Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Awful Tooth

I woke up this morning for the second day in a row with pain in my jaw, but only on one side. My mom has a lot of problems with grinding and clenching her teeth in her sleep, so I know how to recognize the symptoms. I had to wonder if I do the same thing. I've been pretty stressed out lately, and that's one factor that causes you to grit your teeth in your dreaming hours, for sure.

My teeth have always been really healthy, so pain in my mouth or jaw generally sends up a red flag to me. Now, I am not the most religious flosser. Or brusher, for that matter. I have a tendency to be a lazypants and swish with Listerine instead of a full scrub before bed. I tend to only brush once a day. Matt is constantly having to remind me to brush my teeth. And also check my blood sugar. Can you tell I always have larger matters on the brain? It's no wonder I suspected that I'm grinding my teeth down in anguish.

I finally broke down and called a dentist today. They had a cancellation and were amazingly able to work me in right before lunch. I had no idea what to expect, but I've never gotten nervous when going into the dentist. It just doesn't bother me. Maybe I've been lucky enough to have good dentists all my life? The staff girls were all very pleasant, also cute in their brightly colored matching scrubs. Joyce was to be my hygenist for the day, a cheery woman about my mom's age who was quick to crack wise. She even described herself as a "tooth nerd". It was adorable.

A whole series of x-rays, picking, flossing and polishing later, I got the news. My teeth looked pretty spectacular...from the outside. Meanwhile, I have never had a cavity in my entire life, and now, nearly 28 years into my life, I guess I'm making up for it. With 5 of them. I'm scheduled to get one filled next week. It's the worst of them, my dentist is hoping she won't find a need for a root canal. The rest are little matched pairs between my molars. They'd almost be cute if they weren't annoying.

The good news was that there were absolutely zero diabetes-related mouth issues. Nothing aside from the cavities looked out of the ordinary to them.

So a few years with no symptoms, nothing bothering me, and BAM! Tooth decay. All it took was some simple screenings, and now I need to make 3 more trips to the dentist's office for them to fix up what's wrong.

What I find scary about this is that it's been well over a year since my last series of lab tests for diabetes. I keep hoping and hoping for the best. I had years where my control has been not much better, and I was happily coasting along, relying on the sturdiness of my own body. I go to my endocrinologist (finally) in February, right before my birthday. I have a full lab workup scheduled, complete with 24-hour urinalysis. (My favorite! Ugh.) So now I am hoping and praying that I don't discover any other unpleasant surprises due to my inattentive attitude. I mean, I certainly don't feel like I have any problems that I couldn't solve with more exercise or maybe eating a few less carbs. I just hope that my gut feelings are right on this one.

Otherwise, I will be dealt at least a huge emotional, if not physical, blow. I can get by with some little holes in my teeth. They can be fixed. Some damages are irreversible, and I know I will have a hard time coping. I feel guilty enough as it is that I could have brushed my teeth more, or flossed more, or just visiting a freaking dentist 2 years ago when I finally had dental insurance.

2009 was a good year, but a good year I spent kind of ignoring my diabetes in a serious way. I am looking to make 2010 much different. Especially because I don't know what's lurking under the surface.

I know it's not the gum disease known as gingivitis.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When Sick Days Bite Back

I'm sick. I've been sick since Christmas Eve with what I've deemed the Cough from Hell. It didn't seem like bronchitis. It was worse than a cold. It didn't come with any of the symptoms of a cold or even a mild pneumonia. It was just a cough. A lung-shaking, gut-quaking cough.

It was hard to tell if my blood glucose levels were high due to sickness, or due to all kinds of holiday eating and drinking. Mmm, delicious holiday snacks and beverages. I do hope everyone out there had very lovely holidays. We had a huge New Years' Eve party, and I had honestly forgotten how many crazy friends I have. We're talking multiple midnight kisses here, because that's just how we roll. But I'm digressing, as usual...

I'm sick. Usually, when I say that I'm sick, you can add on some sort of whining noise of your choice at the end of "I'm sick", because that's how I sound. Whiny and annoyed. Being sick is definitely not one of my favorite things. I went to the doctor on Monday, finally getting myself a prescription for antibiotics to hopefully deal with this cough. So far, it seems to be working, at least a little. Then, this morning around 4am I woke up with all kinds of stomach issues, just generally feeling awful. In my groggy state, I decided my blood sugar was probably on the higher side, so I bolused a couple of units without testing.

I wake up when Matt goes to work at 7am. I still feel like a steaming heap of crap. I pull a meter from my bedside, and a test reveals I am 358. I make a beeline for the bathroom, dialing up my correction bolus. Bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz. Blockage detected. Is this my problem? I leave the bathroom, replace my Cleo, finish my bolus. Go back to sleep. Wake up at 8:45. Call work to tell them I wasn't feeling well, slept poorly, and will be in around noon.

Wake up at 11am. BG is back to a more reasonable 192. I still feel cruddy. I still feel cruddy even now. I hate days like this, when you don't know if the sick feelings are from whatever virus is having its way with you, or if it's because of your blood sugar wonkiness. Send some healthy vibes my way, would ya?