A pain in the … you name it, I had it last week

While playing a heated family game of Yahtzee a week ago Saturday night, I bit into a Sugar Daddy caramel bar a little too aggressively and broke a front tooth off at the gumline. It was a quirky accident that resulted in a trip to Meriter Hospital to literally beg somebody (anybody!) to shoot my face full of Novocain to hold me over until an emergency dentist could be located the next day. A sweet-faced, young doctor accommodated and then sent me home with painkillers and a sympathetic smile (thank you).

I don’t know about your medicine cabinet, but my personal cache of legal drugs included one Ambien, long ago stashed away for “emergencies only.” I could explain why I had to get rid of all but one Ambien, after some very strange behavior I apparently exhibited after being given the prescription to help me sleep some time ago, but I’ll save that horrifically amusing story for another blog.

Anyway, that night I found that one remaining Ambien and I managed to swallow it and an Oxycodone (the pharmacist assured me it wasn’t a lethal dose). Yet I still woke up every four hours to stumble out of bed in search of the almighty Oxycodone to help me sleep the next four hours.

Sunday, an emergency-hours dentist returned a frantic call and kindly met me at his office for an impromptu root canal. Which meant more shots.

We discovered, during that visit, that when I broke the front tooth, the impact apparently also jarred a nearby tooth, breaking off a piece of a cap on that second tooth. And so my sense of pain – the other tooth did not have a root canal, either – became a blended kind of “everything I bite down on is sending a shock of pain through the top of my head” experience. I didn’t know exactly what was hurting the most. So Sunday night, after the obvious emergency tooth was temporarily capped, more Oxycodone.

Fast forward to Monday. I got so sick that morning at work that I had to go home and sleep some of the narcotics out of my system. When even that didn’t work, I searched through my closet for the emergency anti-nausea drug that I’d stashed away, a terribly outdated prescription pill, but what the hell, desperate times call for desperate measures.

I do typically only keep one of any strong prescription (for example, I’ve since discarded all of the unused Oxycodone except one) and then I hide it from myself, which makes absolutely no sense at all – a habit I probably developed while on Ambien.

When is this woeful story going to end? That’s what I wondered, but darn it, the pain in my mouth just continued to worsen all last week. Finally, I threw in the towel at 3:30 p.m. last Friday afternoon only to discover that my dentist, and other dentists as a general collective, do not keep Friday afternoon hours. Tick tock, tick tock. I didn’t call the emergency-hours dentist again because he was too far away; it was all I could do to see straight, so no way could I drive from the east side to Middleton in a snowstorm. Instead, I called closer-area dentists and eventually I did find a gem right up the street who said he’d work me in.

This dentist concluded it wasn’t the root canal tooth that was the problem, though he would drill/level the bottom edge of the temporary cap, where the bite had become too sensitive. That scared the heck out of me, and seemed counter-intuitive, so I was a bit of a baby about it, but he prevailed and it did ease my pain somewhat. His assistant also filled in the little hole in the other cap, which helped a lot with sensitivity … until that filling fell out later that night (if it can happen, it will happen). But, he also discovered, I had developed a bone infection and the root canal area was inflamed, so the pain might be coming from nearby nerves recovering from lots of trauma and shots or whatever.

I left that dentist with a prescription for Amoxicillin and the advice to get both affected teeth fixed by my regular dentist after a couple weeks’ healing time.

The next day …

Our water softener unit had a quirky pressure blowout and the escaping water actually blew a hole through a wall and flooded an area of the basement. Good thing it didn’t happen when somebody was walking in the basement hallway, eh? Imagine being killed by being shot in the head with a water stream, but don’t imagine it too hard, because if it can happen, it will happen. Anyway, that’s what we woke up to.

I had no water to brush my sore teeth, so I dipped my toothbrush in the milk carton to wet it (gross, I know, but I’m the only one who drinks milk in the house). The milk was beyond sour, and for some reason that almost made me cry, so I sat down at my home office computer and pretended to be on a writing deadline, which would trump cleaning a basement. Luckily, my husband was understanding and did the heavy lifting that day.

Truth is, it was all too much drama for one week, and the thought of adding a plumber’s bill to a dental bill for yet another root canal and two caps … it all just gave me a whopping headache and I couldn’t remember where I’d hidden my emergency Tylenol.

Sign up for the free IB Update – your weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. Click here.