it's a version of that old kid's joke:
you're going in for your first root canal. what time is it?
tooth hurty! get it? huh, huh?
yeah, it's THAT good of a joke.
so in may i went to the VTC dental clinic for a cleaning and they said "we're not licensed to diagnose, but if we were we would probably say you need a filling or two, so we'd like to encourage you to go to a dentist who WILL be licensed to tell you that you need a filling and will probably tell you that and then give you a filling or two. if you need one. which you might. but legally we can't tell you that. so you should go see a dentist."
so i went to see a dentist.
he put in some fillings.
and then everything was all awesome.
until two days ago i was just minding my own business (well, actually i was walking down some mountain out in the nowheres because ingress) and all of a sudden OH THE PAIN.
now, i am not a stranger to pain. i have experienced pain on a rather grand scale, like that time i nearly froze to death up in avery's gore.
this, my friends, was PAIN. it was more or less alleviated by the judicious application of topically applied lidocaine and benzocaine in conjunction with ibuprofen and acetaminophen. oh, yeah. and that relief from the topically applied 'caines lasted all of twelve minutes each time (i timed it) so it was a bumpy night.
but then i felt ok in the morning, so i went to my appointment with my rheumatologist like nothing was wrong (air conditioning) and then out again (warm out) and then to the grocery store (air conditioning) and then out (pretty near hot) again and i was experiencing some discomfort but then i made what i will now call THE MISTAKE.
i ate a ham sandwich because i had missed breakfast and i was feeling kind of peaked.
and what followed was the kind of rip-roaring pain where you would do anything to stop it, including saw off the hurty part, only you cannot escape it because it is IN YOUR HEAD.
so there i was in the grocery store parking lot gasping and crying and keeping the door open in case i started to throw up because it hurt THAT BAD and then (only pausing to play a little ingress) i came right home and called my dentist.
and he could see me following day and now i have had not only my first fillings ever but my first emergency root canal.
when the dentist broke open the filling* the smell that filled my head was not good. and as you maybe know, a bad smell emanating from the inside of your mouth is hard to escape, since it's very local to all your smelling apparatuses.
the giant empty cavern is being left open to drain for the week before the dentist goes in to drill and fill and crown**, so that feels weird and tastes and smells horrible, but it is still WAY better than the two days of SEARING UNBEARABLE PAIN and all in all i'm pretty happy with it.
* it turns out the tooth that needed the biggest filling also has a teeny little crack in it, and an infection far enough below the surface so as not to be visible in the initial drilling and not even visible on today's x-rays, but oh, boy, i was headed for that root canal sooner or later and the dentist says putting the filling in only "kicked the bear".
**because i am a stranger in the land of dental work, i asked the dentist to explain what a crown is for me, and he started with "it's like a little hardhat for your tooth."