Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Marathon Man

Is it safe?

I've got some tooth problems. A while back, I had an inlay and some "interior" tooth work done; an attempt at avoiding the ol' root canal. Every once in a while, the inlay seemed a bit "high." If I bit down on a nut, just wrong, ouch!

Not sure what happened, but last week, when I was way too busy to go to the dentist, it started aching after eating. I put it off. It ached more after less eating. Then more after even less. There's an unfortunate pattern here.

Pretty soon, I found myself overcompensating for the bad side by chewing on the other. Since my jaw's not really used to this weird style of chewing, it now hurts, too.

Now, the stress of life, plus the constant ache in my mouth, has me clenching my teeth when I sleep. Now, I'm wearing my little mouthguard again. Pleasant.

Life doesn't slow down, but I should have forced it to and gone to the dentist! I didn't and the pain just got worse and worse. I ended buying a little bottle of something that has benzocaine in it. It helps, but like the even more unfortunate Babe Levy, I'm forced to carry my little bottle of "relief" around wherever I go.

Luckily, my procrastination finally subsided a bit and I made my dentist appointment. Tomorrow morning at 8:00 am, I'll be in the dentist chair. I've never looked forward to a dentist appointment before. Earlier, I wished it was tonight, instead.

This afternoon, after chewing virtually nothing, the pain really got to me. So bad that I had to scrounge Motrin and dab benzocaine beyond the bottle's recommendations.

The pain throbbed so badly that the whole left side of my face hurt! Lower molar, lower jaw, shooting, throbbing pain, zooming up to the upper jaw, then straight up my face and into my temples. I kept looking in the mirror, expecting to see some hideous swelling. In a way, it would have been more satisfying... But, no. No visible signs of the pain were present. It just got worse and worse!

I called Canada to hear my girlfriends voice (I hope I'm allowed to call you that). But, the pain was so bad I had to bail on her.

I felt like screaming, so I did. It didn't really help. Didn't hurt, but it wasn't worth the strange looks from the car next to me.

Finally, after 30 minutes of the pain getting worse and worse, I felt it begin to subside.

By the time I pulled my car in to the gym parking lot, it was merely uncomfortable. My workout went well and the pain stayed away for the duration. Is it the endorphins, the Motrin, or the benzocaine? Who cares?

I'd like to end this brilliantly, but I can't. I should have gone to the dentist last week. I made myself miserable and I feel strongly that I would have slept better and gotten more accomplished without the pain in my life.

Lesson learned? We'll see.

1 comment:

  1. Update...

    Dentist visit indicates the need for a root canal. Great!

    But, there's an infection and I can't get the job done until it clears up a bit. So, deal with the pain until next week.



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