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A pain in the mouth

I stand before you today as a disappointment to my parents.

Yep, Mom and Dad, who spent thousands on braces, appliances, reconstructive dental work, caps, crowns and other oral adornments, are likely sorely disappointed in their son: I've let a lot of it go to pot.

Those years of milkshakes, chocolate bars and stacks of sweets have caught up with me beyond my growing waistline.

Apparently, I don't brush enough. I don't floss enough. If my teeth were children, I'd certainly be in jail for neglect.

I should be so lucky.

Instead, I've been in line for a little cruel and unusual punishment.

My sentence? A full-blown root canal, complete with abscess abatement and a cavity filled. (Thank God for dental insurance!)

And it all started with a chicken liver.

Actually, it started way before the chicken liver.

It became unbearable after the chicken liver.

I spent part of this week molar deep in a root canal to fix a broken tooth that has been giving me fits for a few months. At first, the problem wasn't that bad - a floss here, a floss there, and I could go on my way. I was able to survive for months with a handy cache of floss in my desk, in my car, in my pocket and at my house.

That changed a week or so ago when I took a bite of a chicken liver, and it suddenly felt like someone jabbed my gum with an ice pick. And the pain didn't go away. In fact, the more I stubbornly ate, the worse it hurt. (Just like a man, right?) So, subsequently, I've spent the last week chewing soft foods exclusively on the right side of my mouth. (If there is a bright spot in my plight, it's the menu items at Abigail's, Chile Pepper's and Cornerstone Bakery that I sampled during the last week that I never would have tried otherwise.)

I've also spent the last week sampling some of the best pain medication health insurance will buy. I didn't know how good the medicine was until last Friday, when I took two of the little darlings on an empty stomach - a grievous error for a pharmacist's son. (Yes, Pete had a grand time mocking my stomach churning decision.) Half way through my first cup of coffee, I was laying on my floor. And, according to testimony from witnesses in the office, I spent the next few hours in a dazed, slurring haze. (Which actually isn't a bad way to spend a morning at the office, but I digress.)

In the end, I'm hoping to be ready to face solid food again in a few days. After all, I'm still a growing (well, expanding, at least) boy, and I need a steady diet.

And I promise to brush my teeth more often.

Anything to avoid a root canal.

But can I keep the pain pills?

Web posted on Thursday, June 07, 2007

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