The Root Canal Wasn’t as Bad as I Thought it Would Be

Ten a.m. this past Sunday found me in the dentist chair, getting a very large needle stuck in my gum.

For so long, years honestly, I’ve put off taking care of this tooth that has gone from a small cavity to a large hole in the side. The hole only grew when I was pregnant and got worse over time.

I finally reached a point where I couldn’t stand enduring the pain any more, so I went to a dentist. You can read how that went here. That particular dentist was not in full practice, however, so I went to a very modern dental clinic for a second evaluation. From the beginning I was much more comfortable with them than with the previous dentist.

I had brought the kids with me (no way I couldn’t), and they kept the assistants busy – touching everything, asking what everything was, Logan showing off his loose tooth, etc. – while the doctor checked my mouth and I had a x-ray done in another room. These dentists were very helpful, reassuring me that nowadays the root canal is the better option, and that they prefer to save the tooth if it is savable, rather than pull it. They took time to explain why the root canal was better and they answered all my questions.

I took some time deciding though, because pain is something I just can’t stand. I couldn’t make up my mind whether enduring the pain of a root canal was preferable to the daily ache I felt in the tooth. I’ve heard so much about how painful a root canal can be. I think one thing that helped me decide was the very friendly customer service I got from the clinic – from the next day check-in call asking how the service was, to having the dentist call me personally with answers to some more questions I had.

After some hemming and hawing, I decided to go for it and set a date to get it done. I chose Sunday so that Glad would be home with the kids. I was so nervous going in, and getting a needle in my jaw first thing didn’t help. I had to wait while half my mouth went numb. The whole left side – cheek, gums, tongue and lips. (If you want to feel something weird, half a mouth is the way to go.)

I tried to lie still and not shake or tense my body. I had to force myself to relax, hard to do when you have to keep your mouth open as wide as possible while it is so numb you can’t feel it. My neck kept tensing up and hurting but I finally figured out how to relax it. At the end of 45 minutes, it was over. They took a mold of my mouth and are making a ceramic cap for the tooth that will be put on in a few days.

And the expected pain? I don’t know if it is the painkillers I’m taking or if it really just doesn’t hurt. I’ve not had any pain. Actually, the thing that has bothered me the most in the past 24 hours is the cut on the side of my tongue that I must have gotten from one of the dental tools.

I feel so much better now that it is done. No more throb or ache in my tooth. No more trying to dig out whatever particle of food happened to be stuck there at the moment. No more avoiding chewing on that side. It’s over.

Now I just have about six other fillings to look forward to.  😦

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I Finally Forced Myself To Go To the Dentist and This is What Happened

I hate pain of any sort. I’ve always had a very low pain tolerance level. Even a light headache will send me scrambling for a painkiller because otherwise I will be tossing and turning in bed unable to do anything.

About 12 years ago I got a small cavity in the furthest molar on the bottom left side of my mouth. When I went in to have it filled, the experience was so painful that I never had it refilled when that filling eventually fell out.

Then I got pregnant with Logan and the tooth went from small cavity to gaping hole on one side. And it got worse with each subsequent pregnancy. Most of the time it didn’t hurt. Other times it ached so badly I would cry. I used the excuse that I was pregnant or breastfeeding to not go, but the reality was that I was reluctant to get it fixed because of my earlier painful experience.

A few months ago, the molar directly above it began hurting. Since the pain was off and on, I figured it was a cavity and I slowly worked up the courage I needed to go to a dentist. I kept putting it off, until a few days ago when the pain was so severe that I couldn’t sleep.

I finally went to a local dentist and showed him the two teeth that were hurting. I had a full dental x-ray done (the machine that goes around your head and you have to bite this plastic thing and close your eyes, very weird), and the dentist showed me two things.

First, the huge cavity may or may not be salvageable. A specialist will come and check it out and decide whether a root canal, filling and capping the tooth, would be best, or pulling it out. I still don’t know which I’d prefer, though I’m leaning towards pulling.

Second, the tooth that I thought was a new cavity is not one. The pain I’ve been feeling that extends through my whole jaw and even to my ear is caused by an extra tooth that is up in the gum trying to push its way down on top of the tooth that is already there. There is one on the other side of my mouth as well.

The only solution to end the pain? Surgery to remove the tooth! I’m freaking out at the prospect, but with a pain that doesn’t let me sleep unless I have a hot water bottle, I am ready to do it. The thought of having my mouth sliced open and having to endure days of swelling and pain afterwards is not fun. But being pain-free afterwards is worth it.

Besides, I may just lose some more weight from this, being stuck on a liquid diet until I can eat without pain. I’ll probably be inhaling painkillers like candy for a while.

I’ll keep you posted about how it goes.

Our Move – Progress Update

In case you are new here and have not read any of my posts from a few months ago, you should know that we are planning to move to Canada some time next year. (One thing I have discovered since moving from Blogger to WordPress is that a lot more people find and read your posts. I’m still figuring out how it all works.)

To date, we have retained the help of an attorney who specializes in immigration cases; have filled out innumerable forms; have gone over said forms with the help of an assistant multiple times, in order to make sure everything is just right; and yesterday Glad and the kids  had their required medical checkups.

Normally my kids nap, but in order to make it to our appointment on time, we had to leave right after lunch. At first it was all fun and games, being out of the house, no need to nap, extra play, but the length of time we were there began to take its toll. Glad had to fill out a mile of paperwork for himself and the kids, and then we had to wait 2 hours before any of the required tests began.

The kids spent that time reading books, drawing, and exploring. Then, when they got bored with that, they ran around despite my attempts to get them to walk or sit down.  After two hours on the fourth floor, we were sent to the second floor for the tests, right around the time that Scarlett couldn’t last any longer and fell asleep.

I was concerned about what they might require and how we would deal with tired kids getting blood tests. Logan especially would freak out, I knew. But I needn’t have worried. Only daddy needed the blood test, and Logan learned to pee in a jar for his urine test. There were separate test requirements for kids under 5 and over 5, so the girls didn’t need the urine test. They were measured (height and head circumference) and weighed, and a doctor gave them a once-over. Logan kept moving away because her hands were freezing cold and she finally resorted to putting a glove on to get it done. Logan and Lila almost ransacked her office, and she had to call in a nurse to hold sleeping Scarlett so I could dress and undress the other two, keep Logan from knocking everything over and Lila from drawing on every paper in sight. (I think it was about this time when I began to dream of vodka and bedtime.) 🙂 Logan has ADHD so keeping him cooped up a long time is not fun. He begins to do things you didn’t think a child could ever dream up.

We had to wait a while longer while Glad was checked and met with a separate doctor, and they were all so bored and tired, and hungry. I hadn’t brought a snack for them since I had nothing in the house and we had forgotten to pick one up. Scarlett only had a short nap, and they all kept moving the whole time, so finally, after 3 hours, we left and Logan and Lila had a short nap in the taxi on the way home.

They fussed and cried at being woken, and then begged for snacks, but I gave them dinner instead, seeing as it was nearly 6 p.m. and they usually eat at 6:30. They watched a video and ate, and when they were finally in bed at 9 p.m., they went to sleep quickly instead of taking a long time like they normally do.

As for Glad and I, we were in bed by 10. I can’t remember when I last went to bed so early, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and I needed the extra sleep.

Update on Logan – Psycometry Results

Wow, my blogging is becoming more sporadic than ever. I need to get back into it. Ok, this is the next part of Logan’s story. Here we go.

At our visit to the doctor, he recommended we first have a psycometry done for Logan. I had never heard of one and had no idea what it was or what to expect. We were able to get an appointment for the next afternoon, and Logan and I headed off to the other end of town.

As it turns out, it was basically a mental skils exam, done verbally. First the doctor got details from me about Logan, beginning with his birth and covering most of what I talked about in this post. Then she spent over an hour asking Logan questions, mainly having to do with memory and recall, storytelling and so on. He did well considering the appointment was during his nap time and he was tired.

Once he was done, we waited to talk with the head doctor of the center and he fell asleep on my lap. I can’t remember the last time that happened. It felt funny cause he is so big. I even had to carry him into the office and he slept through my meeting with the doctor. She told me that I shouldn’t worry to much about the ADHD because it is possible for him to outgrow it.

After a week we got the results of the test. While his physical age is 4 years, 8 months, the test put his mental age at 5 years, 4 months! Wow! He has no problems there. It also showed that, while he did have developmental delays with his gross motor skills, he has caught up. The main thing we have to focus on now is his behavioral development and getting him to calm down and not be so hyper. This the doctors hope to accomplish through physiotherapy.

Tomorrow we have a meeting with yet another doctor, one who specializes in ADHD.  From there we will take the next steps.

And some good news: we found a new school for Logan. Yes! This particular school combines Early Learning methods with Montessori methods, making for a rather unique-to-India educational approach. But we feel Logan will do well there because he won’t be required to sit at a table for long hours. The director was personable and made me feel like she was genuinely interested in helping Logan make progress. She was impressed that he is already reading, and, since they are already working on cursive, she has offered to give him some one-on-one help so he can catch up to his class. The class is small, only 5 students, and Logan makes 6, but that means more personal attention. He starts monday.

So that is your update for now. There will be more soon when we know what the next step is.

Update on Logan – Visting the Doctor

Thank you, everyone, for your concern and prayers for Logan. Having that kind of support is just what I needed and made it easier for me to proceed.

Yesterday we went to see the specialist. First Glad was going to go alone with Logan, but I felt I needed to be there since I am with him most of the time, so we all ended up going. We got there early to get in line since, like with most doctors here, there was no actual appointment time but it is first come, first serve. As it was we had to wait over an hour for our turn.

I was well-prepared with stuff to occupy the kids since I knew this would not be a child-friendly place. They sat on the benches and looked at books, then had a snack, listened to daddy’s 1-minute stories, ran around the waiting area (since they had missed their trip to the park), and found another child to play with. They danced and sang till I finally pulled out my backup activity – paper and crayons. Then they all (the other boy included) sat and drew, or had daddy draw for them, until it was time to go in.

We 5 crammed into the tiny office but the doctor’s first request, after greeting Logan, was that Glad take the kids out since he felt we shouldn’t discuss Logan in front of him. I hadn’t expected that but was impressed by this doctor’s consideration for Logan’s feelings.

I had a fairly long talk with him, laying out most of what I wrote in the last post. I began with his prematurity and motor skill delays, then his behavior and how he wasn’t able to stay in school. He mostly listened as I tried to remember all the pertinent stuff, then he asked some questions. His professional diagnoses is that Logan has ADHD, not autism. I asked about the difference since so many of the things Logan does pointed to autism. He said that an autistic child won’t interact with you directly, but when Logan came in he shook hands and greeted the doctor, so autism is not a concern. Whew!

So now we have to go to another doctor to get a psycometry done, whatever that is. Then we bring the results back and plan how to proceed in treating his behavior. They want to put together things we can do at home to help calm him down and control his behavior; medication being a last resort. We don’t want to medicate him if it can be avoided.

This doctor also gave us the name of a school that deals with children with these kinds of difficulties, and it just happens to be in our neighborhood. We’ll be visiting them too.

So that is how things stand now. More updates will come as we find out more. If anyone knows first-hand about dealing with ADHD or if you can direct me to some specific info on it, I’d appreciate it.

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