Even though I was unable to eat and drink these treats for a few days, a gingerbread cookie and a cup of cocoa made me feel better.

By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi

Well, it has been quite a week thus far, and this is only Thursday.

Monday evening we did errands after I finished work.  A tooth felt a bit sensitive over the weekend, but I had a dental cleaning appointment scheduled for Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. so I wasn’t worried.  However, as we shopped Monday evening, my jaw and ear began aching and the right side of my face felt unusually warm.  When we got home and I looked in the mirror, I about passed out:  the lower right side of my face was swollen and raging red, and  painful.  I took two Alieve, went to bed, and attempted to sleep to no avail. Finally, around 5:00 a.m., I placed a bag of frozen pearl onions in a ziplock back and fell asleep with them between my swollen face and pillow.  I dreamt of boeuf bourguignon.

On Tuesday morning I called my dentist, but she was booked, so I had to wait until 2:00 p.m. for my appointment.  I went to work, but I was a mess.  Anjelica came to the campus and drove me to the dentist, for she was scared about the grotesque swelling [at this point, I resembled a gargoyle]. An x-ray showed that the tooth under a crown had fractured and become abscessed.  At least this explained the mind-boggling pain. Immediately, the dentist put me on an antibiotic for the swelling and infection, and a prescription painkiller to lessen the throbbing.

Leaving my dentist, who is in a nearby town, we went to CVS in our hometown to pick up my prescriptions.  The medications would not be ready for another 10 minutes, we were told.  At this point I was ready to pass out from pain. Upon returning to the pharmacy, I was informed that the painkiller could not be filled because my dentist has phoned in the prescription.  A new law, at least in this wayward state, had recently gone into effect that demanded a handwritten prescription be submitted.  Back to the dentist, who apologized profusely for having forgotten this recently implemented law. Upon our return to the pharmacy, where I produced the handwritten prescription from my dentist, I was told that the pharmacy was out of that particular narcotic until Friday.  The woman sharing this information apologized as I glared at her.  Nearing the end of my tether, my dentist urged me to try another CVS pharmacy. We drove to a nearby affluent town where I felt certain that pharmacy would have the medication.  It did. I slept better that night, but again Julia Child’s classic boeuf bourguignon permeated my nocturnal castles in the air.

While some swelling still remains, it should be calmed enough so that I do not look distorted in next week’s family Christmas photos.  While I must return to the dentist after Christmas, where I am sure more tooth and crown fun and games await me, at least I am no longer delirious from searing pain. One crowned tooth and so much agony is beyond me, yet soon will be behind me as I continue to brush and floss regularly, albeit carefully around the afflicated area.

Ciao for now.

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