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Lupus flare and the dental chair…

Posted Jan 12 2011 1:11pm

The calendar said "dental appointment"

This morning the calendar said “dentist appointment” but no time for the appointment.  Upon awakening, a call went out to the dentist around 8:00 a.m. to try to figure out what time to be there, and whether or not the appointment was already missed! 

Short-term memory under a lupus cloud had failed me. Once again, an appointment date and time were confused!  This time, no harm and no foul, since the appointment was really scheduled for the following week.  The receptionist and caller both shared a little chuckle about the effects of lupus on short-term memory!  How humbling. 

In the meantime, my personal debate will continue that has been going on for the past week.  To go or not to go? After having been in a significant lupus flare for several weeks, and taking an elevated prednisone dose, it is never clear whether it is wise to get dental work done during a flare, or not. 

It seems the answer should depend on the severity of the flare, and there is always a question or two about what to do floating around nagging my subconscious mind.  Should antibiotics happen first, or not?  Should the dental appointment be postponed until the current lupus flare has quieted?

Rheumatologists don’t all agree, and mine tends to lean away from pre-medicating before dental work.  He is concerned about the over use of antibiotics, and there is some real wisdom in his concern. 

So, my current debate will likely continue for another week, until the last-ditch day to cancel without being charged for missing an appointment.  Then, there will be final decision from my “gut” about whether the current lupus flare is mild enough to go ahead and sit in the dental chair, or perhaps drag my feet about it and cancel. 

The plan for this week will be to call my rheumatologist and chat with his certified nurse practioner, and see what she recommends.  To complicate things, it seems today that there may be a small infection brewing in my lungs that is making mild asthma flare a little.  Nothing is ever simple, it seems.

Grabbing my car keys...

For today, no decision has to be made, and there is great relief that no apology for forgetting an appointment had to be made!  So, this morning will mean calling my family doctor, grabbing my car keys and heading off to see him about asthma and my lungs, instead.

So much for having my plan for the day.  Every morning is a new adventure into the unplanned and unknown!

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