Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Tooth Be Told

I had the second stage of my root-canal treatment this morning.

First stop was the Palo Alto Medical Center lab in Redwood Shores, where I was to have blood drawn for fasting blood sugar and other medical tests in preparation for my general medical exam next Monday. But they had no lab orders on file for me. This has happened a couple of times before. I guess I need to check two weeks before a scheduled appointment, and if I don't see the labs ordered (you can now check your ordered labs on their web site), send a message to my doctor asking him to order them.

Then it was over to the root-canal specialist's office, which is in Redwood Shores next to my regular dentist's office and within walking distance of my old office across from the Oracle Towers. (That location is why Dr. Ferrer is my dentist. I liked having a dentist to whom I could walk during work; I just was lucky to find such a good one.)

Despite having been told "arrive early," there was nobody there until five minutes after my 8 AM scheduled appointment. Sigh.

By and by I was in the chair for the second stage of the work. It was only when they put the bite-block in that I realized just how sore my jaw muscles were from the work last week. The strain of keeping my mouth wide open for most of 90 minutes was much worse than any of the other pain involved in this procedure. (Of course, there's no real pain around the tooth, since that work was done under anesthetic. The needle going in to numb it hurts, naturally, but nothing else.)

Eventually the work was done. The specialist built up a new "stub" on the site of the tooth onto which my regular dentist will be able to put a new crown to cover it. The tooth is now all sealed up and should trouble me no more once the rest of the work is done.

After the work was done, I walked next door to make an appointment with Dr. Ferrer to get the crown replaced. The earliest he can see me is a month from today. Alas, since the crown they had to cut off was less than five years old, it appears that insurance won't pay any of the cost of the replacement crown, and they tell me there's no "trade in value" on the previous gold crown. I wonder if I can get any money for it. There's a cash-for-gold place here in Fremont that claims they'll buy gold teeth, but it's not clear from the ad whether that's a joke or not. Fortunately, I did set aside a fair bit of extra money in my FSA for this year because I knew this dental work wouldn't be cheap. The question is whether I've set aside enough for this and two more crowns that Dr. Ferrer says I need to two other cracked teeth and for work that we think Lisa will need later this year and my own "maintenance," for by diabetes and high blood pressure, which is about $1000/year even when nothing else goes wrong.

The combination of fasting overnight (thus no breakfast) and 90 minutes in the dental chair plus not being able to eat anything until the anesthesia wore off meant that I wasn't feeling so hot when I got to the office. I wasn't helped by the fact that US-101 was a parking lot from Menlo Park to Mountain View, even at 10 AM! Soon after I got into the office, I hazarded a banana (nice and soft), just to get my blood sugar up high enough to get to work.

Later in the day, my medical doctor messaged me to tell me that he'd ordered the labs; however, as the earliest I will be able to do the fasting blood sugar again is Monday, I had to reschedule my appointment with him from this Monday to next Wednesday.</em>

It's been a pretty long day. Tomorrow is going to be another long one, too, as I'm planning on driving to Fernley, but I won't be able to leave work until 4 PM due to scheduled meetings.
Tags: medical
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