Just a simple tooth extraction and bone graft. My inner world can be so chaotic that I ground myself by grinding my teeth in my sleep. A firmly clenched jaw apparently keeps me tethered under the troposphere but also can fracture a molar clear down to the mantle.
- Tip 1: A Doctor’s Nightguard ($30 at retail pharmacies) is cheaper than extraction and implant ($3500).
- Tip 2: An implant costs as much as a family cruise to the Mayan Riviera.
- Tip 3: The Mayan Riveria is a hotter, trendier destination than an oral surgeon’s chair with tools.
- Tip 4: If you are a grinder and haven’t broken a molar yet, buy the mouthguard and treat yourself to a cruise, complete with gourmet lobster dinners and complementary champagne. You deserve it. The only headache you’ll get is a hangover, which actually responds to pain killers and leaves you alone a lot faster.
My dentist says grinders make him very rich.
On the third day waking and barely able to speak, move my head, blink without pain, I went to the ER and enjoyed cruising Curious-George style down corridors for my CT-scan. I wanted to cry out “wheee” and wreak havoc, but I wasn’t up to it.
Could you just decapitate me to relieve the pressure? I asked Mark, the ER doc, who was slightly nervous with Charlie lingering nearby (voted San Diego’s best doc for three years, with the bennie that I get to call all medical personnel by their first names). Mark said that’d bring up other issues.
Trepanation? I countered. No, Mark said, that has side effects, too.
Well, it worked for ancient Mesoamericans. Or maybe not. In the Museum of Man I saw lots of ancient skulls with triangles and squares carved out with the surgical equivalent of Stone Age hand axes; whoever goes through that kind of pressure relief without anesthesia (OK, maybe there was some loco herb involved) must have had a whopper of a headache. Either way, they were gonna die.
Iâ€™ve been able to cut back on pain killers these past two days; the splitting disabling headache has turned into vague twinges and mush. I am embarrassingly not sharp. (I can hear my brothers jumping on that one.)
Butâ€”yayâ€”I went outside into the garden on Thursday, my first foray out of bed. I propped some weighty steroidal tomato vines, then shuffled right back to that other bed. After two weeks of forced bed rest I have NO core strength left! Wah! It hurts my back to stand or move about for more than 10 or 15 minutes.
I cooked an omelet yesterday and discovered my strength/endurance time can be measured in omelet units. Thatâ€™s all Iâ€™m good for. Back to horizontal!
Poor poor Charlie still has to do ALL the cleanup. Yin-yang: always a silver lining (not to be confused with mercury filling; isn’t it comforting that “mercurial,” after the Roman god Mercury, refers to the erratic, volatile, unstable? My grinding probably trips the Richter).
No silver lining for Chas, working 10- to 12-hour days outside the home. Heâ€™ll ask for the next headache.
Yoga? Oh my god. I can only make the last pose. Corpse pose.
Iâ€™ll try to show my face at this Saturday’s class, tho Iâ€™m not sure my brain can take any pressure. Usually I’m happiest upside-down.
I figure doing lots of omelet-unit reps in household/gardening tasks this week should bring some strength and Charlie back. Canâ€™t wait to go outside and hang.