It started about a week ago as a dull ache that came and went, sometimes bothersome but not bad enough for me to go to the dentist. It takes a LOT for me to be willing to go to the dentist. I like my current dentist. He’s kind and gentle and really does his best to make my dental experience as comfortable and painless as possible. However, my love of dentistry has been clouded by past traumas. (See this post I wrote about a previous dental encounter for some perspective on my reluctance.)
Anyway, as the pain got worse, I finally decided to go see the dentist, and was informed I needed a root canal. (To be regaled with a tale of woe from a previous root canal, click here.) So, the dentist prescribed for me antibiotics to kill the infection and scheduled me for a root canal next week.
That day, however, the pain multiplied itself by about three million. I was taking Tylennol and ibuprofen at alternating hours, and suddenly, both seemed useless. What causes the pain in a toothache like mine is infection hitting the nerve and sending warning signals to your brain, so the antibiotics killing the infection serves to dull the pain. However, it takes 24-48 hours for the antibiotics to kick in.
That night I couldn’t sleep. Literally. I stayed up tossing and turning for hours, unable to rest because the pain in my mouth was so debilitating, despite that I was ingesting as many painkillers as the directions would allow. Finally, in the early hours of the morning, I dozed off for just a couple hours before I had to get up to get the kids ready for school.
All that day I could scarcely function. That evening, I asked my husband if he could stop by the dentist while he was out and about and procure for me a stronger painkiller. He came home with Vicoden. Yet even this brilliant narcotic did virtually nothing for my pain. Again, I was up all night, literally weeping in agony. I tried all the suggestions I could find on the internet, from hot and cold compresses to swishing with peroxide to dabbing the tooth with various substances to manipulating pressure points, and none of them gave me any relief. I tossed and turned and paced and wept throughout the night, enduring this unbearable pain that I had no choice but to bear.
Finally, about five in the morning yesterday, shortly after my most recent dose of antibiotics, the pain began to subside and I was able to get just a little bit of sleep before having to get up to deal with my kids. Needless to say, between the pain and not having slept in two days, yesterday was not my most productive day, and that is why I didn’t really plan out a very good post for today.
But, lucky you, you get to be part of my experience and get a snapshot into my week. Oh, and do go read those other posts about dentists that I linked. You’ll enjoy them.
Thanks for listening! I’ll see you guys all next week.