Thursday, March 8, 2012

Typhoid Mary.

As many of you well-know, I've been plagued of late with a toothache.  It all started with the stupid anti-anti-depressants, as bruxism happens to be a common side effect.  After the first few days, I was pretty certain that by the end of this six-month-trip, my jaw muscles were going to rival Schwarzenegger's biceps.

(Not his old-man governor biceps, but the 25-years-ago biceps we all once knew.)

One night, I asked Richard if he could stop at CVS or Walgreens and grab me one of those night guards that just need to be boiled in water and then fit to the new owner's mouth.  My jaw and teeth were killing me.  Shopping by phone (as in, one clueless person is in the store while the other clueless person is at home) is a lot like playing that old game "Operator."  Remember the one that involves sitting in a circle and whispering what is supposed to be the same sentence to your neighbor and seeing how the message actually compares when it makes it all the way around the circle?  Yeah, it's like that.

I'm looking online to see what they've got, Richard is in the store staring at the small selection.

"Okay, Richard, do they have the one in the BLUE BOX with the WHITE STRIPE ACROSS THE TOP and the BLACK LETTERING?"

"No, I don't see that one.  They do have one in a PURPLE BOX with a YELLOW STRIPE ACROSS THE BOTTOM with WHITE LETTERING.  Do you see that one online?  It looks good, it's $44."

"Richard, I don't see that one online.  What about the SMALL ONE in the CLEAR BOX?"

"Uhmmm, let me see,...SMALL ONE, CLEAR BOX, SMALL ONE, CLEAR BOX.  No, babe, I don't see that one."

We may as well have ended each of those volleys with "GO FISH."  Maybe someone would've won something.

Fast-forward now to my sexy self sleeping next to my husband every night with this stupid mouthguard in.  It kind of defeats the whole "Afternoon Delight" idea, doesn't it?  Mouth wide open, blue mouthguard showing, snoring.  I shouldn't even bother with lingerie at this point.  The best part is that sometimes, when I put my head on the pillow and Richard is already laying down next to me, I hear him softly say, "BLUE, 32!  BLUE, 32!  HIKE!"  It never fails to crack me up though.   ;-)

But this damn nightguard ... it HURTS.  My theory is that ordinary jaw-clenching doesn't put pressure on ALL of my teeth; I only clench at the points where my teeth actually connect.  With the mouthguard in, however, when I clench, each individual tooth is biting down on that plastic mold.  Although I'm saving my teeth, I'm killing my mouth in the process.

I know I have a fractured root on one of my teeth.  It wouldn't be a big deal, except it's a tooth that happens to be holding a bridge in place.  (Yes, I have a bridge.  I broke a tooth eating a bagel when I worked at the coffee shop.  Overtoasted, anyone?)  To fix this problem, I need to see an Endodontist.  Do you want me to tell you what this Endodontist (with a capital E) is going to charge to do a root canal on this tooth?  Eight-hundred dollars.



That is two car payments.  I tell myself, like Gloria Gaynor, "I Will Survive."

When I do a lot of clenching, however, it gets all sore and usually some pocket of infection begins to form.  Pocket of infection?  How about a pocket of money, huh?  Wouldn't that be a lot more beneficial?

Now I've got this "pocket of" whatever, but no dentist.  No Endodontist, either, since I shirked my $800 appointment a few months ago because the day before, a Sunday, the well pump happened to go out on us, costing roughly one-and-a-half Endodontist root canals, so I no longer felt like blowing another $800 for an hour's worth of work.

Yesterday I had the most brilliant idea:  I'll just take the dog's antibiotics.

I'm fairly certain, if this works, it will go into one of the Top Ten Greatest Alternative Ideas I've Ever Had.

When I looked up the antibiotic to see how many milligrams I'd need (being human, not dog), I found a great list of ailments that this medicine is prescribed to cure.  I'd like to take a moment to share them with you, if that's okay.

I'm going to be honest:  some of these, I've only heard of on "House."

I don't see anything about toothache, but I'm not about to let that stop me.