I’ve had a toothache since Friday.

I poo-poo-ed it that morning, but by that afternoon was debating whether it was “bad manners” to call my dentist for a last minute appointment and running to the RiteAid for an analgesic.

Do I know how to have a good time or do I?!?

Seriously, my face was swollen – on one side. Sadly, it was approaching what a normal face would look like. My normal gaunt-ness was being betrayed by whatever (probably life-threatening) infection was going on in my mouth.

I will not tell you how much time I spent staring at my “more normal” countenance in the mirror. And if you’ve followed along on this blog for a bit, you know the internal debate I held over dying with a half-normal face versus living with the current situation being the best I had to look forward to…

Given that disclosure, obviously I missed my window to get squeezed into my dentist’s schedule on Friday – which was an exercise in optimistic living.

Since this is my life, we can all guess how that worked out for my favorite person. Hence the trip to my neighborhood drug store.

The realization that something was wrong-er than normal – because my grumpy old man-ness goes back to when I refused to have my wisdom teeth extracted in my 20s and I’ve become accustomed to random pain when they drift in and out – came when the usual discomfort in my mouth morphed from “general tightness” to “blood when I brushed”.

And then to a discolored mucus when gargling.

Oh, have mercy my neurotic mistress!

Clearly I was dying.

A medieval death, no less from poor dentition.

My first night of entry level pain relievers – Aleve – was no relief. I found myself taking a few more rips off the vaporizer than normal to get to sleep – and even then, it was a begrudging throb of a slog to the land of Nod – and had to admit that my JV level pain relief wasn’t cutting it.

I needed to call in the Varsity team.

So the next day I went back to the RiteAid and upgraded from Aleve to Tylenol and grabbed both the daytime and PM versions. One night of pain inhibited sleep is my limit.

Ok, first of all…there’s no reason these two products should look 95% the same. I mean, look at the labels!

What are the odds a run of the mill moron like me will grab the wrong bottle at any given time?!? Remember, I recently washed down an allergy pill with what I thought was an energy drink but turned out to be a spiked seltzer. Let alone the lesser Stupid Americans who don’t even know they’re morons and therefore don’t possess the wherewithal to second guess their actions.

Even Myrtle had to take a closer look before signing off on my doses…

Thank gourd she was around to make sure I took the daytime dose!

Let’s face it, she knows if I die…well, it was in her best interest that I don’t.

But I’ll tell ya, that PM dose? My mom’s voice in the back of my psyche was right there cautioning me not to mix alcohol and medication. But it was Saturday night! So I limited myself to two glasses of wine instead of my usual three.

Look at me. Mr Moderation.

I went to bed at 10:30 on Saturday night and woke up at 9:30 on Sunday morning.

Fuck yeah!

Don’t get me wrong, I woke up for my normal 2:30 pee and again when the morning started creeping in around my blinds. But I was having no trouble drifting back to sleep.

Drifting like the Titanic sank, that is.

Even when Myrt’s breakfast was automatically dispensed from her feeder at 5 AM and she took off from the bed like a Republican congressperson from a girl’s dorm in a raid…I just pulled a pillow over my face and went back to sleep.

Bliss. Toothache bright side, me.

Still, I was anxiously awaiting the chance to call my dentist to report an orthodontia Armageddon.

And that doesn’t negate the fact that earlier I said “First”…clearly, there’s more of my own personal idiocy lack of awareness to share.

Regardless, the second part of that aforementioned list is more basic, less neurotic. Yay!

The directions on these packages tell me – the consumer – that a dose is two tablets. Further, it warns against taking more than six pills in 24 hours.

Ok, I’d like to speak to the manager.

You’re really selling something that suggests your customers should be in pain for a quarter of the day?!?

America isn’t really the land of “knucklers down”. If anything there should be a dosage redundancy built in to give consumers the peace of mind that they’d be over-comforted versus left in a painful lurch for six hours.

Conversely, these corporations – more namely, their lawyers – might have out-Americaned their market with these dosage recommendations, expecting the guidelines to be openly ignored.

Smart move, that.

All of this is to say that here I am on Sunday night feeling zero pain whatsoever. This leads me to believe that maybe it was just the usual wisdom teeth shenanigans and not something more dire. But I’m still making an (overdo) dentist’s appointment.

Also, let me acknowledge your anxiety over the incipient “liver damage” posts that are sure to follow…again, this is my life we’re talking about. Whaddyagunnado.


11 thoughts on “Toothache

  1. Myrtle could teach my cats a thing about medication supervision. I found some little white tablets in a travel case and figured they were my hormone replacement meds. It wasn’t until I spent several sleepless nights, bathed in sweat, that it dawned on me that those tablets were antihistamines.
    Don’t procrastinate if fear of discomfort is holding you back. My dentist sent me home with a bottle of hydrocodone or something that sounded fun. Sadly, I had no pain that would have justified taking them.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That is a strategy I can get behind. I’ll start saying the same about the acid tabs and magic mushrooms I was “tipped” a couple years ago but never tried!


  2. “Republican congressperson from a girl’s dorm in a raid” I had no idea Hunter Biden was a Republican🤣 Advil Rx strength is 800mg. Four X the OTC 200. I learned that when I was on the road and went to a strip center in suburban Atlanta with a monster headache from a sinus infection. The doc decided I was just some random Texan in there for pain medication. I said no, I want the source of the pain dealt with, not a pain mask. He said Oh and after looking at my snot under a microscope gave me antibiotics. He asked how many Advil I’d taken that didn’t stop the pain. One. Take four next time. Uh… the box says… That’s for consumers so they won’t kill themselves. Now you know. Idiot proof is only suitable for idiots who read.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have learned quite a bit from this post about recommended allergy and dental treatments. I hope you will be tackling earaches next. They are brutal like toothaches. I know wine is involved as either the cause or cure but I cannot remember which. I love clever literary devices involving Republican congressperverts but Phil kind of made first claim on that topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. But in all honesty, it was kind of a “move in defense of”, right? But we still love him.
    I’ve been squarely in the liberal version of the “remove the damn warning labels camp!” for the better part of two decades, which means if I were a doctor, I’d only ever see Phil once. Since I’m just a toiler of a writer, I get to see him at least once a week! Take that, High School Guidance Counselor!


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