The week before I started work - four weeks ago - I broke a tooth.
Calling the dentist straight away didn't do any good. He was about to leave on vacation, and his receptionist - endlessly attitudinal - made me feel both vain and unreasonable when I insisted my situation was urgent: "Plenty of people walk around every day with broken teeth, Michelle."
My appointment was for the end of July, but I haven't made it that far. Today I got an "urgent" appointment (different receptionist) after half-pie fainting on the way home from work last night, and waking to pain from my tooth, right up the bones of my face and rounding off inside my eye socket. My throat was swollen and sore too, making it really difficult to talk or swallow.
I guess the biggest fear on my way to see the dentist today was that he would give me antibiotics and tell me to come back when the swelling had gone down. That I'd be stuck with this pain for another week. What I really wanted was for him to make the pain go away. To return me to a life of cups of tea and glasses of cold water; and breathing Winter's air without wincing.
What he ended up doing, however, was introduce me to a whole 'nother world of pain.
Holy crapballs, people. All the Google searches on well, Google, say that a root canal is a 'relatively painless proceedure' these days. Let me tell you, those Google searches lied! Half way through reboring my tooth with his snazzy, ever-larger files, he had to reinject anesthetic due to 'extreme discomfort' and even *that* nearly put me through the ceiling!
I cried my way home after collecting my antibiotics and pain tablets from the pharmacy and took myself to bed.
My. Face. Hurt.
Way worse than before. And I'm only half way through! I need to go back for phase two of the proceedure.
The analgesics have kicked in now though. It is still tender to chew, but as the pain seems to becoming more managble as I dutifully take my pain killers and the antibiotics, things ought to right themselves in the next day or so.
They say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but sometimes it's hard to know if something's making me stronger, or just killing me.
"Hair is the first thing. And teeth the second. Hair and teeth. A man got those two things he's got it all." James Brown