Monday, March 30, 2009

Yay for Tractors!

Thanks to the centimetres and centimetres of falling snow, Carman came over just after supper to plow our driveway (thank you Carman!) with his tractor. As per usual, Alan started running to the window yelling "Carman's here!! Carman's here! With his Tractor!!" as soon as he heard him. Once he was done, Carman popped in to say hi (and snag a loaf of fresh bread, of course), and asked Alan if he wanted to come see the tractor. Normally, Alan won't go near it, and often is a little shy of Carman as well. Today, however, he went right for it. He put his boots and coat on as fast as he could and was in Carman's arms fast as you could blink. He got to steer, raise/lower the bucket, and then Carman took him for a drive to the end of the road and back. What a lucky boy! As Tina observed on facebook, I must be becoming more and more like her, because I was outside, in a snowstorm, in my Pyjamas taking pictures, of course. Thanks again, Carman!

Friday, March 27, 2009


Trees outside our place after the ice storm
Eating Burger King by candlelight when we had no power
At Church, where a cross was dedicated to Scott's memory
Alan doesn't seem to be a big fan of Grandma's driving

Alan and Nathan after a sleepover. Tight Squeeze!

Crawling through the tube at the Treehouse Cafe. A Super cool place, where we have already booked Alan's birthday party in October!

Me and Alan coming down the slide

With Nanny in one of Daddy's former sweaters

The Whole Story

I have to say that what I have been through in the last few weeks did nothing to help my previously slow-improving feeling towards dentists. As I stated in the last post, I had my wisdom teeth out on February 5th. I had put it off for about ten years, as I have an extreme phobia of dentists, likely stemming from a bad root canal experience, and a stream of holier-than-thou bad attitude dentists when I was a little younger. But, as I have made a commitment to improve my dental health, this was a step I needed to take.

The initial surgery seemed to go well, and I was slightly swollen on my left side (one tooth out there) but not at all on the right when I went back to work about four days after having them out. The extraction itself was quick and relatively painless, as they gave me some drug that would have made me not care if Adolf Hitler himself was doing the extraction with a pair of pliers. At any rate, things seemed to be going ok, and healing nicely.

A couple weeks after everything had healed, it started to swell and get really sore again, to the point where I was back to living on tylenol and advil every four hours. Around the 5th of March, I went to a family Doctor for some prescription refills, and he had a look. He figured it was an abscess and prescribed antibiotics, but also said I should get to my dentist, pronto. Ok. The next day, I went to see my Dentist (Dr. #2), and he said that the antibiotics should take care of it, but if it didn't get better in two days, or if it got worse, to go straight to the ER. Yay.

That was a Thursday, and the next day we went to Mom's for the weekend (the church was dedicating a cross to Scott's memory). On Sunday, though, I was in agony and went to the ER in Amherst upon returning there. Dr. #3 saw me (after about five hours) and said that he couldn't really tell what was going on without a better way of looking at it, and so scheduled me for a Catscan the next day. The catscan led me to Dr. #4 (incidentally, I have taught two of his sons, and his wife was my doctor and the prenatal clinic), who showed me what looked like Osteomyelitis of the jaw (infection in the bone), but wanted a consult with the Oral Maxillofacial clinic in Halifax where I had the original surgery done. Sigh. Back to Hfx less than 24 hours after leaving.

So. On March 10th, I see Dr. #5 (Much to my dismay. I didn't particularly like this guy), the OMF resident. He told me that they "See this all the time" and just upped my dose of antibiotics, but was nice enough to give me some Tylenol 3 when I burst into tears on the examination table. I'm sorry, but when you're in agony, you don't want to hear "we see this all the time" and "why would they want a catscan?" in equally derisive tones. If they see this all the time, they need a bigger freakin' hospital, let me tell you. But I went home, sore, swollen, and with another appointment to come back in a couple of days.

OK. Thursday, the 12th, next appointment. My face is MORE sore, and MORE swollen. The antibiotics are obviously NOT working. DUH!! (can you sense the frustration? I thought you could....) Enter Dr. #6, whom Jessie refers to as "the cute one" (she's right, he was). He decided to do a surgical drainage. Yay. More surgery (but more happy drugs too!). He also inserted a drain into the infected area. Ready for the super icky part? The drain opened into my mouth with the consistency of a wet noodle, and that's where the infection drained. Well I'm sorry if it sounds gross, it tasted worse. Oh, and more Tylenol 3. And told to come back on Monday to have the drain taken out. Woo freakin Hoo.

So I attempt to put a positive spin on the next round of swelling (By this time, I look like a Klump from the Nutty Professor with Eddy Murphy on the left side of my head), and try to assume that it's from the latest round of surgery. By Saturday, though, when Alan and BJ are back visiting me, I'm in agony, the Tylenol 3 isn't working, and I can't sleep, eat, or open my mouth enough to get my puffer in. So Lindsay calls the OMF resident on call and he agrees to see me. So I"m off to see doctor #7. He takes a look, knows I'm in pain, and is perched atop a fence as to what to do with me. On the one hand there is a LOT of swelling. On the other, its mostly a "soft" swelling and could very well be from the surgery (Infection is usually a firmer swelling and hot to the touch, apparently). He argued back and forth with himself a bit, but decided to prescribe some Dilautid for the pain (yay) and send me back home (sigh). Well. I took 4mg of the stuff right away (and by this time I'm having to convince the pharmacist that Im not a narcotics addict, since I"ve had 3 prescriptions from 3 doctors at 3 different pharmacies) and was marginally better. But I still didn't sleep, and in the morning I was taking 6mg, and still vertical. I guess this was a red flag to Lindsay, though, and she insisted that I come to the ER that night to see another doctor.

Alan went home with BJ, and Momma took me into the ER. Lindsay had me see a wonderful Doctor (#8?), who immediately grasped the seriousness of the problem. The swelling was now hard and warm, and I was almost in constant tears from the pain and pressure, as well as just plain old frustration. So he gets on the phone with the OMF resident on call (dr #7 from the day before) who says that he "almost" admitted me, and would be right there. Finally...some relief in the form of Morphine :P . They had a look at me, took a culture, and admitted me to the hospital. I took a fun little ambulance transfer to the VG site, and put in a dingy little hospital room, but all by myself, thankfully.

The next morning, after a restless night, I met Dr. #9, who appears to be in charge of patients on the OMF floor. He was a nice guy, attended by dr's 5 and 6, as well as a host of students and probably other residents. He decided they would do another surgical drainage and insert a new drain. Surprisingly, it worked very well. That afternoon I was feeling much better, and managing the pain on Tylenol and advil again. They also switched my antibiotics, but since it was a type where people who are allergic to penicillin may react to it, they were a little nervous, and had a nurse with me for the hour the IV was running.

I have been thinking that I must have scared a few of the doctors, because that afternoon I met Dr. #10, the guy "in charge". The nurse said he "never comes to see patients", and yet he knew every single thing that had happened to me over the past week or two. She also told me that 3 or 4 doctors were calling the floor to check on me throughout the day. We see this all the time, though, what?

At any rate, to sum it up a little quicker, they kept me in the hospital until that Thursday (the 19th), and let me out only if I promised to stay in town for another week and come in for frequent checkups. So that's how I had the week before March break off, spent the weekend of in the hospital, and the week after off as well. Now, I'm allowed to go back on Monday, but have to come back in two weeks for a final checkup. With any luck, it's completely done by then. I still have a bit of a lump on my face, but nothing like it was. And that, I think, is the WHOLE story, of ten doctors and a swollen head!