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May Misery (with a happy ending)

Posted in health

Content Warning: graphic description of a dental procedure

May was pretty horrible, in that I was in constant pain for four weeks. It started with a tooth on the bottom right side of my mouth, a pre-molar. I had broken it years ago and had a crown on it, but it hurt so I went to the dentist. He did a root canal on it. It still hurt. He sent me to an endodontist (root canal expert). Turned out it was a mutant tooth with two canals. So this tooth had two root canals on it in the span of a week.

But I was also having pain up into my sinuses, specifically the right side of my face next to my nose. It turned out that a top right molar was infected as well. Having it taken out was an… experience. It took two full hours to extract the tooth. The problem is that the infection was so bad that it made the procedure really difficult: besides all the pus, everything was super-sensitive. The dentist had to cut the tooth in two, then flush up into the roots and inject anesthesia there. He wound up cutting the tooth again, and 3 of the four pieces didn’t hurt but the one with the infected root made me start crying. And this was with a ton of anesthesia.

Finally, finally, it was done. It was sorta funny, though — I love my dentist, and his sister is the assistant, and the three of us were carrying on laughing and joking between attempts to get the tooth out. He and I hugged each other twice after the procedure was over with. He’s a good man, and he did his best by me. I cried again, after, from relief. And I am NOT a crier.

I would have been dead within the week from the infection, even with the antibiotics, if I hadn’t gotten that molar pulled when I did. He didn’t suture it, so the infection could drain. (He gave special stuff to swish with three times a day, too.) I’ve thought a lot over the past few weeks about how the infection would have killed me weeks ago in the days before antibiotics, and how much pain I would have been in.

Weirdly, I was hyper productive during that time. Mostly to distract myself from the neverending agony. I got some small web sites built, and got some spinning done. (I haven’t read any books since April, though. I couldn’t focus through the pain.)

I’ll be paying off dental bills for the next six months, but my mouth is fine now. I do take good care of my teeth; of the two problem ones, one was previously broken and the other (the top one) had a filling in it from when I was eight years old. Guess even good tooth hygiene can’t prevent every problem.

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