The Next Thing: A Dental Emergency

Next Monday is my Temodar allergy test. To get accurate results, there are many medications the allergist has asked me to stop taking. Things like Benadryl, hydroxyzine, nortriptyline. (Not that I take these things regularly, but I’m especially supposed to not take them right now for reasons I will assume are obvious.)

temodar.jpgMedical cannabis is not on the no-no list that was mailed to me, but then it wouldn’t be. So I took myself off of it too. Because I don’t want to have to repeat any tests or suffer the consequences of inaccurate results.

So when I got up this morning stiff, sore, unrefreshed, and the most not-morning-person I’ve been in a couple of weeks, I said out loud “I miss you, Pot.”

Eating half a medical cannabis peanut butter cookie with a scoop of ice cream at 7 p.m. has become something of a ritual for me. Like being tucked in by my parents when I was five. My 1:1 CBD/THC cookie kicks in about 9:30 or 10:00 pm. It’s then you’ll find me relaxing in my recliner until I can’t keep my eyes open and I move to bed.

I sleep well until my dexamethasone hunger and the rising sun wake me up. And let me tell you, after literal years of pain-related insomnia, good sleep is perhaps my favorite thing about cannabis.

But that’s not really what this post is about. It’s just my roundabout way of explaining to you why I was up and restless last night and how I knew that Dan was awake all night long too, despite trying to shuffle quietly around the house.


“You had a rough night? You were up a lot.”

“Yeah,” he said. “This tooth.”

His tooth has been nagging at him for months now, since about the time I was hospitalized. And because Dan has this habit of doing everything for me and pretty much nothing for himself, he’s been ignoring it. Or trying. I’ve noticed the Anbesol sitting out on the bathroom counter a lot more lately.

“You’re calling the dentist tomorrow. I know we don’t have dental, but we’ll figure it out,” I said.


“You have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first and all that shit.”

“I know.”

“You’re no good to me dead, Poehlman.”


This happened with another tooth a few years ago, and it turned into an emergency room visit and oral surgery a few days later. (Dan takes a biologic that makes him a high risk for infection, and the tooth abscessed, and…)

dan er

He has promised to call first thing tomorrow morning. If he requires oral surgery this time too, it will mean finding someone who can 1.) sit in the waiting room while he’s under anesthesia and 2.) drive him home when he’s finished and asking staff what time the X-Men are coming over for dinner.

It will also mean asking for more money from our support system.

As everyone’s probably tired of hearing by now, we have no income at present. So in preparation for the costs associated with The Next Thing™, I’m adjusting the goal for my YouCaring campaign and asking you to consider giving—or sharing the campaign on your blogs and social media.



  1. That’s good to hear, Paula! And speaking from experience with the brain stuff, I know what I great accomplishment it is to start doing “normal people” things. ❤

  2. My health insurance doesn’t cover dental, or vision, either. And both are important. So don’t let Dan ignore it, even if it means going to a dental school for an assessment and treatment.

    Last summer a neighbor (who has dental insurance) ignored a tooth ache. Long story short, she developed a brain infection (in three areas of her brain), had two brain surgeries, became ventilator dependent and was in a rehab hospital for nine months until she was able to breath on her own and re-learn how to swallow. She still has a trache collar in, so she can’t speak, but she really tries. Now living at her sister’s house, she’s working to regain muscle strength so she can at least walk herself to the bathroom and dress herself. Before this she was one of the most stubbornly independent people I’ve ever met. Had she gone to the dentist she could have avoided all of this suffering and expense. It’s a miracle that she didn’t suffer brain damage.

    All because she was afraid that going to the dentist might be painful!

    1. He will definitely be going to the dentist soon! I was pressuring him to call immediately, but he had to remind me it was the 4th and the dentist’s office was close. Dental emergencies can be so dangerous, but we tend to minimize their importance for some reason. After Dan’s last experience, I take them VERY seriously.

      1. I just got an update on my neighbor yesterday. She’s WALKING to and from the kitchen on her own, and she helped dry dishes the other day. For someone who was more or less immobile for several months, that’s amazing! So proud of how far she’s come since being released from the rehab hospital.

      2. That is awesome. I still can’t wrap my head around her not going to the dentist and then it go so bad. Poor lady. Glad she is recovering!!

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