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April 6, 2022: Dental Emergency

I try not to talk too much about my dental history with people. The glazed look in the eyes is a dead giveaway. And usually, there are other things to talk about.

But today’s story (which has intimations of hardship) is one that is worth at least making note of in a dispatch.

This morning I woke up with an abscess, it was located adjacent to the area where I had my tooth extracted last week. I called the dentist’s office and made an appointment to have it looked at next Tuesday. I figured that by then it would be past history.

A few minutes later I started bleeding at the site of the abscess. I bled heavily, but it stopped, so I continued on with my day, loading kid’s books into my cabin, this being one of the, ahem, storage nooks.

Alys with her raindeer cup

I followed Pete to the Meeting House. We put a pallet in the basement, after having decided this would be a good place to store books. I went back upstairs. Pete headed out. Right then, I noticed I was bleeding again. I repeatedly rinsed my mouth out with water, but the bleeding didn’t stop.

I called the dentist, and after making an emergency appointment, I headed across town. The bleeding was by now pretty intense. Dang if a state trooper vehicle didn’t fall in behind me. I thought sure I’d be pulled over. I pulled into a parking lot, and he kept going. I was so discombobulated that I missed two turns.

I finally arrived at the dentist. The receptionist said that I’d be seen in ten minutes. This was our only communication. I was a bloody mess. I did, in fifteen minutes, get attended to by my regular dentist.

He knew how to stop bleeding. He used gauze compresses. He left me with a compress in my mouth, said to hold it in place with my teeth for ten minutes. In two minutes, it was saturated with blood. I began to whimper. He came back and cleaned out the supposed infected area. More gauze. Less blood. He instructed me to use gauze as needed and said that I might bleed for the next 48 hours. He said that what happened was that my body was ridding itself of the remaining infection. The good news was that the bone graft took. How, I wondered, could he know this when it was put in just a week ago?

I thought, I am not sure if my body was smart enough to figure out that this was what it needed to do. I know my body well, and it is not very take charge.

I did kick myself because I should have known to use gauze in order to stopped the bleeding myself. Well, now I know.

I think the most apt way to describe what happened is that I hemorrhaged. I am now very anxious, because I fear that this might happen again. I may then know what to do, but what if the bleeding is so intense that I can’t stop it?

Then again, it seems fine now. Guess that’s what I should focus on.

Next: 95. 4/7/22: Spring, Bring it On

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