Tuesday, January 29, 2019

You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave

Jeff bought Picante Lime Corn Nuts from the snack window at Bob's game on Friday night. He left them next to me while he went to keep score and I ate them. All of them. I don't even like Corn Nuts or the picante chemicals these were dusted with. I was out of my mind.

The next morning I woke up with a toothache. Damn you to hell, Corn Nuts. Chewing on the yellow rocks had clearly done something to upset my mouth. I took a lot of Advil over the weekend and called my dentist on Monday morning. The x-ray revealed a large infection under my #18 molar (lower, driver's side). The infection had been there for awhile but biting hard on the Corn Nuts had brought it to my attention. This tooth had already had a root canal, but it had apparently failed. (It should have studied harder for the final. Hello, comedy!) I was referred to an endodontist.

This morning, the endo juiced me up with two needles full of Novocaine and explained that the failed root canal had a fractured root and she would need to look for a different root to go in with. If that wasn't possible, I would have to have the tooth extracted, and nobody wanted that. There were a lot of x-rays. A lot of pulling and jackhammering. More x-rays. "Open  your mouth as wide as you can, now just a little bit wider than your widest."

Usually during unpleasant experiences I am able to check out and think about something else: a white sandy beach, a full moon on a foggy evening, not having jackhammering going on inside my face - things like that. This time, I couldn't get there. The best I could do was to concentrate on the music in the office, the SiriusXM Music for Oral Surgery Station. Ah, Toni Braxton. What's she doing now? A little Faith Hill country-crossover music that I shouldn't yet do know all the words to. Hotel California. Electric Avenue, Good Vibrations and how does one find a theremin instructor, exactly? Google it, I guess.

There were more x-rays and something called a 5-20 being jabbed into my mouth over and over.

"This thing is stubborn, but not as stubborn as I am," said the endodontist. After more jabbing, there was one more x-ray. This time the results elicited a "Yes!" from the doctor. We were now in the home stretch. And then, a quick two hours and fifteen minutes after we had started, the procedure was over.

"Now Lisa, you're going to be sore and swollen, maybe bruised for a day or two. You'll need to eat soft foods for a few days and nothing hot until the Novocaine wears off in a few hours. You'll want to ice your jaw, the infection was sitting right on top of your nerve. Are you in pain now?"

I nodded and made a small noise that sounded like, "Meow."

"Okay, I'll give you a prescription for just a couple of these. Are you allergic to Codeine?"

"No, ma'am. No I am not."

"That's good."

I think it really, really might be.


  1. Snacks from the Devil's nutsack! I'm so sorry! I wish I were there to binge-watch Instant Hotel with you and take your mind off things... Hang in there and feel better! XOXO

  2. Hope you feel better soon. Tooth problems are the worst.