>> Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Have I mentioned my teeth? I can't remember, likely I have. Be warned this is going to be whiny. But perhaps I can save another from the drama and pain of a tooth gone wrong.
A little back history...I was born and blessed with good teeth. There was no fear of the dentist when I was a kid because I never had a cavity, ever. Well, no fear until it was found that I had four impacted wisdom teeth that needed to be removed. When they told me that I was scared! So I did what I do well and procrastinated until they were so painful I couldn't take it anymore. At that point, I needed them out RIGHT NOW! and since I couldn't get a right now appointment with an oral surgeon who would put me to sleep to take the teeth out, I went to the regular dentist and had all four impacted wisdom teeth removed while I was wide awake. I experienced every single bit of it. The dentist was a kind man, I eventually recovered from the whole dental trauma and I moved on. But, "the dentist" now was a scary thing.
Good teeth, good oral hygiene and all...fell victim to adulthood. The old wives' tale "for every child the mother loses a tooth". Chemo and radiation therapy. And just plain old age. I developed a cavity or two. No fun, but I had them filled and fortunately this occurred after they stopped using that silver colored stuff for fillings. All was well for a few years. Then I noticed a dark spot on a molar tooth. It screamed "CAVITY!" to me. Over the course of a couple years and a couple dentists I was assured that it was not a cavity just a stain. I was not certain, but I trusted them. After I finished chemo and radiation, I thought it would be a good idea to go for a check up. This particular dentist is the son of the dentist who removed my wisdom teeth who had long since been retired. That stain? Was a cavity! And no longer the kind that could be filled. He said words like "root canal" and "crown" and I ran away as fast as I could.
Life in denial was going well til a few months ago when that tooth broke. I was crunching an Everlasting Gobstopper of all things...a jaw-breaker. Ugh. Tooth-breaker. But it was only a smallish break and it didn't hurt. Now I knew better but continued my due diligence with procrastination. The tooth started to hurt. Not bad all the time, but bad enough some of the time. Motrin became routine. Procrastination continued. Then it really started to hurt. Badly. More Motrin and now Orajel were in my arsenal. I'd never had toothaches before, but those who have...warned me. They told me to go to the dentist because it would only get worse. However, after a few days of pain, it would stop. Then come back, then stop.
When we went out of town for a mini-vacation to see Taylor Swift the toothache came back with a vengeance. It was bad. I stepped up my care to left-over Lidocaine from the chemo mouth sore days and that stuff called "Red Cross" which is some sort of clover oil concoction. Neither helped and let me just tell you now-don't ever try that "Red Cross" stuff. Horrible! People have claimed that a toothache could hurt as much as childbirth, to which I always thought was a bit of a stretch. Well I can now personally vouch for this. After having two completely natural labor and deliveries, a toothache can in fact hurt just as badly. Maybe even worse.
I really didn't want to ruin our vacation and wanted to actually enjoy the concert. I prayed about it, and I may have made a promise to get to the dentist as soon as we got home if I could just have some easing of the pain. And no lie! About an hour before the concert my tooth stopped hurting completely. What a blessing. But I confess...I forgot about that little promise I made. I mean, the tooth was feeling better and I was probably all caught up in the excitement of Taylor Swift and all. I think I remembered the promise a week ago or so. And I felt pretty guilty. But I still didn't call the dentist.
In the past couple of days the tooth has been hurting again, pretty badly. Last night my dinner was mashed potatoes. I woke in the middle of the night and I knew then that there was trouble, big trouble. Not being brave enough to look, I took an "Army's dose" and a half of Motrin, a dose of my prescribed pain pills. I eventually was able to go back to sleep. I woke up this morning with an instant reminder of the problem. I went to brush my teeth...and oh holey crow! I resemble a chipmunk with a cheek full of nuts. I peeked into my mouth and gasped. I'm not a doctor, but I was clearly able to diagnose myself with an abscessed tooth. Oh.My.Word.
So let's just end with this...if you make a promise to God-you better keep it. Toothaches can rival natural childbirth. A molehill can turn into a mountain (almost literally). I have a dentist appointment in two hours. And I'm scared! Please learn some sort of valuable lesson here, think of me as taking one for the team!