Journal

Journal entry by Holly Behncke

Well, it's been awhile since I posted. Since my last post, I have had those nasty wisdom teeth removed!
Post recovery went well initially, then around day three I began having excruciating pain. I started to take the pain medication I was prescribed and it didn't even touch the pain.
After three more sleepless days & nights of pain, I called my Oral Surgeon and made an appointment to come in. I am so glad I did! It turns out the pain was not a normal part of my recovery. That, I in fact had dry socket. Now, the term "dry socket" sounds fairly lame compared to what it feels like. Basically, the site where the tooth was removed did not clot over, leaving the bone and nerves exposed. So every time I swallowed, or breathed, or thought about breathing, my nerve endings would fire off all through my jaw, and throat, and face, well basically everywhere above my neck.
Immediate relief occurred once they packed it! That was a wonderful day!  After a few visits for packing, I am now packing free with now more nerve pain, yay! I did experience some numbness on that side that lasted for about two weeks and seems to be going away now.
After the packings I was stopped taking the pain meds all together and boy did I feel yucky getting all of those opiods out of my system. I was green for a few days after.

About a week after that my jaw began to hurt. Not the nerve pain like before, but an intense soreness that eventually led to me not being able to open my mouth. Again, I waited to heal.
After a few more days I woke up with a huge hard bump on my jaw that lasted another 3 days before I called my Oral Surgeon again.
It ended up being a cyst and I am happy to say the antibiotics seemed to begin working right away!
So, while I am not fully recovered yet from the wisdom teeth removal, I am on my way!
On another note, it is a very strange experience to be the age I am and not have very many teeth in my lower mouth. I remind myself that this is a journey and  that when I am all done, it will be so worth it.

Thank you everyone for your support through this journey.
Nest step is my crowns once I have healed enough.
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Journal entry by Holly Behncke

Feeling a lot of pressure from the swelling. Woke up last night around 3am and couldn't go back to sleep. Vision is a little blurry from th swelling/bruising. Tried the hydrocodone prescribed but it made me super nauseous, so hanging in there with Aleve and icepacks.

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Journal entry by Holly Behncke

May 24
Tim and I met with Dr. Neal to find out results of my sleep study and to discuss my treatment plan. I do have some sleep apnea. I also have a narrow windpipe which aggravates the problem. All of these years asking my medical doctor why I have so my trouble breathing and I finally have my answer! This is great news because it can be fixed! 
Next step is to go to my Periodontist and have bone grafts. Once that heals I will come back to Dr. Neal for removal of my impacted wisdom teeth.

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Journal entry by Holly Behncke

June 7
Today I had my bone grafts done. It was a much bigger procedure than I thought it would be. It took about three and a half hours to graft spots on my upper jaw.  One of the membranes they use to keep the grafting material in place fell off when I got home. The medicine I took before hand made me pretty groggy for most of the procedure, which was great. Today (June 8) I am pretty swollen and in quite a bit of pain, but the bleeding has stopped. The graft should be healed in six to nine months.
Next step will be my wisdom teeth.

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Journal entry by Holly Behncke

3/1
I had my four bottom teeth removed on 3/1/2018 by my Oral Surgeon. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be! Swollen for a couple of days, but nothing horrible. The most difficult part is remembering my temporary teeth when I leave the house. It's been a few months now and I'm getting much better, but I have left the house many times in the morning only to have to turn around and go back home to get them! Showing up at work looking like a kindergartner is not a look of authority! Having those bottom four teeth gone has helped a lot with the pain I was experiencing, but it is also letting the teeth that were next to them to start relaxing, so the are getting a little more crooked.

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Journal entry by Holly Behncke

2/28
Today I saw the periodontist and had my deep cleaning done on half my mouth. It has been quite awhile since i'd been to a dentist. I wasn't prepared for the effects of the novocaine! When did they start mixing epinephrin into the Novocaine? My was heart was crazy racing!
Once I calmed down a little we got started. She ended up having do to open flap cleaning on four of my teeth. She was able to do the deep pocket on the remaining ones. It turns out I have quite a bit of bone loss, more than anticipated. We will have to revisit that later.
It took about four hours to complete that half. It was very painful! I left with several stitches. Tomorrow, I meet with the oral surgeon to have my front bottom four teeth removed.

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Holly’s Story

Site created on May 17, 2018

Those of you who now me, know it's been a decade + of huge challenges. When we lost Sophie, I went into a deep hole, one that quite frankly, I am still climbing out of. Last year, as part of my recovery, I decided I was going to get healthy! I have seen more Doctors than I can count and am making some traction towards wellness. The most recent (and the biggest) goal is to fix my mouth. I have struggled my entire adult life with  a bad mouth. It has been unhealthy and embarrassing. Overcrowding, impacted wisdom, periodontal disease, the gamut. Finally, I have a really fantastic dental team that are working with each other to help make this happen for me. In anticipation of the extensive work I will need, I took out a second dental policy. I'm halfway through my benefit year and I am now operating out of pocket until January. This is where you could help. For my Birthday if everyone would donate a few coins, you could help me get to the next step of my treatment plan.  What I am undertaking is BIG. It will likely be a multiple year process, with your help I might be able to  have my new mouth within two years!
Here is the overview:
I must have my front four bottom teeth removed. They are overcrowded and I have too much bone loss to keep them.
Major Periodontal Treatment: Deep pocket scaling and Open flap surgery.
Bone Graft
Root Canal to save tooth
Four impacted wisdom teeth removed. Two of them are fused to the jaw bone.
Four crowns to stabilize fractures in those teeth.
Orthodontia to straighten out the remaining teeth.
Orthognathic surgery: My lower jaw is malformed/underformed. This has caused many problems like severe TMD because of jaw misalignment, headaches and breathing problems. My bit e will be fixed.
Throughout this process I will share my journey (ups & downs) and we will see the progress together! Thank you for those who choose to go on this journey with me, I am so grateful.

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