The Long Painful Death of #31

Father Interwebz,  forgive me, for it has been a LONG time since my last confession blog entry. What’s that you say? 3 Hail Mary’s and drink a bottle of communion wine.  Shucks! OK!

*sips wine*

So, it was the week before Thanksgiving and as I slothed off to bed, I had a bit of an ache in one of my teeth.  Lower left, #30.  I popped a couple of Ibuprofen and pulled the covers up.

No. Sleep.  #30 decided to keep me awake all night as she cranked up the pain.  This would be a Thursday night.  By Friday morning I had left a 2:30 am message with my dentist and pretty much fantasized about pulling the tooth out of my head with a friggin monkey wrench.  I’m not kidding.

I went to the dentist first thing.  X-ray shows nothing. Really?!  He says it is prolly just sensitivity.  Use this toothpaste, and baby it a bit.  Take Ibuprofen and call him if it gets worse over the weekend.

We head out of town to my parents to celebrate my mom’s birthday and an early Thanksgiving, all the while I am downing IBU like  they are M&M’s. I’m googling “dental pain home remedies” in hopes that Dr. Google can throw me a bone.  And he does, Vanilla Extract.  You swab that on the tooth, and the pain dies down.  For. Five. Minutes.  Or maybe longer.  I’m not sure if it was working, or if I was just drunk from the bottle Vanilla Extract I was carrying around like a baby.  All weekend. Yeah, I was drunk.

So by Sunday evening at my parents, I am dying from the pain.  In total disbelief that this is just a ‘Sensitive  Tooth,’ my father, in good problem solver form, gets out a butter knife and convinces me that I should let him tap on my teeth to see which on is hurting. Remember I am drunk on Vanilla Extract.  I open my mouth.. and tap tap tap.  Yeah.. it hurts a little bit  Dad…..Let me check the one behind it. Tap tap tap……

<insert shriek of horror here>


#31, that little bitch, was the one trying to kill me.  I call the dentist, and wind up in his office first thing on Monday.  He confirms the eminent death of #31.  Gives me Tylenol #3, and says..get yourself to this here Endodontist ASAP for a Root Canal.  Wait a minute, aren’t root canals for old people?

Endodontist is booked and can’t get me in for 2 days. In which time I consume all of the Tylenol #3 because this tooth hurts like an emmer effer you know? I go in to get the refill on the meds, and the pharmacist says it is too soon.  Wow, did I feel like a druggie.  But they filled it, after I grabbed the tech and threatened to pull out her teeth.  By the time I made it into the Endoguy, he says… wow… we better open that up and let it breathe for a few days. Nice. Now I’m a bottle of wine.  That is better than an old druggie I guess.  I’m numb, lots of novocaine. Loads.  He said I had a lot of nerve (ba dum pa!) He proceeds to drill away.. and drill… and drill.  I was left with the shell of what was once #31, and instructions to care for it while it remained ‘open’ for a few days.  These days would include Thanksgiving.  The biggest eat fest on the planet.

If I want to eat, I can chew only on the right side, and prior to eating, I must shove a wad of cotton into the hole where the tooth nerve once lived.  Complicated. Awkward. But I followed directions.

Now, as fate would have it, the day just before Thanksgiving I was scheduled to have my routine teeth cleaning.  My kids too.  Dentist says it is fine and they can work around the bad ass tooth (my words, not his).  On the way to the dentist, I pop a piece of gum in my mouth, to freshen my  breath for the hygienist. I remind myself to chew on the right side only, I have no cotton wad shoved in the hole. Kids are in the back.  We are rockin, smiling.. on the way to the dentist la tee da de da…..gum slips to my left side and I bite down.


I’ve had babies, and I have felt severe pain. I have broken limbs, cracked my skull, herniated a disc, blah blah blah. I am no stranger to pain, but this was different.

And I was driving. And my kids were in the car. I screamed. And cried. My whole body shuddered and felt warm.  It was like a grenade went off in my mouth. It lasted, and lasted.  I kept waiting for it to let up, but it didn’t.  My children were crying, and praying.  Asking if they should call 911. Shouldn’t I pull over?  I could not stop. I had to get to the dentist.

We made it, safely, thanks to my concentration and probably angels. But all teary. I explained what happened. Essentially, when I bit down, I forced an air bubble down the empty root canals of the tooth, through a tiny hole at the base of the root, and into an area that was swollen from infection, with really no room for an air bubble. None room.

River was crying for me, Ruby was crying for him. The hygienists were crying for them.  We brought that place to their knees. The pain gradually went away, but I was terrified to eat anything.

But then it was Thanksgiving, so I got over it.  I ate. Nomnom.

I had the root canal finished on the Monday after Thanksgiving.  A whopper of a price.  Pretty much my Christmas present.  I will be getting a crown for my birthday in January.  Getting old sucks. So much.


2 thoughts on “The Long Painful Death of #31

  1. WELCOME BACK! So glad you are writing again. I missed reading your way with words!
    Jim and I read this post together and there definitely was an audible *GASP* coming from both of us.
    You have endured some pain, sister! Glad that evil-ness is out of your mouth!

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