I am horrified to report this, but I get the feeling I’ll be writing this tale of woe in segments, so let’s begin.
I have not been to the dentist since college, which in doing the math I realize is like, 10 years.
A decade of self-performed dental care. Jesus!
I realize this is fucking disgusting, but I can assure you I use very fancy toothpaste that comes in a really high-end tube. I also gargle with something the sign at Target says is used in hospitals. So as far as I’m concerned, I’m the picture of oral health.
But my tooth is starting to hurt so much, it feels like the whole side of my head is decidedly “not cool.”
I’ve hemmed, I’ve hawed, I’ve tweeted, I even called my mom.
And as I am one of the millions of Americans without dental insurance, my mom offered, “Call my dentist. Dad and I will pay for it.”
I’m down for free anything, but the dentist? With trembling hands, I googled her dentist and called the office, revealing my aversion to check-ups much less emergency care, and detailed my symptoms.
“Is it sensitive to heat?”
“Is it sensitive to cold?”
“Sounds to me like you need a root canal.”
I dropped the phone.
They can’t see me until I get back from vacation on July 10th. Oh, and here’s a little treat for you. I can’t take prescription pain killers. Yep, that’s right. As if I haven’t been punished by life, society, bartenders, etc., those of us in recovery aren’t supposed to take full-on vicodin, et al. Having spent 28 days with my fellow “peers” addicted to pain killers, I see the logic. I just dread the pain.
As I made my appointment with the dentist lady, I asked, “So it’s cool that I wait 2 weeks to come in? I mean, my tooth’s not going to fall out, right?”
“No, no. Probably not…”
*UPDATE* I was whining my tale of woe to Brock last night, expecting his reaction to be much like everyone else’s: horror. Actually, my mother responded with, "So you were diagnosed over the phone by a secretary? What the hell does she know?" Brock's response to my potential, pending root canal. “Oh, I’ve had 2. It’s no big deal.”