|Couldn't find a picture of lavendula dentata so this will have to do.|
Some decades ago the boyfriend I was besotted with, asked me if I would drive him to the Outpatients for an operation to remove his wisdom tooth. Not my idea of romantic day out.. but just being with him was surely enough, even in the drab, depressing waiting room of an ageing hospital A&E.
Whilst we were sat waiting for him to be called in - he dumped me! Yes.. there and then in the clinical confines of casualty. Perhaps he thought the atmosphere would protect him from my wrath and hysteria. He was wrong. "Why are you doing this now?" I howled, unable to believe the dreadfulness of it all. "Because I thought I would get all the misery of the tooth and you dealt with at the same time!" he replied. I pulled myself up and spat at him "Well I hope it fucking hurts!"as I stomped out of the waiting room and drove home through a black mist of emotional gloom and tears.
I am reminded of this charming little anecdote by the continuous pain that has been emanating from the area of my wisdom tooth for the past two months. Three dentist and two doctors over a period of five weeks proclaim that it is not the tooth, coming up with a range of possibilities from sinuses to trigeminal neuralgia. [You really don't want to have trigeminal neuralgia - I know because I've spent a lot of time on the web reading about it and becoming increasingly depressed at the possibility.]
I see a 'consultant'. It is not a good time of year for 'consultants' because they are mostly spending their ill-gotten gains on holidays but the one who isn't sunning himself in the Bahamas sees me. I tell him it feels exactly like toothache and that the pain only goes away when I take painkillers and I've been taking painkillers for six weeks. When I see any of these bods I don't take the painkillers in order not to mask the excruciating pain so they will get more of a clue what is wrong with me. "It's not the tooth" he pronounces finally in a 'that's it and goodbye' kind of way. I throw an emotional strop, wailing on about the pain and the effect it is having on my ME and how I can't go on... blah blah. His secretary takes pity on me and fixes up a brain and sinus scan there and then. It is a tuesday and by a fortuitous coincidence the brain and sinus scan van happens to only be there on tuesdays! They rush me down to the van before I get chance to become too hysterical. I've seen House. I know the minute I get shoved head first into the scanning machine I will have a massive panic attack and then blood will start spurting from my eyes. Nobody reassures me - or indeed says anything other than mumbling "a couple of minutes" when I ask how long I will be stuck in this tube. I close my eyes, feel the table I am laid out on slide into the machine, a whirring noise starts, I try and think nice calming thoughts but can only remember episodes of House. Two minutes later I am out and told to come back in a week for the results. In the meantime just keep taking the tablets.
I am like a Sock with a sore head. I have never really considered the possiblity of what it could be other than tooth or sinuses. If we don't know what it is we can't cure it and I may face a lifetime of pain from some unspecific facial neuralgia. I have already used up my sympathy allowance from most of my friends and dare not whine on about it anymore which is a problem as I have nothing else to say - it is all consuming. I single out Fat Rascal to take the brunt of it. She lives up a mountain in France and surely any news from the homeland is better than none. Fat Rascal doesn't watch House but sends extracts of my whingeing email to M. in Paris who does, and in fact quite enjoys hearing about health problems. An email wings it's way back from Fat Rascal. "M. in Paris suggests that the bad news is that if it is House then it will almost certainly be some Japanese brainworm you have picked up on your travels - the good news is that if it is House then he will cure you with a short course of anti-bios."
Reassured that at least I am not alone in my fears that it is a brainworm of some description I go back to see the consultant. "The good news is that your brain and sinus scan are completely clear, no sign of tumours, cancer, sinus problems or anything". "So could it be the tooth?" I ask. "I don't think so as that didn't show any problems either." "Well how about you try anaesthetising the tooth and then if the pain goes away that might indicate that it is indeed the tooth?" I suggest. "Yes we can try that but as you have taken painkillers already we will have to make another appointment." I am wondering how much I should charge for my advice.
The consultant decides at this point to take his holiday - there's a surprise. Whilst he is away I find the pain is worse but the good news is that if I swill cold liquid over the tooth the pain is sudden and beyond excruciating - like someone digging a red hot screwdriver into my gum. This now happens every time I swill cold liquid on it and is, in my opinion, conclusive proof that it is the tooth - which is what I said all along.
Lets hope that I am nearly out of the woods on this one. If someone doesn't fix it or yank it out soon I will pull the bastard out myself with a pair of pliers. It's spoiled my summer but its not like there has really been a summer to spoil. Let's just hope that I have got the misery of the pain and the rain over with at the same time.