I Was Just Told “You would not have made it through the weekend”

“You would not have made it through the weekend”

Today the dentist told me I would have been in the hospital and would have been lucky to make it through last weekend had I not made an emergency appointment to get an infected wisdom tooth removed last Friday instead of this coming Tuesday.

“These infections kill people you know?” “Once it reaches other areas of your body it causes irreversible damage.”

I am now left to ponder: Is the all out pursuit for your dream worth dying a preventable death?

After putting off dealing with a bum wisdom tooth for way too long I was hit with an infection deep in the root of one of my wisdom teeth. It was the worst and most painful thing I have ever dealt with. It started as some dull pain at the beginning of the year upon which I would take some Ibuprofen and dealt with it. But it grew worse and hit an 11 out of 10 on the pain scale last weekend. The infection started spreading quickly throughout my jaw, became very swollen and unbearable. On the left that is me , swollen and taken over by infection the day before the surgery. It was terrible, not to mention extremely dangerous. I couldn’t think straight, add much value or even lead a team meeting with any energy at all.

Frustratingly, it hit the same week we were planning a meeting with some angel investors and so I was initially trying to hold the pain off, have the meeting on Friday and get it taken out the next Tuesday. Well from what I experienced and what I know now, I don’t think I would have made it to Tuesday. Once an infection like that spreads to other parts of your head, neck and chest… you’re done.

On Friday, at the same time as the others were at the investor meeting, I went and had surgery to get the tooth taken out. And whoa do I feel better! I am a bit swollen from the extraction but infection free and really feel like a new man.

Lesson learned: deal with your health issues up front, some things are more important than the business you are building. I can be guilty of putting everything aside to focus on the main thing in front of me so this was a wake up call to be aware of creeping health issues.

Dodged a bullet on that one.

As an entrepreneur still trying to make it I don’t have the extra cash for insurance right now so I just pushed it off thinking it would take care of itself. I did not want to let anything get in the way of important meetings and work as we prepare to move Seconds forward with strategic partners and investors.

But what is more important than your health and wellbeing? Please take it from me, get your health issues in line. Take some time off if needed. Use credit or a loan if you feel you cannot afford to spend the money to get an ailment taken care of.

Do not end up like that idiot on the left with a weird growth on his face.

@jnickhughes

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28 Comments

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  1. Well, you had me worried. Prefer the one on the right. 🙂

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  2. Pain, ongoing suffering, and death decrease shareholder value — rapidly.

    Assume the increase in enterprise value from keeping yourself healthy and alive is greater than the decreasing return of suffering through it, and is part of your fiduciary duty to your co-owners and investors.
    Pretty simple when you frame it that way.

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  3. Whoa brother, glad you’re ok thanks for sharing.

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  4. “Is the all out pursuit for your dream worth dying a preventable death?”

    Are you actually still pondering this? The answer is manifestly ‘no’ — what good is your dream if you’re dead (assuming your dream isn’t some great social good, but Martin Luther Kings we all are not)?

    Glad you’re feeling better, though!

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  5. I know a guy whose wife died of a bad tooth – the infection went into her brain and she had a stroke, recovered somewhat, then had a second stroke and died. I’m glad you got this taken care of.

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  6. Close call. Same thing happened to my buddy, but he didnt go until pain over fear of dentists set in.

    He probably got as lucky as you

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  7. Co-worker had soreness in the groin for a couple months. Ignored it. Got worse. Ignored it for another few months.

    Finally hurt so bad he went to the doctor. Dead three weeks later of testicular cancer.

    Sadly, most men take better care of their cars than their bodies.

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    • We must listen to our bodies and if something is not feeling right it should be looked at. This is a huge lesson for me.

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      • i have a tooth ache and i think the infection is in my thraot do i see the doctor or call 911 right now…i don’t have money and i feel really sick and been trying to get a hold of my worker and i don’t know where my health card is andi can’t eat but its in my gums and in my throat and i don’t have a car to get to the hospital i did warm water and sault and mouth wash but its been a month been trying to get a hold ofmy worker i took ibporhin and gravol becuase i feel so sick

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      • Call 911 or go to the hospital right now!

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  8. “The young man spends his health in search of wealth. The old man spends his wealth in search of health.” Trite but true.

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  9. When the tooth pain starts, the tongue prevents the brush from reaching the tooth which has pain. Then the tooth gets more unclean and decay faster. It is better to use the finger to use the finger to clean the teeth because the tongue works less hard to let the finger reach the decaying teeth. At least brush the teeth with your finger once a week with Dabur, and teeth will have longer life. I am putting a name here only because it is very effective.

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  10. Glad you are better now.

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  11. Sounds like you may have had a case of Ludwig’s Angina. I had something similar happen to me in June 2009, from a cracked tooth that I had been ignoring. It started off with numbness in the jaw,, followed by rapid swelling. I ended up in the ER, receiving surgery, then being hospitalized for five days with a constant IV drip of antibiotics. I was lucky…some time later I heard of a case involving a young woman in her early 30s who received treatment but ended up dying because the infection was not properly eradicated.

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  12. “Use credit or a loan if you feel you cannot afford to spend the money to get an ailment taken care of.”

    That statement makes me sad.

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  13. A similar thing happened to me recently. For months, I was working on a project that had gone off the rails, all while one of my molars became very sensitive to liquid. Ah, no big deal, keep pushing! Gotta get this project out! No time to go to the dentist.

    At the time, I was also lining up a new job. But I didn’t want to leave on a bad note, so I was still pulling heroics when I knew I was leaving in a few weeks. But it’s fine, just don’t drink water on the right side of my mouth. This site must launch!

    My new job asks 40 hours of me, not 60+ hours. I found the time to go to the dentist. He gave me antibiotics to fight the infection and scheduled the root canal. Now I’m able to chew and drink with both sides of my mouth, and I feel good again.

    Now, mine didn’t go as far as yours, but it could have if I had stayed. It seems so obvious now, so why did I let it go so long?

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  14. And if you can’t get a loan or credit….

    You live with a broken tooth and repeated infections for year. 😉

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  15. Can’t afford it… glad you could!

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  16. An elderly co-worker has a saying: Your health is your wealth.

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  17. Glad you got it taken care of and that you’re feeling better now.

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  18. My B-in-Law tried to reglue a crown back onto one of his teeth; he got an infection, which spread to his heart. He had one of his valves replaced and very nearly died. I understand why you waited; I’m the same way. Stupid teeth.

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  19. Some dentists say that you could die from tooth ache, but what is the statistics supporting this? I believe it is very, very low. Now, I am also saying without supporting facts :P.

    If the toothache can cause death, why it is not covered by emergency rooms? I am not very familiar with procedures because I am not in US.

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  20. Dude, I’m glad you’re ok! Been a long time man, congrats on the accomplishments thus far. You’ve come a long way. Hope to catch up soon!

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  21. Glad it turned out ok for you!

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  22. My wisdom tooth has been acting up for 2 months. This Monday, I went to the dentist who proceeded with extraction — only to find that the novocain wasn’t working to well. I heard — and partially felt — the “crunches” of his trying to remove it.

    We could not proceed. The doc said I had infection in that wisdom tooth which is why the novocain was not 100 per cent effective. He sent me home with a prescription for antibiotics.

    Once I came home, the right side of my face swelled up and I felt pain even in the roof of my mouth.

    I am seeing a surgeon today. I have awful panic attacks and a surgeon will give me general anathesia I have been told to take the tooth out.

    I am a little worried about having surgery while my cheeks, jaws, tooth are all swollen and painful.

    I guess I will go and explain as well as I can and then let the surgeon take a call.

    Wish me luck guys! And best of luck to you with this yuckt situation…..

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