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Yesterday I went back to Central Outpatients - this time to see Mr Brindley, the Restorative Dentist. I wasn't sure what to expect, as we sat in the waiting room, but at least there were some different notices to read this time. Did you know that in December alone 103 patients failed to turn up for their appointments in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery? Nathan was sensible and had taken his Kindle with him.
A nurse popped in to tell us that unfortunately the appointments were running half an hour late, so I went over to the magazine rack and grabbed a copy of Look. I'd read recently that this was the one to buy if you wanted to find the trendiest clothes around. I sat down and settled in for half an hour's fashion advice.
I had only just sat down with it when my name was called. I jumped up in delight at not having to wait and the nurse said "You seem very excited to be here!" I explained that I was happy not to have to wait half an hour like we'd been told. She did say that most patients had appointments for 2pm like myself. I just happened to be the first one who arrived.
I don't like going to the dentist at the best of times so I was a little apprehensive about what was to happen next. However, Mr Brindley turned out to be a happy, smiley, scouse-accented, beardy dentist. Not scary at all. He explained that he wanted to check that everything was okay with my teeth , as after the operation and especially during radio-therapy it would be a bit sore around that area. He would fix anything that needed doing before the 31st so I'd be all good afterwards.
It seems that I might have a dry mouth for a while, which makes sense if they are removing my salivary glands that side. Also he said I will be on a different diet afterwards - which will be little and often and probably quite sweet. This could all have a detrimental effect on my teeth.
I was sent off for an x-ray. Last time I had a dental x-ray I had to put a sharp plastic thing in each side of my mouth and bite down on them. not nice at all. This time though I just had to rest my chin on a ledge, bite on a stick with my front teeth and the machine went right round my head. Literally one minute later I was back in the chair in Mr Brindley's surgery and he was telling me that all was well. He just recommended that I have a clean and polish before I come in for the op and he gave me a letter to give to my dentist, to prescribe me some high-fluoride toothpaste (which he warned me must never be allowed to fall into the hands of any children - very bad for them it seems) and some antiseptic mouthwash, without alcohol - as he said that would sting a lot!
So not too bad - as dental visits go :-)
Next hospital visit will be the day before my op to give some blood for cross-matching in case of blood transfusions being needed. Until then I'm going to eat LOTS of solid and spicy food and drink alcohol while I can!!