Wow, it’s been one hot minute since I’ve updated. November and December last year really felt like the hardest months I’ve ever had. Dramatic, I know, but when your health isn’t the greatest, everything feels worse.
Sometime in November I realised I had a cavity in my tooth. I’ve never been for a filling and my teeth, although a little crooked, have never been in bad shape or caused me much hassle – except for my wisdom teeth, which I never got removed because there was never money.
So, after not being able to endure the sharp pain I kept feeling any longer and not wanting to make it worse, I headed off to my local dentist. He confirmed my suspicions and drilled into my tooth, cleaned it out and packed it with medicated dressing, put me on some antibiotics and told me to come back in a week for him to check if I was ready for the filling. However, during that week, my wisdom tooth started giving trouble.
Trouble turned out to mean that I would have to have the tooth removed. We looked at the options available to me and getting it done in the chair, at his surgery, was the best and most cost-effective option. We decided to put the filling on hold and do the extraction first.
Well. Let’s just say the whole experience was traumatic. Before going in, I asked how long it would take. “15-20 minutes if it’s easy. An hour if it’s difficult.” I was in the chair for almost 2 hours. At one point, while he was using what I imagine might have been his entire body weight to wrench my tooth out, I thought “fuck, it’s not going to come out.” I think maybe he had been thinking the same thing because we were both visibly relieved by the end of it all.
This little excursion taught me something about my body that I knew already, but hadn’t really ever paid much attention to. I heal very, very, very slowly. I’ve always had a shit immune system. Or at least that’s what I call it. If someone sneezes, I’m sick. If I bump into something, I will most definitely bruise. If I scrape or cut myself, it takes forever and a day to close up and scab.
Healing from this wisdom tooth extraction left me at my wit’s end. Not only was the wound site not healing fast enough, I got TMJ, which is a jaw dysfunction. My joints have always been a bit loose, but after having my mouth open so wide for so long, the joints became inflamed, and I think moved out of place a little bit.
Both of these things meant that I was on a strict liquid diet for a month. 4 weeks. Then, a soft mushed food diet (mash potato, not slap chips) for another month. Then, finally, I could move onto soft whole foods. Even then, I wasn’t allowed to eat anything with a crunch.
Of course, this all happened during the lead up to Christmas. I was finally on holiday, but couldn’t enjoy it. I wasn’t allowed to use a straw, wasn’t allowed to drink very hot drinks or super cold drinks and he put me on another 2 doses of antibiotics, so I couldn’t even commiserate over wine… I was MISERABLE.
Then, in January, I had my filling done, which was a breeze compared to the above disaster. Sadly, though, the cavity is very close to the nerve and we’ve been trying ever since to avoid root canal. I have a feeling I might need to get it done at some stage because I’m having tooth sensitivity that is way worse than I think is normal. Like crying in a ball painful, but luckily this doesn’t happen regularly enough to think about it too much 😛
Only now, into February, am I starting to feel more myself. I’ve moved onto hard, solid food, my lock jaw has finally gone away (imagine how convenient that was!) and although foods like nuts can be a bit tricky (I don’t want to aggravate my jaw), I’m pretty much a whole human being again. My jaw is still clicking, some days are worse than others, but hey! I’ll take it over that bleak December any day.
During this time, being online was not a priority. Whoops. I’m back for now, though!