Two weeks ago tonight, I began to feel a throbbing pain in my jaw while prepping the household garbage for the following morning’s pick-up.
I’m no stranger to dental issues, but this incident came on strong and out of nowhere. The weird thing about tooth pain (and gut pain and knee pain and every other agonizing artifact of my misspent you) is that the memory of the most extreme manifestations tends to fade fast once they’ve passed. As a consequence, I tend to get anxious over small stuff while shrugging my shoulders about more problematic issues.
I was convinced the problem was caused by an impacted wisdom tooth and would pass on its own with a couple of ibuprofen and a good night’s sleep. That did seem to be the case at first, until I the afternoon rolled around and the pain became unbearable. Even worse, there was a blizzard bearing down on the eastern New England that threatened to leave me snowbound and in agony.
Neither my regular dentists or any in the nearby area were taking emergency cases for the next forty-eight hours, but fortunately Maura remembered there was a walk-in clinic in nearby Stoneham. A twenty dollar co-pay got me face time with a PA, who gave me a quick going over and scripts for amoxicillin and heavy-dosage Motrin. (Protip: Telling a physician “fuck the painkillers, I need antibiotics” is great for cutting out the “oxy-head or not” song and dance routine.)
The meds did their work on the infection and swelling and then proceeded to work over the rest of me. Me and medications don’t get along well, which is why I limit myself to the occasional Sudafed pill with a 200 mg ibuprofen chaser when my dysfunctional sinus-dental relationship gets out of control. I’d rather cope with the devil I know than get trashed by some adverse and unexpected reaction to unfamiliar meds. This time I didn’t have a choice, as Future of the Human Race depended on me completing the entire antibiotic regimen while the jaw pain would only settle down with a quadruple dose of my anti-inflammatory of choice.
As a result, I have spent the last two weeks in a perma-drowsy state of nausea, where even toasted white bread and water induced violent gastric distress. Most of the time was spent on my living room couch, falling in and out of consciousness beneath a rock stupid puppy and two cats while watching episodes of Laugh-In on a retro TV channel.
That would’ve been bad enough at the best of times, but it was made worse by the fact that this is the busiest time of year at my day job and I was supposed to be spending this lost time getting the house in order for an upcoming Big Life-Changing Event I’m not at liberty to disclose at the moment.
Writing, for both a potentially paying gig and on this site, has fallen entirely by the wayside. I’ve been flaking on something as simple as the Black Orchid posts. Focusing on long-form pieces has been next to impossible. I’ve been recovering from last weekend’s root canal at a good pace, but that means pushing myself to make up for lost time on other fronts.
(It also doesn’t help that the torrent of half-assed hot takes that continuously flow through my social media feeds make me feel like retching whenever I contemplate writing a political post. It doesn’t matter if I have a better perspective than those idiots if I feel like I’m just adding more turds to the shitstream.)
And that’s pretty much it — treading water and feeling guilty about it while telling myself that things will level off eventually. And still unable to eat much of anything. Or stay functional past ten in the evening.
The Ultimate Powers Jam will continue shortly (and there are a few finished write-ups in need of artists, if anyone is interested), the RPG posts will continue as best I can, and maybe March will see the return of Nobody’s Favorites. Hopefully.