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.