Lions, tigers, and bears, OH MY!

I know, I know, I’m a bad girl. I haven’t been using LJ much lately. It gets all my twitter entries, but that’s about it. I have a desire to write.. but then I get frustrated and never do. Feel free to smack me, throw things at me, whatever you deem necessary. 😉

Let’s see. What’s been up in my world? Lots of doctor’s appointments, mostly. Literally at least 1 a week, since the first full week of April. Ten (11, but really 10 “real” appointments) doctor/dentist visits total … so far. I still have more to come before May ends! Some were pre-planned/good visits. Like my 3 appointments to get the Supartz injections in my knees. One was a total waste of time – the gyn appt I already detailed here (password protected). Four of them were with my heart doctor, as was the “extra” appointment I mentioned. The remaining two appointments were with the dentist – one a pre-planned cleaning, the other an emergency appointment. Upcoming appointments include follow-ups with the knee doctor and the dentist.

The knee appointments weren’t too bad. Three weeks in a row of going in to get an injection in both knees. The shots can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to cause noticable improvement, so I’m not expecting much yet. Right now, my knees aren’t causing much pain, but they are pretty crackly. The left one especially likes to go snap, crackle, and pop on me. They also feel unsteady, like they could just bend backwards at any moment. I’m hoping this passes pretty quickly, and the injections start to take effect.

The heart doctor – well, as I’ve mentioned before, I have extra heart beats. Due to being unemployed at the time, I wasn’t able to have my annual heart ultrasound done last year. I called up and made an appointment to have the ultrasound – even specifically stated I needed an ultrasound. I go for my appointment to find out that it’s only an office visit. Grr. The doctor decided he wanted me to wear a holter monitor again, to see how my PVCs were doing. So I had to go back a week later to have my ultrasound done, and to have the holter wires attached. The ultrasound looked good – the “mild leakiness” of my mitral valve from my first ultrasound 2 years ago has decreased – it’s only “trace” leakage now. That’s a good thing. The heart walls are slightly thick – mine are at a 1.0, and .9 is typically the high-end of thickness for women. But, that thickness hadn’t changed at all in the last two years, so that’s also a good thing. After my ultrasound, I had the holter attached, and had to endure 24 hours of unbelievable itchiness from those danged adhesive pads. Thankfully, nothing incredibly insane happened this time while I was wearing the monitor! My “extra” appointment was the next day – I just had to drive up to the doctor’s office the next day during lunch to have the wires removed and turn in the holter monitor.

A week later I had to go in to get the results of my holter – this time around I had @ 17,000 extra heart beats. (The first time I had the holter, it was over 14,601 extra beats.) He gave me another type of medication, since the only thing the first one did was make me fall asleep. I was on that medication for @ two weeks, until I had my follow-up appointment on last Thursday. I started w/1 week on a half dosage, and then 1 week on the prescribed dosage. After a week, I was supposed to double that again. (And keep doing that a few times, till I was taking about 4x the dosage on the bottle.) This medication doesn’t make me drowsy, but it does make me incredibly dizzy. Dizzy enough that I was starting to be afraid of driving. I mentioned this to him, multiple times during the appointment, but he wants me to just stay on the meds, and try to increase the dosage again. As dizzy as I’ve been, I don’t see this working out well. It was only a minor dizzy on the half dose, but was pretty nasty on the full dose, more vertigo than just disequilibrium. The doctor seemed to dismiss that the dizziness was related to the meds, even though it states right on the prescription bottle “may cause dizziness”. I do have Ménière’s disease, though, so there IS the tiny possibility of it being a very highly coincidentally timed Ménière’s attack. I doubt it, though, since I don’t have any of the other symptoms I typically get during an attack. But, to be sure, I’ve decided to stop the medication for now, and let it work it’s way completely out of my system. Once the dizzy spells have ceased, I’ll make attempt #2 at taking the meds. If I end up dizzy all over again, then it is definitely related to the meds and we’ll have to try a different med, again. I go back to see him in 3 months to follow up on how I’m doing with the meds.

As I stated before, the last 2 appointments were with the dentist. The first one was just my 6-month cleaning, so it was no biggie. I also knew it would set up more appointments, but that didn’t happen at the time. On May 2nd, while eating lunch, I took a bite of my Subway sandwich, and the top left cuspid flared with pain. But, the sandwich was extremely cold, and it felt like more than just the one tooth hurt – so I dismissed it as biting into an almost icy cold chunk of meat. That happened once more while I ate, and that was it. No more pain … for a few days. At work on the 5th, I was snacking on some honey nut Cheerios. I bit down on one, and BOOM! Intense pain flared in that tooth again. While Cheerios are crunchy, they aren’t particularily hard, so I knew it was the tooth starting to act up. But it only hurt that once, for just a few minutes. I figured it’d be okay, and I could call the dentist later in the week or something. Wrong. After work, mom & I had pizza for dinner. I took my first bite, and intense pain blossomed in my mouth. The kind of pain that literally has you howling – loudly. After the pain settled, I attempted a second bite (just to test it) and ended up screaming loudly in pain again. I tried to take it, and attempted to eat without using that side of my mouth, but it didn’t work well at all.

After leaving a voicemail for my dentist, I ended up running off to Walmart to get some severe pain Orajel. Mom went with me, and found this stuff called Temparin to use as well. (I have holes in both of my upper cuspids, so we figured if I could fill it, I could maybe be in less pain until I could get into the dentist.) It hurt like Hades to put the Temparin in because the tooth was so freaking sensitive to any kind of pressure, but once it was in, and combined with the Orajel (and a hydracodone ma gave me), I was able to get the pain under control to where I was even able to eat and drink. The next morning, after the hydracodone wore off, the pain was barely controlled with the Orajel. Lucky for me, though, my dentist was able to get me in before lunch time. Two hours and a root canal later, I was back to work. The tooth had become abscessed, hence all the extreme pain. They didn’t do a 100% complete root canal – after drilling out the diseased part of the tooth and injecting it with meds, they decided to leave it open, and they will seal it when I come back in to get the crown. That way, if the infection doesn’t go away, they don’t have to do a lot more work to get in and work on it. So, I have my temporary crown for now, and go back in another 2 weeks to get the permanent one. I’m going to schedule the appointment for my other cuspid then — I don’t want to risk that getting to the same super pain point before I have the needed root canal on it, too.

So, yes. As I said, that’s pretty much been my life the last month & half – doctors and dentists, oh my!

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