Sunday, October 03, 2004

A few words about pain.

So last week I was rendered nonfunctional for a few days because of a cold. During that last weekend I had a mild occasional toothache, which is highly unusual for me, so I made a dentist's appointment for after my cold was gone. Well, by the time the appointment rolled round (I even got it moved back a day, to Thursday) I was in quite a bit of pain, and it's only gotten worse from there. I have to have my first-ever root canal on Tuesday and I can't wait. As long as it makes the pain stop, I will be celebrating.

If it was just a constant dull ache, I could tune that out; I'd whine a bit, but I'd be able to carry on my day. Instead, the tooth will be perfectly fine for minutes or an hour or two, and then the pain will start to ramp up until I can't think or do anything else, and the preferred way of handling it is to curl up into a little ball on the bed until it subsides. Although I try to avoid antibiotics, I started a penicillin treatment on Friday night - anything that'll help! - but that's only supposed to start working sometime later today. So yesterday I took some of the leftover codeine from when I broke my arm in the spring (first & last time snowboarding) - got three or four delightful hours of relief before the pain came back, and was in happyland for all that time. The second dose didn't work as well, though, so now I'm back to (slightly milder) intermittent pain.

All the reading I've done online about root canals just tells you want to do about pain afterwards, or if you're feeling pain then make an appointment with your dentist - they don't suggest anything you can do UNTIL you get the canal! My dentist is wonderful - she let me call her on the weekend and said that if I really can't take it she can try to get me in with a specialist for an emergency canal on Monday. I'm trying to wait it out and see... I'm hoping I might be halfway functional at work, and my band has a practice today and a small (1/2 hour) gig Monday night, so if I'm not writhing in agony on the floor at that point I'd like to push through.

I keep reminding myself that Leida would be happy to take my place, which offers me a grudging amount of perspective, but oh it does hurt. I am grateful that I do seem to be sleeping incredibly soundly all this week, although last night I was dreaming about eating ice cream despite the cold sensitivity and woke up with my tooth gently throbbing. And so far this morning it hasn't really gotten bad, but then I've only been up about 15 minutes and haven't had anything to eat or drink yet, so we shall see. Maybe the penicillin is doing its job.

From this window I can watch some pretty little chickadees dancing around a tree and a hyper dog (no, not ours, who's pretty hyper) racing up and down the street. It's a beautiful sunny day out, and if I'm not in too much pain, I'm hoping to check out the Drift on Main today before band practice. Keep your fingers crossed!


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