Oh friends, this has been a rough week. It started Tuesday night, when The Electrician and I were out for dinner with his mom. Early in the meal, I started having sharp pain when I tried to chew with the teeth on the bottom right side of my face. It was significantly uncomfortable, but I thought maybe I’d been projecting my voice a little too emphatically at work; my jaw gets stiff from talking to classes full of teenagers on a daily basis, so I figured it would resolve itself shortly.
Wednesday morning, I woke up with an ache in my lower right jaw, but school days don’t allow time for dwelling on physical discomfort, so I headed to work as usual. Everything came screeching to a halt when I tried to eat my morning yogurt before first class and discovered that even the gentlest chewing motion sent hot, furious pain rocketing around my jaw. It radiated from the second bottom tooth from the back, and felt like a nasty blend of fire ant sting and brazilian wax. My jaw also locked up as I tried to chew, clunking awkwardly into place as every time I attempted to close my mouth; it felt like a charley horse in my face, if you can imagine such a thing.
The crazy thing is, I’d just been to the dentist, who completed two fillings on the top right of my mouth but declared the rest of my teeth a-okay. My incredible pain started twelve days after the dental work, and I wondered how on earth she could have missed what I was sure was an abscess, considering all the x-rays and stuff I’d been through.
So, I called my dentist’s office and explained the problem. The lady at the front desk appreciated my desperation to see the doctor, particularly considering how recently I’d been given the all-clear, and squeezed me in at eleven. Luckily for me, someone was available to cover my classes after 10:30, and I headed into the clinic: torn between relief that someone would help me and terror at what that “help” would entail for my mouth.
Apparently, and thankfully, the new fillings–which met on the seam between the two back teeth on my top right side, were a little too tall. The extra material, which was too subtle to be readily apparently to me, caused my jaw to become misaligned, which riled up all the muscles in my face. On top of that fun, the too-tall fillings created a bumper-cars scenario between my back teeth, which ultimately inflamed the nerves in my bottom teeth. The whole process was a straw and camel situation, where my skull played along quietly until it could take no more, after which point my whole head freaked out.
I won’t stop to explain how much it sucks to have a filling ground down in a seriously aggravated jaw. You can imagine, right? I don’t really want to revisit those memories until I’ve regained my strength, if at all.
The only somewhat good part of this whole mess, except for the dental office helping me out almost immediately, is the fact this kind of scenario is treated with serious pharmaceuticals. My dentist warned me the pain would linger until my muscles and nerves stopped freaking out and that some chemical intervention was necessary to help the process along.
So, I winced my way to Safeway and filled a prescription for heavy-duty anti-inflammatories (thanks, Torodol) and a muscle relaxant that could easily have knocked Sea Biscuit into the dust. I was a little leery about the anti-spasmodic, since the last time I attempted to take a drug in that category, I saw pink bunnies dancing the can-can and called my mom to inform her of the raucous rodents in my bedroom.
It turns out a combination of Torodol and Baclofen creates at least some relief for a person with a rampaging jaw. Sadly, for lightweights like me who don’t tolerate chemicals, it also turns her into a one-woman party.
I have only a foggy memory of the events in the dollhouse Wednesday night, but there is some photographic evidence to help jog my recollections. Apparently, the Baclofen makes me playful, but rather like a four-year old on chocolate-covered coffee beans.
I first attempted to initiate a game of hide-and-seek (without informing the other players) and decided the best hiding spot in the dollhouse was the basement fridge. Luckily for me, there are drawers and shelves in that fridge like most others, and I didn’t get in much farther than my right leg. It’s a good thing too; I was so dizzy on the medication that I doubt the signs asphyxia would have triggered any warning bells until it was too late.
At some point in the evening, I decided to dress Sherman up my clothes from the hamper. I have a photograph of him wearing my brassiere, which I won’t be sharing with the internet due to my desire to avoid everyone out there knowing what my underwear looks like and the fact Sherm and I apparently wear the same bra size. I might have gotten farther in dressing him, too, if my pants had tail holes.
Finally, just before bed, I laid out a city of victims, including an empty Claritin box, and laid waste to my imaginary landscape as the world’s most gooned Godzilla. Sherman was not alarmed by my stomping, growling, and shouting in a bad Japanese accent, but Leroy hid behind the toilet and refused to come out. The best part, for those of you trying to imagine the magic at home? I wore my hot pink housecoat throughout the carnage.
Today is Sunday, and I’m managing on Advil so far today. It’s been a rough week because I (obviously) can’t take the muscle relaxants at work, so I’ve been focusing on healing in the evenings and trying to power through the days as best I can. I took full doses of my medications all day Saturday, which seems to help. I’d say at this point I’m about 60% better, which is an improvement but certainly isn’t where I’d like to be at this point. Who knew a few millimetres of extra filling could wreak such havoc?
This is the moment to be grateful for paid sick time and dental benefits, right? That and a wonderful husband who doesn’t mind babysitting my party-monster self.
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