I've been fairly lax in posting here on my Lady with Lupus blog. Mainly because, thank God, Lupus has not bitten me lately...(Knock on wood) and I've been busy doing things I can't do when I'm in the midst of a flare. You all know about that, don't you?
Sjogren's Syndrome kicked me in the butt last November. My teeth suffered so badly from the dry mouth SJ produces that I had to make a decision: Either keep letting my teeth fall out or get dentures.
Dentures are expensive. However, my health care is expensive, too, since I realized my teeth were sending poisons into my already burdened body and making my overall health suffer.
I went for an evaluation to a place a friend had recommended. They explained everything in detail, how this is a process and not an event, and --ahem-- the total cost, to be paid up front.
My dear daughter in CA agreed to pay for it, bless her heart. So, we began the process.
The initial pulling, grinding and sewing took a couple of hours. I was of course, given numbing shots, you know the kind, where your face and lips swell up to the size of a football and when you drink water, it dribbles out of one of your mouths. Plural. I was told "there will be blood" and they weren't kidding. I coped with that during my waking hours, but when I was asleep, I colored my pillowcases red.
Took the stitches out a few days later; they were already coming out, anyway. The dentist said he had never seen anybody heal as rapidly as I have. Huh. And I have lupus and diabetes. How can that be? But it is true; he's amazed. Of course, I wanted my dentures yesterday, not now. But the assistant placed about a Cadillac-sized dentures in my mouth with instructions to learn how to take them out and re-insert them. I had no problem with taking them out. I couldn't eat or talk with the darned things.
But, ever mindful this is a process, not an event, I plodded along. We passed the six month mark Tuesday, with me becoming quite proficient in insertion and removal of my new pearly-whites. I experimented with different brands of denture adhesive, but none of them kept the bottom plate from sliding around.
What to do? Heh. Well, we had talked about implants....they could insert posts into the gum line and kind of "hook" the lower plate on the post.
Tuesday was the day. The day the dentist planted two metal posts to have the bone grow around and make stable. Then, in six months, we can put the posts on for the denture to fit into.
Today is Thursday. I look like I've been in a bar fight, with bruises around my mouth and chin. I feel like I've been in a bar fight, too, since the pain killer prescribed for me right after the surgery, proved to be one that I have adverse reactions to. I began shaking all over. It wouldn't stop. My muscles twitched and jumped and I found it hard to walk. Son had to help me into the bathroom. Into the kitchen, where I insisted I could make my own soup. I tried to sleep, but didn't get a wink of sleep all night. But I made up for it on Wednesday, taking one nap after another.
Today, I'm finally not shaking. Being a diabetic, ever mindful of how my body reacts to low sugar levels, it was hard for me to determine whether or not I was having a blood sugar dive in the middle of the night. I had to get up, shaking as I was, and take my glucose reading.
Ha. Not low blood sugar; it's still the blankety-blank pain killers. I went back to bed. So yesterday was a blur. I must say, too, that my brain was in a fog. Similar to one of those Lupie fogs we all get from time to time. I was under stress; my body had been assaulted; and I shouldn't even try to make sense to anybody, when I couldn't even form a complete thought.
So today, so far, is going better.
I have to admit, though, I'm getting tired of all this dental stuff. I want my dentures to fit YESTERDAY. And without denture adhesive, which leaves a tacky residue in my mouth and I have to get rid of by drinking warm liquids.
I go back on next Thursday to have the stitches taken out. Looking at my former experience with taking sutures out, there won't be a whole lot of "taking out," since they had fallen out, anyway, or at least part of them were gone. I hope this takes the same path.
Okay, in six months, I go back to have this process finished: they will put the metal posts inside the pocket they've already made, and then my lower plate will be stabilized.
Six months! I will have to cope with this for another six months. And the dentist warned me about using too much dental adhesive, but how else can I keep the lower denture from moving? Heh. Bring on the Poli-grip. Industrial Sized.
Well, they told me at the beginning this was going to be a Process, not an Event. Don't you just hate it when somebody tells you something like that, and they're right?
Six more months.
Sigh. I just hope this doesn't bring on a big ol' flare.
PS: I also blog at another site, mostly on writing issues, but I invite you to put it on your list to check out, because every once in a while I also whine on that blog...but not as much as here.