Dixie Peach: How Bad Can It Get?

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Monday, August 04, 2008

How Bad Can It Get?

Summer is the time we normally get B outside at lot but this summer, so far, has been a bust. There have been a few factors preventing us from getting him outside but the biggest reason is because Gerd, my MIL's gentleman friend and the one I rely on to help me lift B in and out of his wheelchair, has been unable to help me.

Seven or eight weeks ago Gerd started to be bothered by pain in his jaw. Three weeks ago he finally broke down and went to his dentist who said he had a big infection in his lower jaw and the dentist referred Gerd to a jaw surgeon (in Germany a jaw surgeon is like a cross between an oral surgeon and a orthodonsit) who saw him right away and took a lot of x-rays and whatnot. Gerd takes blood thinner so the surgeon told him to come back the next Friday to have the infection drained.

Gerd gets the infection drained and the incision was sutured but wasn't given any anti-biotics. That right there made me think something was wrong. The pain was better for a day or two but then it came back. The surgeon wanted to see Gerd again the following Friday for a follow-up. That also sounded bad to me. By Monday Gerd couldn't stand the pain and went back to the surgeon who proceeded to say it was the sutures that were not agreeing with him so they were removed and Gerd was sent home.

The pain only got worse - so bad that Gerd could only walk a couple hundred yards from home before he'd have to sit down. The only time the pain would subside is if he stayed absolutely still. Gerd went back to the surgeon the following Friday and was still given no medications. Sometimes Gerd would have a day where the pain wouldn't nearly bring him to his knees but otherwise it only got worse.

The follow Monday - Monday of last week - both the jaw surgeon and his dentist was gone on vacation so Gerd went to his family doctor. She gave him an anti-biotic (finally! I mean who doesn't immediately treat an infection with an anti-biotic?) and some pain medication but he still had no real improvement. The pain would be so bad that Gerd could feel it down to his stomach. This past Friday Gerd went back to his family doctor who gave him another round of anti-biotics and to him to come back today if things were still bad.

It was still bad today. The family doctor gave up and said for him to try his dentist because it was something a jaw surgeon was going to have to take care of but it's the dentist who has to make the referral to the surgeon. And as luck would have it his dentist was still on vacation but at least one angel was smiling on him because another dentist who works in the same practice agreed to make the referral and they even got Gerd an appointment this afternoon at the dental clinic at the university hospital.

And here's the diagnosis and how the first jaw surgeon missed it is beyond me. Gerd has a wisdom tooth that never cut through and it became abcessed - that's what caused the giant-pus-swelling-from-hell. But over time it not only was the giant-pus-swelling-from-hell but the abscess and evidently impacted wisdom tooth broke his jaw (!!!) and the infection ate away some of his jaw bone (!!!!!!!). Massive panic and freak out? Time to take the stage!

Now Gerd's got to go to the hospital on Wednesday for some more tests and get off of his medications because on Thursay he'll have to have surgery to remove the tooth, clear out the infection and, I assume, repair his broken and somewhat eaten away jaw. Time in the hospital: at least one week.

Poor Gerd. I know I goof on him and all and he is a little annoying but he's not a bad guy and I really do like him. He's always nice to me and is never stingy with helping me whenever I need it. He scares the living shit out of me when he drives and he can say some stupid stuff but no one deserves the sort of misery he's got going on. And my MIL is absolutely beside herself. She's trying to be all calm about it but we can tell she's very upset and nervous about Gerd having surgery.

And now I feel badly about having goofed on him. Which, I suppose, is a lesson in not goofing on people.



Blogger Mahala said...

Holy Cow!! Poor Gerd.. I can't imagine. He's got to be in misery! I hope everything works out okay.

1:34 AM  
Blogger Significant Snail said...

Oh my gosh!!! Poor guy! Dental pain is some of the worst and I can't imagine going that long in that kind of pain. I'll keep him in my prayers for a quick recovery.

3:17 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

((((Gerd & Dix))))

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh wow.thats bad.i mean its horrible.i say sue the first dentist(can he do that?)

4:53 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

Ouch!!! How in the world is something like that missed!

6:09 PM  
Blogger Schnitzel_Republic said...

A number of years ago...I had a chance to observe two German dentists....after having Air Force dentists for my entire adult life. After the "tour" of those two...I gave up on them, and since...stick with American-trained dentists.

German dentists absolutely hate taking any x-rays, period. If they can avoid this...they will. German dentists absolutely hate giving out any substantial pain-killers or antibiotics...until you really get bad off. German dentists won't use any strong cleaners when you do your usual once-a-year visit (again, what they prefer).

The German dentists all want to brag that they are better suited than American dentists. Then they brag that American dentist hand out antibiotics and pain-killers like candy. I can stand a certain amount of pain, but when it peaks out...and my German dentist is on holiday in Cuba for three weeks....I don't have much patience for that excuse.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Thanks for the good wishes for Gerd.

To be fair, the dentist is not the one at fault here. It's the jaw surgeon. And he took x-rays. Evidently, however, he can't read them worth a shit. And Gerd, once he's recovered, is considering a lawsuit against him.

Ripley Porch - I've had extensive dental work done on my teeth. I've had six veneers done, six caps, two crowns, a gold onlay, 4 wisdom teeth removed under novacaine only (2 had to be broken to be removed) countless fillings and a root canal. I know shit dentists from good ones and I have never had a reason to complain about the dentists I've seen in Germany. I've never had them be stingy with any anesthesia or medications and I have received excellent treatment every time. And I've never had a German dentist slap me in the face as was done to me in America when I was 6 years old and I was crying when the dentist was trying to pull a baby tooth of mine that had the permanent tooth growing up behind it - with no novacaine being used.

9:42 PM  
Blogger TitanKT said...

Aw, jeez, poor Gerd. That is a horrifying story. I hope his surgery goes well and he gets feeling better soon. Be sure to update us because I'm going to worry! Give your MiL all our best from the vast and anonymous Internets that we who know of Gerd wish him well.

2:07 AM  
Blogger Rositta said...

Wow, that's all I can say. And we thought my husbands root canal story from last year was bad, poor Gerd's is way worse. Speedy recovery all around...ciao

3:24 AM  
Blogger sari said...

Holy smokes, that's awful. I can't imagine the pain!

Gerd is in my prayers, as is your MIL so that the stress eases for her and she can care for him while he recovers.

Poor Gerd!

8:11 PM  

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