Ice-Cream, Pudding, Jello

Milk teeth of a nine year old boy, showing too...

Well today was the day, the day I took Al to the dentist to see if he was going to go to the hospital for admittance with his two teeth.

I met Al and the driver of the facility and we went inside to wait his turn to have his name called. We waited for too long in my opinion, as Al told me over and over he wanted his achy teeth pulled and he didn’t understand why they wanted hm to wait.

Finally, his name was called and we went into the little cubicle. I love the dentist that works with Al. He is gentle with Al in emotions, words and actions. The nurse took his blood pressure and it was pretty good for him being nervous. His tremors were acting up, and his fingers looked puffy, but no one at the facility has said anything about this to me.

The dentist came in and he said he had been rereading Al’s paper work for a few days and trying to come to the perfect solution. He said it was tough, because these teeth were bad, but so was his Parkinson’s.

He said that he had given it much thought, and he thought the IV sedation was too risky here in the office, and he thought the hospitalization was even riskier, so he wanted to numb his gums and pull the two teeth here, using no sleep medications. He thought the least risk was the best way for Al’s heart.

So in a few minutes, Al’s mouth was numb and the two teeth were out. His blood pressure did not drop, the heart remained as good as it was when he walked in the front door. He made the right decision.

What was better yet now that the breathing from me was going back to normal, was the dentist’s remarks to Al: For the rest of the day, I want you to eat only ice-cream, jello, and pudding.

Let me tell you, with Al’s mouth stuffed with gauze, and a bit of blood, Al gave me the biggest smile ever, ice-cream and pudding and jello!

The driver took him back to the facility when all was safe in his mouth, and I went to Al’s favorite restaurant and had some lunch alone. I kept glancing to my side to ask Al if his lunch was good, but the seat was  empty.


I Had To Talk Back!!!

English: GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba – Navy Cmdr. Geo...

Back in the early spring, I walked down this same road, and now today, it has come to take me back down the familiar path. I had to take Al to the dentist. It is not a pleasant trip at all. He is fearful, as most dental patients are, and when he is afraid, the tremors quadruple in numbers. It is like watching several hummingbirds go from feeder to feeder.

As the last time I took him to a dentist, I could tell, even though the dentist did not come out and say it so plainly, that he was afraid to work on Al’s mouth. The tremors, the tears and the attitude just aren’t very appealing to strangers.

This time I took him to a brand new dentist. A place highly advertised with the most gentle of care and a friendly atmosphere. We did not have to wait long for an appointment, only three days, and it was fairly close to home. Al had told me that last evening it took him three hours to go to sleep from the pain.

I am surprised that he feels pain in any area, with the amounts of pain pills he is on, but this is what he said. He also asked me if this was September or November, and he said today was the 13, instead of the 25th. It is alright, he snapped out of that partially and did tell me today was Thursday. I blame some of this on his medications and the rest I always dump on the disease, Parkinson’s.

We get called back to the x-rays within  15 minutes, and Al does very well with these, because he has had them before. Then we are led back to the dental chair. When I see it for myself, I call it the big monster, that is going to hurt me! I am the biggest baby on earth when it comes to a dentist.

As soon as they get him situated in his chair, the technician leaves and they leave us in the room about twenty minutes. Now this is just enough time for Al to start going frantic, and he did. I had purposely asked when calling and making the appointment, to have an experienced dentist for Al’s type and to not let him sit, that he needed to be taken care of immediately, as the longer he sat, the worse he got.

No one paid attention to my request, so by the time the technician had come back and she and the dentist, (which, by the way, looked the age of 21, like a brand new dentist) looked over Al’s x-rays, Al was a big old mess. Tears galore, shaking tremors, lack of comprehending, you name it,  he had it going on.

It did not matter how I tried to soothe him, his memories were pain and needles. The dentist rambled off all the things that could possibly need to be done, and just from her talking, I could see dollar signs spinning quickly in my head. I think my eye balls were like spinning tops.

I gently explained Al and his conditions for the second time and also that he was in his fifth stage of PD, and that Medicare does not cover any dental work, so for a lot of reasons, we needed what had to be done, the easiest, and moderately pricing included. She looked at me and smiled.

This tiny young-looking girl, with no pimples or scarring on her face, and her leather knee rise boots on a sunny warm 78 degree day and her short little dress, looks at me and says, his teeth are dirty. He has two teeth that need to have root canals done plus caps.

I looked at her and smiled my dirty white teeth at her and said, I just told you he does not have insurance and his PD stage, so there is no way we can afford the couple of thousands of dollars you are talking about.

She flipped her pretty dark hair over her shoulder and smiled back at me and said, well you can just have his two teeth pulled, and he will have to figure out how to eat. You had his other side of his top two teeth pulled and he managed to find a way to eat, so he will have to do it this time also! smile, smile!

I asked her how was he to eat if he didn’t have the proper chewing teeth on either side, and she said,he’ll figure it out! She said that they had an oral surgeon that would take them out and he comes there once a month at the beginning of each month.

I calculated in my head how far it was to the first week of the new month, and the fact that the dentist was prescribing him some penicillin, and also remembered the fact that they advertised the best deals in town, plus the biggie was, they had programs for the poor, that allowed big discounts.

I told her alright, let’s find out what you can do for him. We left him sitting in his chair and walked over to the principal’s office, actually the manager’s office where they give you great deals on work needing to be done.

My goal was to get the penicillin started in Al right away, and then get those two teeth removed at a price he could afford. We sit and talk and the soonest they could get him in was November 19th. What happened to the first week of the month? Oh well, it fills up quickly. The price was over $1100.00 for two teeth for IV sedation. This dentist that saw Al said she did not have the experience to deal with Al, so she did not want to pull his teeth. Thanks so much, and I believe I requested a dentist with experience.

The price made me gulp, and there was no great deals, because the deals only come with general dentistry work, even if you are poor or disabled and have no money or not much. The time of the appointment was too far away. Who wants to suffer for almost another month?

I then asked them to call the oral surgeon and get the x-rays faxed to them and set up an appointment for him to have them pulled where I had taken him in the spring. At the previous dentist office, they did all the dirty work for me. They called the surgeon, faxed the x-rays, and set the appointment. Not here! The comment made to me when I asked for their help was, we don’t do this service if you feel you need to go somewhere else.

Now I was pissed off, and it is not good to get sister Terry pissed off. I have  a brother who is in his last stages of PD, and he is sitting in the opposite room crying and freaking out, and it is hard to get him to anywhere in this world, and you can’t do this for me? What? I told them they were down right rude, and I was going to make sure I told anyone who asked that this placed sucked donkey you know whats.

Their eyes popped out of their head. They obviously had not been treated this kind way of mine before, but I was not going to drag this brother of mine back to the car, take x-rays over to another dentist, drag him back into another dentist office, watch him freak out even more, just to set up an appointment. I stood up from my chair, and I told them, you ARE going to call this place and you will set a time, and I will take the damn x-rays myself, so go get them for me! She picked up the phone in silence and made the call. We are now scheduled for November 13th, for a little less than a thousand dollars.

She then went and got the x-rays and put them in an envelope, and I took them from her hand, and went over and helped my brother out of the monster seat, and we began to leave. As we passed by the manager’s office, she was still sitting there in shock at my treatment back to her, and I poked my head in and with my biggest dirty tooth smile, I said, You all have a nice day now, ya hear????

Heart Felt Love


English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After my blow out of emotions earlier today, and writing my new stories, I did something I never do, I turned the computer off. I wanted to shut the whole world out and just try to sort out my feelings. Al had finally fallen asleep on the couch, and so I took the other couch to lie down on and think of what I can do next to help this situation. Before, I knew it, my spent tears landed me in sleep land. When I awoke, Al was up. There was no emotion coming from him. I believe it was the last of the sedative wearing off. He did say he was hungry though, and I always look at this as a plus sign. If you are feeling hungry, you are feeling better. I got up and got him a bowl of ice-cream. He ate it very slowly, but finished every drop. I sat back down and tried to go back to what I was trying to do earlier, before falling asleep, which was think of what I needed to do next, but my mind was still dazed. I thought about Al’s foot and what the dentist had said. The spot on Al’s foot is not a good sign. He needs to be checked. I know a dentist is a doctor, but they know teeth, not circulation as well as other doctors. I called the primary care doctor and explained the cold foot, the dark gray toenail, and the soft pulse. They want to see him tomorrow afternoon, so I am going with my gut instinct, and taking him in, and not waiting until next week like the dentist suggested. If it is what I suspect, there is nothing I can do, but work harder at memorizing every facial feature, every word out of his mouth, hanging on to these memories as tight as I can. If it is not that, and something else, than that is less worry for me by a whole week. Al and I watched some stupid television programs, based on entertaining you if you have no brain and time went on by. There was no organized supper tonight, as I wasn’t going to sit and eat supper in front of him, and have to explain to him why he didn’t get any, so he ate more ice-cream, and then later on I fixed him his first soft meal, scrambled eggs with cherry jello. I could tell by the way he ate, that he was very hungry. I don’t want him to lose anymore weight. Finding out this morning that he has lost another 11 pounds is something I don’t want to continue, so eat Al, eat! I fixed myself the same meal so he didn’t feel left out. I finally turned the computer back on, wondering if I was going to see any more cut remarks. I know that I am emotional, and maybe too emotional. When I love, I love, giving all of me, and when I am hurt, all of me hurts. I was blown away at all the comments I had waiting for me. I have so many wonderful friends on here. I have always thought if we all only knew each other in person, but that is a dream, but after reading everyone’s comments, I have learned that you all are truly friends to me. You don’t have to live in my back yard to have a connection. I want to thank BIRD for scolding me. She may not have thought of it as this, but I did. It was a wake-up kind of scolding. She was telling me it is alright to be myself, that I don’t need to pretend to be any other than who I am. As I went down through the list of comments, the tears did fall, but not from pain, but from joy, knowing God has answered yet another prayer. I am not alone. It is alright that mom and dad are not here, you are. I needed to be talked to like this in order to understand that what I was thinking was wrong. I can say this and not even feel ashamed that you will take it in any other way, that I love you all. I love you for accepting me for who I am, for the type of writing that I write, for sometimes repeating myself, as my days seem to go the same each day for a while. I will be weak at times, tired at others, but it is alright. Thank you, everyone. You are truly a blessing and part of an answered prayer.

I Am Exhausted Right Now

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba – Navy Cmdr. George Sello...

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba – Navy Cmdr. George Sellock, a dentist deployed with Joint Task Force Guantanamo’s Joint Troop Clinic, performs dental work on a Trooper’s tooth, May 13, 2009. The JTC is a first line aid station for JTF Guantanamo Troopers. (JTF Guantanamo photo by Army Spc. Cody Black) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know how to look at this. I have two choices. I can look at this as, God gave me a rest, so I can have strength to handle more problems, or I can look at this as so much for the peace, because it is gone. I will let you decide, and respond to this. As I said earlier, my brother, Al, is determined to have his ice pick back. He is still grumbling today, after over fourteen hours has passed. I have that problem I am dealing with, trying to stay calm, and pretty much ignore his pleadings. I have told him the answer prior, and do not wish to debate any longer. I had taken him to a local dentist three weeks ago, and had teeth pain checked out. The sloppy care given by the office caused us to have to go somewhere else to have this matter attended to. I don’t mean to be rude to anyone, but I seriously believe that there are some professionals that look at disabled adults, as someone they can pass off as a stray dog walking by their window. The utmost care and gentle talk is sometimes not present, and these special patients are talked about  in front of them as if they are not sitting there, or maybe thinking they are tone-deaf, because they are mentally challenged. Today finally arrived. I am excited for Al, not because I am going to take him to a dentist, but we are going to be able to get a consult done and an appointment made for the extraction of these teeth. When we arrived at the office, we were on time, and they were late. It was evidently their lunch break and they went a little over, leaving us to stand in the drizzle or try to walk Alvin back to the car. It was a short wait, so I said nothing. She let us in. She took our paper work that had been sent to us by mail to fill out ahead of time, so as to save them time and money? She asked for his insurance card, although it stated very clearly, that there was no insurance, because he is on medicare. I said, he has no insurance, this is private pay.  She commented that this would be costly. I almost laughed, because I knew that going to a dentist is not pocket change. We sat down, along with two others that walked in behind us, all with the same appointment times. Yes, this is definitely saving someone time and money! The tech calls in the other two that had followed us in, leaving us last to be called. Alrighty then! They proceeded to give him a full mouth x-ray, in which you have to stand during the process. She kept telling Al to stand still, and bite on the black plastic, and keep you chin rested on the chin guard. Picture a weak man, with severe tremors doing this outlandish request! She tried so hard to get this accomplished. I tried just as hard to keep my big mouth shut. Finally, I could take no more. I said, have you read his files? She said that she had read where the other dentist wanted him to have this test done. I said, it isn’t going to happen. There is a difference between wanting and happening. She looks at me like I am stupid, the duh look. I said look at his legs, they are buckling under him. He can not stand any length of time. She insists that they need this test. I said, he can’t bite down on the black clip, because his mentality won’t let him do it. He will bite it then let go, which is what he did over and over. I finally got more steamed, as she continued this farce! I said, you are going to have a bigger problem on your hand, than you have now, if he falls to the ground, and the chin guard and plastic piece cause him to hurt his neck or head as he is falling. You have to realize that this battle of getting him to stand and stand still was now going on for twenty minutes. I think if she looked at me straight on, she would see the steam coming from my nostrils and ears. She finally gave up and went and talked with another tech. I could hear her telling the other person, that she didn’t know how to deal with this, and she needed help. Well, good for her, at least she admitted she could not do this, and she needed help. The other tech opened a closet door and pulled out a wheelchair. They got Al in it and started the whole process over again. While getting him adjusted exactly right, the machine that she lifts and lowers for adjustment, hits him in the knee, with his finger on his knee it pinches slightly. She then raises it quickly  to get it off of him, and it goes high enough to knock him in the chin. I am speechless by now, wondering where this tech got her schooling. After several times of still telling him to sit still, the test is taken and complete. She wheels him then into the room where he is to wait for the dentist, asking me if he needs help to get out of the wheelchair. I said, you are standing right there beside him, you can help him. She does this and leaves us to wait and out the door she goes. We were probably the talk of the social office, but I don’t care. I am not going to let anyone treat Al with less than dignity. The dentist comes in and tells us that the prior dentist wants him sedated and that three teeth are to come out, one on top and two on the bottom, all on the same side, and that by taking this brand new x-ray, if it showed any more bad teeth, the prior dentist wanted this dentist to remove them. I said, let’s talk about this a moment. I tell him Al has no dental insurance, and we will take out the three teeth that we are definitely aware of that are causing him pain, but we are not going to do anymore at this time, because he has no insurance and this is going to be expensive. I hate to put a dollar on his mouth, but I have to. He said, your choice. He never did say that he saw any other bad teeth besides the three that we knew about from the other dentist, so I am going to assume there weren’t any others.  He lets us go and we go out to receptionist to schedule his appointment for extraction. She schedules it for two weeks away. I asked her if she has ever had a sore tooth. She said yes, and explains about the painful ordeal. I told her that because of the failure of the prior dentist not taking x-rays, it caused a week’s delay there, and then realizing the prior dentist didn’t want to take out more than one tooth at a time, it caused two more weeks delay getting to this new appointment here, and now you want to wait two more weeks. How do you think Al is feeling with this continued pain? She said nothing, and changed the appointment to next Tuesday, May 8th. All the time we spent there, Al was shaking like a dog shaking water off. His tremors were so bad because of nerves. He had been crying the whole time, from just the instructions he had been given over and over. His mind can not keep up and comprehend so much in so little time given. He became confused over how many teeth had to be pulled, thinking the dentist said four, instead of three. He was a mess, a big shaking, crying mess. She thanks us for coming and hands me the appointment card and says by the way, this will cost $1137.00!  We will need half when he arrives next week, since he has no insurance. She and I smile at each other and I bid her a good afternoon. She then turns back to her work she was doing. We left with our appointment, and he cried all the way home. He kept telling me he didn’t understand why he had to go back next week, and why he had to go without food and water after midnight before his extraction. I could not settle him down no matter what I said, and I had to concentrate on my driving to keep us safe, but I could not get home fast enough. He went straight to his room, and shut his door most of the way, signalling to me he was going to take his nap. Through the baby monitor out here I could hear his constant grumble. Now more time has passed  and all is quiet. For now, he does not have to think about what is to come.