almost over. Even that little crumb has me feeling a bit better.

So I while away the rest of Emily's school vacation week and my own vacation doing pretty much nothing, because even the treadmill at the gym is too much ... but I'm going to remember to count my blessings, which are many, and finally, finally, I'm going to get good and thoroughly caught up on my blog reading. ;)

Pssst.... Dr. M#3 just called to keep me posted on the progress of that CAT Scan appointment. It's still in limbo land, but getting closer.


Jon said...

I'm sorry to hear about all of the dental problems! I have to drink a few shots of Tequila before I'll even walk PAST a dentist's office!! When I had my two upper wisdom teeth extracted, the roots were way up in the sinus cavities. The anesthesia was wearing off while the dentist was still extracting the teeth.

cw2smom said...

What insanity you've been through! I am happy the NP took the time to step in an expedite things for you! Thoughts and prayers your was for resolving this situation STAT and of course, to be pain free as well. Blessings, Lisa

emmapeelDallas said...

I'm so glad you'll be getting some relief soon! Problems in the mouth are miserable, and nothing to mess around with, as you know so well. Good post.


lisaram said...

Oh my God, Kathy...this is a nightmare. I would have been doing more than sobbing and apologizing. I would have been...not very nice.

I hope this comes to a satisfactory conclusion soon. There is NOTHING worse than constant pain anywhere in your head.

(((Kathy))) :-]

Becky said...

oh, you poor thing!!!! teeth problems are just the worst...

~ Lor said...

I feel so bad for you. Sinus infections on their own are a bad enough without the rest of it going on. Will be thinking of you & sending all my best thoughts & wishes your way!