Musings

#18

I am in the process of some assorted dental work right now – first it was just a crown on a really sorry tooth – #18, in case you’re interested – one of my bottom left molars – and then it turned into what felt like some awful infection involving fever and aches and chills – not just of my mouth but all the rest of me joined in.  The dentist decided I needed a root canal on that same tooth – and they scheduled it for TWO WEEKS IN THE FUTURE.  I still felt like death was looming, so I went to the doctor that same day and after TWO AND A HALF HOURS OF WAITING AND X-RAYS OF MY HEAD IN CASE I HAD A SINUS INFECTION – they took a bunch of blood and he prescribed an antibiotic.  They called me the following week to tell me my Sed Rate was high and I should come back in a week or two to have that checked again.  (I looked up Sed Rate and a high number could mean anything from pregancy (no, don’t think so) to cancer (no, don’t want that either)…so that information certainly set my mind at ease…)  Everything else they checked for – lyme disease, bubonic plague, all the usual stuff – came back negative.  And my cholesterol was good – woo hoo, like that will help.

Well, I had the root canal done last tuesday. 

Have I told you that I hate going to the dentist?  It is as bad as spiders are for some, as heights are for others, as enclosed spaces are for still others.  You get the picture.  I dread it.  I would rather give birth again than go have dental stuff done to me.  Even a cleaning has me gripping the arms of the chair and tensing up in preparation for any kind of inadvertant contact with a nerve ending. 

Well the root canal itself was tons of fun (that’s sarcasm) but didn’t really hurt.  Until the novicain (sp?) wore off.  Then it hurt – or, in the words of dental sadists – there was "some discomfort" and the area around #18 was "sensitive."  These terms are about as accurate as the nurse saying "you’ll feel a little pinch" right before she jabs an enormous needle into your innocent arm.

And over the last several days, my mouth has become more "sensitive" and I have felt increasing amounts of "some discomfort" – so much so that I’ve been taking twenty advil every five minutes with no discernable decrease in the discomfort and sensitivity.  (okay – no, not twenty, and not every five minutes.  But that’s what I feel like I NEED.)

There is no break in the pain.  The throbbing, relentless, demonic jabs and swells and tides of pain that engulf my lower left jaw and travel along my mandible toward my front teeth and up the other way to the actual hinge part of my jaw and across the top of my upper teeth, who weren’t even trying to participate in this excitement – they do not stop.

I was up a LONG time last night sitting on the couch waiting for the latest round of ibuprofen to at least subdue the pain, since it hasn’t erased it at all.  I just wanted to sleep.  Just sleep.  Instead I sat on the couch watching the Deen boys on the food network go to Maine and have lobster stew and whoopie pies and whatever other stuff they encountered in that journey.  They seemed to be having fun.  I hated them both and their friendly food-lovin’ southern grins because I can’t eat anything but yogurt at the moment and they were CHEWING THINGS WITHOUT EXPERIENCING AGONY.

So I’m planning to go back to my dental friends today and beg them to do something about this.  Last night I wanted to get a pair of pliers and yank out #18 just to give myself some peace, so if they don’t fix the problem today, that could very well be the topic of a post tomorrow….

Anyway, that’s the fun I’m having lately – don’t you wish you were me??????????

UPDATE (of sorts):

I got in to see the dental folk this morning and after pressing on #18 ("does that hurt? and could you please let go of the chair? – you’re destoying the plastic") and then having me grind my teeth together with a little piece of paper on that side – the paper leaves little marks if the temporary crown isn’t formed right and is sticking up too high somewhere…I told them it’s lower than the other tooth, but what do I know – I am delerious from the pain) and they had me grind and bite down ("hard!" they shouted with glee, rubbing their latex-covered hands together excitedly) several times, and in between each time, Dr. Pain went in there with one of his instruments of torture and filed away at some tiny section of the crown (OW!) and his Lovely and Sadistic Assistant shot blasts of cold air in there to blow away the crown dust and to increase the pain quotient JUST A BIT MORE.

So we did that a bunch of times, even after I told them all the military and government secrets I know AND the best way to make paper snowflakes by folding (you have to fold in halves and then thirds – snowflakes are hexagonal!!) and Dr. Pain – every time he did some more grinding – would tell me to bite down – "does it hurt now?" and I’d say yes, which seemed to be WRONG and so he’d punish me by making me bite and grind some more and eventually I caught on and said "oh, no, that feels lovely!" and he stopped.

No, that part didn’t happen.  He told me it’s sensitive under there (really?) and there’s probably some infection (no way! way!) that is pushing up on the tooth, etc etc – stuff i had pretty much figured out in my own little non-dentally-certified head.  He also expressed suspicion of #19, the tooth beside it, which isn’t so pretty either.  He opined that there could be something wrong with THAT tooth, but the pain sneakily slithered over underneath #18 to lull me into a false sense of agony about the wrong tooth.  Something like that.  How do you spell cockamamie?  Did I spell that right?  Just wondering.

So anyway…with my mouth now in New and Improved! agony after all that biting and grinding – and the temporary crown now has this strange sharp edge along one side – apparently this will make it better because instead of grinding my food with the molars, I can shred it niftily with the sharp edge of #18.  My mouth is better equipped than a swiss army knife at this point….

Anyway (again with the anyway) they prescribed another antibiotic that I’m going to go get filled now before I go back to work (rah rah) and vicadin if i need it, and they said to take 4 advil and two tylenol and THAT should ease the pain.  "But don’t take it on an empty stomach!" they warned helpfully.

So I am briefly at home so I can eat something (besides the one slurp of oatmeal I attempted this morning) that will take up enough space in my stomach for the ibuprofen and the whatever it is in tylenol to do their thing without making me ill.  It’s chilly – I am not in the mood for yogurt (AGAIN)…hmmm….well, Bill slow-cooked baby back ribs on the grill last night…I guess I could puree some of the meat….yummmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Have a wonderful and pain free day, y’all!

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