R is for feeling ROTTEN

Monday 30th September

It is the last day of September, and yesterday, Sunday, I felt too poorly even to write my blog.  It had started a few days ago.  I knew I had a dental check-up due, and almost as a signpost, some sort of laughing clown in the corner I started to get a niggly toothache.  Not constant, just an occasional twinge, which of course I ignored.   As the date for the appointment loomed, so too did the toothache; assuming larger and larger proportions, especially when in bed laying there trying to sleep, where even the smallest ailments appear amplified and keep you awake.

I told the dentist as soon as I went in to her surgery.  She examined me then gave me the bad news.  A tooth, right near the back on the bottom, which I had had crowned was the problem.  The nerve had flared up, and although she couldn’t see any sign of decay, it was obviously infected.  The problem was that it was a crowned tooth.   Inorder to save the tooth she would have to drill through the crown, and the remains of the tooth beneath to get to the nerve.  Root canal treatment is awful enough anyway, without the complication of the crown.  The crown could shatter anyway during the drilling, or the tooth too, so no guarantee of saving it.  Cost £495!!!!  And no guarantee.  Or she could extract it.

She prescribed me a course of strong antibiotics which she said might actually cure the problem.  There was no way of knowing.  She told me to take paracetomol for the pain, which I was already doing, until the antibiotics kicked in.

For two days I still had, by now raging, toothache, and was popping pills like Mary Poppins.  Keeping the pain at bay was my primary concern.  I was feeling more and more grotty and groggy.  By yesterday I was really ill; a migraine-like headache all day, feeling nauseas, almost fainting at times, feverish, and weak.  I could hardly walk.  I spent most of the day in bed, tossing and turning and eventually falling asleep.  I have stopped taking the paracetomol and thankfully the toothache has settled into a mild hum.  The headache is still there but now too just a shadow of its former self.

So, a lesson.  Toothache or not, watch the consumption of painkillers.  They really aren’t very good for you, yet sold over the counter like sweeties.