I have a couple of important half started or half finished posts in draft form, I wanted to have at least one up by today, but the intense raging pain that has overtaken my life and left me shaking and in tears since this afternoon have me all screwed up. The recurring ache in my tooth that I have had flare up for the past few days blew up into something I really hoped it would not today.
I am prone to infections in my jaws that need to be treated surgically, about every 4 or 5 years I get them. The last time it happened, I had no dental coverage (I still don't have any) so I borrowed a bunch of money and went to the cheapest dentist I could find - big mistake. He took out one molar on the upper right side and then did a root canal on the tooth next to it and covered the empty hole with a bridge and the root canal tooth with a cap, attaching them. It always felt wrong, like it was put in backwards or something, and never really stopped being sore. But I was a new mother with a baby at home and nobody to really watch her for me and I was out of borrowed money anyway, so I couldn't go back and I learned to live with it. Two or three years ago, the cap fell apart, just disintegrated, leaving only half of a fake tooth or whatever you want to call it, with holes and jagged edges that I have to be careful not to cut my tongue or cheek on. Since then, every few months something must be getting caught up in there & I get an infection. I have had to resort to home remedies like cramming tea bags up in my cheek next to the bad stump of a tooth and the gum to calm it down and topical stuff like Orajel along with lots of aspirin or ibuprofen in addition to the prescription meds I already have to take for my nerve damage problem. It usually gets better after a few days. Not this time though.
The infection from that last back tooth on top spreads all the way to my front teeth and my lower jaw, along with my cheekbone under my right eye and my right ear and down into my neck where the gland on that side is swollen up nearly as big as a pool cue. It is hell. I have no money, we struggle all the time anyway but a whole bunch of bills came due, like the propane to run the stove & my doctor bills so they'll continue to see me each month to write the scripts for the meds that help keep my chronic pain condition from leaving me bedridden. Of course, as some may remember from one of my recent posts, even getting those filled is rough. I'm tapped out and haven't even paid to keep the internet and phone on yet. I have been doing whatever little paying online work I can find, like MTurk (worked 2 hours and made 50 cents yesterday) and trying to sell ad space here hoping to cover it, and buy freaking food, but an emergency surgery is not even remotely something I can swing, and this time I don't see it getting better without surgery and antibiotics. It's the worst mouth pain I have ever known, and as I said before, painful infections in my jaw are no stranger to me. I am hurting and I am scared, I don't want to gross you out, but it looks BAD up there, the flesh around the tooth on my upper jaw and even spreading to the roof of my mouth is all discolored, gray, white & even black in places, as best as I can see with a flashlight and mirror. I have a fever and chills too. I am terrified by the way it looks in there that this might be something worse than a mere infection because I've had it untreated for so long.
I hate being broke and living like I do, but this new development has me all effed up. I called around and learned that a basic extraction is between $250 and $500, more if there's complications. The A-C page has some 870 or so fans, if each could spare a dollar, I could go to the oral surgeon and maybe even keep my internet/phone connection on, maybe even have something left over for food. I hate being hungry but it is something I deal with more often than I would care to so everyone else here has enough, I am mom, that's what moms do. This blog gets between 19,000 and 23,000 page views a month, I can't do math very well, but if a tenth or so of my readers sent a buck to my tip jar I'd probably be OK. Like I said though, I am bad at math and in a lot of pain. I am sorry if this bores or annoys you but I am scared. I know that infections in one's mouth left untreated can lead to much worse things and I have young children at home who need me. I am not much good to anyone right now due to the misery.
I hate having to ask for help, but I am asking for it because I need it badly. I can't go on like this. If you know an oral surgeon in the Hudson Valley region who's like to fix a blogger's mouth in exchange for ad space, please let me know. Prayers are greatly appreciated if you can spare one or a few. Feel free to share your wisdom if you know of any cheap easily accessible remedies that actually work that might help until I find a way to get this fixed medically the way it needs to be. Again, I am sorry for the bleg and if I sound whiney but I am in pain and afraid.
Note to my trolls: this is not an opportunity for you to kick me while I'm down, no matter how badly I feel, your vitriol will still be removed unless you pay the Troll Toll. If you hate my guts and would like to mock my pain, go ahead, but pay up first so I don't ban you and then you can write all over my comments section about how awful you think I am while I go and get my emergency surgery.
To my beloved readers: if what I do here at the Zilla blog and the A-C page has been of any value to you at all and if you'd like to see me continue doing what I do, please help if you can, and yes, prayers count as help as do suggestions for what might help kill the infection that doesn't require a doctor, dentist, or a lot of money.
If you are still here and haven't yet closed your browser in disgust at my misery, thank you. I hope you all have a nice weekend. I'll try to add interesting things to the blog and A-C page if there is a lull in the pain. Anyway, thanks for reading, sorry if it is just a bunch of rambling crap, but it's hard to think clearly under the circumstances.
Thank you to the two dear friends of the A-C page who hit my tip jar today, I was able to get the topical anesthetic, a big bottle of ibuprofen and some mushy food which is how I was able to pull myself together enough to write this sorry excuse for a blog post.
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Thank you to the good Professor William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection for putting a link to this post in his sidebar.
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This post is linked in the Recommended Reads list at Pundit & Pundette. Thank you, Jill!
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UPDATE - October 8, 2011:
After much searching, I was able to find an oral surgeon who would see me for a consult today and prescribe antibiotics. Thanks to the magnificent Tip Jar Hitters, I was able to pay for that appointment & the meds. I was told it would take a day or two before the antibiotics start to subdue the infection, so please forgive me for the delay in properly thanking everyone who has linked, tweeted and donated so far. I am still pretty messed up.
There are complications to my predicament; the bad tooth with the broken cap is the end that holds a bridge together. The doctor said that if he extracts the bad tooth that is causing the infection, he would also have to remove my bridge, which will result in my having three molars missing on the upper right side - so I could basically say goodbye to chewing on that side forever. Then the doctor said he could do a root canal on the bad tooth which would spare me from having to lose it or the other two, but I nearly passed out when the receptionist gave me the first estimate for that procedure as it was several thousand dollars - I don't recall the exact number because the shock of the price really did freak me out and the whole world swam away for a few seconds as she kept saying how much each item for the procedure would be, but then I managed to stutter out that the doctor said he could do a cheaper filling instead of a new cap for me on the bad tooth and she recalculated the price to be just under two thousand dollars, still far out of my reach. The receptionist said she could knock a thousand off the tab because I am uninsured, but it is still hundreds of dollars more than I thought it would be and still far out of my reach. So, barring a miracle, it looks like I'll have to go with the first option which is going to take all but one of the four teeth behind my eye tooth on the right side.
I really do not want to lose all of those teeth, but I suppose I can learn to live with it if it means the infection will stop coming back. They cannot see me until the week of the 17th for the extraction, if I have to opt for sacrificing my other teeth along with the bad one, or the 29th if I am able to somehow cover the cost of the root canal, which would save not just the bad tooth but the other two as well. I was given a refill for the antibiotics prescription if I need it during the wait. I have to tell them what my decision is by the end of the coming week.
So that's where I am at now. Once the antibiotics start to work and I am feeling a little better, I'll be back to posting at the A-C page and this blog about things other than this bleg. Thank you to everyone who has helped thus far and to everyone who has offered kind words and prayers, God bless you all.
UPDATE II - October 10, 2011:
Thank you to everyone who has donated, linked & tweeted and to everyone who has left kind words in my comments section and offered prayers on my behalf. Words cannot adequately describe how incredibly grateful I am for you help, I am in awe at the amazing and overwhelming kindness that has been shown to me. God bless you all!
I am sorry that I didn't update this post yesterday but in addition to the raging infection in my jaw, I am also now ill, I have caught an upper respiratory infection from my husband and have been pretty out of it. Hopefully once the antibiotics start working (still waiting for relief, but they said it would take a day or two), it will help fight the new sickness in addition to the oral infection.
Thanks to all of your help, the surgery that I will need to be able to keep my teeth is now becoming a very real possibility. I never could have imagined that so many people would reach out to help someone like me.
Thank you, and God bless you.
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