Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Bad Tooth-Fairy

If you fall asleep with your head under the pillow, the Bad Tooth-Fairy will come and take all of your teeth.

It's the image I had in mind while a nice, but rather slight, lady dentist (dentress ?) was pulling one of my top-right molars out, practically having to stand on my chest to get enough leverage to crunch the tooth out of my jaw.

This sounds gruesome but in fact it was a high point of a shocking weekend. Two words should explain why : "dental abscess".

Well, those two words would only explain to those who have ever suffered through this kind of pain. The rest of you would struggle to understand and I hope you never find out for yourselves.

There's nowhere to run from this kind of pain - you can't meditate, you can't lie down, you can't walk around. All you do is calculate constantly :-
"What time did I last have pain-killers ? Four hours until I can take more - and I know what time it is now, so how many minutes is it before i can take the pain-killers again?"
... repeat every three minutes
Not that the pain-killers killed the pain. I took Co-codamol and Ibuprofen - which is quite sufficient even for gout, but it doesn't come close to dulling this kind of pain. According to wikipedia, Oil of Cloves "is well-documented as an effective remedy". You can try - but anyone I've mentioned it to has laughed at the very idea, and it certainly did nothing for me.

Friday night was shocking - Saturday I managed to see an emergency dentist who correctly diagnosed the problem and got me on antibiotics. At first, things seemed to be working out but Saturday night was difficult. Sunday I was a zombie - a sleep-deprived slave to the meds.

Monday I was meant to be two hundred miles away working, but Mrs Stan managed to beg me an appointment with my local dentist.

After an x-ray, the dentist explained that there was choice between a complicated-sounding root canal filling and an extraction. Easy. Take the tooth - do it now.

And when the tooth was gone there was an almost instant easing of the pain. I waited for the local anaesthetic to subside and drove to work - just like a normal person.

Two thumbs up to the NHS for providing an out-of-hours dentist - I really hope this service doesn't fall victim to spending cuts. I believe that providing succour to people who are quite literally out of their minds with pain isn't something the government should ever consider as being "optional".

One bright-side - I wasn't able to use the ticket I had bought for the Bolton vs. Fulham game on Saturday and so I didn't have to sit through another painful Bolton capitulation.

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