Friday, July 20, 2007

Wild Goose Chase

I'm starting to fall apart...not emotionally, but physically - the emotional part may be soon to follow if this keeps up. Maybe its cause I'm getting closer to 30 and that starts to happen? If you know me at all, you know I'm not a big fan of doctors, dentists or anyone else that has the right to poke, prod or drill into your body. And since moving out to Tennessee, I've managed to find all my doctors just fine, good ones too that I really like...but there has been one that I've procrastinated on finding...and that would be a dentist. Eww. I can't stand going to the dentist and I spend hours and even days before my appointments very anxious.

Well I've finally been having so much pain in my right upper jaw, that I made myself go and had it checked out. My friend Leslie recommended her dentist Dr. Shulman. I made my appointment and prepared myself to find out I needed a filling. He was nice enough and took some x-rays and said that he thought I might need a root canal, since he couldn't find a cavity where I was experiencing pain, but he wasn't sure. Lovely. I've had one of those, they're no fun, but neither is anything you experience at a dentist. So he tells me I'm going to have to see an Endodontist Specialist to be sure. Ok...

I make an appointment with Dr. Sheats for two days later per Dr. Shulman's recommendation. I go through the whole anxiety thing again with another restless night of tossing & turning and dreaming of needles, Novocaine and drills. But at least I'm going to do this before our trip to Chicago the next day and get it over with. So I go in to see Dr. Sheats and they do all these fun little tests - the bite test, where you literally bite on a stick (something I could have done myself); a cold test, where they put freezing cold water on a q-tip and touch it to your teeth to see if you experience pain (again, could have done that at home); and finally, a tapping test, where they bang the crap out of your teeth with their little metal tool, once again to see if I feel any pain. And I'm imagining these highly-technical tests aren't free. After all of this, I'm now in quite a bit of pain, more from the tests than my actual ailment. So Dr. Sheats tells me I need the root canal and takes me off to the billing department. They tell me it'll cost $500 out of pocket! Excuse me? I might as well fly home and get it done for next to nothing! Um, no thank you! So I leave that dentist office and go off in search of another Endodontist that is actually covered by my insurance. Now we're at the point of scheduling my third dentist appointment and having no actual work being done so far. My pain isn't unbearable, so I make my third appointment for a week later, which was yesterday morning. Again, starting to get super nervous and just really wanting to get this over with.

Finally I see Dr. Murray. Very nice guy, does all the same tests - biting, tapping and chilling. No pain. He looks at my xrays and tells me I DON'T need a root canal. And as my grandmother Ann would've said "Oh for crying out loud!". This dentist tells me that he believes that what can often be mistaken as a need for a root canal is actually pain caused from clenching and what looks to be the start of TMJ. I actually think he might be right with this one. I don't have one particular tooth in pain, but the right side of my face and ear hurts off and on and I know I do have a tendency to clench at night and when under stress. The need for three different dentist appointments was enough to stress me out. I guess eventually I'll need to head back to the original dentist Dr. Shulman and get fitted for a night guard to see if that helps. To top it all off, I've developed white sores in the back of my throat. Yea me. See, I told you I'm falling apart. I'm very much looking forward to this weekend of sleeping in with my hunny, catching up on So You Think You Can Dance, lounging at the pool with Kati and baking some yummy treats.

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