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Well, so much for plans.

So much for planning – I had planned to post something here yesterday, but things happened. More specifically: a root canal happened.

I had woken up with some dull kind of a toothache on Monday, which was solidly in the “it’s not too bad to ignore, but annoying” category. Since that had not gotten better until Tuesday morning, I did decide to do the grown-up thing and call my dentist. To my sort-of-delight, I did get an appointment right that morning, and it was quickly resolved that the tooth must have died a quiet death a while ago, as there was no nerve action in it anymore. (That, for those of you lucky enough to never have had such an experience, is done with a super-cold stick that is touched to the tooth. A living one will complain quickly, which is not pleasant. A dead one will not complain at all, which is even less pleasant on a different level and in an entirely different way.)

So the dead tooth was duly opened, the pus was drained, it was cleaned of most of the decayed nerve tissues, X-rays were taken, and I was sent home again with a provisional filling and a new appointment for the proper cleaning. All in all, I’m obviously not happy with pain and having to have dental treatment, but even though there is no good time to have something like this (apart from, obviously, “never” due to not needing it), my timing is impeccable. There’s so much action going on these weeks that I could have done far, far worse in finally feeling that pain – at least this week, I’m at home, and though it is sort of mangling my schedule a bit, things are far from really bad. Which brings me to the final two fun facts.

Fun fact number one: After this procedure, which is basically taking away some of the issue that causes the pain (as it drains the infected site), there was much more pain than before. Though the tooth is well and truly dead and thus incapable of causing pain, the surrounding tissue is very much alive, and it seems to have woken up by the preliminary treatment… resulting in a very definitive signal that it was not content with the situation.

Fun fact number two: I spent Thursday to Monday at the Dannenberg Convent – a Living History camp close to a castle ruin (now partly restored). “Tannenberg” was one of my first yearly events, and I was there many times. I’d skipped it the past few years, due to a number of reasons, but this year was their 25th anniversary and, at the same time, the last time the event would take place in its old form. So I spent four days with friends in the rain, and we broke camp and packed up on Monday. That dull ache in the tooth, and some accompanying light pounding that came with exertion, was with me all through my treks up and down the meadow, as I was carrying my stuff back to the car. It really, really heightened my appreciation of being able to get up out of a comfy warm bed on Tuesday, grab the phone, place one call, hop on my bike for a short trip across town, and then get 21st century state-of-the-art dental care, followed by some rather safe and fairly quickly acting 21st century painkiller pill. Yes, there was medical knowledge and medical care in the Middle Ages, too, and it was sometimes a lot more sophisticated than people expect, but it was still a very far cry from dental X-rays, modern drills and modern painkillers. Which reminded me of one of the things that Living History does to its participants: It does remind us both that not all modern things and modern ways are good (or better than old methods), and not to take all good modern things for granted.

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One Response to Well, so much for plans.

  1. Heather says:

    I’m so glad you found it in time and got it sorted!

    My shiny implant is from a grumbling infection that one day abcessed, then erupted in three directions at once, without hurting. The “hole” on the x-ray was spectacular and a reminder of how wonderful modern dentistry is and how much the spectre of sepsis gets forgotten.

    The first indication something was wrong was that I suddenly went all sleepy…

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