What am I doing now at ‘2:48 am’ writing a blog? Because if I close my eyes, I recollect the ‘trauma’ I went through the day visualizing all the tools used upon me today. Can’t get sleep. And if I do get sleep, I am concerned I may have dreams of these surgical instruments working upon me. It certainly is ‘My Most Painful Day in life (physical pain)’.
I pray to God most times that He may choose to give me any pain, but not a physical one. I have a deep scare for physical pain that can be caused by accidents or surgical incidents! I have such a phobia (I know many will laugh) that when I was to go through blood tests for Green Card in US, I seriously fought a lost battle with friends and family, if we really needed this Green Card. Once when my brother (an ENT Surgeon) attempted a few times to do an intravenous blood test. I actually fell unconscious. Now he was the one who was scared, and suggested me later never to get an injection or blood test at a non-hospital since they wouldn’t have facilities to support me, just in case. I know it doesn’t sound manly. But people have phobia for invalid reasons very often. Why phobia for heights or for waters for example? I have my own, from needle pricks to surgeries to painful investigations or life support systems. No wonder, I never get flu shots or anything similar. I even turn my head when there is an injection or equivalent scene on TV. My kids laugh at me!
It just so happened for last 13-15 days I have been having slightly tooth pain. It became severe two-three days back, and unbearable; a suspected tooth infection. I was not able to sleep, and had to take leave from office. All day, I was suffering with deep pain. Unbearable, any more, I reached out my doctor brother. He suggested an OPG x-ray and suspected a tooth infection. The only way to get rid is to visit a Dentist, even if that meant . . . . ‘procedures’. Friends guessed it will be Root Canal Treatment. I was ‘petrified’. Little did I know, it was going to be worse. Much worse!
My left lower jaw has the tooth (no. 7) the one before wisdom (last) grown in a forty five degree angle or so, protruding into the tooth before that (no. 6). As a result, it made a dent in the tooth and sitting comfortably. It was pushing the pulp and perhaps causing enough pain for me to not use left jaw when chewing. What this means is there is space between the no. 7 and no. 6 (both molar) teeth. Evidently, this is capable of having food stuck, even when I vouched that I gargle so many times every time I had food that I wouldn’t leave any food particle between my teeth. This situation perhaps led to an infection and went deep into bone. I was told it was a gum infection (hereditary) that spread.
(while I am trying to bring a deviation to myself by writing this blog now, I now feel the umpteen injections given to me tonight (actually yesterday evening). So I visit the dentist today morning. What do you expect from dentist? (At least my view), remove the tooth that got infected. He gave me some antibiotic and pain killer, but advised I do need to get that tooth removed. I go home, take medicine, get some rest that I didn’t have last night. My sister-in-law, father, brother, mom all suggest, I do need to get this done, sooner than later. My father felt if I had this done today, I will be able to go to office on Monday (I am standby for my boss who will be on leave next week and didn’t want to trouble him), given the possibility of weekend rest. And my doctor brother said, since I have a loose tooth due to infection it’s easier to remove now than later, although he did say the anesthetic will be less effective now due to infection. I am for one, who NEVER, EVER wanted to see a dentist. But here I am with the expert opinion saying tooth infection doesn’t get rid with antibiotics unlike in other areas, and spreads. Then I will need to remove more teeth. The Dentist, of course was sure about this. With a loose teeth (or so he felt), he said it was useless anyway. So I take the darn decision at such a short notice (which I never do normally) to get the tooth removed. My brother manages special appointment so I can get back to work on Monday 😦 And he said it will take only 10 minutes to pull a tooth. I will be relieved of infection pain in two days. Not a big deal that including himself many of our family members had their tooth removed earlier.
While I am so scared of injections and needles, here is the Dentist who gives me a prick into my cheek (oh! no!) from inside the mouth at 7 pm on the dot. What in the world allowed me to agree to this? I pulled together some bravery. And then he said that was only a test injections. Gives me so many more into my cheek, and jaw and base of mouth since the anesthetic was taking its full effect. He was surprised that he had to give 5 injections of local anesthesia and still not very effective. He agreed they would only be partially effective with the infection and pain was to be there. He tries to pull the no. 6 tooth by several methods (1. Mounting it off from socket, 2. Pulling it away with pliers, and 3. Breaking it with a motorized drill of several sizes. Various other manual tools in between that I don’t narrate here). And then announces he need to pull out the no. 7 tooth as well since it was ‘locking’ the 6th. Reluctantly I agreed. And this was the one that grew cross-wards anyway, reportedly not useful. And he tries and tries but in vain. Calls in a colleague doctor from somewhere, and they both try. No exaggeration, they must have given some 30-40 injections of small doses. While my several other pains from the day have subsided, I still have the itches from the multiple pricks all over my mouth! Several of them into my nerves (which hurt real bad), hoping they can pull through the tooth with a manageable pain. But the pain so severe, with the anesthetic only partially effective, none of the three methods worked, despite their best efforts. The teeth lay planted strong in my bone. At one stage, the doctors suggested that I get removed the no. 8 tooth (wisdom tooth) removed as well, since it would becomes easier to remove rest and also the lone hanging wisdom tooth is no good anyway (I didn’t encourage removing this any more). My brave wife, Komala gave up watching and consoling my pain half way through after few hours and left the room. She wasn’t able to watch me in pain anymore. I would jump up and down kicking my feet unable to bear the pain sometimes. It was voluntary. I tried my best to bear the pain. But this was reflexes with too much pain. Concerned I was still not home, my brother comes to dentist at about 10 pm. He was quite worried that I would be exhausted with so much pain for some many hours that I could soon get swooned. And after five hours and 10 minutes by 12:10 am midnight, the dentists were able to pull the no. 6 fully, but no. 7 only partially, till the root. There was still about 25% of job remaining. They were bent upon removing the whole thing despite my brother suggesting otherwise to close up. The dentists were of opinion, the infected tooth remaining still is likely to to cause more teeth infection problem. So here we go . . . . more anesthetic and more pain, me jumping in the ‘dreaded chair’, but the last pieces of tooth wouldn’t come. Both the doctors, and the patient, and my brother had been exhausted by now. I was willing to go further, but it was not helping. It was a long day for them, and well stretched out pain to me. And they all decided to postpone this to 4-5 days when infection would come down and anesthetic would work (I am not sure if I want to visit them again for this work, having seen what I did today)!. And all along, I was wondering if it was a wise decision to remove the two teeth that were so strong in jaw that they don’t want to break loose. And if there was one last thing remaining to test my patience to my pain to pinnacle, . . . . it was putting those stitches without anesthesia. For now, after five hours of starting, there was no effect of local anesthesia any more! Man, could I plain how can you damn it push through a needle and thread without even local anesthesia? Sob! The dentists were happy for the silver lining in the whole process, that there was no uncontrollable bleeding. In fact it was quite less. Surprise!
God! I prayed all my life, give me suffering of any kind, but not physical pain. I was glad all my life since I was young that I was not a woman and did not have to go through maternity delivery. I heard few people saying among the most painful things are tooth ache and equals delivery. And here I am, with the worst of it. Suffering from severe tooth ache for 3-4 days, and now this whole tooth removal process for 5 hours with only a partially effective anesthesia (and none for stitches)! And for the short periods when the anesthesia was effective at least in cheek, I seem to have unknowingly bitten my tongue with my sharp upper jaw.
At 4:30 am, I am still scared of getting into sleep if I would have dreams of what I went through today. Am I womanish? Donno. But it is what it is!
Does God give only so much pain as we can bear? Not sure.