Saturday, October 28, 2017

Root Canal: A Brief Post About Pain

Two weeks before my root canal, the pain underneath tooth number 29 ratcheted up. Big time.

I woke up at 4AM, my lower jaw throbbing with a crushing pain. It felt like my jaw was being squeezed by a vice. My big mistake was not reaching for some tylenol or ibuprofen right then and there. I decided to go back to sleep, but I was unable to get comfortable. I had a fitful few hours before I got up. I had some ibuprofen with my morning coffee.

"See if you can move your appointment up," my wife suggested. I demurred. The ibuprofen had made the pain manageable. But when I got to work, it was clear the pain wasn't going away. I see-sawed between pain levels 4 and 8, and I started a regimen of ibuprofen every four hours. I moved up my appointment by a week. (I'd later try to get an even earlier appointment, but I'd have to wait.)

The pain remained constant. Some hours it was almost forgettable, but other hours it was front and center. I inserted tylenol into my regimen, two hours after my ibuprofen dose. And in between, as needed, I swabbed tooth number 29 with Orajel. All of this dulled the pain, and allowed me to sleep better. And when I did, I dreamed about the root canal.

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