Life Lesson: Doctors and Hair Salons

Sydney and the wonder pup, Ella.

You know those weeks where you blame it on your job, the weather, the kids, the time change and then you are just like, “whatever planet that is messing with me better move out of retrograde or wherever it’s not supposed to be soon or someone is going to get hurt?”  Yeah, the end of March was definitely  one of those times.  It marched right over top off us like a roaring lion showing us who is boss. G and I seem to have these weeks and months where we live in a parallel universe of bad luck.  If it is going to go wrong it will and rest assured we will be doing it at the very same time.

This last week was no exception, as spring break rolled in so did the bad juju.  I should have been able to see the signs. On the first day of spring break bad weather arrived and cancelled school and work all over town.  When you haven’t planned a tropical getaway for spring break or even an overnight stay in a cheap hotel you can bet your you-know-what that the beautiful weather you have been experiencing will become a blizzard warning as soon as spring break hits.

We survived the first few days with minimal scarring but by the beginning of the week the real party was just beginning to rear its ugly head.

Monday night we received a phone call from our middle daughter who was having serious pain in her jaw.  She had a root canal about 6 months prior to this and had been back to her, let’s just call him her ghetto dentist, several times due to pain.  Most recently the crown had popped off her tooth.  At that point, I strongly suggested that she see a new dentist.  She protested and felt it would be easier to just go back to the original dentist.

Big Mistake. HUGE.

I told her enough was enough and she needed to get a recommendation from someone else.  She did and on Tuesday she got in to see a new dentist immediately.  That is when I received the phone call that her original root canal had not been done properly by the aforementioned dentist. The tooth was infected, the roots had not all been filled in, and there was what appeared to be a drill bit in one of the canals.  She was promptly sent to a fancy endodontist.  I say fancy because he worked in what Sydney referred to as the Taj Mahal.

They gave her antibiotics to clear the infection and told her she would need a new root canal in 48 hours.
I began contemplating a trip to Nashville once we realized how much pain she was in, the severity of the infection, and the fact that she was unable to function without narcotics.  As I said before, this was spring break so not only were we NOT doing anything, now I was considering going out of town.  This discussion did not go well with our youngest and to make matter’s worse our oldest called on her way home to let us know that she was seriously thinking about ending her relationship with her boyfriend.  I was sensing some unhappy girls when I told them what was happening.

While I hated to leave my girls that were home, I had this nagging feeling that I really needed to be in Nashville.  I was also getting pretty nervous about the infection spreading.  I booked the ticket for Wednesday so I could be there for the root canal on Thursday morning.  This allowed me the evening home with the other two to eat junk food, watch movies, and have therapy with my heartbroken girl.

On my way to the airport, the middle daughter called to let me know she was worse.  Her face was severely swollen and the pain was excruciating.  I told her to call the endodontist immediately and boarded the plane.  By the time I arrived a few hours later she had been put on stronger antibiotics and given more narcotics.  She was also told they couldn’t perform a root canal because they couldn’t get to her tooth.  It was postponed until the following week, but she was given the personal phone number of her endodontist and nurse just in case.

While I felt better being there I was sick to my stomach thinking about how long this infection had been attacking her. While I hoped the antibiotics were working, I was concerned that the infection was spreading rapidly given her pain and overall demeanor.

By Thursday morning, she was substantially worse and I was thinking that we were going to end up in the ER.  The doctor asked her to come back because they needed to drain out the infection at the very least.  Upon arriving at the endodontist he greeted me with the somber news that the infection was spreading.  After reviewing the x-rays and examining her mouth he felt the best course of action was to have the tooth extracted immediately.  Sydney asked for a hammer and a chisel and she would remove it herself.  He felt an oral surgeon would be a better choice and he personally called the surgeon and sent us on our way.

After another consultation, the surgeon concurred that the tooth needed to be extracted. They drugged her up, gave her some laughing gas, and pulled it out.  Relieved doesn’t even begin to cover how we felt at this point.  Since the source of the infection had been removed, they said she would begin feeling better quickly.  Within about 6 hours, the swelling in her eyes began to subside and we finally felt like she was out of the woods.

It took another 3 days for her to feel like she had reached the other side and by day 4 she was back to herself although still pretty exhausted from the ordeal.  Me?  I would like a redo on spring break, but I am so grateful that she is healthy.

So, what is the moral to this story; the life lesson that we can all take away?  I thought a lot about this while I was in Nashville.  I mean, the original dentist has a big practice and she was referred by a friend who had a good experience there.  How does one know?  The short answer is we don’t always know and we just have to trust our instincts.  My new rule of thumb for our middle daughter who is a musician and cares about how she looks:
If you wouldn’t get your hair cut in this part of town then it’s a safe to say you shouldn’t go to the doctor there either.

It’s not a tried and true rule of thumb, it’s just a general guideline to help her along her path.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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