Category Archives: Health

Hope

Last night, president Biden gave his first speech before a joint session of Congress, even if it was a smaller crowd than usual. Since Biden became the nominee, I have seen hope in him. While I still wish Pete Buttigieg had been the nominee and was now president, I fully support President Biden. I believe in him. He’s not a perfect man and he admits that, but I do believe he is a genuinely good man. I’ve never felt this way about a president before in my 43 years on this earth. I think there have been presidents who were good men, but I’ve never felt a real hope in a president before Biden. I often find myself getting emotional when I hear him speak. He is what we need in this moment. I hope that parts of this speech will go down in history. I found it one of the most inspirational speeches I’ve heard in American political history. It was a speech of hope, unity, and progress.

The only faltering in my hope is members of the Republican Party. They know what needs to be done, but because it’s not their idea nor their administration, they oppose nearly all of Biden’s agenda. Most Republicans also have no issue with lying, which Senator Tim Scott did numerous times during his rebuttal. Scott claimed America is not racist, that Democrats blocked justice reform, and that Republicans have made voting easier in Georgia. These are so untrue, and it continues to show that Republicans have divorced themselves from truth and reality. It bothers me how much they want to block progress and freedom. In contrast to Biden’s speech, Scott’s speech was one of lies, division, and regression.

In other more personal news, today I am fully vaccinated. It has been two weeks since my second COVID vaccine. I will continue to wear my mask and social distance, but it feels like we are nearing the end of this horrible year. We are still at least several months away from something resembling a return to normalcy. I think it will be at least 2022 before we see real normalcy. If Biden’s opponent had won the election, I don’t think we’d be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. With Biden, we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

Also, I am having times of relatively no pain. I’m not totally pain-free yet, but I am seeing some improvement. For most of the day yesterday, I was feeling pretty good (even though I woke with a headache, it did get better), but by the evening, I was in pain again. I have hope that I am getting better. There is still some swelling that is still aggravating my trigeminal nerve, but the tooth socket is not hurting nearly as much. As I’ve said before, time will tell, but I am hopeful.

My virtual program for the museum yesterday seemed to go as well as could be expected. There was a bit of fumbling with the technology, but it was quickly fixed and things went smoothly. We did run over by about twenty minutes, but people seemed to have enjoyed it. Some even asked for more programs similar to what was presented yesterday, and I do have two in the works for fall. Hopefully, they will be hybrid virtual/in-person programs. Again, time will tell.


Programming Wednesday

Today is my last public program at the museum for this academic year. It’s a virtual program, which I hope will be one of the last of my virtual programs. I hope in the fall we can get back to in person programming, but we’ll just have to wait and see. I have a record number of people signed up for this program, so I hope it turns out well and without the technical issues of the last one. It will be a fun one like the last time, but I do plan for it to be a bit more structured than before. I’ve worked really hard to fix the issues we had last time, and I’m praying that I’ll be successful in presenting a smooth program.

In other news, I was feeling much better yesterday. Monday threw me for a loop, but the Tylenol seems to be helping with the pain. The headaches haven’t been as intense, but as I was going to bed last night, I did have a moderately bad headache. I just hope I’m feeling good today, and it all goes as planned. I really want this program to be a success, and I fear it won’t be if I am not feeling well.

Right now, my biggest dilemma is what to wear. I want to look nice, which would usually be dark colors for me, but I wore dark colors for the last program and I was told it made the setting too dark and I needed to wear something lighter or maybe more vibrant. After I get up this morning, I’ll figure out what I’m going to wear and hopefully it will show up good on camera. The lighting should be a bit better this time, so I’m hoping what I wear won’t matter as much. We’ll see. I know I obsess way too much about every little detail, but I just want things to go right and be able to anticipate any issues beforehand.


Shopping with Eye Candy

Saturday, I had to make a trip to Burlington. Last weekend, I had bought two shirts to be picked up at Kohl’s. When I ordered them last weekend, both shirts were supposed available for same-day pick-up. However, when I got the notice that one of the shirts was available, the other was being shipped to the store. I was already in Burlington when I found out the other one was not actually available to be picked up. I was annoyed, but there wasn’t much I could do. I picked up the first shirt and had to wait until this last Saturday to pick up the other one. I had really not planned on going to Burlington this weekend, but when I woke up Saturday, I was feeling a little better even if my mouth was still sore, so I decided to head to Burlington and get lunch, pick up my shirt, and get a few other things that I needed from the “big city.”

I decided to have lunch at Chii’s because I wanted to eat soup because of my mouth, and I really like their chicken enchilada soup. I was pleasantly surprised to see a hot young gay man as the host stand. Following him to my table let me get a good lock at his tight little butt. Even more of a pleasant surprise was that he sat me where I had a perfect view of his backside as he stood at the host stand. He was such a cutie, but too young for me. However, it made my lunch much more pleasant, especially considering I had to have gotten one of the worst waitresses there. So, I had lunch and then headed to Kohl’s.

It seemed like all day as I was out and about, there were hot guys everywhere. Some of you may have experienced this, but it’s fairly rare in Vermont. The guy who brought out my Kohl’s order to my car was cute. Then there was a guy walking his dog at the mall who was hot and muscular. When I went into Target for a few things, it seemed like I was surrounded by hot guys everywhere. Basically, all the cute guys were out in full force Saturday. With all that eye candy, I’m surprised that my blood sugar didn’t go up. Other things were up instead. Maybe I was just horny.

Some of you may also be wondering how I am feeling. My mouth is still very sore, and the tooth socket still continues to bleed a little here and there. The inner gum is much sorer than the outer gum. The swelling is still causing nerve pain on the right side of my head. Otherwise, I guess I am feeling okay. I do still believe that as the swelling goes down, I will have less nerve pain since the pressure on my trigeminal nerve should be relieved.

Because of the continued pain, I wish I did not have such a busy week. Today, I have a virtual museum tour for one of our alumni groups. I will spend tomorrow preparing the final touches for my presentation on Wednesday. Thursday I have to get my weekly COVID test, and thankfully, I am off on Friday. The good thing is that I will be fully vaccinated on Thursday. If I can just make it through this week, then hopefully, the tooth socket will have healed a bit more, and I will begin feeling better.

UPDATE: My day has not gone as planned. I woke up with a really bad headache with the right side of my head pounding. I took my headache medicine and went to work, hoping that it would get better. It only got worse. I got in touch with my boss and told him I needed to go home sick today because I was in too much pain. Therefore, the museum is closed today, and I am back home. My boss is going to come in and do the virtual tour then leave. He was supposed to be off today as was everyone but me.

I called my oral surgeon’s office because my aunt who’s a dental assistant told me I should not still be in pain and I might have a dry socket. oral surgeon’s nurse told me to take some Tylenol, and if the pain didn’t improve today they’d have me come in tomorrow morning. I know a lot of people misuse prescription pain medicines, especially opioids, but dammit, sometimes they are needed. If my Anaprox isn’t helping, what the fuck do they think Tylenol will do? It just pisses me off that I have to remain in excruciating pain because people can’t take medication responsibly. I’ve never abused prescription painkillers, and I don’t plan to, even if I could get them prescribed.


Still Recovering

I am still recovering from my tooth extraction. It’s just as painful as I expected it to be. My face is swollen, and the whole right side of my face hurts. I took yesterday as a sick day because I knew I wouldn’t do any work because of the pain I was in. I just needed a day to relax, and I was able to relax yesterday morning. However, the afternoon was a different story. I had to go to the store, get gas, go to the pharmacy, and get my weekly COVID test for the university. After doing all that, I got home basically in time to leave again for my neurology appointment. 

My neurologist was happy that they were able to extract the tooth. She told me that it would take some time to heal, and that time would tell if this was the issue or not. The swelling has to go down before I will know if the pressure on my trigeminal nerve is relieved or not. So, time will tell.


The Call

On Monday, I called the oral surgeon to give them the information my dentist told me, which he believed might allow them to forgo the consultation. It worked, and they gave me an earlier appointment for June 17 (the original had been July 20). When I talked to the receptionist, I told her that all I needed was 20 minutes to get there, so last-minute cancellations were okay. I told her that my boss would understand. She said there were some possibilities, but she’d have to get back to me.

Yesterday morning around 10 am, the oral surgeon’s office called and asked if I could be there at 11:45 am. She barely got out the question when I said, “I’ll take it.” I quickly took a shower, got dressed, and drove over there for the appointment. I was so relieved that they were taking out this tooth. I hate to lose a tooth, but there was no other option.

They brought me back and injected me with an anesthetic, and gave it ten minutes to work. He had to add more anesthesia to my palate, but he got me numbed up. My dentist had been afraid that the tooth would break if he tried to pull it and that the roots would be difficult to remove, especially since one root was curved. Sure enough, as soon as he rocked the tooth back and forth a few times and pulled, I heard a loud crack. The tooth broke. It didn’t faze the oral surgeon. He just reached in and removed the roots one by one, except for the curved root. That took a few minutes more, but he used some type of tool that he said caused the tooth to “roll,” and out it came. He packed it with gauze and sent me on my way.

He told me that it should not be too painful and that my usual pain medicine would take care of any pain. That has mostly been true. He also said that there should be no need for an antibiotic as everything came out cleanly, and there was no sign of infection there. I had a bit of trouble getting the site to stop bleeding. I changed the gauze and even used a tea bag (One of the main components of tea is tannic acid which aids in the forming blood clots, thus making tea bags an effective technique to stop bleeding.), but nothing seemed to help. I called the oral surgeon, and they said I shouldn’t worry. What I described didn’t seem too bad because there was no pooling of blood. It was most likely that each time I removed the gauze or tea bag, the clotting came out too. She said, relax and leave it alone. I did as I was told, and it finally stopped bleeding.

I really hope that this helps with the headaches. I am seeing my neurologist this afternoon. I had been scheduled last week, but she had a family emergency and had to reschedule the appointment for today. We will discuss the headaches and the tooth. I suspect she will have me monitor the headaches for a while, and then if this does relieve the pressure on my trigeminal nerve, she will take me off the medicines she has me on for trigeminal neuralgia. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this six-month nightmare is almost over.


Vaccinated

I had my second dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine yesterday. For the first few hours, things went well. My arm started getting sore several hours after taking it, and as I write this, I am feeling some body aches. None of the side effects are too bad at this point. Last night, I was just hoping that I would feel fine this morning for my dental appointment. I hope that I can make some headway with my dentist about getting an earlier appointment. I’ll just have to see. Otherwise, today is going to be a pretty chill day since I am off work.

To celebrate getting my second shot, I made myself a nice dinner. I went by the grocery store next to the drugstore where I got my vaccine to get dinner for last night. I got some Brussel sprouts, corn, the store’s house recipe seasoned boneless skinless chicken breast, and some frozen Mason Dixie cheddar chive biscuits. I had never tried their house recipe chicken breasts before, and they were delicious and a bit tangy. I had also never tried any of the Mason Dixie products, but the cheddar chive biscuits had a pleasant taste, though they are much fluffier when I make them from scratch. Overall, it was a delicious meal and an excellent way to celebrate being vaccinated.


A Few Things: 💉 🐾 🦷 🌨

💉

Today’s the day. I’m getting my second COVID-19 vaccine. I’ve been told that the second shot is the one more likely to cause side effects, but so far, with the Pfizer vaccine which I’m getting, I’ve just heard that it made people sleepy. The Moderna vaccine seems to have a few more side effects. My dentist and his office took the Moderna and he said they all felt like they had a bad cold for a day or two, but only after the second shot. Then, they were fine.

🐾

I could handle a few days of being sleepy, if Isabella will let me sleep. When she decides it is time for me to get up, she’s pretty damn insistent that I get out of bed. There’s no such thing as sleeping late with this cat, and it’s not like she wants to be fed. She has a feeder and a water fountain, so she never runs out of either. Normally, she just wants one of two things: my warm spot in the bed or attention. She can be a bit of an attention whore at times.

🦷

I’ll be working this morning, but I’m taking off this afternoon and I have tomorrow off for my regular “use it or lose it” vacation day Fridays. Even though I have tomorrow off, I’ll be up and ready early as I have an 8 am dental cleaning appointment. I really hope that I can convince my dentist to either talk to the oral surgeon to let them know the urgency of taking out this tooth or refer me to someone else who can get me in sooner. We’ll see.

🌨

Other than that, I have no plans for this weekend. We are expecting rain all day today, and snow most of tomorrow. The last forecast I saw said we could expect 3-6” of snow, but the weatherman said that the ground is warm enough that it is unlikely to stick. It is expected to be a heavy wet snow. I hope it’s not too bad when I get up early tomorrow morning. I was really hoping I was done with cleaning snow from my car.


Feeling Yucky

I wasn’t feeling great last night. I was just feeling kind of yucky. I had been working hard all day on a presentation I will be giving, and I was a bit worn out with a bit of a headache. I think I may be having some sinus trouble, as I have noticed some of the signs of sinus issues. I hope that’s all it was, but it just means that this post will be short today. I hope all of you are doing well.


Mental Health Day

I am not feeling well mentally or physically today. The disappointment over my dental ordeal (see yesterday’s blog post and comments) has me feeling depressed and in physical pain. Thankfully, I am off work today. I have some time that I have to either take or lose by the end of our fiscal year, so I am taking off every Friday from now until the end of May. I need a break today; I need some time for myself and not have to deal with anything today.


It’s Like Pulling Teeth

My dental appointment is today. My dentist will reevaluate this problem tooth and decide if it should be pulled. I don’t believe there is any other course of action that can be done. While I would prefer to keep all of my natural teeth, with this tooth becoming abscessed at least three separate times, I do not believe it is going to improve. If there is a crack in the tooth like he believes, then it cannot be fixed at this point and will have to be pulled. I dread this ordeal, but I hope it will cause these headaches to either cease or improve considerably.

These non-migraine/different headache pains started when this tooth trouble started back in November. For nearly six months, no treatment has helped. My dentist and my neurologist believe that it is likely this tooth is aggravating my trigeminal nerve and causing all of this pain. All of this began six weeks into my first Botox treatment. The Botox should have lasted twelve weeks, but this tooth became abscessed, and I have been unable to get rid of the pain since then. I hope that once this tooth is gone and the pressure on the trigeminal nerve is relieved, these headaches will go away, and the Botox will continue to be an effective treatment against my migraines.

Have you ever hit your funny bone (the ulnar nerve in your elbow)? If you have, then you know how painful it is, and it is unlike any other pain. Well, there is an equivalent. The headaches I have been experiencing, when at their worst, feel very similar to the pain that comes from hitting your funny bone, except that it doesn’t radiate from my elbow through my arm but radiates throughout the right side of my face, which can last hours or days. These headaches are not always that painful. Sometimes, it just a dull ache or throbbing sensation; those days are my good days. Pain medicine almost never helps, so I am ready for this ordeal to be over and done. 

Just pull the damn tooth. If he does, then I will probably either spend the day on the couch or in my bed watching Star Trek. If I’m still recovering on Friday, I may just laze around and watch the original Star Wars trilogy. I have a feeling this is going to be a sci-fi weekend since that is often what helps soothe me.

UPDATE: Apparently, it’s not “like pulling teeth,” at least not today. My dentist can’t pull the tooth because of all the work done on the tooth. The visible part of the tooth is basically filling at this point, and it would likely break off leaving the roots. He said that the roots themselves are very long, and one is even curved, which adds further complications. He basically said that if he pulled the tooth, it would likely be a long, difficult, and painful procedure, but an oral surgeon will have no problem. I have to call this afternoon to get an appointment with an oral surgeon. He said it is unlikely I will get an appointment next week, and it will probably be a few weeks. He is calling in another prescription of doxycycline for me so I will have it on hand if the infection flares up again. He said he did not want me in pain over a weekend and not be able to do anything. Because the tooth wasn’t pulled, I am going to work today from home. There is no point in taking a sick day today because I will need it for the oral surgery. I am very disappointed. I wanted this tooth gone today; I am so tired of this pain. However, I understand his reasoning. He showed me the x-ray of the tooth and explained exactly what the problems were. I guess it will just be a few more weeks of pain caused by this tooth.