Tuesday, 22 November 2011

From Toothache To Almost Tracheotomy

I have had quite a hair raising time since my last blog post. I last posted on Thursday, just before I went to fetch Chad from school and then straight after our trip to our General Practitioner. By the time we arrived at her rooms, I could hardly talk, my mouth opening was a tiny slit and I had a fat double chin, the right hand side looking like it was filled with acorns for my winter stock.

The Doctor, checked Chad's hands and as you know Murphy and his law, Chad's hands were almost perfect. She said it was contact dermatitis and gave him a lotion to put on every night until it clears up and if he gets it again then we must just buy the lotion again.

She noticed as I walked in that I looked very pale then saw my face properly and asked what happened. I told her and she tried to check my throat, but I could not open up my mouth at all.  She said that the Ilosone that the dentist had given me would do nothing for an abscess and that I have now developed facial cellulitis and gave me another antibiotic. I can't remember the name and the pharmacist gave me the generic, because our medical aid only pays for the generic, they never told me it was the generic. I only noticed when I got home.

Chad and I went off to work and as the day went on I just felt worse and worse. Mark and Chad had gone out getting spares and dropping off car papers, running around all over the place and I just sat in the office trying to work, but feeling sicker and sicker by the minute. Eventually Mark took me home. The GP had given me stronger pain tablets and I was taking 2 every hour and they were barely touching the surface of the pain.

By then I could not eat anything. I had a small packet of cheddar biscuits when I got to work, smaller than a packet of 30g chips, right now I can't even think of the name of them, but they are tiny savoury biscuits. They were easy to eat, because they melt in your mouth, although it took about two hours to eat them. As the afternoon progressed it became increasingly more difficult to get these little biscuits between my lower and upper jaw. That was the last that I ate. Sips of water became too much to swallow and burnt my throat. It was like a raging furnace. I smoked, but never inhaled, I mostly let the cigarette burn away, out of habit or frustration or boredom or whatever. The smoke would go as far as my mouth and no further, I could not inhale, but needed that vice, that habit to get me through the pain.

I hardly slept on Thursday night, waking every hour and trying to stretch the pain tablets for another hour to make it at least a two hour break between them. I woke up at 5am and went to the kitchen to do my normal morning thing and struggled. I took the antibiotic, the dose was 750mg daily, which I thought was stupid. Once a day, surely can't make this go away faster. So I swallowed the two tablets, one 250mg and one 500mg and I took an Inter-flora, which the pharmacist advised me to take after all the antibiotics. I made myself coffee and by then I had to sit down at the table.  Nausea, light headed and in pain. I had not even had half my cup of coffee and I was running to the bathroom, throwing up - antibiotics and all. I had to go lie down for awhile and struggled to get ready to take Chad to school and go to work. Eventually, we left for school and I did not go straight to work, because I had to buy cleaning products for Sheila. I went to Spar, bought what she needed and bought myself a Lucozade and Yogi-Sip. As I arrived at home I had to rush to the bathroom and was sick again. Mark told me to stay at home and not come to work so I slept on and off the whole day. I managed to drink the Yogi-Sip through a straw and just had sips of water and Lucozade through out the day. By 5am Saturday morning I had finished the 30 Tramacet my GP gave me for pain. I took the last two at 5am when I took my antibiotic and hoped that I would go back to sleep and wake up healed or almost healed. Mark had checked my face every time I woke up during the night and as hard as it is to believe each time it was slightly more swollen. It never healed after taking the 5am dose and going back to sleep. Mark said I must go to Olivedale Clinic. Whilst I showered and got dressed he went to the bank and then took me through to casualty.

I was so desperate for the pain and uncomfortable swollen face to go away that I was not even anxious about going to hospital or if I was it was hidden below the pain in my ear, throat, face and teeth and jaw. When my GP told me I had cellulitis, I thought it was a skin irritation like eczema or dermatitis and googled it on Friday  afternoon. I was shocked to read that left untreated it can cause, septicemia and meningitis. It is quite serious and nothing like cellulite, which I associated it with. Read more about Facial Cellulitis by Clicking Here

We arrived at Olivedale Casualty and went through the whole process and the nurse who took my details, was this very butch looking aggressive Indian and it was hard to tell whether she was male or female. I have no problem with people being butch or Indian, so my description of her is not meant to offend anyone else, but her. I had a major issue with her attitude and she actually belonged in a seedy night club as a bouncer. She told me that they can't do anything for me, there are no dentists and I must go to a dentist. I told her very nicely that she is not a doctor and I am not concerned about the sore tooth, but about the cellulitis and the secondary infection. She still argued and I asked her if she was a doctor and I asked for her name so I could report her to hospital management. She changed her tune very quickly or more likely she thought she would have the last laugh after I sat there forever and the doctor sent me home.

Well the doctor who I saw eventually, told me I had to be admitted to hospital, because my airway was obstructed and it had affected my swallowing. I really did not want to be admitted. I thought they could give me an injection. She sent me for xrays and said that she would phone the Maxilla Facial Surgeon to see what he says, whilst I am at xray department. The surgeon said I had to be admitted and off I went to the ward.

He came to see me later and asked why I was not referred to him on Thursday or Friday and why did they wait till Saturday and Blah, blah blah. I told him no doctor referred me I just had went to casualty, because I knew it was getting worse and worse and was no longer just a tooth abscess. Theater was booked for 5pm and just before 5, the anesthetist came to see me and Chad and Mark were sitting there when he examined me and he told us that there was a huge possibility that they would have to do a Tracheotomy and that I would spend a night in ICU. I was really upset, but tried to hide it from Chad and Mark. I asked the anesthetist how a sore tooth can end up with a tracheotomy. He said that the infection is blocking my airway and they could not see what was causing my mouth to stay clenched. If it was just through pain it would be fine whilst under anesthetic, but if it was due to swelling they would not be able to intubate me. It was all very scary. He spoke about putting me under then having to bring me out of the anesthetic and then try again. Fortunately, I never went through all that. They gave me gas and next thing I was awake with excruciating pain. Mark and Chad sat outside theater waiting for me and they were relieved when I finally came out. The first thing I did in recovery was feel my neck and when I felt the dressing on my neck, I ask them why I have a dressing there and the anesthetist said it was covering the drain and the cut. I had to know if they did a tracheotomy, although I am sure that I would have known without having to ask.

The staff at Olivedale are always very sweet, but I was in so much pain and so irritated after Mark and Chad left and I just wanted pain medication, but they had to wait for the IV antibiotic to go through first. I thought I would wake up on Sunday morning with no swelling, but I am still swollen and still feel exactly the same as I did when I went in. He removed my wisdom tooth and the tooth next to it with the abscess and drained the abscess in my gland. He said I could go home last night, but as much as I hate hospitals I think I was sent home far too early. My blood pressure on Saturday night was ridiculously high, two hundred and something over something. They took it four times to check if they were reading it correctly. My blood pressure is always 100/70 or 110/80. Once it was 140/100, which was high. So for my blood pressure to be over 200, it was double what it normally is. When I left it was 175/ 140 I think and I doubt that the surgeon ever checked my file to see that my blood pressure was so high. He is a very arrogant man and if I had to have seen him under normal circumstances, I would never have gone back to him or had anything to do with him. I don't know why doctors and dentists think they are gods. I had a lovely physio who came to do laser therapy on me and her and the nursing staff were shocked when he said I could go home. He had a conference today and I am sure that is why he said I must go home, because he obviously cleared his hospital patients and appointments for the weekend and for today and my emergency messed up his plans so he sent me home.

The good thing that came out of being sick and in hospital is that I never had a single cigarette from when i left home on Saturday at about 10h30 until I got home on Sunday night at 19h30. It was quite a miracle, I craved a smoke every now again, but it lasted only a couple of minutes. Mark and Chad could not believe it. Mark even brought my carton of cigarettes to the hospital. He kept telling me that he would walk with me outside to go have a smoke, the only smoking area is way outside the hospital, but I just could not be bothered. Shame he also bought me magazines and new nighties and pajamas and sweets and juices, because the doctor said I would be in hospital until Tuesday.

I really don't think I should have gone home so early. I feel awful and with Chad and the dogs I don't get any rest. Poor Pluto was looking for me everywhere when I was at hospital and slept in Chad's arms. They said he really missed me. Now all the dog's wont leave me alone, which is so sweet, but I just can't have them around me, lifting them up all the time. If it was just Pluto, it would be fine, but all of them trying to lie on me is a bit much.

Mark and Chad have been so sweet and helpful, especially Mark, but now that it is back to work today, he is stressed and busy at work and can't get the fax to work and has sent home stuff for me to fax and I have to do our Vat recon by Friday, so there is no rest for me. I am still only eating soup and Yogi-Sips and I must say I am fed up with just having a liquid diet, and I am back to smoking. They thought I would be able to give up, but it was too short a time. If I stayed in hospital longer I probably would have. I am still not inhaling and am only smoking because I am irritated, stressed and frustrated. My throat is still too sore and my tongue is still swollen and so is my face and glands.

The nurse who changed my dressing yesterday asked me if I had a phone whilst changing my dressing and I could not understand why me phone had to do with my abscess. She wanted to take a photo to show me what the cut looked like. I suppose patients ask them to take photos so she thought I would want one. Well this is what the cut looks like. Such a tiny cut, but a face that looks like a soccer ball - I won't be taking photos of my face anytime soon.

My skin and colouring looks absolutely disgusting eeww!!!!!!!!

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