Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Slice of Life

I've seen other bloggers participate in this challenge by Two Writing Teachers, but I've never done one because I try to limit my personality leakage and stick to books. Since personality was leaking everywhere in my library yesterday, I thought I would share.

After a lovely week of spring break, I found myself with a persisently nagging toothache all day Sunday and into the night. Well into the night. Nothing helped: the warm saltwater gargle, the warm rice bag, the ill-considered swish of cold water that caused my eyes to water and cross with the pain. Since I well know that F.W. Woolworth died of septicemia because he didn't like dentists, when I rolled out of bed still in agony, I drove the car to work so I could get to the dentist quickly.

The office supposedly opened at 8:00 a.m., so I called during announcements, I called after my first class, and finally, the receptionist called me back. I explained that I was very sorry to bother them, and maybe I was reacting poorly to my first ever toothache, but I was uncomfortable and thought the issue should be addressed. There was an appointment at 4:00, but it didn't sound like I could wait that long: could I come in right now?

Just let me get my coat.

Luckily, the office is a half mile from school, because I completely understood people who pull their own teeth at this point in time. A stabbing pain radiated from my jaw, every gland in my neck felt swollen and sore, and it was all I could do to keep from screaming when I sucked in a cold mouthful of air in the parking lot. Being poked and prodded for the exam and x ray didn't help, but did convince me that Novocaine was the most brilliant invention in the world.

In between, I managed to ask my dentist, who attend my school, if she would like to be our speaker at our Bulldog Breakfast in a few weeks, so I was actually working.

After picking up my prescription for an antibiotic for the inexplicable infection at the root of my tooth and one for prescription ibuprofen, I continued through my day of getting students books, occasionally stepping into the back room to moan silently and massage my jaw, and wishing that I had gone taken the Percocet offered. Less pain AND more amusement for everyone while I was loopy. Just as well that I didn't, though, since I had to take the dog to the vet after school.

It was 7:00 p.m. by the time the throbbing subsided, but I learned so much during the day. I learned that Novocaine does in fact make half your tongue and lips so numb that putting on lip balm becomes a novel exercise in believing one has no lips. I earned a new appreciation for people suffering from chronic pain. I readjusted my "Scale of Pain", wherein previously having warts liquid nitrogened off the bottom of my foot was a ten and giving birth without any drugs was a five and limping around with a pulled IT band was a two. (Actually pulling the IT band was a five as well.) The toothache moved the wart down to nine.

This morning, after a blissfully pain free night of sleep, I feel bludgeoned, exhausted, and sore, but today is going to be a MUCH better day than yesterday. A good friend of mine once told me that "All sun and no rain makes a desert." It's much easier to be grateful for a lack of pain when we have spent some time in its presence!


  1. Aaah! Toothaches are the worst. Glad you're feeling better (relatively) today--I hope the dog is, too!

  2. Anonymous4:21 PM EDT

    You are a stronger woman than I. I have had two toothaches like the one you describe and am not sure I would have been able work. Glad this is soon to be behind you and I say NO MORE in the future.

  3. I hope it is all better! My own way of measuring pain is to try to decide who I'd betray to the enemy if the pain were me being tortured. It passes the time, but I am rather glad that it is in fact only the dentist and not actually the Enemy...

  4. Hope your tooth gets better soon!

    I like Charlotte's coping strategy! I may try that the next time I'm in discomfort.