Charles' painful day

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Yesterday I waited outside reading while Charles had an hour-long operation on a tooth. It was nastily painful and Charles left swearing he'd rather have all of his teeth removed - he has lots more teeth to be worked on. When he was suffering from crohn's disease one of the medications decalcified his teeth, in effecting rotting them from the inside.

His dentist had given him Valium to calm him for the surgery (did you know nitrous oxide is carcinogenic?) and darvocet for the subsequent pain. The tooth surgery set off a migraine. The years with crohn's has left Charles with an unfortunately high tolerance for painkillers.

Duke University Medical Center's Emergency Room became our next destination. We expected Charles would have a bed in less than an hour. Four hours later he was finally taken to a room where he could lie down in the dark. A nurse told me that Duke's ER patients mostly arrive by ambulance and helicopter, the number of people in the waiting room is never a clue (unlike Durham General Hospital where we normally go).

Another hour came before a doctor arranged for an injection of Metoclopramide (Reglan). With the diverse medications Charles conked out. When they woke him later he said the migraine had abated from a seven to a five (out of ten). He went back to sleep.

At nine I called Gordon to give me a ride home; five hours later he brought Charles home and he's been asleep ever since (and breathing, even since the near fatal overdose I check him regularly).

I took a taxi to work about 7:30 a.m. But after Gordon came in I had him bring me back home. I'd forgotten how skittish Charles is when he's had medications and was afraid he'd wake up and panic if he found himself alone.

Hope your preceding twenty-four hours were happier.


Patients are unlikely to get cancer from occasional use of Nitrous Oxide I believe dentists who use it definitely have higher cancer rates.

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