My most miserable week ever....

Preface: Prior to last Thursday, I had finally managed to get off my lazy butt and had partially climbed out of an exercise and dietary rut that I have been immersed in since around Thanksgiving 2004. I had lifted weights, jogged and bicycled for almost a week straight as I was preparing to run in a 5K the first Saturday in March. Then:

Thursday, February 17
This was Dominic's 5th birthday. He was just getting over the flu/cold combination that has been hammering Kansas City. For myself, it was just beginning. My muscles were really sore because of the weightlifting I had been doing and I thought that this was the primary cause of my discomfort early in the day. However, as the day wore on, I could tell something else was clearly bothering me. My chest began to feel like it was weighted down with sandbags and I was coughing up material that could crawl out of the sink. By the time I got home, I was in no mood for cake and ice cream. I tried to lay down for a few minutes, and I began taking Theraflu extreme-cold. It didn't seem to be helping.

Friday, February 18
After a night of sleeplessness, despite my heavy dose of Nyquil the night before, I promptly shut off the alarm and pulled a blanket over my head for who knew how long. Sharon took Dominic to school, his first day back after missing three days. Sharon was preparing for her scrapbooking weekend in which I was originally slotted to "babysit" Domi. Thankfully, Alice was prepared to watch and care for my son, as I fell deeper and deeper into the abyss. By Friday night, after sleeping most of the day, I was feverish and could not eat anything besides popsicles. I went to bed with goosebumps, hopped up on Theraflu and Nyquil. I think I was even having some visions of angels by this point.

Saturday, February 19
The worst of the fever had seemed to pass, but the congestion was now moving to my nose, upper-chest, making it difficult for me to breathe through my nose. I slept a lot of the day Saturday also, partly a result of all of the medication I was taking. At this point, I also noticed what I thought to be a cold-sore toward the back of my mouth, a minor complication of my more intense battle with the flu. By Saturday evening, I was feeling good enough to go over to Sun Fresh to buy some more medicine. I even traded in Whale Rider for Troy at the movie store and ate at Jade Garden, which turned out to be a mistake. About halfway through my General Tso's chicken, I began to break out into a cold sweat. My visions of being healed were soon dashed, and I went back home to bed, again.

Sunday, February 20
Sharon arrived home from scrapbooking weekend around noon, and Dominic got back home around 1:00. I was actually feeling better than I had in days, except for this festering cold-sore in my mouth. I kept putting more and more medicine on it, and popping some Advil. Dominic had a birthday party to go to, so Sharon and I took him there from 2:00-4:00. I was moving slowly, but I was happy to be moving at all. Sunday night, I even felt good enough to order a pizza from Minsky's and watch some TV. I was still taking Dayquil, Nyquil, Advil, etc. to ease my transition back into a state of health. I thought I was on the road to recovery. Oh, how mistaken I was.

Monday, February 21
My "cold-sore" in the back of my mouth kept me awake most of Sunday night and Monday morning, and I was in severe pain most of the day Monday. I did some poking and prodding into my mouth trying to figure out what was going on back there by my upper left wisdom tooth. Things were feeling worse and worse as the moments progressed. I was unable to chew and eat, and it even hurt to take drinks of anything.

Tuesday, February 22
Another sleepless night, even though I had taken Nyquil, which usually knocks me out like a Barry Bonds bat to a hanging-curveball. Sharon had to be at work at 7:30 AM for a meeting, so I had to take Dominic to school. This was not a problem, as I wasn't enthused about being anywhere quickly this morning. I called the dentist and made an appointment for 2:00. Unfortunately, I had to reschedule a meeting at work--again. At this point, I really didn't care what "work" thought. I got Dominic to school around 10:30, and went to work for a couple of hours where I was surprisingly productive, completing some tasks that needed to be completed. At 1:30, I wrapped it up and headed to Liberty to the dentist office. Let me backtrack a moment: earlier in the day, I realized that I had waived my dental insurance coverage for 2005 in an effort to save about $10 pretax per paycheck.

The dentist took a look at my wisdom tooth for about 5 seconds--literally--and said, "Yep, it's just that wisdom tooth. It needs to come out." I grimaced. He told me that it was infected. I told him I was already taking an antibiotic for my cold/flu--whatever. It's always embarrassing to tell a medical professional that you have self-diagnosed and self-prescribed yourself a medication. Anyway, he told me that antibiotic was o.k., and that I needed to see an oral-surgeon to have the tooth extracted. So, I took the referral notice and traveled over to the oral surgeon's office. I spoke with the lady at the front-desk, and we (I) decided that I only wanted to have the one tooth pulled at this time, citing my lack of insurance. If necessary, I would address the other three non-hurting wisdom teeth in the future. The lady thought that a local anesthetic would get the job done, and scheduled me for an extraction on March 3, over a week away. Evidently, this was their first availability.

Wednesday, February 23
At this point, death does not sound like a bad option. Along with the fact that my tooth and surrounding gum tissue feels like a dagger is sticking through it, I'm now getting nauseous on an ongoing basis. I don't know if this is because some of the "infection" is getting into my stomach, because I am not eating hardly anything or because of the inventive drug cocktails I am consuming. It's probably an all of the above situation. Anyway, I don't want to do anything but remain unconscious. Unfortunately, I had to rouse myself for a presentation at work at 9:30. I managed to get there and get it done, and went home to sleep the rest of the day.

Thursday, February 24
I took an ambien pill last night to try something different. I think it helped me to sleep better than any of the other medicines I've tried. Boy, did I sleep. I fell asleep shortly after 9:00 PM (this, after sleeping the latter half of the day.) I woke up briefly in the morning when Sharon and Domi were getting ready, but I stayed comfortably unconscious until around noon. I had to be at work by 1:00 for a meeting, so I roused myself to the shower. I was feeling dizzy and slightly nauseous, and this compounded as I drove to work. In the middle of my meeting, I was sweating and I thought I might have had to excuse myself. But, I made it through. I got something to drink and eat, and I started to feel a little bit better. I called the oral surgeon to see if I could be considered earlier for an appointment and, to my surprise, because of a cancellation, they were able to schedule me for 8:00 AM on Friday. This knocked nearly an entire week off of my wait.

Friday, February 25
I took another ambien pill last night, and I think it helped me to get to sleep. However, I woke up at around 5:00 AM and did not get back to sleep afterwards. My "procedure" was scheduled for 8:00 AM. Sharon and Dominic both went with me to the oral surgery office. Dr. Hanson was the butcher. He was a nice guy. He explained that I had a cyst on one of my lower wisdom tooth that would likely flare up in the future, but that today's single tooth extraction should be "easy." And, surprisingly, it was. The worst part was the shot to numb my cheek and gums, but man was the numbing nice once it took hold. The actual extraction lasted about a minute. I didn't feel any pain, just a lot of pressure. The worst part about it was the sound of it all. Grinding and hammering sounds. He told me that it was actually harder than it should have been because some roots got stuck. I didn't like to think about what that meant. I just wanted him to get the dang thing out of my mouth. The cost of the whole procedure was about $200 because they had to do a new panoramic x-ray that cost $70. That will teach me to waive my dental insurance coverage next year! Dr. Hansen prescribed me some pain medication and some mouthwash. We stopped at K-Mart on the way back to the house. I was still numbed up and feeling better than I had all week. I knew that was coming to an end when the numbing agent wore off--and that happened about a half hour later. Ouch!! Throbbing, bleeding pain. Nothing was really helping. I just tried to close my eyes and pass the time as unconsciously as I possibly could, but I really couldn't get to sleep.

Saturday, February 26
Woke this morning with swollen cheeks. Slept fitfully, but at least slept some. Took more pain medication (vicadin) in the AM, and slept from about 10-2. Domi had gotten me out of bed at about 8:30 for video game playing. Stared to feel better in the afternoon after nap. Had a bad headache in the morning that never really went away, but abated as the day wore on. Actually felt good enough to go to a movie with Domi and Sharon at 7:00. I even ate popcorn!! I think things are healing, but its still pretty swollen.

Sunday, February 27
Slept great last night, with the aid of an ambien pill. Awoke with a swollen cheek, but little pain. I'm not taking any more pain medication if I don't have to, because I think it makes me a little bit ill. I really feel like I'm on the mend today. Overall, I feel better than I have in over a week. I'm wrapping up this post today, and hoping for no relapses!!


Sean said…
ugh. reminds me of when i had my wisdom teeth out. felt ok after two days, so left my pain meds at home and went back to college. ay de mi! enter serial ibuprofen dosage and headaches so pervasive that i had to read something enjoyable - like 'The Dark Knight' or 'Return of the King' to take my mind off the pain. homwework did not cut it!
Sharon Jo said…
This, friends and neighbors, is why God was wise enough to NOT have men do the childbearing, because Eric would have a blog 2000 pages long detailing every excruciating minute! :) But I am glad you are feeling better, because Domi and I were thinking of moving out!
From your loving 19-weeks-pregnant wife!!! :)
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