Into The Abyss I’ve Fallen

It just keeps getting worse. I feel as if I’ve fallen into a black hole with no way out and no ending in sight.

After flying into space and banging my hip and knee along with adding more blood bruising to my collection, I finally was able to get into my Dentist as soon as he returned from holidays. He’s starting to come around to my way of thinking once he took a look at me. Why is it professionals always think they know you better than yourself? He finally agreed to remove the centre part of the palette on the dentures, but naturally, they had to be sent away to the lab – so another day without choppers!

Returning home, Nat and I had to resolve ourselves to waiting another day (or so) to see the results. Another evening of quiet anxiousness.

We got the call later that next day. With great anticipation we waited as the dental nurse returned with what now looked like a horseshoe – neigh, neigh, neigh!! Well, this horseshoe was perfect for this old nag and we returned home, fingers crossed, that this would be the end of things. Guess what, it doesn’t always work that way for me and the very next day I realized the dentures were still jabbing into the top of my gums – pins and needles again. I also soon realized that the left and right sides at the back could use a bit of a cut back, to stop what little gagging I was doing.

The Doc advised me to wait, since I was trying to get back on track with my diet. The gagging and gas stomach were acting in unison to make me so miserable I wanted to cut my throat and stomach out. However, that would defeat the whole purpose of getting dentures. I hesitated.

My diet – only liquids (water, ginger ale, popsicles) – was now depleting my strength, making me vitamin and nutrient deficient along with dizzy spells.

One morning I awoke at my usual time, but once up on my feet, I struggled to get to my closet door to get some clothes for the day. I could feel it coming on, so I grabbed the bedroom chair to sit down but didn’t quite make it. Buck naked (not a pretty picture at the best of times), I fell forward into the footboard of the bed. I at least thought my bare ass would stick to the leather chair. Maybe my ass shrunk from all the weight I’ve lost. Down on my knees (still damaged from the previous fall) I was in excruciating pain and couldn’t move. I yelled for Nat, but no response. I yelled again and still no response. Trying to calm myself down, I attempted to get back into the chair just behind me, but to no avail. I then struggled to crawl on my knees along the end of the bed to make it around to the side hoping I could grab onto the mattress and pull myself up. Nope, no go.

This was now getting very frustrated and now completely out of breath, I tried calling for Nat again at the top of my lungs. No response. Where in hell did he go? Yelling again and again, my screams fell on deaf ears – literally!!! Now knowing there was no hope of getting Nat’s attention unless I threw a perfectly good bedside lamp at the door, I gave up. My dumb luck I’d miss the mark and break a lamp for no reason.

I was now kneeling alongside the bed and grabbing at sheets to pull myself up. The sheets decided not to co-operate and other ideas were being formulated. Suddenly with right elbow now lying across the bedside table, with every ounce of strength I could muster, I slowly pulled my body up on the bed and was at least able to get one cheek stable enough to get my feet up on the bed. Damn, what an experience.

I laid on the bed for a minute or two before garnering more strength to get my bathrobe and head to the living room to see if Nat was dead or alive. Alive, naturally, but when he watched as I sat in my recliner, he asked me what was wrong?? *&$%#*#!!!

I tried to be gentle, as he gets quite sensitive about his hearing aids. I totally understand. I knew he would feel bad. All was forgiven.

The following day, it was quite apparent I would have to go to Emergency for help. Nat agreed and we immediately drove into St. Catharines. With the waiting room not really that busy, we felt pretty confident that this wouldn’t take too long. Boy, are we naive. We had no idea the amount of people that preceded us at 7:00 AM. Arriving before 10:00, getting into Pre-Assessment by noon, with more sitting, waiting, sitting and waiting, my stomach was now beginning to burn like a wild fire.

We suddenly started to realize a lot of patients that arrived after us were being taken in for assessment and when we checked at the station we were told we were in line. Back to sitting and waiting, sitting and waiting. After a couple of hours, a nurse walked by us and saw our assessment sheets when she took them telling us they should have been handed into the station. DUH, no one told us, but at least we were now “in line”.

Sitting in the long hallway with more and more patients coming in, we soon realized again that others were being taken “out of line”. Nat got up the nerve to ask the Doctor on call what was going on. She responded that she was trying to clear up the patients that came in around 7:00 am and we would be in the next group. It was now after 2:00 pm. God, when will this end??

Finally, at long last, the Doc took us into the assessment room and I began to tell the whole scenario of what was going on. As I was talking, my gagging reared it’s ugly head and it was soon thereafter I began to throw up what was left in my belly, which was pretty much nothing. “I’m hooking up an IV”, she said as she ran out of the room. I’m now being attended to with utmost attention – blood pressure, temperature, blood work and finally an IV. They hooked me up with a medication that stops nausea along with the IV saline drip.

Nat and I sat in the little cubicle for patients receiving IVs – a neat little set-up – and watched the activities around the nursing station. It was as good as watching television with the real life activities buzzing around, telephones ringing, orders being given, doctors checking the computers for Xray results, putting data into each patient’s chart and some poor nurse trying desperately to nibble away on a sandwich without being interrupted. It took her almost a half hour.

The Doc came around as the IV was on its last drip with instructions and a prescription on how I was to proceed. I could see the frustration on her face as we talked about what I eat and what I don’t. She finally gave up but did insist I see a dietician in the future. She handed me a couple of prescriptions to help with the nausea and gagging and by 7:00 pm we were on our way home. HALLELUAH!!!!!!

Arriving home, we both changed and I headed off to bed while Nat made something to fill the void in his stomach. He managed to get something from Tim Horton’s in the hospital during the afternoon, but a cup of coffee and a donut are empty calories and my loving hubby was now beyond hungry.

I went to bed but had a hard time getting off to La La Land. My nerves were jumping out of my skin, my head was spinning and my brain was wandering the streets for answers on when this whole horror show will end. I gave up and turned on the lamp thinking I would read my book. Now, Nat decides to check on me as he sees the light turn on and was wondering if I was okay. With some time, my eye lids began to lower and I was off. Hoping to dream my way out of a never-ending nightmare.

My journey now begins with getting my dentures adjusted to my liking. That story begins tomorrow after a long awaited pedicure appointment. I had to cancel one a few weeks back and it’s come back to haunt me. My manicurist is going to freak. Hey, she might as well join the fun with the rest of us.

We all know this little story is going to continue.

The Food Gods are Punishing Me

The period of adjustment for dentures is much longer than I ever anticipated. Being told to eat only soft foods – mashed potatoes, eggs, jello, etc. for a week or two, turned out to be excruciatingly painful. My stomach gurggled day and night. I could understand, however, as my gums were still tender and sore. If only I could put my stomach on hold during this healing process.

Week 1 – There were painful moments wearing the dentures, as little jabs were felt under the left side of my gums. I called my dentist and within a day they were adjusted (or ground down) so as not to jab. However, little sores were detected and I was advised to keep the dentures out and take an antibiotic to help heal the sores. A bit of a setback, but at least the dentures felt better. I was able to manage for a couple of days, however my eating habits were not getting any better.

Week 2 – The antibiotics were working and my upper gum was feeling better, but as time progressed, one morning suddenly I couldn’t even keep my dentures in for more than a minute – I began to gag. I struggled as best I could every morning, but with every breath I took, I gagged. It was now apparent that I would have to leave them out the entire day until I could call my dentist. Naturally this started on a Friday and I would have to go the entire weekend “gumming it”, as they say. I was beginning to panic a bit, thinking what if this whole bloody procedure blew up in my face and I was unable to even wear dentures????? Just kill me now!!!

After various discussions with hubby (who was now extremely worried) it soon became apparent that another adjustment would have to be made. My naivete was very apparent as I had no idea how this whole process worked. I was told by a friend that I may well need up to 4 or so adjustments before this whole process would settle down. Trusting her advice and taking a better view of my dentures (the palette portion goes well beyond the back teeth), I would call the dentist on Monday to have whatever adjustment was needed.

Another setback. The dentist’s office was closed for holidays  the whole week. He’s a solo practitioner and has no substitute replacement. The recording said if it was an emergency you should go to hospital. Bummer!!!! I didn’t feel this whole thing was an emergency, besides what could a hospital do? More discussions and more frustration as Nat and I talked about alternatives. I was now convinced my dentures were making me gag as the palette portion was sitting too far back into my throat. Prior to this I could feel the end of the palette with my tongue, but now I couldn’t. I was then told that a portion of the back palette could be trimmed. Now I was really convinced, and the waiting game began.

I decided I had to leave the dentures out completely. When I did manage to keep them in I somehow couldn’t talk unless I gagged first. Extremely uncomfortable and irritating. After rattling our brains over and over again on what I could eat, a liquid diet was the only solution. Hubby tried hard to suggest a few things that I could perhaps nibble away at, but nibbling still involved some sort of chewing. I’ve now settled (after some research on liquid diets) on drinking fruit juices, broth, ice cream, etc. until I can see my dentist this next week.

To add insult to injury, I had managed to keep the dentures in long enough one night to eat a dish my hubby calls “mince and mashed” (ground beef cooked in gravy and served with a side of mashed potatoes). Quite yummy actually when you pour the gravy-ladened ground beef over the mashed potatoes. I was proud of myself I had managed to eat a good portion of the meal hoping this would put something a bit more substantial in my stomach. Plus this would be a turning point back to more solid foods. What a fool I am.

With buttery mashed potatoes and creamy rich gravy, it only stood to reason that later in the evening I began to feel a little iffy and began to run to the bathroom. With great aplomb I tripped on the bath mat and went flying smack down on the bathroom floor. Hubby came running, looking deeply concerned, and had to use both arms to raise me off the floor. My left knee was banged, my hip began to throb and a huge gouge showed up on my left elbow. I was so embarrassed at this point, I wanted to curl up and die. When things settled down hubby tended to the gouge which was now bleeding and we returned to the living room totally frustrated and drained. It was going to be a long, painful night.

The next morning with swollen knee, bruised hip and pride, I limped out of bed, managed to get dressed to greet hubby good morning. It was now apparent the whole day was going to be spent healing myself and my wounds. Slowly, I’ve been improving and at least now walk without a limp. Another long, long day in what has become my living food hell.

This is such a learning curve for me and hubby, that we’re totally in the dark and following a path we’ve never been on. However, we have settled down and are now resolved to play out the waiting game. I can only hope and believe that if the palette of the dentures is trimmed back, they’ll fit and all will right again. I really don’t think I can tolerate too much more. My stomach is begging for anything solid and tasty to eat. God give me strength to get through this ordeal I got myself into.