by Lynne Bennett
Where to start??
I’m supposed to explain how I got to where I am today would help the team understand my case more.
My name is Lynne and I am a 34 year old Canadian who has no chance of receiving the dental care I need in my home country.
Six years ago the doctors found a tumor in my colon for which I would undergo surgery to have removed. Although the tumor was cancerous I was fortunate enough to not need chemotherapy. Within the first month after my surgery the pain had gotten worse instead of better, soon later the gastrointestinal specialist diagnosed me with Acute Colonic Pseudo Obstruction. A rare form of colon disease to find in someone my age as it in almost always is found in seniors, to which there is no cure. No surgery or medicine to help fight the attacks of pain which in some days are debilitating for me. I do have to take pain medication on a regular basis to control the chronic pain as well as not being able to eat A LOT of types of foods.
This, along with my health is what has damaged my teeth in such a short period of time although I have no longer been able to work in real estate as I did before these health problems, I have managed to find some peace of mind that trying to focus on the good days makes life easier.
Today we are a single income family with two boys just finishing high school. I’m sure many can understand how difficult it can be as I know we are NOT alone.
Three years ago I was diagnosed with cervical cancer but yet again I would be lucky enough to catch it in the early stages, unlike so many young women today. No chemo but more medication which would make me very sick and affect my teeth even more.
In a matter of six years I went from having a beautiful smile to my teeth literally falling out when I ate even soft food. All of my teeth at once began to crack and rot from the inside out. I had no choice but to have all of my natural teeth pulled and wear dentures at the age of 34.
I don’t even know how to express to you just how devastated I was to lose my teeth after all I had been through growing up; corrective dental work, braces for 3 years with a head gear hoping to fix my massive overbite. On February 15th of this year as they wheeled me into the operating room I started to cry and shake uncontrollably in fear, something told me that this was a mistake. When I awoke it was over and done with, my teeth were all gone.
I know I had no choice as the rotting teeth were certain to be damaging my immune system from infection.
The immediate denture that was made for me did not fit….not even close! I would go back to the dentist and denture clinic for a total of 22 visits trying to reshape and remodel the plate. Even after starting from the very beginning and having and entirely new plate made, it wouldn’t help.
It is impossible for me to wear a normal denture as the space I have at the front and sides or my mouth is just too small. The plate does not stay up whatsoever without the use of denture glue…and a lot of it!
For anyone who has ever used these products you will understand why I get sick every morning when I try to glue the plate in place. I cannot eat ANY food with the dentures; they move and slide making it impossible to eat.
During the day I am constantly clenching the bottom plate to hold up the top teeth, this has resulted in my jaw locking. I can’t fit a normal amount of food on a fork in my mouth, in fact most food I have to break apart and shove into my mouth with my fingers.
I refuse to eat a meal with my family in public so there are no family outings to enjoy a meal together. Last week while eating a piece of toast I began to choke on the food since swallowing is VERY difficult. Luckily my 15 year old was home who stuck his finger down my throat to stop me from choking.
In the past 4 months I have lost 30 lbs in addition to the weight I’ve lost since my first surgery. I now weigh 116 lbs and am 5’7 leaving me 25 lbs underweight.
I don’t know how to express how depression had taken over my life since this problem with not having teeth that I can eat with. I have gone from having a normal social life to not leaving my home in the past 3 months besides to see the dentist or doctor.
My children are suffering because they have to see me cry every day with depression. Today my doctor prescribed an antidepressant medication which I just don’t want to take….more pills.
My only option left is to have a denture plate that is held in place with implants.
Here in Canada the cost is well above $20,000.00 which is just impossible for me to afford.
I don’t know what to do or who to turn to. I’ve thought about writing the Canadian government to ask for some type of medical funding to help but who am I kidding? Like they are REALLY going to care about me!!
How am I supposed to eat? I am 34 years old with no teeth and the depression is overwhelming to the point that I feel completely lost and so ashamed.