Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tooth Aches and Chocolate Pudding

Yesterday my husband Bob arrived home following his weekly pilgrimage to the supermarket.  As I dutifully helped him unpack, I pulled out not one, not two, not three, not four,  but at least 12, yes, 12 containers of chocolate pudding from the depths of the plastic bags.

At this point,  I turned to my husband and exclaimed in exasperation:



The poor thing did not deserve my wrath.

He had only been following instructions.

As the "survivor" of recent dental surgery, I had requested chocolate pudding, one of the few foods that could safely by-pass my swollen gums.

I just didn't expect 12 containers of said chocolate pudding.

Allow me to explain!

About 4 weeks ago as a lay in bed, eager to welcome the dreams that would carry me through the overnight hours, a sudden, incidious throbbing in one of my upper front teeth jolted me out of my impending slumber.

Clad comfortably in my cozy comforter, I weighed my options:
   1. Ignore it. It's nothing. It will go away.
   2. Take Motrin.
   3. Call the dentist first thing in the morning because it could be a very serious issue that needs urgent attention!!!

Guess which option I chose.

That's right.

Option number 1.  Until 45 minutes later when I decided to re-evaluate my original choice.

Time for option number 2.

And so on it went, for several days.  The pain was not nearly bad enough to force me to (egads) voluntarily schedule an appointment with the dentist!  That would be preposterous!

In the meantime, drug stores in southern New Jersey experienced an alarming shortage of pain medication as your's truly popped pill after pill, hoping the throbbing would subside.

Alas, t'was not meant to be.

With reluctance, I finally found myself sitting in the dreaded "chair" as Dr. Dentist poked and prodded, expressed sighs of concern, and then jabbed me with a shot of novacain.

"You need a root canal," he said, matter-of-factly.

Wait. WHAT?

I need time to digest this information!

I need time to prepare!
I need time to panic! To worry! To fret! To scream!

Too late!

The root canal had already commenced.

A few hours later I found myself at the dinner table, barely able to swallow mashed potatoes.

The pain would eventually subside, my dentist had assured.  In two week's time, as I was told,  the temporary crown that kept my smile intact would be replaced with a permanent model....and I'd be good as new and pain free!

Alas, t'was not meant to be.

Post root canal day one  - throbbing pain.
Post root canal day two  - throbbing pain.
Post root canal day three, four, five, six, guessed it, throbbing pain.

Back to the dentist, who poked and prodded, changed my medication and sent me on my way.

Fast forward one week.

Once again, stuck in the dreaded "chair", Dr. Dentist assured me that the insertion of the permanent crown would leave me good as new and pain free.

My dentist lies.

Fast forward another week.

I found myself stuck in the dreaded "chair" of a dental specialist called an endodontist who examined my xrays with the deepest of frowns and threw his hands in the air in resignation.

Watching a specialists use this type of body language did not induce confidence in the quaking, quivering!

"You have a fractured root," he said with a tone of seriousness that led me to believe I might not survive long enough to even call Bob and tell him what was going on.  "The tooth has to come out."

"So, what are my options," I tentatively asked.

"I could pull the tooth right now, but because it's Friday, I couldn't refer you to someone to make a temporary crown until Monday. You'd have to go the weekend without a tooth."

I weighed my options:

1. Go to my company's holiday party sans my front tooth.  My company's fancy holiday party, with cocktail dresses, dinner, and dancing!
2. Raid every drug store within a 10 mile radius for enough Motrin to get me through 'till tooth-pullin' day.

Fast forward yet another week.

I chased down my bowl of cereal with two valium and floated to the car on the arm of my "oh so patient" hubby.  Upon arrival at yet another dental specialist, this one called a periodontist (the tooth-pullin' dude), the friendly office manager explained to Bob and me about insurance coverage and payment plans for my dental implant.

Insurance coverage - 0 percent
Responsible by patient - Everything

Through the fog of the drug-induced haze that had set up residence in my brain, I dutifully signed on the dotted lines, giving away my first-born giving Dr. Tooth-Pullin' Dude permission to charge my credit card the $1,975,262 it would take to restore my smile, leave me good as new, and pain free.

While Bob went home to look for hidden treasure to cover the cost of my procedure, I floated to yet another dreaded "chair", where I readily accepted the offer of nitrous oxide, allowing me to observe the drilling, pulling, grinding, and sawing from some distant, far away planet.

Two hours later (or several days, I really couldn't tell) Bob picked me up and took me to my original dentist, who inserted a temporary crown to cover the grand canyon size hole in my smile.  Then Bob took me home, made sure I took all of my meds and put me to bed, where I stayed for several hours (or several days, I really couldn't tell).

Since that fateful day, my sweet Bob has catered to my every whim, wanting nothing more than to rid me of my post-op pain.  And how do I respond to this wonderful man? I yell at him for buying too much pudding.  I felt so badly, he didn't deserve my anger.

Bob, thank you for putting up with me. I am so lucky to have you in my life, and I love you more than anything.

I'm feeling a bit better now, and even a little bit hungry.

I think I'll have some pudding!

Bob and me at my company holiday party at the Camden Aquarium in Camden, NJ You'll see my teeth are still intact!
If you like my stories, please tell me in the comments section below.


  1. Great story! I laughed so hard on some parts. Similar thing happened to me day before prom night, but I just need a filling.

  2. Those toothaches can be really painful! I hope you are better now.

  3. I read your blog.I thought it was great.. Hope you have a great day. God bless.