6 Sept 1974 I arrived in Cape May New Jersey to begin basic training, USCGR. I was one of the first women to go through basic training since WWII. I've always been proud of that.
Years later and I am sitting in a dental surgery having a WHOLE LOT of dental work done. I feel as though I've been hit in the face by a telephone pole. I've had three teeth pulled yesterday, and while he was pulling those three he determined I have three separate infections two on the left and one in the front. I'm on a high dose of antibiotic, I feel woozy, and I feel angry.
Not at the dentist, he didn't do anything except arrange for me to be treated-he's doing a fantastic job!
I'm angry at the dentist back in Ozark who knew I was in trouble back in 1998 and pulled treatment because he believed my soon to be ex that I was the one who'd strayed. I'll never forget that. I'm sitting in the chair and he comes in saying "Someone's been a very bad girl" I asked him what the hell he meant and he told me my soon to be ex had rung round that morning. We got it cleared up but I also told him to go to hell and I'd find a new dentist.
But the divorce became so dangerously ugly that I was busy sorting that out, plus Fox was in terrible shape.
I didn't see a dentist again until 2004, and he was doing an incredible job getting things sorted out until one day my boss told me if I went to my next dental appointment I might as well not return to the office/apartment. The pain was bad but bearable and I quit in 05 and moved to No GA where I thought I would be able to use my new job dental insurance.
Before it kicked in, though, three months before it kicked in, I had what I thought was a sinus infection, and I was terrified, and broke, and sucked it up for days although the pain was horrific. My roommate had an old prescription of antibiotics and he gave it to me, and I seemed to recover.
Then the insurance kicked in and I went to find out about finishing getting my teeth fixed only to find there was so much wrong with my teeth that the dentist wanted $20K plus what the insurance would pay, and he wanted it up front because since the divorce I had no credit...
Off and on through the following years I've had horrible pain come and go on both sides of my face, and thought it was my sinus', something else I couldn't afford to treat.
I was sick the whole time I was in the States with my son, keeping the pain at something of a dull roar with a combination of high dose aspirin and sinus pills I bought over the counter.
A few weeks after I got home to Scotland I knew something was really, really wrong, and then two teeth broke while I was flossing. My husband made me an appointment with his dentist. I didn't want to go because I didn't need to hear how badly things were in there, and that the dentist would want £20K...except he didn't want that much. He wanted a little less than £300 and we paid it, and I went to the dentist yesterday for the second treatment.
It hurt beyond belief, I lay there last night moaning and crying and telling my husband I can not do this.
My husband set the alarm so that it goes off when my next antibiotic pill is due to be taken.
I left the dentist office yesterday minus teeth and plus a prescription for high dose antibiotics. Because I have a raging infection on the lower left side of my face where he took the remnants of two teeth out; I have a raging infection on the upper left side of my face where he took out a badly abscessed tooth; and I have a raging infection across the upper front where he'll be removing three teeth as soon as the infections are knocked down.
He'll be replacing them with a temporary bridge and tell me as soon as the trauma is healed and the gums shrink back to a normal size, we'll discuss better alternatives. He was quite firm that I should take the antibiotics to the finish, that I should 'swish' with warm salted water three times a day. And he told me in an amazed tone that he can't believe I'm ambulatory but since I am he'll keep me out of hospital. For now.
A few weeks ago a young American man died because he couldn't afford the treatment I'm getting. He couldn't afford the pain killer and the antibiotic so he chose the pain killer, and the infection in his one abscessed tooth migrated to his brain and killed him.
I'm angry-I could have had this taken care of years ago if not for the divorce, if not for my former employers, if not for the greedy Atlanta dentist who let me leave his office knowing I was sick. Because my Scottish dentist tells me it's obvious I've had these infections over and again for YEARS.
And I am sickened and angry because a young man in America is dead because he couldn't afford dental care; because a dentist, and then and emergency room let him walk out of their facilities without proper medical care, and he died.
My son is in America. He doesn't have insurance, either. He can't afford dental or dental care either. So I'm scared, too.
Forgive any typos, I'm sick from the surgery and the antibiotics.