3.04.2011

A Challenge of Another Kind

My last post about challenges concerned our latest Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild project, which was coming along nicely, albeit with some bumps in the road.  This post, a week later, is about why I haven't touched my challenge piece since then.

Among the things people who know me may not know is that I've never had a cavity. I considered this a badge of honor, since I've had a number of  other health issues in my life:  curvature of the spine, causing me to have to wear a back brace at age 13 (which did a number on my social life!); spinal fusion surgery at age 14, which meant I was flat on my back, in a full body cast for 9 months ("attended" school through an intercom system, and had to learn to walk all over again, after 5-minute per month intervals of being vertical); a tonsillectomy at age 16 (quite late, I know) and a 19-hour labor which ended in a C-section to deliver Jordan.  Through it all, I've always had a pretty high tolerance for pain.

This tolerance is being tested now, since a week ago, I had all four wisdom teeth extracted.  I should say here that this was not my choice; if left up to me, I'd have kept them until they bothered me, which is what I'd done for the 35 or so years I've had them.  But, according to my dentist, they would cause problems down the road, and it didn't make sense to wait until those problems occured.  Okay, I thought, as long as I could be sedated (that high a pain tolerance I do not have!). 

This little pup looks happier
than I feel!
The actual extractions went fine, though I did not enjoy hearing the sounds associated with them, nor did I anticipate the amount of blood I'd have to deal with afterward (no descriptions here, I'll let you imagine, or not, as you will).  Or. The. Pain.  Yes, I have painkillers with codeine.  Yes, I've been taking them.  Have they worked consistently?  No.  Do I still have pain, 8 days later?  Yes, in just one of the 4 sites.  Have I been able to work, or feel like being creative all week?  No.  Is this normal, 8 days post-op?  I'd say no, but apparently, the answer is yes. 

I've been back to the dentist twice, once for treatment of 'dry socket,' which it wasn't, and once to be told, finally, that the pain is probably due to the fact that this tooth required more effort to remove (again, no description here.  Suffice it to say they had to inflict more trauma to this area than the others).  Prognosis?  It could take up to 3 weeks for it to stop being painful as it heals completely.  Treatment?  None.  Message?  Suck it up (though not with a straw, that's bad for it), and go about your normal routine, even though your mouth is screaming with pain. 

So, I'm figuring out how to live with this, and hope to be able to get back to some level of normalcy soon. 

My challenge piece will have to wait a bit longer, while I deal with this new challenge of another kind.

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