Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Old Rotten

I'm hungry.

I sit here sipping chicken broth because I cannot eat normal food right now. I have a big hole in my mouth where a tooth should be. I broke a tooth a while back, but it didn't bother me and so I left it alone, not going to the dentist because a) we have no dental insurance and b) we have no money for expensive dental repairs/bills.

More than a month ago, a small dull ache would come and go in that tooth. I'd promptly gargle with hydrogen peroxide or warm salt water, and the pain would go away. Then the pain wouldn't leave. I'd try everything-- brushing, flossing, gargling-- to no avail. Then came the pill-popping, downing 2 aspirin, then 3, and I'd feel better again. But the last couple of days was the absolute worse-- tossing and turning, the pain radiating up to my brain and my ears, throbbing and pounding. No pill would help and every movement just made it worse.  I'd bend down to pick something up and the blood would rush to that tooth and pound some more. Peter's screeching was a whole 'nother level of pounding. Something needed to be done.

I had visions of dying because of my rotten, old tooth. Old Rotten getting all infected and sending armies of germ soldiers carrying yellow puss-filled buckets and dumping it onto my brain, causing me to die and leave my four young children mother-less. I saw my children and husband crying at my grave site and inscribed on my tombstone, instead of my name, Rotten Old Tooth. I was losing it!

If we had the money, I would go for the root canal. Painful, yes. Expensive, yes. But I'd still have my tooth. But we are barely making ends meet, every bit of money going for gas, bills, food. The cheaper option is to have it pulled. So, Old Rotten is now in a shiny, plastic, white container, shaped like a tooth. I attempted to nap earlier, but with four children, naps for mamas are impossible. Sylvia asked me if my tooth was under my pillow, sweet child. Maybe I will put it under my pillow tonight. Might get lucky.

So, the pain. I feel better. No more throbbing aches, no more little trolls pounding on my head. I inhale and the cool air doesn't hurt my tooth. My mouth is numb still, I can taste blood, and it feels different inside my mouth, a big gaping hole where Old Rotten used to be. Am I happy? Not really. I would have liked to try and save Old Rotten. Instead of visions of germ soldiers, I now have visions of a future me, my falsies popping out when I laugh, my children giggling when my teeth are soaking in a glass while I sleep.

I used to wonder how people let their teeth go bad. I have the answer now.


barefoot gardener said...

I know the feeling. I used to wonder how aweful it was that folks didn't take better care of their teeth... then I got preggers. Each pregnancy was a new adventure into malnourishment (for me, not the parasitic life inside my belly), and had teeth literally shattering in my mouth.

Things never did get better. With money tight, I ended up losing more teeth than I care to admit, and now alternately long for falsies (then, when my teeth hurt I can take them out!) and dreading the day when the last of my teeth succumb to the curse of "Old Rotten".

Glad you are no longer in pain, and hope you soon adjust to the new "hole in yer head" ;-)

barefoot gardener said...

Proofread, fool Barefoot! I meant I used to wonder over how aweful it was folks couldn't be bothered to care for their teeth.

jenny said...

Barefoot-- LOL! As if I needed another hole in my head! I have an aunt who had all her teeth pulled in her early 30s, thinking it would be easier to maintain falsies. Turned out those falsies are pretty expensive and not comfortable.

Glad I'm not the only one who had teeth issues while pregnant. I thought I was crazy when my teeth ached while pregnant. I figured all the nutrients were being diverted to the baby, so the rest of me was lacking.

I guess I should be grateful that the teeth being pulled are the ones people can't see-- at least my smile is still nice. I am drilling it into my kids to make sure they take care of their teeth and show them Old Rotten to scare them into brushing and flossing! At least something good will come from Old Rotten!! :o)

Cheyenne said...

Well, you are not alone in that you don't have dental insurance. With many people out of a job these days I am sure there are loads of others out there without insurance. I haven't had dental insurance since I last worked in '05 but Ido go to the dentist twice a year and have to pay cash. But I get a discount which is nice.