Monday, July 20, 2009

the root of all evil

I need you to all feel very very sorry for me. I do. Feel sorry for me. But that's not enough. The only way I will get through the next few days is if I have your collective sympathy. Please?

I went to the dentist on Friday. For a root canal treatment. I've been putting it off (yes, I know, that makes it worse. I know I know. Ok! I heard you!!) She filled the tooth two and a half months ago and said if it doesn't "settle down" she'll have to take the nerve out. It didn't. Settle down.

So on Friday I went and writhed around on her chair while she "took the nerve out". Which involved her opening up a hole in my tooth so that she could scrape out my sinuses with a rusty nail file. Or so it seemed. Actually it felt like she was succking my eyeball out though my gums. The injection may as well have been a placebo. It soothed the pain like rescue remedy soothes a psychotic fugue: Not at all.

Eventually she stopped, put a plug on the blood bath, gave me a prescription for antibiotics and myprodol and sent me on my wincing way. I spent the weekend in a myprodol blurr. I yelled "s t f up" to the hippy within who doesn't like taking antibiotics.

I went back today, for more. Because she said that waiting any longer would cause me pain - due to pressure build up as the tooth drained. Funny, the pain had just subsided. But five minutes with her and it was right up there again. Even a second of that *%%##*** drill made the richter scale in my mouth skyrocket.

Has dental science progressed at all since 1300? I mean, call me unrealistically optimistic. Tell me I have blind faith in modern science, but really, isn't there a better way to "drain a tooth" than shoving what feels like a serrated needle up there, and poking around til the patient screams?

"Its a very long canal" she says.
"Sorry" she says.
"I know its hurting" she says.
When she removes her rubbery fingers I say, meekly, "why do you suppose it still hurts even after the nerve is removed?"
"I don't know" she says. And goes right back in there.

My bib looked like a prop for a Tarantino movie.

"There's a lot of stuff coming out of here," she says.

And then finally.

"Well, we're just going to have to wait for the antibiotics to work." There's a big pulpy cyst around the root of my tooth, according to the x-ray. It seems I have been sporting this abcessy thing for some weeks now. Which would explain the low energy, foul moods and over reliance on soup and whisky for my nutritional intake.
"It's not in the sinus though," she says, cheerily. Meaning, she didn't actually puncture through to the nasal cavity.

Sorry to be so graphic. I really just need you to feel my pain.

To think she's going to invoice me.


Miranda said...

I feel your pain, oh I feel our pain! Did she wiggle the nerve in front of your face like Dr. Gauw does? Or the Korean guy in Lusaka whose only word in English is 'Pain?' said with a manic grin. Pole, dear sister.

tam said...

Aaah, its nothing compared to pushing a whole human being through your vagina. But not quite as rewarding either....
No, no grinning menace. Just grim persistance. Thanks, thanks

fush and chips said...

Shame Tam.

I've had two root canals. Both were just manageable, but I did demand massive amounts of anaesthetic before each.

Good luck on your next visit. One word: Myprodol. Guzzle them like popcorn.

Jeannie said...

Argh Argh, I feel it too :-/ I had a root canal a few months ago. I was lucky though - I had a dentist who refused to continue if I could feel any thing at all in the tooth, gum, etc. She was on the verge of referring me for a general (!) when they tried the newest form of anesthetic they have. They inject it straight into the bone of your jaw. What they didn't tell me was that it contains a shot of pure adrenaline, to stop you bleeding out, apparently, and that it would send me into full fight or flight mode, and panic me beyond reason. I thought I was having an anaphylactic shock reaction :-( The dentis merely said, in an interested tone, that she'd never seen anyone react that strongly before...

Took three appointments to get it all done and cost thousands. Shudder. I hope yours is All Better SOON!

Angela said...

Oh sweet darling Tammy, yes, you have all my sympathy!!! Dentists, don`t mention the different types... Our first one, the Yogi, kept saying "Soooon over!" which it never was. And told us (our whole family suffered from weak teeth, it`s genetic) to relax and breathe deeply, and that he himself always got strength from standing on his head. No, I´ll not continue, but I think the antibiotics and shots don`t work when the inflammation is already in the body! So I once took a Valium before I went, which almost made me drop off the chair (and land on my head, tehee).
All I can say to soothe you is get them pulled out, get crowns and bridges and feel fine afterwards! If only like a shark we could also grow new teeth! Why don`t they invent THAT?
hahaha, look at the veri word: bitie! I BET they read our stories!

Freya said...

Oh shame Tam!!!!!! You poor, poor thing! I am one of the very fortunate few who has yet to have had any dental work done, but I do have very clear memory of the sadistic orthodontist I had for 3 years as a teeneager. I feel for you sista!

Maybe you should have used bush medicine and just gone searching for a dead chongololo instead. Will keep my eyes peeled for you!

karen said...

oh Tam! poor you... sounds dreadful. I'm with fush n chips - myprodol in popcornlike quantities! thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

Super ouchie, bad recollections, super sympathies!

Anonymous said...

I am wincing from here! There goes my resolution to go to the dentist when I get back home. You've given me the fear!

Whisky has to be the answer.

tam said...

Thanks for all the love - nothing like a dentist experience to touch a collective nerve as it were.
Mud - whisky and myprodol together? now we're talking...
Much better today, but feeling very circumspect about my return visit on MOnday. Shudder.
Angela - there are bad teeth on mom's side too - It's a disaster. And yet Miranda has managed to sustain a really strong set of ivories. My teeth are a nightmare. I literally have nightmares about them, where they crumble like feta cheese in my mouth.
Jeannie - bone anaesthetic? I want that.
Freya - I haven't heard the chongololo one. for real?

Freya said...

Yes ma'am, for real. Dead chongololo, in ground and powdered form used point specifically in a hole in the tooth. The traces of cyanide remaining in the insect kills the nerve out-right, with the inflicted tooth falling out in a matter of days. Needless to say, it can be a bit risky...only thing I could offer as assisstance out here(and just being "cute" as we Americans like to say)! Myprodal in mass quantities much safer bet however!!!! Can't risk anything happening to you!

Good luck on Monday. We'll be thinking about you and wishing you a painless visit. Ouch. You poor, poor thing!

Much love dear friend.

Shiny said...

Ouch. I hope it's better now. Or at least dulled by the Myprodol and whiskey.

You are an aunt. I am an aunt. It's official. And isn't it lovely? We have such clever sisters.


Chimera said... interesting is that about the chongololo?!!! As to the dentist...they have to sedate me before i even go for a check up so can only read your post from behing the hands over my appaulled face.
The cyst thing sounds bit dodgy my dear...will hope the antibiotics sort it out fast...
gawd..have to go and retch now.
T xx

tam said...

thanks everyone. I take your kindness and sympathy and head off for round three. If this one doesn't work, its powdered chongololo for me (that's a millipede, our overseas guests).

Janelle said...

oh CHRIST man....well at least am not alone then...think i am heading that way tommorrow...i simply can;t survive any longer on neurofen and whisky, soup and yoghurt....everyone keeps saying golly you're losing weight - like its a massive surprise...because i am fucking hungry because i can;t flipping eat anything..oh its all so horrendous...hope you;re all sorted now darlin'??? please say you are...? xxxx j

Janelle said...

oh let me tell you root canal is ALMOST on a par with giving birth. not kidding