About Last Thursday...

So last Thursday morning Kristin was able to get me a spur-of-the-moment dentist appointment so I could get my tooth looked at. But, despite being in agony throughout the night and unable to sleep, I declined the appointment in favor of going mountain biking. Priorities, right? Anyway, four fitful nights of sleep later I finally made my way to the dentist this morning.

Being that the pain was radiating through the entire right side of my face, I had trouble identifying exactly which tooth was the problem. So the dentist grabbed one of his tools -- a hammer of sorts -- and began tapping.

"One, one, one, one"... nothing.
"Two, two, two, two"... nothing.
"Three, three, three, three"... nothing.
"Fo".. Holy $&@*!!!! Aggghh!!!

He dropped the hammer and ran -- okay, it was really just a speedwalk waddle but grant me some artistic license here -- to the phone and called the oral surgeon. It was noon, but he was able to pull some strings and get me scheduled for a root canal at four.

And this day started with such promise. Sigh.

I went to lunch with Kristin at my favorite post-dental visit Thai restaurant then borrowed a laptop from her company and spent the afternoon at a coffee shop working on the introduction for my latest guidebook. One americano and a short drive across Seattle later, I was in yet another dental office. Good times.

Naturally nobody told me anything about needing any pre-meds before hand so I get let into the exam room and given four large antibiotics and a copy of Sports Illustrated. Great, I immediately flip open to a two-page photo of Gould's winning field goal that eliminated the Seahawks from the playoffs. A chill runs up my spine and I imagine someone, somewhere, just kicked my dog to add insult to my injury. They'll be back in an hour, I'm told. An hour goes by, they numb me, and begin the drilling. Everything was going fine. Right up until the moment my body catapulted itself from the chair like Linda Blair on a bare mattress. I've had a lot of dental work done -- I've probably seen more drilling than Halliburton -- but gawdam that hurt!

Metallica's "Harvester of Sorrow" soon begins playing on my iPod and I immediately skip it. Damn you shuffle mode and your uncanny irony! Next up, a Jack Johnson song from the Curious George soundtrack. Much better. It brings me happy thoughts. And it's indeed time for happy thoughts.

Fifteen minutes later, the rubber bag they tried to asphyxiate me with is removed from my mouth and I have a sudden urge to yell, "Bring out the gimp!" I relax the death grip I had on the chair rails, lower the volume on the iPod, and peel my sweating back off the vinyl chair. Remarkably, the face-melting pain I had endured for five days is gone. It's replaced by an absolute numbness, but the pain is gone so I'm happy.

Yes, indeed. I am very happy. I might have lost a day of work I didn't have with a deadline looming, not to mention about $1500 in out-of-pocket dental expenses, but it will be damn nice to sleep again.

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