Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Hole in the Head

It's out.

My $2,500.00 root canal and crown has been extracted for a mere $700.00.

But I'm not bitter. Really! And as I examine my pie-hole in the bathroom mirror I realize that you can scarcely see it (the hole in my head). So I think I'm not going to be too quick to sign off on some sort of big-bucks prosthetic replacement for the missing tooth.

I got to my dentist's office at 1:15 yesterday. The "big panic du jour" was no cold water in the building. "What's the big deal?" I hear you ask. Well, the big deal is that most dental equipment needs cold water to work. Such as drills. And the little bowl you spit into. And the little faucet that fills the little cup you use to "rinse and spit." Stuff like that. Jerry, my dentist of 24 years, took one look in my mouth and said, "Don't move. I'm calling an oral surgeon." A half hour later I was 20 blocks uptown cooling my heels in another dental office. I cooled my heels there for 2 hours. I filled out the usual "first-timer" paperwork. "Do you suffer from: ... " Yes. I suffer from everything. I'm an alcoholic AND a Catholic. After Jews, nobody suffers better (or so I'm told by my Jewish buddies in recovery and yes, there ARE Jewish alcoholics, FYI).

There were beaucoups injections of numbing stuff. Then he "tested" the tooth. After I screamed, he pronounced it a "hot tooth" and injected more numbing stuff. Eventually he tackled it and, after much grunting and sweating, by me, it was out.

Ivana, the lovely Latvian nurse, stuffed gauze into the hole and stuck the electronic x-ray pad into my mouth to get an "after" shot. The doctor pronounced the extraction a complete success and, after prescribing tons of drugs and handing me a "travel pack" I was relieved of $700.00 and sent home to recover.

One of the drugs he prescribed was viacodin. Now this is an "iffy" drug for drunks and druggies. Although my drug of choice was always booze, I need to be wary of anything that can be fatally addicting. I got the prescription filled but, before I took it, I talked to my Sobriety Counselor about it. I told him that I had told the doctor that I was a recovering drunk and that he had said to me, "then just take one before you go to bed." My Counselor didn't seem to have a problem with that, so that's what I did.

I woke up this morning with a little bit of dried blood around the corners of my mouth, but other than that, I was good. Still, I decided to call in and to take a "mental health" day from work. I'll miss the office Holiday Party tonight which, to be honest, I won't miss too much.

I am grateful that it's done. I'm more grateful that I have doctors I can rely on, a Sobriety Counselor (he laughs that I refer to him that way) I trust, a job with understanding bosses, and enough money to pay the bills.

I'm really grateful that the pain is ended. You never know how good you feel... until you don't.

And today, just for today, I feel wonderful!

News Item of the Day:

Another Self-Loathing Queer Quits the Clergy.



Bev Sykes said...

Glad that it all went so well--and that you feel so good about it all. (Or perhaps "relieved" is a better word than "good")

JoyZeeBoy said...

Relieved is right.

There's a postscript to my post. I started feeling really nauseous and woozy around 10:30 so I went back to bed. The oral surgeon's office called around 11:00 and I told them about it. "Oh, that's the vicodin... stop taking it." I'd taken exactly one. I flushed the rest.

How do people become druggies? Too many side-effects for my taste.

Bev Sykes said...

They gave me a big ol' bottle of vicodin when I dislocated my shoulder, but the high-dose ibuprofen seemed to handle the pain just fine, so I threw the vicodin away. I've never taken it, so I don't know what to expect, but someone told me I could have made a lot of money if I'd gone down the street and sold it at the high school!

JoyZeeBoy said...

Ms. Sykes, somehow or other I just can't picture you as "the old dope dealer." Cookies, maybe, but not dope.