Flying somewhere always seems to take longer than the trip home, and this time was no exception. The only real problem we’d had getting ready to go was that we couldn’t get seats together on the flight beforehand, which made things difficult; we did not want to be separated from Joelle or each other, but there was no way to change things in advance, and we were in scattered places around the plane. Thankfully that problem was solved when we checked in early, and a simple request got our seating rearranged and us side by side on both flights down.
Thinking back now, the entire trip is a blur, and it doesn’t feel like it actually lasted eight days. It was merely getting up early every morning and having to be somewhere–whether to the dentist or the airport. There was an order to everything though, and here’s how it went: After our arrival Saturday night and a day of rest (and recovery) on Sunday, my surgery was bright and early Monday morning. There was the essential pre-surgery prayer by Doctor Lane, and by 10:30 everything was over and done. I have a few ‘detached’ memories of surgery this time, and I remember slowly coming around before it was finished. Everything seemed ‘distant’, and though I knew where I was was and what was going on, it was not at all alarming or painful. I didn’t need the long wake-up time I’d needed the last time either, but then again surgery only took a few hours on this morning instead of the seven hours it had taken back then. The cavitation sites were not so painful, and I felt fine by the time we left the office and got back to the hotel.
Tuesday morning was Joelle’s turn to get her teeth cleaned and Paul’s surgery, and since he was the sole driver in our group (who was not going to be allowed to drive on that day) we were blessed by being picked up and driven back later by two women from the dentist’s office in a company car used for just that purpose. That solved the problem of how we were going to get back and forth to the office, and from there everything went along without a hitch. Paul’s surgery was without complications too, and he was done in less than three hours. The most difficult problem on Tuesday was finding a vein, in him and in me, and we were both looking like pincushions because they were having trouble getting an IV into either of us (him for surgery and me for an extra IV Vitamin C treatment). In the end they used a gas (nitrous oxide?) that expanded the veins, and that worked for both of us. He got his conscious sedation and I got my vitamin. We were home not long after noon, and Paul felt good enough to drive by suppertime. We got take-out pizza for supper with enough leftovers to refrigerate for the next day, because having food on hand is essential when traveling with a 12-year-old!
Wednesday was after surgery check-up day for Paul, so we were back in the office for that and an accupressure treatment for him. Joely’s double row of teeth on the right side (permanent teeth coming in alongside her baby teeth instead of pushing them out) had produced the answer I’d expected, and she was soon scheduled to get the three baby teeth she needed extracted on Thursday. Wednesday night caused a few problems for Paul though, and he was up using ice on his face that night when his right cheek began to ache. On Thursday morning we were scheduled to meet with Dr. Huggins at the hotel to discuss my blood test results, but that was changed to the conference room at the dentists’ office when Joelle’s appointment to get her teeth pulled coincided with that meeting.
We arrived at the office in plenty of time, but Joely’s teeth were out long before we were finished with our meeting. Paul was put on an anodyne machine to soothe his cheek, but he wasn’t able (or we didn’t push hard enough) to get anyone to look inside his mouth that day to see if everything was all right. In the meantime we were discovering that my blood, that had been drawn on Monday, had not actually been tested; the blood had hemolized, so they were unable to get any current numbers. That left Dr. Huggins playing dectective as he went through last October’s two blood test numbers and tried to extrapolate what might be going on with me. Using his extensive knowledge and years worth of evidence compiled from other patients to conclude where I might be headed, he came up with a plan for the near future until we could get my blood retested. The process he went through was an education in itself, but the final admonition was that I was not going to get a quick answer; it was going to take time to undo the damage that had been done by uncleaned cavitations and the bacteria that had built up in them over the last six months since I’d had those two teeth pulled. We did have a plan to follow now though, and I was put on two low dose antibiotics that I was to alternate a week at a time for the next month. At that point we’d retake the blood test and see where we are.
Friday morning was our last trip to the office to have my permanent bridge and last crown inserted, and to have my new plate fitted. Dr. Lane had already told me she was going to be out of town that day, so Dr. Stuart did all the final placements and fitting. Having the new crown cemented on made me cringe (the cement is VERY cold, and I have VERY sensitive teeth), and the new plate, though it fits extremely well, also had to be inserted overtop the surgery site I’d only had done five days earlier. That made Friday morning the most painful day of our trip for me, and for Paul too. His sore mouth had turned into a full-blown infection, and Dr. Stuart ended up having to see him too. A cut was made to drain the nastiness and, because we were flying out the following morning, an antibiotic was also prescribed. Our week in Texas was coming to an end and two out of three of us were in pain. No pain, no gain, I guess!
Next time I’ll detail the coming home process and how things have gone since then. Things do get better, and being home makes it all more bearable. Until then.