I haven't been very motivated to blog lately, but this is too long to twitter and I might eventually find some embarassing pictures to share...so I'm blogging.
Years and years ago, when I was still in the Army, I was fortunate enough to have braces put on, with the promise of correcting my horrific teeth. I am genetically blessed with the lack of wisdom teeth, but those genes also forgot to give me lateral inscisors. (the teeth right next to your front teeth) The missing teeth and lack of wisdom teeth meant that my upper jaw never grew as large as my bottom one. My teeth didn't line up at all and I couldn't bite through things like, a hamburger with lettuce. So the Army got to work.
I had my braces maintained by a civilian orthodontist (that hired me after I got out of the military, but that's another story) and in the summer of 2001, I had my upper jaw operated on. They moved my upper jaw forward 7 mm and used surgical pins and plates to reattach my face. Then I was wired shut for 8 weeks while I healed. (Note, when on a liquid diet do not let your husband and sister try to blend a steak. It does NOT work!)
So I told you all that so I can tell you this.
I've been plagued with pretty serious headaches for a few weeks now. I've had numerous sinus infections over the last 2 years and never thought anything of it. Over the 4th of July, the headaches got so bad that I finally went to the Dr. The walk in clinic left a lot to be desired. The PA insisted that it was a migraine, even though I was missing key symptoms (sensitivity to light/sound, nausia).
I decided to talk to my denstist after the pain spread down into my jaw. I thought that if it was a tooth abscess it might cause pain that led to my headaches. He was concerned about the possibility that there was an infection, but he couldnt' get a good view of my sinuses because of all the metal hardware in my head! So he put me on massive doses of antibiotics and said to call back in a week if I wasn't feeling better.
The antibiotics helped (even though they messed up my stomach!) but as soon as they were done, the pain came back. A call to the dentist lead to an immediate consult with a local oral surgeon. I didn't realize he wasn't TRICARE approved, so I ended up shelling out $75 to find out I needed a CT scan to get a better view of the pins. He suggested that they may have come unscrewed or become infected.
I just wanted to cry. I can't get an approval for a CT scan without a proper referal, but this guy wasn't TRICARE and the next appointment with MY dr wasn't for a few weeks. I needed to get transfered to a Oral Surgeon that was approved my TRICARE (military health insurance), but I can't do that without a referal from my primary care doctor!
I took a chance and went to Darnell and begged for a CT by promising that I'd have found a referal to the Oral/Maxofacial Surgery clinic by the time the CT appointment was set (2 weeks away!)
I took another chance and went to the OMFclinic without a referal. The OIC was Maj Perez and he listened to my situation. Turned out that the surgeon who originally did my jaw was an old friend of his! He didn't even make me wait to get an appointment. Within a few minutes, he had me getting a CT scan and less than 45 min later, I was looking at the inside of my skull on a screen with the Chief of Surgery and a few other Drs. They decided that the hardware in the right side of my head was infected, possibly abscessed and draining into my sinus cavity.
They explained that the solution was to have another surgery to remove the infected hardware and set me up with all my presurgery paperwork, created a new record for me and set a date.
So the 28th, I'm having my head cut open and a few loose screws removed (go ahead and crack jokes, I know it's funny!) Please just pray for me that this next round of antibiotics helps to keep the infection down till surgery and that I heal quickly.