Teeth are for Assholes - September 23, 2007

(Reconditioning Batteries)

The summer before I moved to California, I was plagued with stabbing, throbbing tooth pain in a chomper located in the upper/left/rear quadrant of my mouth. Reluctantly, I went to my Desi dentist where I was told that I was going to need a root canal. I never had a dental issue before then as I take very good care of my teeth, and I figured that Dr. Mumbajumbapunjabi, D.D.S. would operate on anybody so he could keep his eyebrows from growing into each other and his pockets lined with Ferrari gas money. I left that office without ever getting the procedure done, and the pain subsided a week or two later. KungFu Mike = 1, Pain = 0.

This past Friday night, I started having tooth pain out of nowhere. Already knowing the what/where/why of the situation, I ate a handful of Excedrin Extra Strength and made some sleep in my bed, assuming that the pain would subside by morning. I woke up at 3:30 a.m. covered in sweat and feeling my heart beat from the throbbing in my gums. Eating more Excedrin did nothing to help, and I spent the rest of my sleeping hours with my arms wrapped around my knees, rocking back and forth in bed while I succumbed to the icy, rhythmic volts of agony racing back and forth from the bottom of my jaw to the top of my cheekbone. KungFu Mike = 1, Pain = 1.

Yesterday morning, I opted for eating Excedrin like Mentos instead of my usual egg white breakfast burrito, followed up with a 16 oz. can of Rockstar and topped off with a piece of Mad-Croc energy gum as a digestive to help the medicine speed through my bloodstream and also to keep me chipper on three hours of staggered, tortured half-sleep. I watched TV, read, checked my email, had conversations with my friends...I could enjoy nothing. My concentration would wander and then snap back violently with every throbbing, searing stab of the evil gnome living in my mouth's flaming sword of IToldYouSo Mountain.

As my condition worsened, my worst fear began to surface; my fear of the hospital. I am fucking scared to death of hospitals. I've had a dislocated knuckle in my pinky finger for two years after beating up some douchebag, and I will probably never get it realigned unless a paramedic sneaks up behind me with an ether-soaked rag. I didn't want to go the hospital for something as trivial as tooth pain, but I sure as hell didn't want to pull a because I was being a pussy. Of course, not having heath insurance at the moment was also a vote in the "nay" ballot box, but the fear of some kind of infection spreading to my brain and rendering me unable to wipe my own ass finally drove me to get into my car and speed to my personal hell a few miles away, my left eye watering the entire time.

After a hilariously disjointed attempt at getting me registered and admitted, the emergency room nurse lead me through a series of doors to a bedded area separated from the room by a heavy, plastic coated aqua curtain. As I spent an hour and a half for this bingo hall/truck stop of a hospital's excuse for a physician to examine me, I struggled to decipher the strained Spanish that Mexican patients near my area were speaking to the bilingual staff about their conditions and rate their individual levels of pain, uno para diez. It was there when my pain elevated to a new echelon of intensity. I started to see white spots in my eyes every time a throw would send jagged lightning bolts of hot fury up the left side of my face, which was starting to swell. I shifted around on the crinkly paper underneath me and tried to focus on the box of blue latex gloves on the wall in an effort to not pass out. I was getting dizzy, sweaty, my face felt like it was sandwiched in a George Foreman Grill and the white spots came more and more frequently with every passing minute, every palpitation of my angelic gums against the demon barbed root of my now discoloring tooth. I managed to pull myself together just in time for the uncomfortably young doctor and his even younger Asian intern/scribe pulled the curtain back and entered my kingdom of pain.

Dr. Fisher Price, M.D. took a look at my tooth and decided that it needed to be extracted immediately. Relieved, I wiped sweat from my brow and inquired about where and when I could go to get the outpatient procedure done so that I could spend the weekend recuperating. The evil Asian leprechaun cracked a half smile as he hurriedly clacked a stylus on his tablet PC when the doctor explained to me that I had to go through a cycle of antibiotics before I would be considered for tooth extraction by any dental surgeon in the area. My heart sank. Then the doctor told me that he was going to give me a week's worth of frisbee sized Percocets to tide me over until I finished the penicillin and was able to have the tooth yanked, at which point I would get another 'scrip for even more gargantuan Percocet to help me coast through recovery. My heart sang the song of a thousand freed doves. KungFu Mike = 1,234,746, Pain = -341.

So here I sit--locked in front of my computer in my darkened bedroom, the left side of my face swollen, my stomach full of lukewarm soup and Carnation Instant Breakfast, my bloodstream coursing with enough painkillers to allow me to giggle through a self-administered vivisection and I will be convalescing sans solid food and alcohol for another week at best. Feel free to send me movie recommendations, XBox games, soup, popsicles and anti-suicide pamphlets.

POST SCRIPT--Au revoir, le dent terrible! A dentist down the street from me finally pried it out of my face this morning. When I was done, I was treated rudely by the women at the front desk, so I yelled at them...and managed to spray down the counter with about an ounce of pain fueled bloody spittle. It was extremely heavy metal. Percocet rules.

Posted by KungFu Mike at 2:34 PM

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Ahaha. You reckon percs rule, you should try straight oxy.

Posted by: Liam at October 1, 2007 02:48 AM

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