Thank you Hannah Clarke

Thank you Hannah Clarke

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Serious inconvenience and another ambulance trip

The week started out so wonderfully! Monday was my off day, so I went to my first yoga class! Went to Bikram Yoga downtown, and got 10 passes for hot yoga classes (1.5hours each). Yoga was an adequate way I'd say of loosening up the day after a race, without straining myself too much really, and an interesting experience. It's basically like working towards being a peaceful contortionist, but without the circus. The "hot" of hot yoga wasn't too bad, my only complaint is how slippery I got (making the poses a lot harder) and my hands were wrinkly from sweating so much by the end. But I'd do it again, and you should too!
Tuesday had some hard training, 20 all out hill sprints over at the col du Watson with my buddy Nico, crawled home on the bikes, and went to his place for some good food.
It was Wednesday when things happened. I decided to head to Bulk Barn on my lunch break (Wednesday is student's discount day - making already cheap food cheaper). I got the usual; prunes, dates, soy beans, and then some raisins for my oatmeal, and headed back to work. On the corner by the Futureshop and Zellers (which I had ridden countless times commuting from my old house to campus) I took it really fast - with my big 30L pack on and groceries and stuff inside. In a split second, my back tire (700x20C and totally slick - least grippy tire possible) slid out. I went chin first to the pavement.
Instantly I could taste blood in my mouth, and feel bits of teeth everywhere. I spat into my hand just to double check, and yep big pieces of teeth and blood everywhere [uh oh.]. I grabbed my bike and walked into futureshop, with blood everywhere and thinking of the unfortunate implications of this fall. They called the ambulance, and I just sat there getting more and more bummed out about my state. My left arm hurt, right elbow and knee had hit the pavement hard, and of course my jaw hurt and chin was gashed. I don't know if you've chipped a tooth before, but it seriously hurts. Even breathing over a chipped tooth can hurt, and now half my mouth is chipped and damaged.
The ambulance guys got there and were shocked at how calm I was, and that I wasn't crying. By that point I had plenty of paper towel by my side saturated in blood and full of bits of teeth. The wait in emergency wasn't so bad- I was out of there in about 2-3 hours. Got my jaw x-rayed, and stitches put into my chin. Luckily I complained enough about stitches in my face that they only put 3 in, and the worst part of that was the freezing (I later found out that that was a tough place to freeze and he stuck me 4 times - which was much more painful than the stitches would have been, but I didn't want to feel them going through...weird!).
Now nicely stitched up, I luckily got an emergency appointment at the dental office not far away. The dentist there was shocked. He had never seen someone do this much to their mouth in one go, and assessed the damage with x-rays, and by sight. The whole time this guy was shaking his head, and trying to put it lightly that at least 8 of my teeth had been damaged heavily, would need a lot of work, and another several were damaged (mostly superficially...enamel chips gone - but not down to the really sensitive bits). Additionally I had bruised basically all the nerves in my teeth and anything to do with my teeth would hurt for weeks, even after he worked on what was left of my mouth.
By now, I'm quite familiar with what has to be done to "fix" a "tooth". He grinds at it for a little bit, scratches the surface of wound to make it more adhesive, puts some primer on it, and then some paste type stuff goes on that hardens with UV light. I complained that the top right of my mouth had the most painful spot, and he agreed that I was missing a considerable chunk of a tooth up there, so he fixed that one. After rebuilding me a tooth and upon polishing it he accidentally hit the one in front of it (which looked just fine).
This was when I thought the dentist and his assistant pooed their pants. They started freaking out and saying uh oh, oh no! That's not good!
They had just discovered that the tooth that I was really complaining about had a crack right through it all the way down the root, it just wasn't missing pieces so it looked fine until they touched it the right way. The dentist stayed for an hour and a half after work just to put a quick fix on the tooth. He ground away about half of it with the grinder drill thing, and put re made the top - hoping it would act as an adhesive for a bit. That one's going to have to be pulled out, and I'll need an oral surgeon.
That afternoon he got the top right back bit of my mouth to acceptable shape and said he would free some time to keep working on it the next day.
Today (Thursday) breakfast consisted of a milkshake - but that was too cold (fridge temperature) so I had to microwave it. Weird. But I went back to the same dentist,  and he went to town! I spent a long time in the chair (which isn't made for a 6'2" man), but he got all the other teeth fixed except two! The right side of my mouth isn't outwardly broken anymore (except the tooth with the quick fix - that's a whole new deal with an oral surgeon on a later date). I've spent over $1200 so far though, $500 of which is covered by the university, but this is going to continue to be very painful, and cost thousands of dollars more and take at least a few more weeks. Need that tooth fairy to come through with some magical dental insurance.. Worse has happened to me, and I can't ignore half teeth all over my mouth - they are an excruciatingly painful thing to have. But that's real life, and like I said, just a miserable inconvenience, it better not affect my racing too heavily. It's a bit of a worst case senario, I'm lucky a car didn't hit me too.
Who's racing at the 24 hour race this weekend? I am. See you there.

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