Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Severely Strained Ligament

I never cease to amaze my hubby. He just doesn't understand how I can ski, and rarely fall down. How I can ride horses, and manage to keep the horse between the ground and me (most times) and how I have pursued a number of athletic pursuits, with passable skill. Yet, I can't walk down a sidewalk without tripping over the line separating the slabs of concrete! So, news of my latest severely strained ligaments only caused him to shake his head and laugh. You know that laugh... the one that implies that only my wife could do this?! Yeah... that one! And, not one shred of sympathy for the injured!
Last night I was in agony.  I popped Aleve and it didn't alleviate the pain. I considered a number of options to do away with the pain... but putting a gun to the side of my head would be messy, and, with the move, we seem to have gotten the gun and its firing mechanism separated from one another... and haven't seen the ammunition. So, that option was out. The only thing to do was to wait it out and find a doctor I could visit today.... not August 25, which was the first appointment I could get with my own doc when I called about the problem yesterday.
When you are in severe pain, do you build it up, imagining worst-case scenarios? I do. If my stomach really hurts, I begin to think it must be appendicitis. I even go so far as to figure out who to call to take care of my obligations while I would be side-lined. If I have blinding headaches I begin to think it's a brain bleed or maybe even a brain tumor. Of course, another facet of all of this is that I procrastinate about seeing a doctor and although sometimes that is helpful because the problem resolves itself, other times it allows whatever is going on to worsen. That would be the case with this particular 'injury', although waiting it out wasn't totally my choice. I have been aware of the problem for about 8 months... probably even more, but chose to ignore it as much as I could. When I saw the doctor 8 months ago, he took a 'wait and see' stance and I was to call him if things worsened. Things got a bit worse, about 2 months ago. But, when I called to make an appointment I learned that my doctor was not seeing patients as he had been diagnosed with and treated for throat cancer. I did get to see one of his assistants. She noticed the problem and indicated that the doctor was beginning to see one or two patients a day and she'd put me on a priority list and I'd get a call when they could schedule me. I didn't get a call. So, when things came to a head yesterday, that's when I learned that my priority evidently wasn't as high priority as I thought, despite the pain, and they'd see me in a month. OK, to be fair, when I called them yesterday the pain was only in the 'background' and was quite manageable. But during the night things went downhill... or, since the pain escalated, did things go uphill?!!
So, I arranged for an early afternoon 'emergency' trip to my dad's doctor... his dentist. It turns out that yes, the crown is about to fall off of tooth #14. I knew that, but that wasn't the problem. (Although I had figured that since it had been flapping for more than 8 months the nub of tooth underneath had to be rotten and I'd need something more to maintain that 'tooth' - not the case.) It was the tooth next to it that was causing all of the pain... it has a post and a crown already. It has had a root canal already. It shouldn't be hurting. My old doc's assistant said that it was loose. Being the type of person I am, I had built this up into $$$$$$. I just knew that I'd need an implant, or perhaps a bridge with at least one new crown to help anchor it. I didn't want to know those ugly details, which is why I procrastinated. But, my dad's dentist - from here on out to be referred to as my dentist - maybe even considered to be some sort of deity, took one look at the x-rays and pronounced that I had severely strained the ligaments of the tooth! I was aware that teeth were held in by ligaments, but never realized that when your tooth hurts because a piece of popcorn kernel has wedged in there, that is because the ligament has been strained. When you feel like a tooth is wiggling a bit... it is... because the ligament is a bit loose. Because of my lousy bite, that poor tooth had been getting a battering every time I chewed something - since we tend to gnash food laterally. The ligaments were not happy. They are strained and inflamed. So, my new dentist 'floated' my tooth (for non-horse folks, floating is what equine dentists do to horses to make their teeth even. They actually file high points down periodically) and cemented the crown on the other tooth. The pain is beginning to subside... another glass of wine and maybe I won't notice it at all!

9 comments:

  1. Take a narcotic with that glass of wine and you'll really feel no pain, Cyndi!

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  2. Ok, I was jumping to conclusions all over the place! When I saw the title, I thought one of the horses pulled a ligament! You learn something new every day - I never thought about teeth ligaments. Glad you're on the mend.

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  3. Who knew teeth had ligaments.....
    Makes you appreciative of what horses go through when they have teeth problems, and the only way they can tell us about the pain is through poor performance or irritability.

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  4. I was thinking but what about the ligament?? Now, we're talking teeth? I started to begin again and slow me, I got it. Glad to know you were able to float the tooth and solve the problem.

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  5. You had me kerflummuxed with the ligament thing and then tooth talk, too. I never knew that teeth had ligaments. That's my fact for the day, and it's only 7:30 in the morning. I'm sorry you were in such pain, and I hope that it goes away, now that you have had your teeth floated.

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  6. Ugh, toothaches can be so debilitating. Glad your dad's dentist got it taken care of quickly and you are better after your float (good thing you didn't dose yourself with Bute when the Aleve failed). I didn't know teeth had ligaments. Interesting.

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  7. Wine cures (or should I say "masks"?) so much! Cheers!!

    Anne

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  8. Thank you, maybe I should just rest.

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