Friday, July 26, 2013
About a month before my mom was placed on hospice, her dental bridge fell out. Mom’s mobility is very limited (she can’t walk the eight steps from her bed to the bathroom – she has to go in a wheelchair; and getting in and out of the wheelchair exhausts her), so she had not been visiting her dentist for the past year or so. When mom and my sister tried to get an emergency appointment, her former dentist refused; and that dentist also refused to accommodate wheelchair access even though handicapped accessibility is required by law (mom can’t go up or down the entry stairs). Mom is very loyal to all her caregivers but at that point she was upset at the lack of help from this dentist. Mom’s doctor arranged an emergency appointment with her own dentist, who did a temporary repair to the dental bridge. The new dentist suggested a more thorough appointment to check on mom’s teeth.
Yesterday my sister accompanied mom to the new (nice!) dentist. Mom needs two abscessed teeth removed, two root canals, and three cavities filled. Now mom’s lack of appetite is making a lot of sense! She only has about half her teeth, and even if her pain meds dull the pain in her mouth, the abscesses MUST be interfering with her ability to eat. I don’t know what the final decision will be – I worry that mom will default to doing nothing thinking she will die before the next dental emergency. Personally I think we should ask mom’s doctor for advice –does the infection from the decaying teeth place a higher risk for her health than going through dental surgery and root canals?
Certainly serves as a good reminder to all of us to brush and floss our teeth! Then again my mom was always meticulous at caring for her own teeth …
Hope you all are doing well and staying on track with your fitness and nutrition goals!