Thursday, September 03, 2009


For three weeks, he thought it was a sinus infection. Don gets those fairly frequently, and deals with them in the time-tested way: wait it out and maybe it will just go away on its own.

For the last two weeks or so, I've been telling him-- gently, at first, then less gently-- that his breath was bad, that something was wrong with his mouth, and that he might need to see a dentist. It was that sickly sort of halitosis that lingers even after brushing.

For about the last week, he noticed what felt like an earache, but contributed it to the sinus issue.

Tuesday evening, he came home with his face all puffy, and said that it seemed to be a tooth, after all. I agreed and called him Ed for the rest of the night, because with his chubby cheek he looked a bit like Ed Norton. He decided that he would try to get to a dentist Friday morning and asked me to find one for him the next morning. Preferably one of those that specialize in anesthesiology* and are willing to put patients under for any and all procedures. See, Don, who is afraid of basically nothing, has a fear of the dentist. Although details are scarce, this seems to stem back to his service days and the removal of his wisdom teeth by an unkind army dentist. I think it's safe to say that he hasn't been to a dentist since, and that was twenty years ago.

Yesterday, Robert, Alice and I took our usual morning walk and when we returned, I started my search for a dentist for Don. I had only gotten as far as bringing up the Google page when his truck turned into the drive: he had been sent home from work with instructions to go to the doctor that day. His cheek had morphed from cutely chubby to scarily swollen, and the pain had become unbearable**. I found a dental surgery place, loaded the baby into the car, and we spent the rest of the morning driving and waiting, breastfeeding and waiting, walking about the waiting room, and waiting, while they did who-knows-what to Don's mouth.

Needless to say, after being neglected for so long, the tooth was not salvageable and had to be 'extracted'. There is also quite a bit of other work that needs to be done ASAP in order to keep this from happening again soon. So let this be a lesson to you procrastinators and those fearful of various doctors and dentists. Go. Just go. Otherwise, you will eventually be forced to go while in tremendous pain, and it will be much worse.

Don insisted that I drop him back off at work after the procedure, instead of taking him home. I'm not sure if this was sheer stupidity, badass-ness, or some combination. I reminded him not to lift anything heavy, climb ladders, or operate machinery, and to call me when he was ready to come home. He's actually in a very good mood... I'm not sure if this is because he finally did what he'd been dreading and got through it, or because for the first time in almost a month he didn't have a bad headache, toothache, or earache, or simply because of the hydrocodone he's on.


*I spelled that right on the first try. Am so proud.
**Don bears pain incredibly well, so that is saying something. Unbearable for him means "anyone else would have passed out by now".

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