Mama Dee's Blues

I met DeAnn Merchant, aka Mama Dee (to her music and radio fans), on a Facebook group for adult survivors of child abuse (NAASCA). But, her story didn't stop at child abuse, or recovery, or even related healing. Her story was about losing hope, experiencing health problems galore with a continued decline, and facing a potential early demise.

I felt compelled to do whatever I could to help DeAnn. I hope you do, too, with a small donation and by sharing this story. Even $1 helps. Even 1 share helps. Please use the hashtag #mamadeesblues whenever and wherever you post so all references lead back here. Thank you!!

We then spent days and hours discussing her experience from being a Performing Blues Musician and Blues Radio host, both of which she loved dearly, to struggling every day with severe pain and trying to get her things in order and gather a musical collection of her work for her granddaughter, Natalie, to remember her by.

Natalie, DeAnn’s Granddaughter

A resolvable issue shouldn't be denied a chance to be fixed. Health can be restored and with health, a revived hope for a chance to enjoy life again but, we need your help, desperately, immediately...

DeAnn after health problems

The problem was caused by what was supposed to be a solution to a life-long mouthful of severe dental issues. For a while, the solution seemed to work. It wasn't until years later, however, she realized had failed from the start. She's done an incredible amount of research into both the problem and the solution. The problem is, she cannot afford the solution and insurance won't cover it.

Following Pictures Show DeAnn Happy with the Blues


What a beautiful smile (she had)!

Who knew the Blues could make someone so happy? DeAnn was over the moon to have the opportunity to share her love of the Blues and other musical genres. She decided to take full advantage of her dental restoration to pursue her dreams.

In the short time she had behind the mic, she was able to reach milestones she had never dreamed as a musician while helping other indie artists further their musical paths thru her radio show. Whether it was performing, recording her music, or hosting her Blues radio show, DeAnn, Mama Dee, was always focused on bringing 110% to her listening audience.

That gorgeous smile ended up costing her and her husband a small fortune, yet they decided it was worth the promise of a functioning smile that would last the rest of her life.

Why did it cost so much?

In order to restore function along with aesthetics, her procedure required a sinus lift, bone grafting, and placement of 11 implants to support the framework (consisting of crowns and bridgework), of her new functioning smile.

So, they bit the bullet and splurged for the restoration. She hoped that was the end of her dental issues. It was certainly never meant to be shared with the public. For DeAnn, the Blues in her heart would continue to be her dream come true.


But, that was not to be the case.

Something went wrong, horribly wrong...

Due to the lack of informed consent the problem was immediate, but only known to the professional. She didn’t learn until 9 years later what "passive fit" meant. Signs of a serious problem arose and shortly thereafter, she knew the dental devices were failing.

To make matters worse, other health problems started to surface.

It was too late to hold the dental industry liable and correct the matter, as it was past the state's statute of limitations. She spent years and a considerable amount of energy trying to make them accountable while in the interim, creating an educational website that's utilized worldwide, and facilitating a support group for others going through the same or similar trauma.

Sadly, DeAnn has become too weak to continue the advocacy fight and has begun the process of stepping back.

Her long-standing efforts to raise awareness while helping many came at a great personal cost. Her continued declining health and inability to participate or attend functions cost her connections to treasured family & friends not to mention, everything musically related. The fight to get the dental industry to admit their fault and correct the problems literally drew the life out of her, leaving her to feel like she is now, in the fight of her life.

DeAnn doesn't smile anymore.

She seldom listens to the music that once filled her life with so much joy. She can't think about playing them without crying or desperately distracting her thoughts. Instead of enjoying the creative process of songwriting, recording and performing, she spends what little productive and focused time she can muster, trying to address her personal affairs while also trying to leave her legacy of music, to her 5-year-old granddaughter, Natalie, who doesn't understand why she doesn't get to see the Nana she loves so much and wants to emulate.

DeAnn now experiences a constant loud, throbbing/ringing in her ears while her head pounds among her long list of troubling symptoms. She has stated in numerous conversations, "My ears are currently ringing off the hook while my head pounds, I'm basically being driven mad."

The pounding headache never stops and throbs. It's not separate headaches that come and go, it's one continuous headache with no relief. "I can't talk for long because trying to talk kills my jaw joints. It's like vise-grips on my upper jaw, as if I'm wearing braces that are constantly being tightened. I hear fine, but the ringing is on top of it all the time. Constantly. Holding a phone up to my head feel like someone slapped by ear."

"I can't stand up anymore. After about 10 - 15 minutes, my heart starts to pound, my stomach starts to hurt, and I'm ready to drop. I use stool to do the dishes and take a shower now."

"I've been eating only once a day for almost a decade now. I have to force myself to stay upright while my body screams for fuel. I can eat, but it makes me feel like I've been poisoned. My arms and legs get heavy fast. I start slurring words, can't hold my head up, I become very lethargic."

An array of unusual symptoms now infringe on most everything she tries to do. Worst of all, her inability to tolerate most pain medications can leave her struggling with debilitating pain and fatigue. She can barely 'gum' (not chew) a soft egg sandwich due to the dental device breaking and constant ingestion of toxins from her fixed bridgework.

DeAnn’s current outlook on life is poor.
But you can help turn it 180 degrees.

I'm doing all I can. Please help with a small donation and/or a harmless share of this campaign. DeAnn's husband who is taking care of DeAnn day to day and is beside himself with pain, confusion, and despair. We need your help, urgently!

She recently told me, "I only had 7 years in the music but, they were THE BEST 7 YEARS OF MY LIFE!!" She tells me she was truly blessed to work with such talented musicians. But now, she gets the sense that "my own [musical friend] won't connect on Facetime anymore because he doesn't [want to] watch the decline."

Remember where I met DeAnn?

In a Facebook group for adult survivors of child abuse (NAASCA). It's bad enough someone, anyone, has to deal with those issues let alone focus on surviving at all with the struggle she experiences 24/7.

But, we must always remember: there's a silver lining in every dark cloud. DeAnn's silver lining is that her situation is reversible!

With the basic action steps below, we can all pitch in to restore her hope, her dream, her sanity, her smile, and most importantly, her long term health.

We can also give Natalie several more years of quality-Nana-time.

The Basic Course of Action (edited 7/12/2019):

1. A current 3-D Scan is required by the dental professional in order to accurately assess the situation.
a. This is not as easy as it sounds due to having to temporarily remove a part of the existing apparatus.
b. The scan is completed and then the removed part is replaced, requiring special, uncommon hardware.
c. What complicates this initial and crucial step is it's a specialty device that requires expertise in this area.
d. The cost of this procedure is estimate to be between $750-$1,000.

2. Be seen by a professional knowledgeable in this situation to determine a more detailed plan of action.
a. Pi Dental, www.dentalimplants-usa.com, has been extensively researched by DeAnn to perform the work.
b. The 3-D Scan will be sent to Pi Dental for analysis, recommendations, and itemized estimate.
c. The practice is not local to DeAnn and it will require travel and lodging, the method and duration of which are to be determined.
d. An estimate was obtained in 2016, but there were no funds to proceed.
e. The 4-phase itemized estimate from 2016 of nearly $50,000 will be attached to a future update to this campaign.
f. In the meantime conditions continue to worsen. It is expected this step alone could reach $70,000.

3. MELISA-type testing, www.melisa.org, for metal sensitivity / allergy testing.
a. On the 2016 estimate from Pi Dental, it was noted that there was "concern of acrylic allergy).
b. Due to this concern, it is reasonable to expect this type of testing would be ordered. 
c. This is highly specialized testing required to prevent future problems with restoration materials.
d. At the time of this writing, a reply to cost inquiry is pending, but may be (guessing) around $2,000.

4. Execute the Dismantle process and preparations for restoration, which will include... *
a. Implants, Crowns, and Bridge removal, bone grafting, oral surgery, anesthesiologist, etc. 
b. The detail of procedures and estimated cost are expected to be in the reply from Pi Dental in Step 2.
c. In the estimate from 2016, this Phase 1 was estimated to cost $4,580.

5. Execute the Restorative process (which may be 3 months later) may include... *
a. CT scan for guided surgery, install implants, post-op radiograph, other fixtures as needed.
b. The detail of procedures and estimated cost are expected to be in the reply from Pi Dental in Step 2.
c. In the estimate from 2016, this Phase 2 was estimated to cost $17,310.

6. Final Restoration process (which may be another 3 months later) may include...*
a. CAD/CAM Bridge and milled framework, acrylic teeth prosthesis, x-ray, etc.
b. The detail of procedures and estimated cost are expected to be in the reply from Pi Dental in Step 2.
c. In the estimate from 2016, this Phase 3 was estimated to cost $24,955.

* It is important to understand the serious depth of the dismantling and restorative processes. This will be a huge portion of the costs, as there is extensive jaw bone loss to work with. Bone grafting is not optional, it's mandatory. It will be a long hard process.

"I hope to get my health back 1st and foremost,” concludes DeAnn, and then she adds...

"The old adage 'If you have your health, you have everything' is absolutely true. I am hopeful I can get rid of all these crazy things I have to go thru day after day. I am hopeful to be able to resume, what most take for granted, a normal life."

Final word. "This is what one dentist wrote about my case:"

“Your case is complicated. If we keep the current implants there is a chance of them continuing failing over time. If the implants are removed, you would have a large amount of bone loss and a bone graft would be needed. So it's a hard decision to make. Ultimately, you are the one that with an informed diagnosis and treatment plan, has to choose which way to go. Both ways are going to have pros and cons. Either way there are going to be some functional and aesthetic compromises and is important that you understand it. A CT scan (or 3-D Scan) is needed in order to make a good treatment plan.”

Original estimate from Pi Dental in 2016. DeAnn did not have the money to get treatment. She desperately needs your help now as her condition only continues to worsen.

Page 1 of 2 - 2016 Pi Dental Estimate

Page 2 of 2 - 2016 Pi Dental Estimate

Please pardon the duplication of the last 3 lines above due to photo height restrictions.


Organizer and beneficiary

Dwight Hurych 
Organizer
Greensboro, NC
Denise Tetreault 
Beneficiary

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