I went in to get my teeth cleaned last Monday. I told them I thought I had a broken tooth. The next thing I know I am getting a root canal. Love those things. I’ve yet to have one go right using the “drill the canal out” procedure. The only one that’s gone right so far was when the dentist used the surgical root cut method.
You see, I have funky teeth. Small. Unusual. My mouth is small. I usually expect that a routine procedure isn’t going to go smoothly.
Therefore, when the dentist was halfway through my root canal Monday, I was not surprised to hear, “we’ve had a little setback. Your canal is bleeding and I can’t continue.” He put me on antibiotics and told me to come back Thursday.
And I still hadn’t had my teeth cleaned.
Thursday, I had to take the whole afternoon off to finish the procedure. Yes, complication number two reared its ugly head when the dentist either a) accidentally touched a nerve beyond the tooth’s root, or b) the solution that kills the tooth’s root hit a bone. Either way, pain shot through my whole cheek and I demanded something for relief.
After another shot for the pain, he continued. The dentist was mortified. He was so upset that I was in pain, and I knew it was an accident and tried to assure him that I was not surprised, nor did I blame him.
Finally, after a botched tooth mold (for the crown) that we had to redo, and a hasty tooth cleaning, they let me go with a big fat prescription for hydrocodone. By the time I got home, my face had swelled considerably.
That night, I called my boss and told her what had happened, that I was taking the pain meds and that I wasn’t sure what would happen in the morning. I took the hydrocodone and babbled that I was “fuzzy” at my roommate who had been in my room for HOURS getting rid of some nasty viruses on my computer. I’m glad she is compassionate and doesn’t charge me.
Anyway, she finished with the computer after midnight, and the medicine had helped, but I wasn’t asleep. Finally, I did sleep, but then at 4 AM rolled over onto the grapefruit-sized cheek and I took another pain med and fell asleep. I did not hear my roommate leave for work at 8:20ish. She called my boss and told her I was out and perhaps, if I could, try to come in at lunchtime.
At lunchtime, I was still dizzy and nauseous from the pain meds, so it was no workie for me. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but I am helping prepare for a major conference at work that starts the Wednesday after Easter. Not good. (Let’s just say this made today a very busy one).
The swelling started to go down Friday, but the fun was just getting started. I now have a purple mark just to the right of my upper lip that looks like the thumbs up on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. A light green patch runs between the thumbs up and the area just over the base of my throat, where I have a silver dollar sized bruise.
Good thing my self-worth isn’t wrapped up in my face. I had all my friends at work look at my mood ring face first thing this morning and got it over with. Though it still hurts somewhat, I am thankful I’ve overcome the issue of having to look my “best” at all times. Three or four years ago, I’d have never ventured out of the house with my face looking like this. This weekend, I was taking pictures of the evolution of my mood ring face.
Last night, while sitting in church, the setting sun shone through the stained-glass window and my entire face was covered in a myriad of colors and shades, blending my wounds with other beautiful colors. Nobody seemed to notice my mood ring face, even after the sun went down. All they saw was the light inside me.
I am not as I once was. And that’s very, very good.