"If you had been trying to damn your man by the Romantic method--by making him...submerged in self-pity for imaginary distresses--you would try to protect him at all costs from any real pain; because, of course, five minutes' genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense they were and unmask your whole stratagem." --Screwtape
From The Screwtape Letters, by C.S.Lewis
Yes - I've had a toothache this week - I'm sure that if you missed my UMPTEEN postings on Facebook about it, this is a complete shock to you, but Yes, I've had a FREAKIN toothache this week.
For those of you that have never experienced the unique form of agony that is a dental abscess, first of all let me say Lucky You. Then let me conclude by saying Fuck off and Die.
Don't tell me about the time you stubbed your toe and ask me if this is as bad at that was, because it's a BAJILLION TIMES WORSE!!!! Imagine having your eyeballs pulled out with a dull, rusty pair of tweezers dipped in vinegar, while a 700lb man stomps on your fingers in spike heeled pumps. Then take all that pain, and put it in the space occupied by one tooth, and have it pulse to the same rhythm as your heartbeat.
Normally I try to head these things off before they get to the Oh God Kill Me Now stage of agony. I've been dealing with dental issues ever since I was a kid,thanks to the crappy genetic dice roll I got in the tooth department. It comes from my Mom's side of the family, along with my freckles and turned up nose.
So, it's been a sucky week, what with the wanting to pry out my aching tooth with an ice pick and all. But silly me, ever determined to find an up side to things, I did realize that having pain like this really does put things in perspective, hence the opening quote. (And a special thanks to Scott Robinson for posting it to my FB page).
This week I haven't given a single turd about what my lawn looks like, or if the dishes are done, or what's going on with any of my neighbors. I haven't cared a bit about the Casey Anthony trial, what Charlie Sheen is up to, or what idiotic nonsense Michelle Bachman or Sara Palin have spouted. No celebrity gossip, no headline news, none of that garbage was anywhere on my radar, all I cared about was getting through the day so I could come home, medicate myself into a stupor and hopefully get some sleep.
I've been in full on, just let me make it through the next 5 minutes mode for 6 days now, and it has SUCKED like you would NOT believe. It's also got me thinking about what it must be like to have to live with chronic pain.
I've cared for a sizable number of patients with chronic pain issues over the years. I like to think that I've treated them with compassion, even though most have been pretty unpleasant people. After spending a week with a tiny little taste of what life is like for them on a daily basis, I hope that the next time I'm caring for someone with chronic pain, I'll have more patience for their temperament.
I'm going to curl up with wee glass of Jamesons and some bad TV now - until this toothache is completely gone that's all the silver lining I'm capable of seeing right now!