Saturday, September 16, 2006

My Early Christmas Present

You might think from the title of this post that the early Christmas present is our little boy who is expected to arrive in a few weeks, but you'd be wrong. My early Christmas present is the thing we spent $400 on yesterday: an emergency root canal.

Once the early contractions/bedrest issue was resolved as of Tuesday, I mistakenly assumed that other than the usual third trimester discomforts, I would be home free for the rest of this pregnancy. I was wrong.

On Wednesday, I started having some discomfort in one of my teeth, but like most of my toothaches, I thought it would disappear within a day or two. By Thursday night, I was in so much pain that I couldn't sleep despite all of the Tylenol I was popping. After a quick call to my OB to ensure that a trip to the dentist was OK, I was in my dentist's chair looking an x-ray of a tooth that was in serious trouble. It's pretty scary to see a huge black spot near the root of a tooth.

My dentist, unsure of how to treat such an issue in a pregnant woman, referred me to a specialist. After another call to my OB to find out which medications were appropriate for me, I found myself in yet another dentist's chair, this time in so much pain I prayed for a quick blow to the head to put me out of my misery.

Of the three root canals that I've endured, this one was by far the most pleasant. The specialist was very gentle, especially when you consider how limited he was in how much pain killer he could give me. Once the procedure was over, he was reluctant to write me a prescription for an anti-biotic or painkiller due to the pregnancy. I agreed to stick with the Tylenol and give him a call if I noticed an infection setting in.

After another sleepless night and a stomach so hungry it was turning in knots (eating was completely out of the question), I had Ryan call him today to beg for drugs on my behalf. Luckily, he concurred once Ryan explained how much pain I was in and called in the prescriptions. I am now a much a happier person having taken my first hydrocodone tablet. I look forward to taking another one before bedtime in hopes of sleeping more than three hours tonight.

The specialist to whom I was referred is out of our "dental network" and normally, being the cheapskate that I am, that would bother me. But this time around, I don't care. I was willing to spend any amount of money to make the pain go away. I told Ryan to make the procedure my Christmas present this year. He said he wouldn't do that, but I really won't mind if I don't get anything this year; I'm just so happy to be out of pain.

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