Gut Rumbles

November 10, 2006

Bad things

Originally published March 22, 2005

I've had a lot of really evil shit happen to me in my life. I have broken my bones, had some teeth knocked out and experienced the joy of having a skilled surgeon rip out vital parts of my anatomy. I survived two very bad car wrecks. I've had as many stitches put in me as the Frankenstein monster did. I have walked on crutches and found myself totally bedridden, unable to go to the bathroom by myself.

But NONE OF THAT was as bad as a fucking root canal. That procedure just pure-ass sucks.

When I had my front teeth knocked out playing football, I also chipped two others that were capped at the time. I was fitted with a bridge. That was fine for a couple of years, until I developed this terrible toothache one weekend in one of the capped teeth. MUTHAFUCKA! That sumbitch hurt like hell for two days and almost drove me crazy. It was a weekend. All the dentist's offices were closed. I could find no relief.

I've read stories about people who take a pistol and try to shoot out a bad tooth. I know why they do that stupid stuff after that experience. You reach the point where you would do ANYTHING to make that bitch stop hurting. NOTHING seems outrageous to you anymore.

Sunday night, my tooth stopped hurting. All the pain just suddenly went away. I was a happy Cracker boy--- until I developed a swelling along my gum-line that rapidly spread up the side of my face. It wasn't sore to the touch, but I was becoming disfigured from the swelling. I knew that something was wrong, so I made an appointment to see my dentist.

He took one X-ray and sent me off to see an oral surgeon. My capped tooth had given up the ghost and was starting to abcess. (Did you know that you can DIE from that shit?) I had a root canal that morning while some construction crew was working with jackhammers breaking up the sidewalk outside the dentist's office. Those were perfect sound effects for the operation.

Because he was dealing with a capped tooth holding together a bridge, the doctor had to be very careful not to break anything essential while he drilled and probed. He locked my head in a fucking vise, cranked my mouth open with some kind of stainless steel torture device and proceded to use the kind of instruments the priests used on William Wallace when they eviscerated him at the end of Braveheart.

I was party to this special treatment while listening to jackhammers break up a sidewalk outside the office. At the time, I was thoroughly convinced that I had died and gone to hell.

And that first visit didn't finish the job. All he did that day was drain the abcess and prep me for a RETURN VISIT a week later, when he completed his work. After that second visit, I staggered out of that office resembling a zombie from Night of the Living Dead. I took my prescription for codiene to the nearest pharmacy, bought my pills, and went home to stay doped on the couch for a day and have horrible nightmares about people in white coats chasing me around with red-hot hammers and tongs.

I NEVER want to go through that again. Sam, you have my heartfelt sympathy.


My father HATES needles. Moreover, just the thought of a needle being stuck in his gums wakes him very sick. About 10 years ago my father had a root canal. He was so afraid of the novocaine shot, he had the root canal done without any painkiller. The dentist was so sacred/horrified during the procedure he was dry heaving.

Posted by: Michael on November 10, 2006 04:05 PM
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