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Degranulation station

Most of my teeth erupted later than they were supposed to, some by years. My last molars came in when I was 25. I had my wisdom teeth and three molars removed around that time. We left the one that wasn’t fully erupted. When it finally emerged, it had a cavity. My first cavity, in a place where I couldn’t brush.

In the last few years, I had more cavities, all in that same tooth. One of them was a pretty straightforward filling. The other was at the gumline and caused by acid rot from vomiting. My dentist patched it up but the placement is awkward and over time, it has fallen out and gotten bigger.

I throw up pretty regularly and take massive antihistamine doses that dry out my mouth. So it was not terribly surprising when last week, my tooth started hurting a lot. I walked down to my dentist’s office and verified that I do in fact have a huge cavity in this same tooth. Given the damage, I would need a crown to fix it, and that requires lots of strange materials in my mouth. In order to have it done by dentists who know me and my disease, it would take multiple procedures as well, and I have to premedicate heavily for each procedure.

“Or we could just pull it,” she said. That was the winner. Take it away.

I react really badly to pain and as long as my pain is managed, I have no problem with procedures. But this requires some frontloading with IV meds and the ability to give more if necessary. My dentist can’t do any anesthesia but local in her office. I called oral surgeons who extracted my teeth before I was diagnosed. They wouldn’t work on me in the office because I’m a high anesthesia risk. (Which, in fairness, I am.)

So I visited the oral surgery office at the Brigham which inexplicably does not do IV sedation unless you are in an OR, and everyone agrees I need twilight sedation so that means I need an OR. First available is in late April. I called all the people and did all the things. Unless I end up in the hospital as a result of this tooth, they can’t move it up. I’m trying to come up with a workable solution, which I expect will be something like temporary filling to get me to the April date. Just ridiculously irritating.

I expect things like having pieces of my GI tract removed or devices implanted in my body to be complicated. It is the complexity of things that should be easy that is difficult. It should not be this hard to get a simple extraction.

I have been having this issue with my vision recently where later in the day, my vision feels darker, but when I turn on more lights, it hurts my eyes. I made an appointment to see an eye doctor at the same practice as my PCP. This guy took one look at me and my port and said I needed to see a specialist to have my eyes dilated because he wasn’t comfortable dilating them. I have my eyes dilated every two years. It’s never a problem. So I had to make another appointment for next month and now wait for that. Stupid.

I am fortunate that I am not particularly sensitive to chemicals, especially given my line of work. But I am very sensitive to certain cleaners. I’m so sensitive to some that everyone who works with me knows about it. I’m so sensitive that when I started telling this story at work today, I said, “You know how I react to bleach?” and my coworkers nodded knowingly, “Yes.”

Anyway, I came home on Tuesday and opened the door to my hallway and in thirty seconds was on my hands and knees on the floor, coughing and spitting out mucous. My landlord had cleaned the hallway with something that triggered a reaction. My respiratory tract was on fire and producing mucous like some gross sci-fi monster and this nasty wet cough and a headache that felt like it was trying to scalp me and I have lived here for three years are you fucking kidding me right now?

My dog got very upset and ran around the apartment barking authoritatively at lights while I lay on the floor coughing and feeling sorry for myself. It took two days to get rid of the smell using an aggressive amount of door opening, haphazardly arranged fans and kitty litter that my dog is scared of.

Some readers sent me messages to make sure I was okay since I just dipped out with no explanation. I’m right here, at Degranulation Station.

*makes choo-choo train noise*