Unforgotten at last

Living in the land of the forgotten, brings a huge number of problems, that most wouldn’t even ever think about. The problems really start with the fact the most don’t even think about the possibility of being housebound, far less the issues that it might cause in everyday life. Two of those problems once again came to mind the other day and I decided to once more try to find solutions for both.

The average person visits their dentist at least once every six months, but when there is no way of getting to your dentist what do you do. I have been asking that question now for 10 years. About two years ago, I found myself at the dentil hospital thanks to an appointment made for me by my doctor due to a canker that refused to heal. Adam and I were sat there once more waiting for an ambulance to take us home and found ourselves discussing this very issue with a dental surgeon. He too had never given it any thought, but knew as well as I did, that there was no way of my seeing a dentist just for a check up, or to do any sort of work like dealing with a broken tooth. The NHS only supply ambulances if you are attending a hospital appointment. Everyday dental care, doesn’t require a hospital attendance and the dental hospital isn’t there for that type of care. Those of us who are housebound, have been totally forgotten about, there is no dental care for us at all.

I have now for about last 4 or 5 years been living with three broken teeth, one of which, caught the side of my tongue and reminded me it was still there, sharp and annoying. It wasn’t too bad, but it made me think once again about the position that I was in and I decided to have a chat with the district nurse, to find out just what would happen, if I were to have a raging toothache that needed attention. To my total surprise and delight, there now is a dental service for the housebound, in fact, several surgeries have begun democidal appointments in the last year or so. Off hand, she couldn’t give me a number to call, but she phoned me later that afternoon with the phone number for two such services. I am delighted to say that on Thursday afternoon, I have a dentist coming to my house to start taking care of my teeth for free and supplying me, with the same service as anyone else would get, who isn’t housebound. I don’t know exactly what or how this will all happen but I am so glad that there is now someone out there who has remembered that we the housebound exist. Why it has taken so long, I quite honestly don’t know. Other than the fact that the equipment required being adapted for home use may have taken them a little thought, something that is all too often the biggest issue with most things in life. People don’t like having to think, it’s just too much like hard work.

Once I had made the appointment, I started to think about how I have gone so long without any pain from my teeth. Other than the occasional spot of sensitivity, and the odd piece falling off a tooth here and there, I can’t remember any of them being a real problem of any sort. I am sure that the reason I haven’t felt any pain has been due to the huge amount of painkillers that I now live on. Morphine doesn’t just go to where my MS is doing its worst, it must be covering up other pain all the time. I quite honestly don’t see any other reason why I have got through an entire decade without a real toothache. I am sure that I will be seeing quite a lot of this dentist over the next few weeks as I am sure that he will find more work to do other than the three I know about. I will bring you up to date with the details when I next write.

The other issue is something that Adam has been going on about to me now for a couple of years, he keeps telling me that I am going deaf. It’s not just that I keep asking him to repeat things, but the volume of the TV frequently drives him nuts, he sighs every time I turn it up, so he sighs a lot. I too am aware that I have taken over hogging the remote, not so that I can choose the programs, but it’s the only way that I can be sure that I will actually hear what is going on. I know that there are loads of companies out there who will come to your home and test your hearing, but they also come ready with the hard sell for their overpriced devices. I don’t mind paying for what I need, but I first need to be sure it is really what I need and not just giving someone an inflated commission. I am quite sure that if I asked my doctor to send me for a hearing test courtesy of the NHS, he would do it, but that means another trip to the hospital and I really want to avoid that if at all possible. The district nurse didn’t have an answer on hand, but when she left, I decided to do some more research online. I was delighted to come across a link to a charity called “Action on Hearing Loss”, they supply a quick and simple test over the phone. For those in the UK all you have to do is dial 0844 800 3838, which is charged at the same rate as a local call and take the test.

The test takes about 3 minutes, you have to listen to them saying various lists of three numbers, with a lot of white noise over it. Then you type in the numbers in that you think you hear on your keypad. Apparently, they agree with Adam, I do have a hearing issue, because of which, they are sending me out a written breakdown of my results for me to pass on to my doctor. To get a free aid I will have to through the NHS and if that means a hospital appointment, well so be it, I at least will know it won’t be a waste of our time going there for nothing.

 

Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 12/01/2015 – Bracing against action

Those of you in the UK may have like me watched the Voice on Saturday evening, at one point I found myself paying rather close attention to Tom Jones as there was something about him that stood out to me like a sore…..

29 thoughts on “Unforgotten at last

  1. I know that there are a few surgeries in my area that offer home visits for the housebound, but if I hadn’t done some research for a friend would never have known about this. If all the doctors’ surgeries in the area had posters telling about this, it would be common knowledge. It seems crazy to me that there must be hundreds if not thousands of people around the country housebound, needing dental care and not knowing they can get it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s great you can finally get some dental care. As for a hearing aid, I bought some cheap ones from Amazon, because my husband also sighs when I ask him to turn the TV up.

    The first time I used it, I did hear the TV better, but I also heard this loud cracking noise. It turned out to be my husband eating sunflower seeds! The cracking sound drowned out the TV because my husband was sitting near me. Also, when someone talks it is like they are holding a megaphone, so you turn it down and then you can’t hear the TV. I gave up.

    My husband bought some earphones for me or my mom to use. It has a gizmo that sits on the TV. It is wonderful. I can even turn the volume on the TV down to nothing and the earphones still work.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love that, it was actually your husbands fault, wonderful. I can’t though put that one down to my husband, it’s just his sighs that I hear.

      Surly the headphones must mean you can’t hold a conversation, or hear the phone or doorbell? That for me would be a constant worry, so I’m not convinced about that one. I didn’t know you could buy them cheap on Amazon, I might look into that and see if they could be the answer. Thanks for that one πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, you are right. The dentist is something people take for granted. And if you have neglected them you have put up with damaged teeth longer than anyone should. A few years ago funding changed in Australia to better support parents with children. And funding that allowed me to see whoever I wanted and get reimbursed 100% dried up. But plenty of people who just played the system slipped through the cracks and still manage funding. I thought I had issues.

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    • I was sure their would be issue all around the world, especially where people have to pay for treatment normally. I’m sure that the cost of getting a dentist to your home, would be enough to put many off.

      As long as you are unemployed, dental treatment is free in the UK, but the number of surgeries taking people onto their list who are NHS patients is dwindling more and more are having to go private. 😦

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  4. Thank you for such an enlightening post! You are exactly right, people don’t think about the concerns of the homebound until it becomes their personal reality or that of a friend or loved one. My daughter has a rare form of MD called ARSACS. She’s not currently home bound, but I fear the day will come. Thanks for sharing your unique challenges. I hope your appointments go well and your daily life improves as a result!

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    • There are millions of us out here who are housebound, just ask the over worked district nurses and they will tell you the true picture.

      Your daughter sounds like one of the lucky ones in having people around her who care enough to help her if and when the time comes. If it weren’t for my husband, I would be totally lost. But no matter how much our loved ones care, if the services aren’t there, there is nothing they can do. I thought I was prepared before I found myself stuck here in my flat, but I hadn’t thought about things like this. I would suggest she starts now putting together a list of any help that is out there, now, while she can πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • We live in the US, Northwest Arkansas to be exact. I need to make an appointment with Arkansas Rehab this month and you have provided me with good questions to ask. So thank you very much! I hate that you and I and so many others have to worry about such things. We are kind of what the Bible refers to as “the least of these”. I appreciate your help and encouragement!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m so glad you’ve got dental care being sorted out and progress for the hearing. It is ridiculous that these services aren’t publicised but I can’t say I’m surprised. I’ve just had a wisdom tooth removed, along with discovering that the cataract operation in Crete a year ago was a twenty-year-old procedure and all the stitches are still in there, deeply embedded in the eyeball! And snap, I’ve now been diagnosed with COPD, though I haven’t revealed that to my followers yet, nor the LCSSC-induced leaky heart valve. What bliss to be us! x

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    • That I think is one of the things no one expects, as one we have one condition, we are sure to collect loads more as time goes on. They just seem to love inviting their friends to move in. I just wish there was some way of hanging up the no vacancy sign. Sorry to hear that you too now COPD, it isn’t as hard to handle as I expected but I could no longer exerciser before it arrived, so it’s impact wasn’t huge for me. All I can suggest it taking it easy and working on all the exercises and meds they offer you. Just like any other condition, it can be managed.

      If they were to actually supply us, as I have suggested since the beginning, a booklet that lays out all the things we need to find out about, our lives would be so much easier. If I had the health, I would start up a website that list all the services that as you health goes, that you will need and how to go about finding out about them. Everything from services, to benefits and so on, as all of them seem to be hidden by those who know.

      Take care πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m very disabled too and I started a course of dental treatment just over a year ago after I ended up in hospital with a potentially life-threatening infection due to a dental abscess (I only knew something was wrong when my face ballooned over night and my eye swelled shut) – the consultant was stunned that I hadn’t had any pain at all with it. She then helped me find a special-needs dentist who I’ve been seeing every few weeks since then. It turns out that my teeth are in quite a bad way – mainly due to the horrendous dry mouth that I suffer from and not helped by the huge difficulties in brushing my teeth when I can barely open my mouth anymore. Thankfully the dentist is wonderful and at my first appointment we discussed all the ways the process could be made easier for me. My husband is allowed to remain in the room during my appointments so that he can help me move if its needed. It’s painful for my neck and spine and it really takes it out of me but it’s worth it to get my teeth fixed. I really hope that the dentist that comes to your home is as lovely with you, and is as considerate of your needs as mine is with me.

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    • You are lucky to still be able to get to their surgery as home care is basic. My dentist has just left and I will write another post in the next few days, but basic is all that I can expect as they can bring all their drills and so on here to the house. As far as I am concerned, basic is better than none at all, so I will take it with a smile. πŸ™‚

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  7. Fabulous news ☺ – sure morphine etc masks tooth pain. Hope appointment goes well for you! I cannot believe how you are great at sharing emotional pain ie, Xmas period but also practical things too we us housebound as I worry about so much. This is on my to do list 2017!
    Great news on hearing too!

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      • Look forward to reading it as but all in your own time.
        Before I replied to your post I need a smear but found we are forgotten as you have to go to Gp because of equipment they use.
        I m moving house soon so will book at my Gp in that area may be different to this😠 who knows?
        But fantastic about dental and hearing.
        Lots of ((hugs))

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      • Good luck with registering with a new GP! Did you just ask the receptionist about the smear test, or did you talk to your doctor? Receptionists are nightmares, I have learned to go past mine and talk to my doctor or the practice nurse directly. It’s worked for me several times, including my flue jab, which I didn’t get for nine years, I got it this year πŸ™‚

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  8. Thank you for the reply. I talked to receptionist. All house bound peps from reading this post we must make a rule of thumb to talk to GP Always. Very important. πŸ˜ƒ

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  9. I am not house-bound. It is just hard work, most days, to get myself out of the house. Those of us with Chronic fatigue/ME often lack the power to get this bag of flesh to cooperate. And when I do feel fairly good, the last thing way I want to spend my time is at the dentist. Even making an appointment is a downer.We have no insurance for dental care here in the U.S.of A., not personally (though we’ve had it in the past when my husband’s union was bigger) or as a society. But I have the money. I just don’t want to do it. But after reading your post, your example of persistance shames me. I will make an appointment. I will. (Thank you.)

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  10. Hi there! I’m currently a dental hygiene student. Not sure where you live in, but where I am, dental hygienists can work independently and travel to help with preventive oral care. There is also an up-and-coming dental position called an Advanced Dental Therapist. It’s like a physician’s assistant in the dental world. They would be able to see you in your home. Unfortunately, it is only legal in a few states in the U.S. and the only programs to be certified in are in Minnesota. I’m hoping to join that field in the future. Until then, I truly hope that there are more dental professionals that would be willing to travel to homes and provide care for those that are unable to go to them. It’s a shame that it has taken so long for you to find someone willing to take the time. Good luck with everything!

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