Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ever thought of having implants?

Now that title got your attention didn't it!  Now, do I waffle on for a bit, or just let you know immediately that I'm not actually posting about the boob variety.  Ok so a little lift and point wouldn't go amiss but I'm afraid that's not what it is about!  I wonder how many people have already stopped reading.....

This is actually about dental implants.  My reason for writing about something so personal? Well for a start I feel that a blog should be like a diary, and I try to be as honest about things as I can.  The only thing I tend not to share are personal things in my children's lives as of course that is private to them.  Also I was looking for blog posts on dental implants and couldn't find any.

I have always had problem teeth.  Maybe it was because I was brought up in the days of giving tea with sugar in to your kids, or that they simply fell to pieces after I had my children.  It certainly wasn't due to not looking after them.  Being an ex dance teacher my teeth were always cleaned at least twice a day, usually 3 times, with an extra brush when getting ready to go off out to get close and personal, especially in my ballroom and Latin American days.

I have many crowns, and also a bridge on the front left side of my mouth.  Strangely a slight crack appeared in a front tooth beside the bridge a few years ago.  We all tried so hard to save it, but eventually the white filling needed to repair it, was having to get larger and it was eventually coated over the complete front tooth, until as time went by, it would crack once again with the tooth.  I had lived on a softish diet for ages, or at least being extremely careful.  The time had come when I knew something needed to be done.  That front tooth also was a rest for the bridge beside it.  So this wasn't going to be an easy job to fix.

Now this is my story, not an advertisement for implants nor is it to put anyone off, simply about my story.  I wish I could have read other peoples blog posts to confirm what I was feeling was normal'ish.

I do see a very nice dentist in our home town here in Spain, however when a job is going to be major you need to be able to fully understand the procedue, that is why I chose to have it does in the UK, nothing at all against my Spanish dentist!

I was booked in for a 2 hour appointment and came out two and and half hours later!  The first thing was to have an x ray that moves 360 degrees around your head to get a full idea of what is going on, and discuss the results of the x ray.  The original plan was to take out 3 teeth, including the 1 at the front and have 2 implants, however this was changed to removing 4 teeth. I was given a concious sedative, as I'm a total wuss, and I'm sure I'm usually far less trouble out of it, than awake, although this sedative was different.  In the past if I have had a sedative, I do not remember anything of what has happened, but I was totally aware of everything that was going on, but to be honest I didn't give a hoot (to put it politely).  My gums were rubbed with anaesthetic, and an injection was put into the back of my hand, and then I remember my gums being injected.  At this point I clearly remember saying, in between having a syringe in my mouth "Errr you do know I'm not asleep, don't you?"  I was assured I wouldn't feel any pain or discomfort, and I pretty much can agree with this.   I was vaguagly aware of the pressure of the teeth coming out.  I'm sure years ago the teeth were pulled, unless that is just what you expect to happen, as opposed to the actually pushing to break them, and then the removal from there.  I'm pretty sure a head lock was required at one point, but I didn't really care!

I was unaware until after the procedure was finished that a bone graft was needed.  Having done some research, I see this is often the case.  Especially if there has been a large amount of infection,  the bone is simply not strong enough to take the implant.  So a small part of bone was taken from the jaw by the last tooth at the back that needed to be extracted ,and placed at the front where my front tooth used to be.  The next step was the implants to be drilled into place, through the jaw bone.  I was aware this didn't sound like the normal high pitch of the dentist drill, rather like there was a workman in the corner of the room with his black and decker.  Again it didn't particularly feel it was being used on me.  Although once again I did feel a head lock wrestling hold, and a very slight pain, but as I was showing a little sign of discomfort I was immediatly topped up with something to ensure I was comfortable again.  I overheard the word suture so I knew that stiches were about to take place.  I have to admit to feeling a little pain on one.  I'm not sure if it was the first or last, but it felt like it was going up my nose.  Also something that upset me greatly was the feeling that one of the two dentists attending to me, was holding my nose (weird).  I couldn't work out why he would be doing that, and as I had a nurse also regularly checking my blood pressure as well as inserting things into my mouth, it was difficult to breath.  It's also a game Alan likes to play, and will hold my nose at all sorts of unappropriate times as he knows I'll panic, which entertains him greatly... yes I know we really should get out more!  The nurse thought this was quite funny I should be affected but this, more than most things that were done to me and laughed as she explained it to my daughter.  In actual fact the dentist was not holding my nose, he had his fingers up my nose... how awful!  It was actually to lift my nose and expose the top gum for it to be stitched high around the bone graft area.

The procedure was finished and I was sat up, when realisation dawned on me I had no teeth on one side.  I had been told I would need a partial denture, which appalled me, however somehow I imagined this would be magically appeared into the surgery and all would be fine with the world.  Er no, I was told I would have to wait until 3 or 4 days for this.  I was embarrassed, I looked awful!  I was taken home by Frankie, with a bag of pills including ibruprofen, antibiotics and also pills to stop the swelling, plus a very soft tooth brush and  I went to bed for an hour as suggested.  

The hardest part of this whole situation was been looking like Nanny Bloody Mc Phee!  I wanted to lock myself away.  I didn't see anyone, only my daughter and her boyfriend, but I would have rather hidden myself in a hotel, simply because I was so embarrassed at the way I looked.  I really did feel fine when I left the dentist, and took an ibruprofen plus the other tablets I needed to take when I woke up, and I really was suprised and pleased at feeling no pain or discomfort.  I was however reminded on leaving, not to under estimate what had been done, and to take it easy. The day after I had a phone call from my dentist to see how I was feeling, which I thought was very kind. I just relaxed over the weekend then on the Tuesday morning wrapped a scarf around my face like a crazy woman and had a little walk for some fresh air.  I had a phone call from the surgery the same day to say my partial denture had arrived.  I had mixed feelings, I would be over the moon to be looking normal again, but I had major reservations about wearing a denture.

As I child I had a brace, not a fixed one, but I just couldn't wear it.  The feeling of the plate against the roof of my mouth made me feel sick, and I could not eat with it in.  The thought of food going in it quite repulsed me. I told myself things would had improved from then and it would be fine.  I sat in the dentist's chair and immediately felt comfortable as the denture was put in, and it looked fantastic.  The color was perfect and no great crack in a tooth I had been trying to hide.  Although it was comfortable, it still felt weird though, and I spoke like a ventriloquist, and it took me a moment to trust it would stay in place. My immediate thoughts were that I was very happy with it!

I got back to Frankie's and the question of dinner was raised.  I had only eaten soup for the last 3 days although did try a little pasta, which wasn't too difficult, however now I had the dreaded plate.  I decided to try a crumpet, nice to eat and not too wet.  I ate it with my head down so it would not go towards the back of my mouth until I was ready to swallow it, tiny mouthfuls eating on the other side of my mouth and it was ok... ish!  After sucking and swallowing loads to make sure there was nothing between the roof of my mouth and the denture, I had to try and take it out and clean my teeth, and it!  It was horrible!  I reached twice whilst removing it and quickly rinsed it under the tap so I couldn't see anything, or I knew I would be sick. I quickly cleaned my teeth, and popped it back in. During my stay, I progressed to hot cross buns, and one for breakfast and another during the evening became my meals throughtout my holiday!

A couple of days after my teeth were taken out and I had the new partial denture, I was extremely tearful and very emotional, I felt like I may have been suffering a little bit of shock.  I kept Alan up all hours whilst I meaned and whinged to him online.  I bet he was pleased he was so far away! 

Three weeks ago now, my teeth were taken out.  I still have the stitches and they will dissolve in time.  My teeth still look great although it has been extremely difficult.  It still repulses me to wear it.  It feels like an old tastless sweet I really cannot stand in my mouth any more.  I am trying with food but cannot bear the thought of anything getting trapped it it.  I am living on rice, pasta and bread mainly as I cannot chew very much.  Most mornings I wake up and don't really talk to Alan for a couple of hours, as I feel a bit sick with it in my mouth still and I guess it has made me feel a little low in myself.  I then feel guilty for people that are really ill!

This will not be for ever.  The next part of the procedure will be done in a few months time, when the gums have healed.  Impressions will be done and the gums opened again to expose the implants which will then have the "teeth" attached to them.... and no denture!!!!! Wooooo hoooo! 

If anyone one esle has had epriences with implants or dentures they would like to share please email me and I shall keep you up to date with my story.

Nanny Mc Phee

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Franks back on the road... yippee!

Well after 25 long miserable days we finally have ole Frank back on the road again.  After breaking down en route home from zumba he sat patiently waiting to be made better, outside our house.  We had to consider the option of taking him to a local garage and risk it being hugely expensive, or even not touched, which is what happened a few years ago. Back then we eventually had to get him towed down to the coast and have a new reconditioned engine (if that makes sense).  The other option was  to have Frank towed home and searching out the part on ebay and waiting for good samaritan Ken to be available to fit it.  We chose the second option, we will never know if this was best option, but at least Frank is mobile once again!

It was a tough 25 days and we relied heavily on friends to help us out.  Our great friends Kev and Sue were absolute stars, picking us up from home, twice a week to take us into Montoro.  I would take my zumba classes and Alan would do the shopping, they would then drop us back home again, miles out of their way, in the pitch black too.  It was great to have their company and have a chat over a cuppa, which gave Alan a break from just listening to me moaning of course!  Alan ordered the long thing that had dropped off on the motorway, when it arrived the long thing was 10 cms to short, bugger!  So he re ordered the correct sized long thing on a 24 hour delivery..... errr this arrived 7 days later. It had gone via Germany and also spent a long weekend in Jaen too.  Apparently having arrived in the capital someone decided that although the address was correct it should have had  the fact that it was being delevered to a pharmacy on it too.  So it sat for 48 hours whilst we were contacted about this and typed the words Guttierez Pharamcy with the same bloomin' address still.  Of course this being done on a Friday meant it would not leave the depot in Jaen until the Monday.  I swore quite a lot, I believe I cried a bit too.  It is ridiculous just how much we rely on ole Frank.

At the end of the 3rd Frankless week, Kev and Sue were about to travel back to the UK, so we had to hire a car.  This meant a trip into town thanks to Good Samaritan Ken, and a bus journey to Cordoba to pick up a little Polo, of the driving kind, not the eating kind.  Wooo hooo we were mobile again.  We took the opportunity to do a little shopping and just be out and about which was fab.  G.S. Ken came when we had long part, and low and behold the thingys that attach it to whatever they attached to DIDN'T FIT!!! Ken hammered and bashed, but to no avail.  A trip was needed to the ferriteria (local hardware store) for new attachy things then lo and behold Frank was back on the road.  Sadly his first outing was to take Saturday and Sunday to Cordoba!

Good ole Frank

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The story of Saturday and Sunday!

There is no doubt that the hardest thing for me living here is being away from my lovely children, grandchildren and friends.  After that the toughest thing is seeing the stray dogs.  In Montoro at the the moment there are about three.  They scavenge  from bins and generally roam around the streets.  Even if you won the lottery it would be difficult to help, as dogs here can, and often develope the dreaful leishmaniasis, eventually killing the dog however also infecting other dogs too.  The only way of preventing the strays is a cheaper castration of the animals, rather than allowing them to breed every year and throwing out into the streets the puppies that are not wanted.  Having said that, many families have dogs they love and care for very much, things are improving!

About 3 weeks ago we had a man working outside on our land, trimming the olive trees.  Running around beside him was one of the funniest looking dogs I have ever seen.  Legs and feet too long for him, and ears that looked like they simply didn't belong to him and had been stuck on for effect.  He appeared to be having a lovely time, running up and down, driving Big Arthur mad and calmly watching the alpacas and chickens.  Later that afternoon we heard the car start up and drive off down the track, but Arthur was periodically having a good old bark up.  Alan went outside to see what the fuss was all about, and he came bark rather angry!  "The man has gone, but the puppy is still outside... I don't bloody believe it!"  Oh no!  The last few nights had been very cold, and the unmovable car was still covered in ice at mid morning.  Alan said we'll have to bring him in, I don't want him to die out there in the cold.  So he brought him in and put him in Geri's big dog crate, in the barn.  He wolfed down some food, had a little drink and wailed like a small child, bless his heart, and then eventually settled down for the night.

When in the past this sort of thing has happened, I cannot get involved.  Even when we are feeding the other animals, I will walk round the long way so I don't have to see the little lost soul. I feel very sorry for Alan as I know he feels exactly the same as me!  The following morning Alan checked on our little fella we named Saturday... just because it was.  Alan cleaned out his crate, whilst he had a run around, and fed him again.  Saturday didn't want to play, he only wanted cuddles!  He would just try and climb up Alan, or sit on his lap.  That afternoon Alan went looking for his owner.... Yeah right!  The work man was back but denied any knowledge of owning the little fella, our only other hope was Rafael our neighbour who owns many dogs, we were so hoping he may have belonged to him, but sadly no!  

That afternoon little Miliko was on his wall, guarding over the chickens, cats and boy alpacas and he started to bark loudly.  We had no idea what was wrong, but if the boys are fighting he usually lets us know, then we can go and take them some hay or alfafa, but they were all calmly nibbling on the few starnds of grass coming up.  We went to the upstairs apartment to get a better view, and we could just spot a tiny puppy at the bottom of our track!!!!! BUM!!!!!!!

Once again there was no way Alan wanted this little one to die in the cold outside our house, so he brought him in, and introduced Saturday to his new mate, Sunday!  Alan had confided in me that he really was considering if there was a way we could have kept little Saturday, however when Sunday came along too we relised they would both have to go!  We were still carless apart from a small polo we hired, unfortunatley Geri's giant crate would not fit in that, we would have to be patient.  So for the next week, Alan, bless him cleaned out the crate the pups were in, fed them and gave them fresh water and let them run around and climb all over him, he then had to harden his heart and take them to the pound in Cordoba.

Alan has to lie when taking dogs there, and say he is from the city of Cordoba, as they will not take dogs from Montoro.  At least being in the pound there is a chance they will be homed.  Whilst Alan was there a family were adopting a dog.  They also have a professional looking website with testimonials from people that have rescued dogs from there.  In my heart I know they cannot keep all the dogs, we have to hope and pray our Saturday and Sunday are now with loving families.  Believe me if money was no object we would rescue more, but it's not just food is it!  There is vetirinary care, annual injections, scalibor collars!  It's tough!