On Christmas Day last year I woke up with the most unbelievable toothache you can imagine.
Merry Christmas, right?
I spent the day wanting to kill someone from the pain. Finally I got together later with some friends’ and as soon as I walked in the door my friend Cheryl knew something was wrong.
“I couldn’t even eat Christmas dinner, I’m in so much pain,” I told her.
I arranged to follow her to her house later as she told me she had some pain pills I could have that she no longer needed but when we got to her house she discovered her landlord who had borrowed supposedly only a couple had helped himself to the whole bottle apparently over a period of time!
Between then and Dec. 28th I tried over-the-counter stuff and it worked temporarily but eventually it would stop working – all of them over a period of time.
On the 28th I was able to get to the dentist thanks to my mom who I had to pay back and got some relief but also discovered that more pain would be ahead.
Then around the 1st of the year I got another tooth pulled that was giving me problems and wound up in the ER Jan. 2nd this year in tears with pain. I wanted to dive through the curtains in the ER room they had me in and strangle the nurse who was just chit-chatting with a patient about nothing. I was just in so much pain I couldn’t focus on anything and felt totally insane.
Being sober for 11 years, I knew I couldn’t drink but I was ready to and to do much more than that. Anything to kill the pain. I was thinking cocaine, crack, heroin, anything and I’m not even a drug addict. I was wishing I was married to a doctor so he could write me a prescription or an anesthesiologist. I was fantasizing about stealing extra pain shots from the ER to take home with me. All insane thoughts I know but when you’re in that kind of pain you’re not thinking clearly at all.
Finally the ER gave me a pain shot that I had to beg for and I had another appointment to see the dentist, thanks again to Mom, who I paid back later again.
I went back to the dentist, got an infection, thus more pain, then got on Vicadin which made me so constipated I was miserable because I have a sensitive colon. I was also on antibiotics but had to quit taking the Vicadin.
After having exhausted everything over-the-counter between January and February and realizing that neither Tylenol PM, Excedrin PM, and even Nyquil didn’t work for me, I was off to the health food store to find another solution.
I had heard Clove Oil was good for pain so I found the only size they had – a small one for $6.00. Tasted awful but it worked. For awhile.
Since then amidst various dental work I’ve gone through in the past ten months thanks once again to my mom who I continue to pay back I have found some things that worked besides the Darvocet I was on briefly that wasn’t that great. Oh, I did try a Valium someone gave me for the first time but all it did was make me a little calm.
Sometimes I had to wait several weeks or months before I could get back to the dentist because of finances so I found out that some remedies that worked included garlic clove (but not for long), a pinch of pepper and a quarter teaspon of salt placed directly on the painful spot, which by the way, eventually spread throughout both sides of my mouth, fish oil (found at the health food store), rinsing with warm salt water, rinsing with half hydrogen peroxide and half cold water (DO NOT SWALLOW!), Rozerem, which worked to help make me sleep some, antiseptic wipes found in the first aid kid of my car (Can you say “Desperate”?), Orajel, which I’d known about, Anbesol which eventually quit working, a special mouthwash the new dental clinic I started going to gave me later, a prescription mouthwash that my Medicare didn’t cover, Lidacaine numbing cream the ER gave me recently, which didn’t help the pain long, and praying on my knees (Yes, this actually works!). Oh, and in the beginning back at Christmas Valerian Root actually worked briefly.
My most recent trip to the ER was a few weeks ago after drinking a Coke which later felt like knives were going through my jaw from the acid in the drink. The dentist had told me the sodas that I’ve drank since I was six were rotting my teeth out but I was so addicted I hadn’t been able to give them up save for five days recently. I haven’t had a soda since this most recent trip to the ER. Again, I was in tears and again, another pain shot and another prescription for Vicadin and an antibiotic. Of course, I had to quit taking the Vicadin again and I found it had stopped working so well this time.
Oh yeah, and I recently was told that my roots are curved so I was going to have to go to an oral surgeon who is higher than my dental clinic in price. But first, I was going to have to get an oral surgeon at the county hospital to write a note to this other oral surgeon saying that it is surgically necessary that this other tooth from hell get extracted. Otherwise, I would have to wait till February when the oral surgeon who will do the root canal or pull the tooth has another appointment available since they’re all booked up.
But, miracle of miracles. Today, Oct. 11th I got an early phone call from my dental clinic telling me that another dentist there looked at my tooth x-ray and determined that my roots weren’t curved after all, but that my mouth was building a wall to fight off all the infections I had; that this other dentist thinks she can pull the tooth today with no problem, but that if for some reason the tooth breaks off or something she will try to get me in to the oral surgeon right away.
So, the point of the story is that you can stay sober through dental pain by trying different remedies.
And, if you run out of remedies, Google “Homemade toothache remedies” on the net.
I did in the middle of the night one night and was pleasantly surprised at what I found.