It was the middle of the day on Friday of all days, when I felt that twinge from my old friend ever so slightly on my lower right jaw. It was like the feeling people get from a healed broken bone or wound when a storm is coming……. I could tell it was gonna be a long weekend.
It started as the usual toothache I had gone through before, by Saturday morning it was full blown. I was tossing and turning in the bed with my hand against my mouth like I had been doing all night. I couldn’t take it anymore. The only thing worse I’ve gone through since being sober was a God awful migraine.
I’ve had several tooth aches but none like this. I have 2 teeth (twothache!) on the bottom right side of my mouth that used to be capped, but they got too weak and eventually broke off. I kept putting it off to go get them fixed for several reasons and they eventually turned into black nubs of rotten tooth. That’s pretty nasty! Even for me! I finally text mom to see if she had anything stronger than Tylenol, and thankfully she did. The ER was going to be my next stop! All I had to do was get through till Monday morning and I would be ok! I could get ahold of my dentist then and go get them pulled.
It didn’t take long for the medicine to wear off and I was needing more. At this point the recovering alcoholic in me started to question if this was a good idea. I was never much of a pill person. I was more of an upper guy or a drinker. I never liked pills. I couldn’t control them. But these are the things we addicts tell ourselves right before we find ourselves addicted to something we never liked before. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t take the pain anymore and I was also worried about how my 20 year alcoholic liver was holding up from all the Advil and Tylenol I was taking already! I figured it would take less of something stronger to get rid of the pain. All I had to do was make it till Monday!
Another horrible sleepless night led me to looking in the mirror Sunday morning to what looked like a cheek full of gummy bears! I couldn’t tell if it was swollen from the teeth or from me pressing on it all night. Disclaimer “Google is not your friend”. I found out I probably had an infection, an abscessed tooth, and the dentist wouldn’t pull it till the infection was gone. So now I’m looking for antibiotics! But no one has any. What started as a toothache somehow turned into a panic attack. It’s funny how addicts can do that!
Now I have a pounding face, throbbing liver, and my mind has convinced me my rotten teeth might kill me. All I have to do is make it till Monday!
I spent all day Sunday in the bed. I got on amazon and ordered some liver cleanse cause I was worried about my liver. Ha! I would take medicine only for it to make me sleepy. By the time the sleepiness wore off the pain came back. I wanted to take a bunch of the meds to just knock it out but I know myself. So I only took enough! I was dying to work, be creative, do something but I couldn’t seem to get out of this cycle. It was awful. It felt a lot like the vicious cycle of addiction.
It’s Tuesday morning now. I made it to Monday! I called the dentist first thing and I was the first one there. He checked me out and we set up a plan to get those bad teeth out along with some other work that needed to be done. After this weekend I decided my teeth were priority. Usually happens that way right! The gummy bears haven’t gone away yet nor has the pain completely but I’m doing ok. I’m glad to be sitting here writing, and I hope to be working on a video by this evening.
I try to find meaning in everything. I feel like there is meaning in this past weekend. Maybe it’s deep, maybe it’s not. I think I was in way too much pain to see it but I feel like there’s something there. I couldn’t help but think about addiction once again and also how I don’t know how I would have handled the pain if I hadn’t found something stronger than Tylenol. I couldn’t imagine being in a situation where I couldn’t get ANYTHING to help with the pain. I wouldn’t be able to take it!