Toothache


Looking down from the lookout tower at Myakka River State Park
Warning: the following post contains graphic depictions of pain. If that kind of thing doesn’t sit well with you, you might consider skipping this post.
For the past two days I have had a serious toothache. The tooth in question is the furthest-back molar on the left side of my lower jaw. Yesterday I located a dentist, made an appointment and now have the prescription painkiller vicodin, which doesn’t seem to be doing much of anything.
At times the pain can be much less local than that molar, extending to all the teeth on the left side of my lower jaw, to my left ear and even an inch or two of the scalp behind my ear. When it does this, the center of the pain is still my teeth; my ear stings like it’s frostbitten; and my scalp is just numb.
The pain comes in waves; I liken the sensation to the time I got hit across the face by someone winding up to throw a backhand with a frisbee (think: a fully-extended forearm across the jaw). This occurs every 30 minutes or so, sometimes twice within 10 minutes.
The dentist also prescribed an antibiotic, amoxicillin, a type of penicillin. I don’t think I’m allergic, but my [snip… this was written at 8:25am… continuing now, 3:27pm]
Actually, I’ve now taken two doses of amoxicillin without ill side-effect, so I’m pretty certain now that I’m not allergic. Additionally, you know how I was saying the vicodin was having no effect? Well, something I hadn’t mentioned yet was that drinking water relieved the pain somewhat. When I came back from work at lunch (I’m going to be home the rest of the afternoon), I had a thought — what if I’m drinking so much water that the painkiller was in and out of my bloodstream before it got a chance to bind with the appropriate nerves? And before you think that’s a ridiculous notion, you should know that, until about 1pm today, I was emptying my bladder every 15 minutes. Well, I called my dentist to ask about this, but his office is closed on Fridays. So I called the pharmacy, and they said it was unlikely, and that I should simply take another dose. (a) I didn’t buy his explanation that it was unlikely (I didn’t explain how often I’d been going to the bathroom — only that I’d been drinking a lot of water), and (b) I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of doubling up my dose. I still had another hour to go before it was time to take another vicodin (I’m supposed to take one every 4-6 hours), but at this point the pain was making being conscious pretty unbearable, so I took one, and specifically did NOT drink any more water than was necessary to swallow the pill. So far, it’s been working pretty well (*crosses fingers*).
Think it’s time for a nap.

2 thoughts on “Toothache”

  1. Graphic descriptions of pain to me usually start with a bloody description of the ice pick/knife/mace/medieval implement, proceed to degree of debilitation, blinding lights, pounding noise, fire and brimstone. Note: usually some sadistic dwarf or gnome is usually wielding the former implement to cause the latter debilitation. Finally you need side effects of pain, dropping to knees, vomiting, or chewing your lip/tongue to a bloody stump to try and lessen the pain are good.
    For example my back right now would involve a dwarf with a medieval rack, a pair of pliers, and exploding vertebrae causing deep popping sounds to come from my back.

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