The dentist took new x-rays of this side of the mouth. We had to find which tooth was the actual culprit here, since it was clear most of the pain I was experiencing was sympathy pain. Teeth love to complain and when one tooth hurts, its neighbors all pick up the cry. I'm Spartacus and I'm the one with the toothache! Silly neurotransmitters.
I like looking at the digital x-rays. I really do. I watched with great interest as the dentist showed me the bad molar and pointed out the spike which represented the cavity/toothache, currently starring in The Bane of My Existence.
"That's the infected area right there," he said, pointing to the spike. It was poking up into a dark oval shape. "And that's one of your sinuses."
Now that I understood why the entire darn side of my face has been hurting, I made the executive decision that this tooth really isn't worth it. It's scheduled to be pulled on Tuesday and with it, I hope, the last of this agony for a while.
In the meantime, I am weathering a pretty damn painful sinus infection. The past x hours, where x is any number between 1 and 48, have been excruciating. They've given me antibiotics and Vicodin. The infection seems to be taking this whole "kill it with antibiotics" strategy personally, and the resulting pain is actually burning right through the Vicodin as if I hadn't taken any. (I know I have taken it, however, because the world is slightly fuzzy and pillowy around the edges and I have this urge to get a Gibson Flying V, write down crazy theories on a giant whiteboard, and antagonize Wilson for a while.)
Pain that rages through opiates is some serious pain, friends. I've discovered that it's very temperature sensitive, and even breathing in through my nose can change the ambient temperature in my haid enough for the nerves to pick up on it and start crying. However, I know which temperature the toothache can tolerate. That is a good thing. The tolerable temperature, however, is Quite Cold. That is a bad thing. I'm keeping the pain down by keeping the right side of my mouth cold. Every few minutes I take another sip of very cold water lest my body temperature heat the tooth up again and bring in the pain. I tried holding off on the water to see if I could withstand the untreated pain long enough to try and will it down. I didn't even last a minute before desperately grabbing for the glass with tears in my eyes. Geez, but this thing is brutal.
I'm no stranger to toothaches, and have endured some really tough ones in the past (at least this time around we don't have painfully swollen gums to deal with.) I have had to will down a flaring tooth before. It's not a lot of fun but you do feel stronger for having endured it. This infection, though, beats 'em all and it's doing a very good job of beating me. I am both amazed and frightened by its resilience. This is an angry toothache, and it wants me to be as angry too. Problem is, I'm so exhausted I don't have any energy left to be angry. I'd really just like to get some sleep, but it's hard to drift off peacefully when you're going for another sip of cold water every few minutes.