I’ve started this post about 10 times but I think I’ve just been awash with work since coming back.
To fill you in, the day after my last post, after I booked to go into the dentist, my condition worsened greatly. I had a streaming nose, a headache and the toothache just seemed to intensify by the hour. There was no sleeping going on, a lot of painkillers being taken and quite a bit of crying happening. I felt so helpless to relieve the pain and the more sleepless hours I had, the more difficult it became to cope.
Sunday morning I phoned NHS24 and then the Lothian Dental Advice service, and got myself an appointment for the emergency dentist. It says a lot about the pain I was in that I couldn’t bring myself to wait any longer. I was going to jump head-on into one of my worst fears – one of the worst situations for me to get myself into.
When I phoned and organised the appointment, I mentioned my fears. I have a problem, however, with saying this without tears, which is kinda funny in retrospect. I mean, I could right now, but I had this ridiculous problem where I would choke whenever I tried to express that I was scared.
They got the point.
I believe she put a note on my file, because when I went into the room (Dave in tow, bless him), they were unbelievably kind and gentle with me, and explained absolutely everything as they went, and while I felt like a small child in that chair that day, I appreciated it so much.
They explained that the crown had broken on the wisdom tooth, and that it was badly infected and needed to be extracted. After it was pulled she explained that there was “communication” into the sinus cavity, and that was why I had a runny nose and headache, and an awful taste in my mouth.
I was told to rest, not to lie flat, to take ibuprofen and decongestants and was given high-dose antibiotics. I went to bed.
For a week.
I spent some time on the couch, but mostly I was in bed, sleeping for around 3 hours at a time, sitting propped up, counting the hours between each drug intake. The pain in my tooth (or where it was, rather) lasted barely any time at all, but the sinus infection raged like crazy through me. The headache was almost unbearable at times, I was weak and dizzy and so tired, but the worst was the infection coming into my nose and mouth. I wasn’t allowed to blow my nose, only to wipe if needed, and honestly. I’ve had meningitis. I’ve had pneumonia. Hell, I’ve had vestibular neuronitis. All of them were more pleasant than this. I don’t want to gross y’all out, but it was like having bin juice in my nose and mouth. Or pus-y water. Or something. It was downright disgusting and after a few days it became seriously depressing.
Despite the joy of eating as much icecream as I could, I spent quite a bit of time crying. Then I spent quite a bit of time chastising myself for crying. But I just desperately needed sleep and relief from the pain and the.. discharge. Once it finally did start to ease and I felt human again, I vowed to never again take for granted not being in pain. I’m typing this right now, pain-free, and I’m so grateful.
And the main positive out of all this? (because I am nothing if not disgustingly positive), I went to my new dentist on the Wednesday, and I wasn’t scared. I lay in the chair and felt like most other dentist-goers, feeling nervous but not terrified. And despite the fact that my other upper wisdom tooth needs to be pulled in a few weeks? the rest of my teeth are fine. Like, honestly. Who goes 10 years without a dentist and gets no fillings? I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.
Once I was up and moving again, I put my effort into improving my immune system, yet again. Vitamins and manuka honey and sleeping at a reasonable hour and getting back into exercise. I’d stopped running because my shoes were terribly unsupportive, so I got myself some new shoes. They’re kinda like running on air.
Oh and I refinanced my debt, which is going to save me like £500. And I sold some stuff and upgraded my iPad. That has given me a wee happy boost.
We’ve also had some good times with family lately – Dave’s brother and his wee family are moving back to NZ in September so we’ve tried to get together a bit lately. Dave’s brother turned 40 and then wee Imogen turned 4, so we’ve had a few celebrations.
And the weather has been pretty good to us, too. So I’m trying to put that week behind me and focus on the now.
I’m also now the world’s most obsessive teeth-cleaner.