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