What Kind of Infection?

Hey, long time no see, but I, Dr. Reinhold, am back!  Bruce gave me a call, because he’s had kind of a tough week.  But then what does a person expect when after waiting three weeks for a miracle, it does not occur.  Dr. Reinhold’s rule of thumb is, and in fact it is another “invention” of his (The Three-Week Rule) that if you’ve got something physical going wrong with you, 9 times out of 10 it will go away in three weeks, so don’t waste your time and money running around to doctors/dentists in the meantime; just wait it out.  Now regrettably, that leaves 10% of the cases that by the time you get to dealing with them, they’re going to be pretty nasty.(1)  So it was, that when Bruce finally went to the dentist after hoping against hope that the sore area in his mouth would magically get better, he got some pretty bad news.

The news was so bad that the dentist had to refer Bruce to a “fancy”(2) periodontist.  This was the point at which Bruce called me in for a second opinion.  He was concerned about the written diagnosis on the referral form.  Now Dr. Reinhold has seen just about everything in his long and storied career, but I was not prepared for this.  Take a look at the section I have highlighted.

Acute Bum Infection Ooooeeeee, this guy is really sick!  His mouth is so bad that the infection has reached his arsch.(3)  Then, I thought, no, perhaps this dentist was just indicating that Bruce is a cute bum with an infection.   Or, was she saying his bum is cute and infected?

Aw, doc, go crawl under a rock or something.  Just so you know, in your case, the MD stands damn meddler, and I don’t need you.  I did have some fun with this form at the periodontists office.  After we’d been talking for a while and he decided on a game plan, his assistant set out a set of instruments.  It was then I pointed out to both of them that they were probably going to need some more tools in light of the diagnosis provided by my dentist.  When the two of them read what was actually there, it cracked them up.  When the laughter quieted, the perio guy did his exam and said that at the next appointment (end of the month) he’s going to do gum surgery, but that there was an 85% chance that the surgery would lead to extraction of the tooth.  Needless to say, there was no more laughing, especially from me.  I just hope he doesn’t pull the thing out through my bum!

This next part isn’t funny, but Dr. Reinhold insisted that I pass along this PSA, because of the lesson to be learned.  About a month ago a real doctor suggested that due to my osteoporosis I start taking Fosamax (actually a generic form, but same thing).  You might not believe it, but due to bone loss, the idiotic author is actually shrinking, now standing 1.5 inches shorter than just a year ago.

This drug has been around for years and used by millions of people before me.  I’m guessing some of you take it.  I love a drug like that.  I don’t have to worry that I’m a guinea pig, and the generic form of anything is “cheap.”  I actually gave the the pharmacist some guff about the price, because at just 84 cents for a month’s supply, I didn’t feel justified in using my credit card.

My doctor cautioned that the big thing to watch for with the Fosamax is it’s propensity to give one trouble in the esophagus, kind of an acid reflux sort of thing.  The pharmacist warned me of the same thing.  So after all the warnings, I was careful to follow directions and drink a big glass of water, remain upright, and not eat for an hour.  Everything went fine.  Week one, no problem; week two, no problem; week three…hmmm.  I woke up on Thursday morning with pain in one of my hips.  I didn’t think anything of it, threw down 3 ibuprofen, and did the “morning 40” on the bike.  Usually after I’m on the bike, and especially after the ibuprofen, everything resolves itself and I’m fine.  This day though, the pain in the hip kept bugging me through the entire ride.

I’m not going to drag this out, but just say the pain gradually spread from one hip across my pelvis to the the other hip and got worse and worse as I went into the weekend.  I had two pretty miserable days where I could just barely walk, just shuffled along.  You know, they don’t call me the idiotic author for no reason, hmmm, double negative there, but you know what I’m saying.  On Friday night though, I finally put two and two together and looked at the Fosamax medication guide that came with the drug from the pharmacy.  It was in there that I read that the drug could cause severe bone, joint and muscle pain and in particular to the hip, groin and thigh.  Of course, this didn’t mean that what was going on was related to the drug, but I sure suspected it.

Saturday and Sunday were bad, but Monday things started to improve.  It was Monday too that I finally connected with my doctor on the phone, and he confirmed that my symptoms were classic of the 2% of the population that cannot take Fosamax.  While he goes “back to the drawing board” on what I can take, I continue to improve, and after missing a full week of biking, will get back on the road tomorrow, I think.  My hips still get a bit sore as each day goes along.

So the big lesson is, don’t be like the idiotic author; read the stuff that comes with any new drug you take, so that you know what to be on the look-out for.  Your doctor can’t warn you about everything.(4)

Finally, in Pony News, I’ve made the plunge and ordered the missing side panels that the Pony did not have as I found him in the woods.  If you wonder what a Pony looks like with side panels versus my Pony here are a couple of photos.

I found new, aftermarket panels for just a smidge over $100 through Kuhn’s (see my “Links” page).  Always ask Maggie for the “That Idiotic Tractor Discount,” and after she stops laughing she might knock a few bucks off.  The panels come primed, so I’ll still have to paint them red.

Hey, thanks for reading and for ALWAYS READING YOUR MEDICATION GUIDES.

(1)  “Nasty” in this case could include prognoses up to and including death…just sayin’.
(2)  “Fancy” is a dental term meaning ludicrously expensive.
(3)  Sometimes Dr. Reinhold slips into German, but “arsch” translated, means bum in The Queen’s English.  In The Princess’s English it would simply mean “ass.”
(4)  Dr. Reinhold is saying, of course, that he would have warned me, but I think truly that’s just hinder sight.


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