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I am not a doctor, but I am willing to give public testimony based on my experience below, in print and media ads or Public Service Announcement's for difficult to diagnose cases or risk assessed research in exchange for any charitable assistance that can be donated that actually furthers my recovery. This has been a profoundly difficult and personal struggle. Following is my story and a plea for help. To any cynics reading this... This is not a get rich quick scheme, but an honest offer of barter of services for services.



I am a I'm 37 year old middle class stay at home Mom whose been battling facial pain, ear pain, and sinus pain, and throat pain my entire life.  I quit my job when I got married almost 5 years ago because I am sick all the time. Because of the chronic pain, I've also been battling depression. The antibiotics for the sinus infections and suspected sinus infections have left the bacteria in my body resistant to alot of common antibiotics and I generally have to resort to the moxi-floxins or other strong anti-antibiotics which leave me battling colitis and c. diff. at any given time. The steroids prescribed have not helped with the depression but are really the only avenue besides straight out pain killers that give me relief from the pain and cut the cycle of swelling that leads to the infections. I've had at least 4 sinus surgeries and my Ear Nose and Throat Doctor says there is really nothing more she can do and has turned her attention to my teeth.

This is a mixed blessing because we are discovering that there really are major issues with my teeth. The problem is that I am looking at probably 20 thousand dollars in total dental work in root canals an implant and the restorations needed. And this is a major hardship, since our insurance plan Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield does not offer coverage on the services I need. I did purchase a discount plan GE Wellness (which is a great help), but this still represents about 10 thousand in my share of the cost. This does no include my medical out of pocket with generally ranges from 8-10 thousand dollars per year because I am sick all the time. Again a great hardship for a young family.

If you are interested and think you may be able to help, here is my story to date.

On January 19, 2005 I had another sinus surgery. I've been pretty much sick with sinus pain and facial horrendous pain on my left side of my face and ear pain on both sides since September/August 2005 which was partly a sinus infection...and partly due to problems with my teeth.

After mega mega doses of anti-biotics and steroids (yep - moody and fat, bouts with colitis and c. diff.), my Internal Medicine Doctor said no more antibiotics until I see the Eat Nose and Throat again. Steroids were really  the only thing to reduce the pain anyway. So the ENT did basically exploratory surgery and didn't see any infection... Until she was about to finish up. She actually had to puncture through the sinus wall and into the tooth area and found an abscess on one of my front teeth very close to where all the nerves come into your face which actually was not showing up on any x-rays. So she said I needed root canals because all my roots were so far up into the sinus... Not unusual, but if they are causing pain... What are you to do...At this point I am so miserable I can barely take care of Olivia, my two year old. So I head up to my Mom's.

I went to two dentists including supposedly nationally renowned endodontist in Annapolis who refused to do anything and basically said I was crazy as he escorted me from his office. So, I cried all the way home. I was ready to pull all my teeth and start getting implants or dentures they hurt so bad. So a week later I finally got in with my old endodontist and he does the root canal on one tooth and says that will probably fix it. I said I think he needs to do more root canals on my back teeth because I can't feel my entire palette on that side of my mouth (and yet still have incredible pain which seems like an an oxymoron), but he can't see anything on the xray indicating a problem. At that point, he says no he doesn't thing he should treat the teeth..The next day I call him back at 9am and say, there is no change in the pressure, and  I still have  extreme pain and think I need more treatment. The receptionist basically doesn't know if they can get me in until like the next week. I hung up the phone and just start crying because I don't know how much longer I can bear the pain. Because she couldn't stand to see me in so much pain,  my mom starts calling them until she can get an them to take me in that day.  I drove the hour there and I remain until 8pm that night waiting and doing root canals. I cried the entire way to my mom's and then right up until I fell asleep with two vicodins.

When I got there he didn't want to do them because it was s still not showing up on the xrays. I began to get very upset because I am in pain all the time and I don't know how I can bear it much longer.  I actually began crying and begging. The endodontist saw that I was really in a bad way and agrees to do the root canals. He opened up FOUR teeth and they were all bad. He says in 25 years he's NEVER seen this but once and he only did it then because the guy was also a dentist. Both of us are actually relieved that there is something we can treat.  We can only guess that it wasn't showing up on the xray because of all the antibiotics I took. And remember, now, because of the surgery and all the swelling I also had/have a really nasty sinus infection which I am just getting over now. So, basically I had surgery then a week later I had 5 root canals all the while with a nasty sinus infection......

So 3500 dollars later, I still need another 3-4 root canals (three molars and an upper Bicuspid - another 3500 dollars probably) and then will need all 8-9 teeth filled or crowned - at least another 4-5 thousand dollars, plus I have an implant that I need to finish up. So that's my sad story, luckily I feel a somewhat better now - I am anxious to get the rest of the dental work done so I wont' have any more pain but at least it's bearable for now. It's overwhelming to think of all the time in the dental chair and all the babysitting and money I'll need to get it done.

I've been pretty sickly (almost constantly since 1998).... And been battling depression because of being sick and the steroid use. It has affected my life so profoundly that have started to debate whether I should actually admit to people that I've been so sick and that if I seem ever seem grumpy, out of sorts or standoffish that's more than likely why. I've had three or four sinus surgeries since then, now it turns out that it may have been my teeth the whole time? I don't know what came first the sinuses or the teeth? (the chicken or the egg) At least, the sinus surgery was covered by insurance.

This is my story and plea for help. I am sorry if it seems like one big whine, but I am at a loss as to what to do. If you think you can anyway to help, please contact me.

 Very gratefully

Ann Graves

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