Saturday, August 20, 2011
Well, today I count myself lucky to be among the living. I'm basically healthy, mostly full of energy, have dealt with all the "repair" things that need to be done to my body except for the knee replacements that I know are looming..... and have even begun taking care of things that are more "cosmetic" in nature, like dental work. I have a gold crown on my right rear molar, that I got at age 15. That's 43 years ago. They told me it would only last 15 to 20 years. Well, today, it finally fell off. It was there at 10:30 this morning, I know, because my tongue is drawn to it because there is a big "hole" in it, and my dentist has been urging me to get it replaced. Anyways, I've been avoiding chewing on that side for a while because food gets caught in the hole, and there are some jagged edges at the top of the crown that have either broken off or something.... well, I was standing in the lunch room while my soft (scrambled eggs) lunch was heating up, and talking to a co-worker, doing nothing special or unusual..... and when I got back to my desk with my lunch, my tongue went automatically to the crown "just to check it out".... and OMG!!! It was gone!! In its place was a very sharp and jagged crater that immediately cut my tongue. Ahhhh - where did it go???? I certainly didn't feel it in anything I was chewing up, I didn't feel a lump go down my throat, I hadn't had a coughing or sneezing fit that might have blown it out of my mouth.... the only logical assumption is that I swallowed it!
Well, I made an emergency appointment with my dentist to get a temporary crown put back on so that my tongue and cheek wouldn't be turned into "hamburger".... and while they were fitting me with an aluminum replacement, they got too close to the back of my throat, and my hyperactive gag reflex kicked in, and I gagged, and my throat opened wide, and this huge aluminum crown fell off the back of my tooth and right down my windpipe. Oh man.... Panic time! I began to cough and gag and spit and cough some more, but it just kept working its way down my throat until it felt like it was about halfway to my stomach. Although I was coughing violently, it didn't feel like it was going to come back up, so I began swallowing, trying to get it to go down. Wasn't working. FINALLY after about two minutes of vigorous coughing, someone whacked me on the back hard, and a final violent cough sent it flying out of my throat and onto the floor! Man, that thing was about the size of a dice cut in half!!
I felt sorry for the poor dental assistant, she was scared out of her wits, and wanted to call 911. I didn't THINK I was in danger of dying, as I was able to cough and get SOME words out.... but that thing with its sharp edges really cut a trail down my esophagus, and I'm still coughing from the irritation nearly 10 hours later.
They finally got a temporary replacement crown on that back tooth, and the doc made sure he glued it in really SECURELY.... so, all's well that ends well.
But, I have found a real and unusual reason to be glad I'm alive today. I hope none of you ever have to go through that kind of panic! I hope I never have to experience it again!!
Thank you, blessed Mother!