I am desperate to blow my nose; after being ‘butchered’ at the Dental Hospital yesterday the Spinster is supposed to refrain from blowing my nose for 2-3 weeks! Deep joy and frankly it’s going to be a challenge; the Spinster hates sniffers and the idea of becoming one is a tad irritating. The damage to my teeth from the Fentanyl lozenges is limited to the tooth not the root; see where this one is going?
The 10 am appointment yesterday was for three extractions; the letter instructed the Spinster to be at the Dental Hospital for 9 am for x-rays. Last time my companion (who usually drives me to the hospital on account of the parking problems) and I arrived for a similar appointment the x-ray was done in the first 5 minutes leaving us to wait for another hour. When the Spinster enquired about the delay I was told that because the Clinic can’t predict how busy the x-ray department will be they always allow an hour. Hmm whilst the Spinster accepts the logic I still find it extremely irritating; it’s not just my time being wasted what about my companion who is incredibly tolerant of the volume of appointment (and the length of the treatment).
Yesterday the Spinster attended the Clinic alone so thankfully the horrific experience wasn’t witnessed by anyone else. I had decided that I wasn’t about to leave the house at 730 am to ensure I’d been at the Hospital for 9 am. No I thought I’d do my best to be on time but if the Spinster was a few minutes late so be it! The Spinster was mining her maverick genes to the full for once. As it happened the traffic and parking situation was fine and the Spinster was there for 9 am. Of course after the Spinster had glided slowly down the Hospital corridor it was more like 908 am when I checked in.
Enquiring where I should go for the x-rays the hassled woman on the Clinic reception said she’d have to prepare a card so I should sit down. Well time passed; people came and went; the Spinster’s crutches proved a hazard for a man with a pushchair until I moved them. Not wanting to be tardy when getting the X-ray call the I had left my crutches attached to my arms allowing me to get up (relatively) quickly; so the black poles did protrude into the waiting area. I just hate being a burden; hate getting in the way or holding things up.
Of course Disability Awareness training will no doubt have advised NHS to be patient with the patient but my experience is that in practice the more people say ‘take your time’ the less they actually mean it! As happened yesterday the Spinster is asked if I’d like a wheelchair because frankly it’s easier for the staff member. Oooh does the Spinster sound cynical and ungrateful? Of course but you have to understand that whilst this Spinster can still move her body herself she intends to do so! So sorry mine yer reserves of patience and deal with it!
The dental nurse eventually came to collect me at 1010 am; the Spinster was not called for x-rays as apparently they weren’t needed! Did the apology from the dentist make any difference? No it flamin’ didn’t! When she came to collect me of course the Spinster firstly couldn’t get up and then repeatedly lost my balance! Wobbling like an ancient spinning top or perhaps an elderly weeble – remember weebles wobble but they don’t fall down? Only this Spinster did not exactly fall down rather I ended up getting up and sitting down two or three times before eventually managing to stand up! And then as I attempted to turn the corner the Spinster lurched to one side almost falling; thankfully the wall intervened. It was at this point the nurse asked if I’d like a wheelchair; the Spinster politely declined saying it was just because I’d been sitting down for over an hour!
As the Spinster and the nurse slowly promenaded to the Dentist I asked if x-rays would be required or whether the treatment would start straightaway; if the latter I would need to loo first. Of course we had to go down to the dental booth to clarify the X-ray situation before the question could be definitively answered. It’s amazing how much small talk the Spinster has to have on the tip of her tongue to accompany the journey; god knows it’s tedious but essential to break the otherwise lengthy silence! I SOOO wish it didn’t always have to be about Cruella; it makes the Spinster feel one dimensional! Heaven knows this Spinster is most certainly 3 dimensional these days but that’s another story.
When we arrive at the Dental booth, of course it’s the furthest one down the corridor, the Spinster is introduced to Josh the Dentist; oh my lord he doesn’t look old enough to be using power tools! He is best described as fresh faced aka looking a tad scared which isn’t exactly reassuring. Josh has no idea why the Spinster has received a letter asking me to come at 9 am for x-rays as he has been looking at a set of x-rays taken at the last appointment! So here comes the embarrassing bit; the return journey to the loo.
The nearest loo is in the Children’s Clinic and the Nurse says she’ll come with me; and she waits outside the door. Of course the Spinster can’t be left unsupervised in the Children’s Clinic; there are children there after all; small vulnerable people who I could presumably harm in some way? Lord knows the Spinster is simply attempting to manoeuvre my way around these small mobile hazards; the risk is all mine!
Finally the Spinster is in the chair and the real business begins. I won’t bore you with all the details; focusing on the gruesome facts, the most pertinent points as it were. Ostensibly the Spinster is here for three teeth to be extracted; this is the most urgent Fentanyl damage; believe me there will be more! The teeth are two on the bottom left jaw and one on the top right; injections are given in both areas including the bony roof of the Spinster’s mouth (horrendous is the best description of those 3 or 4).
Whilst waiting for the injections to take we indulge in small talk; the Spinster always ensures the dental practitioners are aware that the damage is not my fault, I don’t want to be judged as someone who hasn’t looked after her teeth! OK I don’t floss regularly; have you tried flossing with your eyes closed? If you can’t feel your fingers then it’s challenging to manipulate the floss; so the Spinster doesn’t floss! We chat about the Spinster’s Malawian upbringing; there is a lot of natural fluoride in the water there.
The first tooth comes out but it involves cutting the gum; and then the bone. The Spinster asks to see the offending article; the root is quite impressive in its undamaged state. The Dentist has already commented on the healthy state of the gums; presumably this was the preamble to saying they’ll recover from the cutting. The second is more difficult; more cutting is required and after 10 plus minutes the Dentist decides to ask for the assistance of the Senior Dentist covering the clinic.
Before reaching this position the Dentist and Nurse have been chatting over me; the subject is their colleagues apropos who else is working in the Clinic that day. The Spinster finds out personal details including when the Dentist asks about a female colleague he hasn’t seen for a while; the Nurse hesitates before saying ‘she had breast cancer’ and then ‘she’s only 28’. The Spinster is beginning to feel uncomfortable; a combination of realising the Dentist is out of his depth (the Nurse is gently suggesting where he should cut the gum) and the very personal information they are discussing. OK the Spinster has forgotten the name of the person being discussed but I did hear it!
The Dentist seems to have run out of implements and tools to use to extract the tooth. He seems to have gone white; later when leaving the Spinster actually asked if he was ok as he looked a bit shocked. No he said he was fine; it was just the way he looked!
Enter Ollie the Senior Dentist; he introduces himself through the facial mask so its a bit muffled. Ollie is masterful and decisive; physically he dwarf Josh. He’s wearing a kind of apron over a shirt and tie; he gloves up and gets stuck in! Ollie explains what he’s doing reassuring Josh he’d done well thus far. The second tooth comes out; to do this Ollie breaks it into two pieces, I can hear and feel it breaking. The anaesthetic has been topped up several times but it doesn’t detract from the pulling; the incredible force required to get the root out. Ollie takes over the suction and again the Spinster can see the blood in the tube.
The gum requires stitching; Ollie is a dab hand with the curiously curved needle; three stitches are needed. Josh seems relieved when Ollie offers to do the third extraction on account of the length of time the patient has been here; over an hour. The final one is the most horrific; a lot more anaesthetic is needed as it’s been so long since the proceeding‘s began.
This one is the most problematic; again it needs to be broken. Additionally the bone splinters, I can hear this happening inside my head; it’s simply horrific! Along with the tooth come fragments of both bone and a lump of tissue. Ollie shows me all the bits before saying I should avoid blowing my nose for 2-3 weeks. Evidently the sinus has been damaged; he’s already commented on the lump left behind after the last abscess. As a result of this final extraction the filling in the adjacent tooth has been damaged; after an hour and a half the Spinster is taken the emergency dentistry to have the filling repaired.
The Nurse mops the blood from the Spinster’s mouth; it’s everywhere and I can’t swill my mouth out until the next day. The Dentist advises taking ibuprofen and paracetamol alternately every 2 hours starting straightaway with the ibruprofen before the anaesthetic wears off. He’s not allowed to give me a prescription on account of the cost; on my way home I buy 16 of each for 51p!
When I get to the emergency clinic I recognise the Dentist as it was her who sent me for these extractions. She patches the damaged tooth up and cleans more blood off my lips and teeth saying ‘men don’t bother with the way we look’. As the Spinster is leaving the Nurse returns with a letter saying someone will phone me in 2 weeks to discuss the treatment before discharging me. Apparently standard procedure when a patient has had a difficult time; the phone call will be sometime between 730 and 930 am! Driving home I had to stuff a piece of gauze in my mouth the soak up the blood; imagine looking at another driver and them seeing a woman with blood around her mouth; bride of Dracula from Barry!
Driving home the Spinster has 45 minutes to get home and buy painkillers. The rat man is due between 1-5 pm and a friend arriving with lunch at 1 pm; eating was slow and painful! And it’s been like blinking rat central over the last few days; sitting in the downstairs loo minding me own business the Spinster see TWO rates amble in front of the back door! I now have a large plastic box with two lumps of green waxy stuff that will apparently attract the beasts! Rat man will return in a week to check the box; ma and pa are coming for the weekend – ma HATES rats and shuddered when being told how many the Spinster had seen! For a moment I actually thought she was going to change her mind about coming to stay!