My Sinuses Are Falling Into My Teeth
I guess I didn’t believe her. The Maxillofacial Surgery resident ordered an x-ray. Then she put it up on the wall and showed me that my sinuses are falling into my teeth. This was several weeks ago. I left angry that I wasn’t given a full facial x-ray. The worst pain is in my cheekbones and temples. The right side of my face is caved in. I wasn’t interested in an x-ray of my teeth.
It took until today for this information to really sink in. My sinuses are falling into my teeth.
Two weeks ago, I was given a root canal of an upper premolar on the right side of my mouth. Afterwards, the pain woke me in the night. I called and was given a prescription for Vicodin. I was upset because, as anyone who reads my blog knows, I don’t need any more conditions requiring pain control. The roto-rooted tooth continued to ache for ten days. I have never had this experience with a root canal before. Does it have anything to do with my falling sinuses?
I was taking a walk just now and I was thinking about the assumptions I held before these surgeries were done to me in October 2007. I assumed that doctors knew what they were doing. I assumed they had a better understanding of the human body than I did.
Based on these assumptions, when an ENT told me he was going to remove some sinus polyps, I assumed I had nothing to fear. Because this was 2007, I pictured the ENT snaking a wire through a microscopic hole in my mouth into my sinus and snipping a polyp, using some form of guided imagery. I assumed that the anatomy of my nose and face would be carefully preserved. After all, this is only common sense. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that drilling giant holes into the facial bones of an asymptomatic patient is crazier than eating glass. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that cutting bone and mucosa out of a healthy nose is dumber than lopping off toes.
What I have learned is that you do have to be a doctor not to know these things. Who would ever have imagined?
I went to an ENT for tinnitus or ear ringing. I had never seen any doctor for any nasal or sinus problem in my life. At 55, I looked like a young woman. I had strong bone structure, smooth skin, a beautifully-shaped, healthy nose. The ENT found polyps incidentally on a scan. He said he was going to remove them. He performed an aggressive and unnecessary septoplasty, an unnecessary Caldwell-Luc, and an unnecessary turbinate reduction. He drilled tunnels through my sinuses.
Afterwards, I was in such horrific pain, I feared what this doctor had done to me. I calmed myself with the knowledge—excuse me, assumption—that he could not have caused me serious harm because there are laws and agencies in place to prevent doctors from harming patients. He would have surely been careful or he would be in trouble. He could be sued. Wrong, again. No other doctors will document that any wrong has been done. In fact, they will not document conditions caused by other doctors. They document that the patient is crazy or had these conditions before the surgery. Being unable to collect damages is the least of your problems. You can’t even get a doctor to treat you. You may as well have leprosy if you’ve been harmed by a doctor.
I no longer have a functioning nose or sinuses. My nose is dry and miserable. I have frequent infections. My face has caved in, more on the right than on the left. My right eye droops. I am in unbearable pain. I have lost a three-tooth bridge and have had numerous root canals. My teeth hurt and they crash together. My face is destroyed. The cheekbones are gone. My face is asymmetrical. My nose is too short and too large for my shrunken face. I have had hundreds of doctor appointments since these surgeries, most of them useless because most doctors will not help me. Before the surgeries, I saw a doctor about three times a year.
This ENT redefined my life. I was applying to grad school when this happened. Now I live in bed next to a humidifier surrounded by nasal products. And my sinuses are falling into my teeth.