Monday, September 21, 2009

Broken bridge, a temporary fix, and budget cuts

Ok, so this has been a rough coupole of weeks.

First, last week at work I broke my lower bridge of teeth somehow. A piece just snapped off. I was eating a donut, but I am fairly certain it happened a week before when I was eating something else. I heard a loud cracking sound in my right ear, and funnily enough it didnt alarm me too much, as my jaw makes all kinds of funny noises (as jaws made partially of titanium tend to do here and there). Well, I was at work and the back tooth on the right just literally fell off with part of my bridge attached to it while I was eating on my break. I freaked out of course, and went home from work. Where it had fallen off was so sharp that it was cutting into the soft tissue of my cheek- it was awful. I went to the hospital early the next morning and there was pretty much nothing else they could do. The funny thing was, that I no longer heard that odd creaking sound I've been talking about, and the rest of the bridge felt very firm, unless I chewed on the other side. Of course, the whole thing is off kilter now, being that one tooth in the very back is missing, so chewing was off limits all weekend. As Dr. Wong told me- imagine a bookshelf, and you putting so much pressure on one side that the other side just flips up and tosses all the books off. That is how it was with my bridge- putting too much pressure chewing on one side could snap the whole thing in half, and ruin my implants in the process. They told me modified liquid diet, soft foods diet, so I ate macaroni and cheese, and anything else I could mostly just swallow without choking myself to death. Sigh. They pretty much just said come back on Monday when Dr. Wong is here, and also told me my xray looked like I hadn't damaged the implant when I broke the back tooth off. So thank God for that.

So today I was at the hospital most of the morning, Dr. Wong didn't want to remove the teeth (for obvious reasons, most being that it takes the poor guy at least an hour to get them back on, you know, me being the patient with all of the "fun" issues). So he decided to repair it with it still being in my mouth. That was fun, he ended up pouring some kind of acrylic/glue-y type substance (just a guess, I didnt ask but it smelled like paint thinner) over the broken area, after getting the piece back over the exposed implant and screwed onto it. Then I had to bite down on it for 5 minutes, while it hardened over the break. It was awful. It burned (he said to wait til it got hot then tell him, but it instantly burned, since I think my cheek was so sensitive from all off the cuts the broken side gave me over the weekend) it also tasted awful and smelled. I wanted to gag. Well, it seems he got the piece re-attached, hopefully it wont be for much longer that I have to go with this temporary bridge because I haven't been eating hard things, mostly just soft things, and this still happened.

The worst news I got today was that because of budget cuts, the hospital was unable to pay the lab where they do their work on bridges and such, therefore, I wont be getting my permanent bridge until they decide to give the hospital the money they need to pay the lab. In this economy, who knows how long that could be? And unfortunately my bridge was only made to be temporary. And I know I am not the only one who's bridge has broken; Dr. Wong mentioned he had been doing a lot of temporary repairs just waiting for the budget to be fixed so they could get back into the lab to finish people's permanent bridges. I pray my denture can make it however long...I just cannot be without teeth, I am grateful my bridge broke where he was able to fix it, and that I wont have to go without, as I am sure some people are having to do. It's awful when people have to go without things like teeth in hard financial times like these. I cant imagine if they said they just had to take the teeth off and couldnt give me a timeframe of when they could actually fix them. As it is, I am still on a soft diet for the next few days til this fix "sets" and I am hungry! Its rough.

So, if you read this I could use some prayers, please pray that my temporary denture holds up? And please pray that something works out in the state's budget that my hospital can again re-open their lab so that people like me can get things we need to survive. Having teeth isn't just a cosmetic issue anymore. What a bad situation... as always I know others have it worse than me. Some are trying to come up with the money to cover their implants and teeth, and I know I dont have that issue (being a case study on ameloblastoma at this hospital) but still- if you could find it in your heart to think of me, and of this hospital, please pray that things work out. I dont know how much longer I can hold out. :(

Monday, September 7, 2009

Still waiting

I wonder how many of my posts are titled that?

Yes we are just waiting these days. I am working a lot of hours, so I have been tired lately but it is very nice to be out and among "real" people. You can forget that you have anything else going on when you try. Next week I am going to call and see when my next appointment will be. Poor Dr Wong has to come out on his days off to work on me, because it takes so long every time and he cant fit me into his regular schedule. I am not too positive what the next step is, so I guess it will be a surprise. But I will, as usual, keep you posted when I know more.