I have excellent dental insurance, so my every-six-months-whether-I-need-it-or-not trips are free...yep, free. Xrays, cleaning, and seeing Dr. Patty, my a bit too happy on any given day dentist. I've been seeing Dr. Patty almost as long as I've lived in Seattle, minus the first 2 years I flew back to Houston every six months to see Dr. Bonnie! That's right...I fear change...and it seemed easier to make two trips a year back to Texas for dentist/eye doctor/medical check ups than finding new people in Seattle to "understand" me. LOL
Dr. Patty's dental office is staffed with all females...no hairy-armed men sticking their mitts down my throat! You get blankets and a TV in the ceiling with high tech computer screens on either side of the dental chair to display any Xrays taken (thank goodness I have such good insurance!) and headphones with Mp3's if any nasty drilling is to be done. It's almost better than a spa! But not quite...
For the past several years, my every-six-months-whether-I-need-it-or-not checkups have resulted in NO dental work needed. I am usually praised on the "fine job" I've done taking care of my teeth and released back out into the wild to eat candy and all the crap I can shove in my mouth. LOL Today's check up was no different, minus a brief alarm.
When Dr. Patty came in for her "official" exam following my cleaning, she peered and poked inside my mouth with some gasping. You see, all the steroids I've taken PLUS Novantrone recently has given me stomatitis, AKA sores in my mouth and gums. I'm just used to the blisters that occur and never really give them a second thought...there's really NOTHING that slows down my eating after all. LOL And the sores DO go away with time. My mouth is generally sore for about a week, then everything heals up nicely and I'm back to sliding candy and crap down my throat without a care in the world.
But Dr. Patty has never SEEN my mouth immediately following Novantrone...and I believe she may have thought I had contracted a deadly disease by the look on her face (behind her mask, of course). She obviously wasn't quite certain how to approach the subject or tell me about the sores, so she said, "Has your mouth or gums been bothering you lately?"
I replied with my typical, "No, not really" response once she exited my mouth for conversation. I think I am just so used to these sores that occur, I had no idea why she was asking.
"Really!" she exclaimed in somewhat disbelief. "Are you aware you have several open areas on your gums...they look like blisters actually. Have you burned your mouth somehow?"
It finally sunk through my thick skull what she was inquiring about and I responded, "Oh that. That's just stomatitis from my Novantrone. It goes away eventually."
After several minutes of educating Dr. Patty about Novantrone and its use in treating Multiple Sclerosis, she seemed relieved to know I was not spreading contagion around her office. We chit chatted about my MS, recent relapse, and treatment for a few more minutes as I explained to her the progression that has occurred over the past few years and WHY I am taking Novantrone now.
Being the all-too-happy eternal optimist Dr. Patty is, she turned her head to the side as her eyes twinkled (because she wears a mask, I couldn't see her smile, but I'm sure it was there) and exclaimed, "Well, at least you've got your healthy teeth!" Shortly after this comment, she left my exam cube to tend to another patient.
I have decided THIS is going to be my new mantra when I start to feel down in the dumps about my MS or anything really..."At least I've got my teeth!" When I can think of nothing else to feel positive about, when life throws me lemons, when everything around me seems to be falling apart...AT LEAST I'VE GOT MY TEETH!...and that, my friends, IS something to be thankful for...LOL...