It has been a while since I have been on here do be able to do any blogging…. There is a reason for that.
Wed night (8/22) I had a bit of a toothache. Normally, I would have tried to get it dealt with the next day, if at all possible. There are reasons I didn’t ~ and things that have happened as a result.
Thursday (8/23) happened to be my daughter’s 12th birthday! Yea! I had about 15 kids coming to my house to celebrate with her. Hmmmmm. So, I grabbed a washcloth and quickly turned it into a hot compress, followed by 3 Ibuprofen and 2 extra strength Acetaminophen (knowing this is a good way to keep swelling and pain at bay). As the day progressed, I continued this pattern as needed and the kids had a great time! (sigh of relief) At the end of the day, I tried to eat a little dinner and quickly realized my jaw had “locked” and there was indeed swelling. So I spent the evening doing what I had been doing all day…
I must interject here that my husband and I have no insurance. And no, I don’t want Obama’s “care” plan that will only take money that I already DON’T have and give me nothing in return…
We have a dental pain clinic in our town that is open M-F starting at 7:30 am. It is first come, first served, so getting there early is a mandate (we live about 14 miles away)! By Friday morning, the pain and swelling are enough that I am nearly in tears and I cannot open my mouth more than 1/2″ (which makes it very difficult to eat steak, burgers, or pretty much anything that is not liquid). So I get to the clinic (first in line!!), wait my turn, and they aren’t even able to take the standard x-ray (can’t get the little doohickey in my mouth!). They were able to get a new type where the x-ray machine goes around the circumference of my head. After all this, I am told there is an infection (yes, I figured that), I need antibiotics (figured that as well), and they cannot do anything until my jaw unlocks. Well, ok…
By now, I am feeling like I have been run over by a truck. I am chilled (fever of 102), weak, and cannot lie down because it causes more pain. Plus, I look like I have the mumps on one side! My husband picks me up from the clinic and we head to WalMart to get the prescription filled (Augmentin 875mg). He gets it filled, I wait in the car with our 3 youngest daughters…
Home again, home again…. after we get home, I try to get some sort of food in ~ a feat in itself. I end up with jello (slides down rather easily). Then I take the first of my “horse” pills. These things are huge and I suddenly realize that there is swelling in my throat as well (as I nearly choke ). Great, one pill down, many to go. The dentist didn’t think I would need anything more than Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen for pain, so he didn’t prescribe anything. Now, I have to say, I am NOT big on taking medications. I normally try to stay away from them, if at all possible. But this is not your normal pain, this is more like The Incredible Hulk of pain. I have had 5 children, so pain is not a new thing for me, really and I would gladly go through labor and delivery of all 5, back to back, than to deal with the pain I was experiencing.
So, my children do their best to take care of me on Friday and Saturday (I really do have wonderful children!). They get me water, hot compresses, my medication(s), and they love on my constantly! Who could ask for more?? All the time, I am feeling weak, feverish, in pain, and I am sure I was a bit crabby, but honestly, I don’t remember much of the weekend.
Sunday morning, at breakfast (I tried to eat oatmeal, it got stuck) my kids, husband and I are talking about how I really don’t look well (can’t imagine why), when my 12 year old daughter says to her dad, “hey, maybe we should get mom some Ensure”. To which my husband looks at me and responds, “would you like some Depends as well?”. I kicked him under the table. Not hard mind you, but just enough for him to get the hint. Now, I would not normally do that, but something came over me and my foot went to swingin’! lol! We all go to church that morning (I went that particular Sunday for the sole purpose of having the congregation lay hands on me and pray). While at church, someone comes up to my husband and says, “I think she needs some Ensure”. Apparently, I didn’t look very well either ~ I was told I looked “like death warmed over”, “really bad, I have never seen you look worse”, “grayish”…. Which gets me thinking, maybe I should just go home and go to bed… I felt like I was going to pass out.
After church, we go to Wally World again, this time for Ensure (and NO Depends). Again, I stay in the car (you didn’t really think I was going to go in, did you?).
Sunday, August 26, just happens to be the day of Harvest America. This is the day when the Harvest Crusade will be broadcast from Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California to various places all over the world! We were planning on going to the location in our area where it was be broadcast. We ended up not going. I see it like this: We had six people who were going to attend. We are a family of born-again, on-fire, Bible believing Christians. I pray that those seats were filled with people who gave their lives to Christ that day.
Monday ~ stay home, rest, and take my meds. Feel weaker than the day before ~ still look like I have mumps.
Tuesday ~ First day of school for my 3 youngest. I am in no condition to drive, so my 16 year old son drives us all to town. I hate to say it, but I don’t remember much about this day either. Sad, but true. The pain, fever, and medications had me in a daze. At the end of the school day, my son drives me back to school to pick up his sisters. I talk to a couple of people briefly. They have been praying for me through this whole ordeal (it is a Christian School). I don’t remember any of the conversations. We head home and I am feeling like I can barely move. I haven’t eaten anything solid since Thursday (mostly just a few spoons of jello and as much water as I can take in).
Tuesday late afternoon, a friend of mine decides it is time for me to go to urgent care. The medications don’t seem to be doing ANYTHING, and I guess I looked like I wasn’t going to make it much further. She picks me up (my son watches his sisters ~ dad is at work), and off we go. We head to the hospital (they have both urgent care “UC” and ER there). I sign in (another feat) and after triage, they decided I need ER, not UC. Uh, ok…
The nurse in the ER was the nicest, sweetest, most patient, caring, compassionate person!! Her name was Pam. She starts an IV on my and even though it is obviously in the vein, there is no blood return. I was so dehydrated at this point that my body was attempting to shut down all reserves. Pulse was high, B/P was high (I am normally 85/55), heart rate was erratic. It was not looking good. So, they rehydrated me (ahhhhhh). After a while they were finally able to get some blood and a CT scan was also performed. Good news! The infection had not spread to any other tissue, organs, or bone! I did need a stronger antibiotic, though. This time it is liquid form (couldn’t get anymore of the Augmentin in my mouth as my jaw had locked even more! Sheesh!). The taste of this liquid antibiotic (Clindamycin) is very, well, different. It starts off like very sour cherries which quickly spreads in the mouth to coat it with a film that tastes the way the inside of a dirty toilet smells. Yep, that pretty much covers it. Suffice it to say, this has not been an easy one to get down ~ THREE TIMES A DAY.
The hospital released me to my friend, who took me to her house (my kids were there by this time), where I slept on a recliner (I still wasn’t able to lie flat). I stayed the night and the next day there.
Yesterday (Wednesday, 8/29), the kids & I came home. Everyone went to bed and I realized that the swelling in my cheek and throat had increased. I sat in the recliner last night praying that God would reduce the swelling or intervene in some other way. I prayed for everyone on my prayer list that I could think of. Finally I fell asleep. Until 5:00 am. I woke up with the most horrible taste in my mouth.
~DISCLAIMER~ for those who do not want to read the graphics below, just know I am feeling a little better…. but the information below is NOT pretty. Ew… If you have a weak stomach, please do not read any more.
The area that had been infected had ruptured ~ into my mouth. I didn’t know I could make it to the bathroom that quickly, considering how I had been feeling! The lymph nodes had been affected and a good portion of this infected fluid now flooded my mouth. Ew. The only thing that has ever tasted worse was the liquid antibiotic the ER doctor prescribed.
This morning has been spent using hot compresses to help get the infected fluid out, rinsing with warm salt water and then repeating the process.
As far as weekends go, it was long, arduous, and I am glad it’s over. However through all this, God kept bringing me to my knees in prayer. Not for me, for all those around the world who are daily tortured and martyred for their faith. I did not enjoy the pain I had, but how bad was it compared to being tortured each and every day, just because I have Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. This weekend helped me to keep things in perspective. Things could always be worse.
I pray that YOU are having a blessed day!! 😀