Pain. Let’s talk about it, because yesterday it was my entire world.
Started having trouble on Saturday. Pain in my right upper jaw. I’ve got a tooth up there that hurts sometimes – like when I get sinus infections. So I wasn’t too worried. But it got worse. And worse. Spread to my whole jaw, and my ear.
By yesterday I couldn’t sit still. The pain was too much. I also got a bit woozy and light headed from it, but I couldn’t stop pacing. Wanted to try to make it to Monday before seeing someone. Couldn’t. Called the emergency number for my dentist and made an appointment.
Now, my film friends got their wish. We had snow. Real snow, with real accumulation. And on that one day of winter white-out, THAT’S when this had to happen. Had to travel in slush and cold, deal with delayed metros, the works.
They were late getting to me, naturally. Everyone must have had dental problems at the same time. Waited for an hour and a half in agony, pacing the floor, holding the right side of my head, and occasionally wincing.
Abscess? Nope. Cracked tooth? Nope. Infection pocket somewhere? Nope. They did full 360 x-rays of my mouth – absolutely no frigging problem anywhere. He tested my teeth and got zero reaction other than a normal one. But then a wave of pain hit while I was in the chair, after he’d injected me with numbing agents. It took me right back up on my feet, and the dentist was worried. That shouldn’t be happening, he said. A few more tests – this time, he hit a spot that almost made me jump through the roof. Yep, that’s the one. But I puzzled the dentist. He finally chalked it up to an irritated nerve that wouldn’t stop hurting.
Emergency root canal. Yeesh. You can hardly find three such intimidating words to string together. I was bloody shaking in my boots – not only was I in agony, I was terrified three times over. I hate dentists in general, and here it was a damned emergency. But at that point, I didn’t care if he pulled all my teeth. Just make the pain stop.
At first, it was fine. After the wave of pain left me, the area was numb. He began the procedure. Drilling: no pain. Start the work: no pain. It was the last bit, the final nerve and cleaning that was pain personified. I held up my hand as he’d asked me to – Stop! It hurts! He gave me about 10 second to catch my breath before continuing. And I squirmed. Tried not to squeal or cry out. It hurt like hell, and he kept saying ‘almost done’ for what seemed like forever.
Finally, thirty very long minutes later, it was over.
The head-splitting agony I’d been going thru was done. I could sit still. I could walk without feeling like I might pass out. And for the first time that day, I felt hungry.
Now I must make an appointment with my regular dentist and get the temporary filling replaced. Heading there this morning. Sad because I was going to go up to the film set and see everyone, turn in my expenses, and pick up the lights. But the echo of the pain I experienced is still with me. Eventually, that will fade. That happens. You kind of forget HOW bad it was – and that’s okay. For now, I remember all too clearly. And I just need some down time. Time to heal. Time to forget, if I’m honest. I don’t want to remember the last 48 hours.
HERBAL INFO TO REMEMBER: Chewing raw garlic for tooth aches works. It is horribly nasty, and you can’t swallow the garlic or the garlic oil in your mouth (stand by a sink and get ready to spit a lot, because raw garlic will really get your saliva glands going). And it’s temporary. I chewed four cloves of garlic yesterday afternoon because the pain kept returning. But damn! It gave me relief for 30-40 minutes at a time, and I was very grateful for it. Kept me from going completely crazy.
Someday, when I’ve left this flesh and moved on, they’ll open up this body to see what made me tick. And I hope to hover above the table, or sit in the corner, just to hear them say ‘Aha! Look at that! So that was her problem! That was why she had this pain, that was why she didn’t respond to this medication, that was why. She was wired differently.’ And they’ll take their notes and pictures, and maybe in the long run it will save someone else from going thru what I’ve gone thru.
Or, maybe they’ll just dump me in a trash container.
Happy thoughts. See why I need a little mental break?
It might be a pj’s all day kind of day. Just call the dentist (even confronting Dutch on the telephone isn’t as scary as what I just went thru). Watch films and cartoons. Play. Baby myself a bit. No scripts, no homework, no guilt over not making it up to the set today.
My kind of Monday.