Before I start I would just like to say that I am a big advocate for the NHS out of hours services; many a time NHS direct has come to my aid in the small hours of the morning, or when the 2 year old decides that a Saturday evening is a good time to get an odd looking rash! But this week I had the misfortune to develop an absess whilst away from home and in the afternoon!
The whole sorry saga started whilst pregnant with Oliver when the dentist kindly informed me that I have 2 wisdom teeth that needed removing as they were looking a bit ‘dodgy’! Now, being what could midly be called a ‘nervous’ patient he decided that to save my pregnant blood pressure we would talk about it after Ollie came along. When I visited him after the arrival he asked if I wanted him to remove them for me in the surgery? To this day I still pride myself on not swearing at the stupid man (either that or suggesting where he could insert his drill or injections!). Once he had got the hint that I didn’t want him to do it, he told me that he would have to refer me to the hospital (where they can better deal with people who develop violent dentist centred urges when faced with treatment)! Having just about coped with the assessment appointment (if crying like a baby counts as coping), I dutifully turned up to have the offending teeth removed with the aid of some gas and air to relax me (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). 30 minutes, and 1 panic attack later, I left with my teeth still firmly attached to my mouth! Another appointment was made and then cancelled (chicken I know), then another was made……………………but before the appointment the offending tooth crumbled and fell out! Devine intervention I thought! No need to go to the dentist to be jabbed and pulled around and have my gum scalpelled open; this disillusionment on my part lasted until I visited my dentist for a regular check up; only to be told the root was still there! He cottoned on quite quickly that I didn’t want anything done until the fateful day when it would start to give me trouble – a day that I thought was a long time away………………………..! What I would like to say at this point is that they were reluctant to discuss a knock out and remove job due to my being overweight!
So, my root and I have been happily co-existing for a few months until this week when it started to get a bit of an attitude and started niggling! I treated it to some ibuprofen and paracetmol and politely asked it to keep quiet! Obviously my root has a rebelious streak as by Thursday afternoon it was ignoring both mine, and the drugs requests to keep quiet and was practically shouting in there! By this point I was away from home for a couple of days at parents house so couldn’t phone my own dentist. Mid afternoon Thursday I decided that I really should phone the NHS Dental Line for some help, being a ‘HELPLINE’ this is what I thought I would get! Instead I got an answerphone asking for my details and a brief description of my problem and someone would phone back within an hour!!! The nice lady phoned back about 3.30 to offer me an emergency appointment with a local dentist at (ready for this????) 11.20 the next day!!!!!!!!!!!! Um, I thought this was an emergency appointment? I am in agony here!! But apparently that was all they could do! Despair and panic was starting to set in by this point……………………………! OK, so I decided to be brave, it was only 20 hours, I could do it, I had drugs, I had gone through a few hours of contractions, I had injected myself twice a day for the last 3 months of pregnancy – no wisdom tooth root with an attitude problem was going to beat me! WHIMPER! Well, within an hour I was on the phone to NHS Direct begging them for help and basically getting hysterical down the phone! Big brave girl I know! I was very kindly put through to a dental nurse who I think had the interpersonal skills of a t-rex with PMT! I started off by telling her, between sobs, that I was scared stiff of dentists and teeth problems and her only response was that they couldn’t improve on the 11.20 appointment time and that all I could take was 2 more paracetamol until 7am the next day (had already taken the maximum ibuprofen and 6 paracetamol by that point), but the best one was that getting upset wasn’t neccesary! Luckily for her my parents had raised me not to swear at people , and as I was in their house I thought I should stick to that rule! Her other piece of advice was to try calling another dentist to see if they could squeeze me in but seeing as it was nearly 5 she wasn’t optimistic! As I said at the start of this post, I have full respect for the NHS and the out of hours services it provides, but for some reason it seems if your problem relates to teeth then you are on your own! Now if I had phoned NHS Direct and said my arm hurts, I would have been able to go to A&E or the out of hours doctors service and would be patched up and sleeping happily that night! As it was I went off to bed with my attitude root shouting loudly, my 2 timid paracetamol and a sense of dread that 11am would never arrive! To cut it short, it was a night from hell! 3am is not a good time of night in anyones book but definitely not a good time to be pacing around a house trying to keep the wimpering at a decibel level that won’t wake half the town!
Somehow I survived the night and made it to the dentist where I met the nicest man ever; he prescribed me anti biotics and gave me sympathy! He is my new best friend!!! He thinks that they are going to seriously consider knocking me out to sort it out, and that suits me fine!
So the dental delights continue, I foresee a battle with my dentist starting over being knocked out; but the way I see it they knock fat people out to perform odd voodoo magic on them (gastric bands and bypasses), so why should knocking one out to evict a wisdom tooth root with an attitude problem be that different……………………………….??