Out! Out! Vile Molar!

Yesterday was not the kind of day you hope to have on vacation. When I posted my entry, I was sitting in the Welcome Center to use the wifi. I was also in agony with my tooth. I asked the lady at the desk if I had any recourse in the event of a dental emergency. She said there was a dentist just down the road and looked up his address and phone number. I called and explained my situation, and to my amazement they said they could fit me in at 2:45 in the afternoon!

I was just stunned. Remember when I had that horrific abscess at Christmas time, I couldn’t get an appointment anywhere for two weeks! I know a lot of people were praying for me and I felt this was an answer to prayer.

When Walter and the kids got back from their hike (spectacular waterfalls!) we came to the condo for lunch and I had time for a brief rest before we headed out for the dentist. I was betrayed by my phone GPS, which took us the wrong way on the right road, but after a call to the office we got turned around and actually made the appointment on time. I felt right at home in the waiting room with its hunting-themed décor, because that’s what our late dentist Dr. McLendon also had.

The treatment chairs sat in front of a glass wall overlooking a lovely wooded area. The dentist, who had a very Ron Swansonish air about him, was a transplanted Texan. He took one look at my x-ray and said, “Were you able to get any sleep at all last night?” I was glad that he understood how much pain I was in.

He explained that he’d have to do a surgical extraction because there wasn’t much left of the tooth to grab onto (the crown came off some time ago). This was followed by a couple of barrels of Novocain and then the real work began. I could tell it wasn’t going well. The dentist stopped his cheerful commentary and the assistant had my jaw in a grip of iron. The dentist began to get a little testy, and I didn’t blame him at all. I kept telling myself over and over, “It can’t be as bad as my first wisdom tooth extraction.” (That was a truly gruesome and horrific experience against which I judge all other dental adventures.) There was a lot of drilling and tightening and rocking of the roots. He got one half out but had to work even harder for the other half. I’m pretty sure my tooth ruined his afternoon. Mine, of course, was already ruined!

In the end, he prevailed, and it wasn’t as bad as my first wisdom tooth extraction. It was, however, plenty bad for a middle-aged lady who is on vacation and recovering from surgery! Not knowing that I was supposed to sit and recover for a while, I staggered into the waiting room and startled my poor husband with my ravaged appearance. After that we still had to stop by the grocery store for a few items and go to the pharmacy for my prescription. By the time we got back to the condo, I couldn’t wait to get rid of the gauze in my mouth and have a nice lie-down!

Unpleasant as the experience was, I was so grateful. Grateful that this emergency  happened at the beginning of the week, and not in the middle of my autoharp workshop, which starts tomorrow. Grateful that there was a dentist nearby and that he could fit me in. I’m so glad to have today to recover and gather my strength for the next three days.

I also have good news on my arthritic finger. The last two nights I have applied the only remedy I know, which will probably make you laugh, but I’ll tell you anyway. I sleep with a sock over my hand. The extra warmth really seems to help. By yesterday, I felt a definite improvement, and this morning I was able to wield a knife and fork without pain. I tried playing my autoharp and it was also a pain-free experience. Hallelujah!


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