Tooth Pain Stinks

Posted by mwallach on May 11, 2011 in New To You |

Dear That’s Life,

There is no need to read this entire article. The moral of the story is that tooth pain does not go away. Sorry for the spoiler.

A little over a week before Pesach, I began experiencing pain in a tooth that already had a crown from a previous root canal. The pain came and went, but with Pesach looming I made an appointment, confident I would be in some serious discomfort at inopportune times over the chag with no remedy. “Classic Miriam,” however, I cancelled the appointment I had made because it seemed that the pain was gone. Had I learned the moral of this story before living it, I would have been saved a lot of trouble and a whole lot of discomfort. Hindsight is always 20-20 and, as such, I now know that when tooth pain does not go away and it is better to be safe than sorry. You have no clue just how sorry I am. How can something so small cause such disproportionate pain when I am so big?

I was able to get a dentist appointment right before Pesach, and I do mean right before. It was 2:00 pm Erev Pesach when I first sat down in his chair and 4:00 pm when I finally made it home. After having been told I would need a root canal on that tooth to correct the original one, I then proceeded to CVS, two prescriptions waiting for me in the pharmacy. The first was for the antibiotic, an infection raging in my tooth. The second, however, may have been the more important one, as it was for Vicodin. The pain was that bad, the holiday that long, and the matza that crunchy. All hands on deck: I was in for a bumpy ride.

Having quickly swallowed half of a Vicodin when I arrived home, I saved the other half for four hours later, when it was expected to wear off. While I might have taken the second half with water, it was followed quickly by the first of the four cups of wine, this one filled with merlot, yielding some very impressive results. We were only half way through the ‘Mah Nishtanah’ when the room began to spin and I quickly realized why operating heavy machinery while taking this medication was not advised. Leaning across the table, I motioned to my sister-in-law and said, “Don’t drink and drive.” We began to laugh – it was going to be a long night.

The joke, however, was on me because as the chag continued and the business never waned, I increasingly forgot to take my antibiotic. When Pesach was over and I made it to the endodontist, totally prepared for the root canal to begin, I was informed that the tooth was still too infected to start the procedure. I would need to wait another two weeks and start another course of medication. So, here’s the secondary moral of the story: finish your antibiotic and make sure you remember to take it in the first place.

After some more pain killers and numerous doses of antibiotics, I am not only ready for my root canal today, I am looking forward. It was made clear to me, however, that I will be in pain after the procedure and am not done with the pain killers just yet. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to sit in the chair, cover myself with a blanket and let the master do his work.

I had joked with my dentist on that fateful Erev Pesach that, if nothing else, this tooth problem was going to do wonders for my waistline. He shook his head and said, “Even people without teeth are fat, Miriam.” I frowned. Oh, well – so much for that idea.


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